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2021: The beginning of the future

03 February 2021

In 2020, manufacturing had to cope with the consequences of a global pandemic, unpredictable markets, and political instability, all while dealing with pressing issues that were already troubling the sector before, such as the need to form sustainable production practices.

However, the sector has proven to be not only resilient, but ready to adapt and eager to innovate. As a result, strategies that manufacturers implemented merely to stay afloat last year might turn into the winning formula for a successful 2021.

I’ve spoken to a few industry experts, who have offered me their thoughts, and here are four innovations that I think will take this year by storm:

Advanced robotics
(Neil Ballinger, Head of EMEA at EU Automation)

In 2020, many manufacturing plants found themselves with emptied premises, due to shutdowns, the necessity of staggering shifts or moving part of their workforce to remote working. Plants, however, required the usual amount of upkeep, plus extra services such as daily deep cleaning and even extra maintenance for equipment pushed to its limit to meet spikes in demand or make up for lost productivity. To do all this while reducing on-site personnel, companies have increasingly turned to robots, with the consequence of stock prices for advanced robotics soaring in 2020. 

This trend will likely continue in 2021, with companies purchasing advanced robots to automate routine tasks while continuing to comply with social distancing regulations.

Read the full article in the February issue of DPA.

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