5 major trends shaping the manufacturing industry

Author4MAT Administrator
Posting date: 16 May 2024

TRS Staffing Solutions (TRS) is a specialist in manufacturing recruitment. In this article, we are focussing on the top 5 manufacturing industry trends today.

1. Labour demand is high

This is a trend that is a manufacturing trend that is set to continue through 2024. A recent study cited employee attraction and retention as the number one issue faced by most manufacturing companies today.


In response to this trend, the manufacturing sector has vastly increased its flexible working opportunities to appeal to people’s growing desire for better harmony between work and personal life.

Similarly, wage increases continue to increase in an effort to reward and retain talent. 

2. Preventative maintenance

Supply chain issues continue causing disruptions to production.


Key components for the maintenance of manufacturing machinery remain difficult to source, leading many manufacturing firms to lean towards an attitude of preventative maintenance, instead of reactive.

Adopting a preventative attitude has proven to serve manufacturing firms well; results show a reduction of maintenance costs and unplanned downtime, as well as better productivity and extended asset lifespan.

3. Automation and AI

Integration of automation and AI is a strong manufacturing trend of the time.


The manufacturing sector has greatly benefitted from the advent of automated technology and this is set to continue.


AI and automation offer manufacturing companies many opportunities; the possibility to address their labour issues with greater efficiency, speed up processes, and streamline production in ways the industry has never seen before.



4. Digital technology

One significant and positive manufacturing industry trend is that of the ‘smart’ factory. 


A smart factory is one that is optimised with digital technologies like cloud computing that connect machines, equipment, and computing devices using AI. Smart factories are a crucial part of the new wave of modern manufacturing that has come to be known as Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

5. Sustainable solutions

Sustainability is a key strategy objective for manufactures and is the fifth manufacturing trend. 

Products and machinery are increasingly electrified, while combustible engines are phased out with greater intention and urgency. The US government has granted more than $40bn of tax credits to electric vehicle (EV) and green energy appliance manufacturers under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) since 2022.

‘Decarbonisation’ has become household language in the modern manufacturing industry, with many government grants being generated to aid companies in their efforts to transform operations to greener alternatives.


The trends above reflect the manufacturing sector’s push towards innovation, efficiency, and sustainability, shaping the future of manufacturing. 


For current opportunities managed by TRS in structural engineering, please follow this link, manufacturing jobs.


Please contact your nearest TRS recruitment consultant if you would like to receive further advice on jobs in structural engineering.

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