There’s just something about the promise of a fresh new year, don’t you think? We’re presented with a clean slate with which to create exciting ideas and opportunities.
This past week we asked our engineering team what they thought was in store for 2016 within the manufacturing IT arena. In true FlexDog engineering fashion their first response was a nod to Yoda.
Difficult to see. Always in motion the future is.”
Hardy har har, FlexDogs. We think you might have had too many IMAX Star Wars: The Force Awakens trips of late.
After channeling the Force for a bit of Jedi insight, our VP of Technology Jason Toschlog gave us some interesting tidbits on his thoughts for 2016:
The Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) space will continue to split into two classes:
(1) Global Rollouts – flexible technologies supported by large providers that are configured and customized as common platform and then deployed widely within the organization.
(2) Industry-Specific Solutions – best of breed solutions with enough out-of-the-box features to justify deploying in individual facilities.
Additionally, tracking and traceability of products and their raw materials will continue to expand because of an ever expanding set of regulations across many industries.
Many buzzword technologies (Cloud, IoT, Big Data, 3D Printing, etc.) will start sprouting real offerings for manufacturing, but most will still be out of reach in 2016 for many manufactures. Proof of concept and pilot projects should be considered to learn how to best leverage these ideas. Rapid innovation will continue in these areas over the coming years.
Mobile solutions will continue to expand in manufacturing environments. The keys to success for these solutions will continue to be the fundamentals; security, power, and robust WiFi connections.
New classes of mobile technology will emerge. For example, Google’s ‘Glass at Work’ offering could eventually replace today’s workstation-based HMI solutions. This hands-free, wearable technology could provide machine operators with an augmented view of their environment while providing status information 100% of the time.
Okay, Jason, you’ve wowed us. All great insightful points. Maybe there is something to this Jedi master stuff!
One thing we know for sure, manufacturing engineers will continue to be in high demand as organizations seek to fill key skilled automation, software or control positions within their facilities.
Proud husband & father. Purdue grad. Adrenaline junkie. Handyman. Enjoys trying new things.