Manufacturing is no longer simply about making physical products. Changes in consumer demand, the nature of products, the economics of production, and the economics of the supply chain have led to a fundamental shift in the way companies do business. Customers demand personalization and customization as the line between consumer and creator continues to blur. As technology continues to advance exponentially, barriers to entry, commercialization, and learning are eroding.
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Manufacturing is no longer simply about making physical products. Changes in consumer demand, the nature of products, the economics of production, and the economics of the supply chain have led to a fundamental shift in the way companies do business. Customers demand personalization and customization as the line between consumer and creator continues to blur.
As technology continues to advance exponentially, barriers to entry, commercialization, and learning are eroding. New market entrants with access to new tools can operate at much smaller scale, enabling them to create offerings once the sole province of major incumbents.
While large-scale production will always dominate some segments of the value chain, innovative manufacturing models—distributed small-scale local manufacturing, loosely coupled manufacturing ecosystems, and agile manufacturing—are arising to take advantage of these new opportunities. Meanwhile, the boundary separating product makers from product sellers is increasingly permeable.
Manufacturers are feeling the pressure—and gaining the ability—to increase both speed to market and customer engagement. And numerous factors are leading manufacturers to build to order rather than building to stock. In this environment, intermediaries that create value by holding inventory are becoming less and less necessary. Together, these shifts have made it more difficult to create value in traditional ways. At the same time, as products become less objects of value in their own right and more the means for accessing information and experiences, creating and capturing value has moved from delivering physical objects to enabling that access.
These trends can affect different manufacturing sectors at different rates. As these trends play out in a growing number of manufacturing sectors, large incumbents should focus more tightly on roles likely to lead to concentration and consolidation, while avoiding those prone to fragmentation.
The good news is that three roles driven by significant economies of scale and scope—infrastructure providers, aggregation platforms, and agent businesses—offer incumbents a solid foundation for growth and profitability. Due to competitive pressures, large manufacturers may experience increasing pressure to focus on just one role, shedding aspects of the business that might distract from the company becoming world class in its chosen role. The likely result is a significant restructuring of existing product manufacturers.
The growth potential of adopting a scale-and-scope role can be further enhanced by pursuing leveraged growth strategies. As the manufacturing landscape evolves and competitive pressure mounts, driven by the needs of ever more demanding customers, position will matter more than ever. In all the decisions about where and how to play in this new environment, there is no master playbook—and no single path to success. But by understanding these shifts, roles, and influence points, both incumbents and new entrants can give themselves the tools to successfully navigate the new landscape of manufacturing.
On the cavernous show floor of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you come across yet another new company and product.
You may wonder about the uses of such a product. Not to worry: Members of the FirstBuild community have already come up with more than 50 possibilities—including an LED disinfecting light, a hyperchiller, and an egg carton that doubles as an egg cooker.
Several of these ideas are now being prototyped to test their market viability. Its mission: to design, build, and market-test new innovations. For FirstBuild, GE has partnered with Local Motors, a small company that crowdsources and manufactures automobiles, to apply its platform to home appliances.
In short, GE is taking a page from the startup playbook in a bid to stay relevant and competitive. But while this model served manufacturers well when improvements were relatively few and far between, accelerating technological change—and the consequent shortening of the product life cycle—has reduced the window of opportunity for capturing value from any given improvement to a sliver of what it once was.
And in an era of global competition, most of the already small gains in margin from product improvement are often competed away, with the consumer as the beneficiary. With delivering more for less no longer a sustainable strategy, forward-thinking manufacturers are looking for alternative ways to create and capture value.
They are being forced to rethink old notions of where value comes from, who creates it, and who profits from it, broadening their idea of value as a point-of-sale phenomenon to include a wide array of activities and business models. It is no longer just about selling the product, but about gaining a share of the value it generates in its use. Consider the value that Netflix generates through the use of televisions as a conduit for streaming entertainment—or the value that businesses such as Zipcar and Uber create through the use of cars for on-demand mobility.
Manufacturers are waking up to possibilities such as these and, in the process, starting to transform the way they do business. Against this backdrop, a second, parallel shift is taking place. It arises from a confluence of factors moving scale upstream and fragmentation downstream in the manufacturing supply chain. Advances in technology and changes in marketplace expectations are making it possible for relatively small manufacturers to gain traction and thrive in an industry where scale was once a virtual imperative.
Thanks to technologies that are reducing once-prohibitive barriers to entry, and encouraged by fragmenting consumer demand, modestly sized new entrants now pose a legitimate threat to large, established incumbents. Indeed, in the race to find new ways to create and capture value, their smaller size and agility may give many market entrants an advantage over larger, older organizations, if only because incumbents may find it difficult to change entrenched business models and practices to accommodate new marketplace realities.
Moreover, the new entrants are not necessarily even manufacturing companies in the traditional sense. Some incumbents, viewing the proliferation of fragmented smaller players as a market in itself, may opt to support niche manufacturers by providing them with products and services for which scale still provides an advantage—platforms for knowledge sharing, components upon which niche manufacturers can build, and the like.
Due to competitive pressures, large incumbents will likely consolidate further, providing the foundation for a large number of fragmented smaller players dedicated to addressing the increasingly diverse needs of the consumer.
The result is an ecosystem that includes both niche players and large scale-and-scope operators. How can large incumbents take advantage of emerging tools, techniques, and platforms? What lessons can new entrants and incumbents alike learn from organizations from other industries that have staked a claim in the manufacturing space?
And how can organizations find profitable and sustainable roles in the future manufacturing landscape? With these questions in mind, we take a deeper dive into four areas whose changing dynamics underlie both of the shifts we have described, exploring the trends and factors that influence each one:. Each of these shifts—in customer demand, the nature of products, the economics of production, and the economics of the value chain—contributes to an increasingly complex economic environment that makes value creation more challenging while making value capture even more crucial see figure 1.
After exploring the evolving landscape, this report lays out steps both entrants and incumbents can begin to take to effectively navigate this landscape of the future. When navigating the path to enhanced value creation and value capture, large incumbents, especially, should determine the urgency of change in a given market, focus on the most promising business types, pursue leveraged growth opportunities, and identify and, where possible, occupy emerging influence points.
The path to success is specific to each business, and businesses should envision their organizations in new ways if they want to make the most of the available opportunities.
More and more, buyers are seeking—and finding—products that are personalized and customized to fit their individual needs. In this landscape, Pinterest reveals desire, and Etsy embodies the ability to fulfill it. At its simplest, personalization—adding to or changing a product to fit the individual—can be as simple as monogramming a towel; customization involves creating products attractive to specific niche markets. But the current rise in both personalization and customization is more than cosmetic.
Personalization to the individual and customization to a niche have always taken place. No longer. Digital technologies, especially the Internet, have made personalization and customization available to a wide range of consumers, making it more cost-effective to satisfy demand. This, in turn, is fragmenting the consumer marketplace into numerous niche markets, each of which represents an opportunity for manufacturers capable of delivering the desired goods and creating and capturing value through economies of scope rather than economies of scale.
One such niche market is the tiny home movement, in which residents seek to live well in smaller spaces as a way of reducing costs or increasing geographic mobility. These consumers seek out products tailored to their limited spaces, favoring the deliberately compact, multifunctional, and aesthetically bold. Websites such as apartmenttherapy. A growing number of craftspeople and small manufacturers reach these buyers through sites like Etsy; mass-market furniture sellers such as IKEA also focus on serving them.
Another niche market being transformed by customization and personalization is the disability community—which encompasses not only those with physical disabilities, including blindness and mobility issues, but also those with perceptual and learning differences such as dyslexia. Lechal is a Hyderabad-based hardware startup whose haptic devices offer tactile feedback for the visually impaired; one product incorporates electronics into shoe soles, aiding navigation with directional vibrations. For example, the recent explosion of consumer-grade additive manufacturing technologies and printers has led Enable to build a platform matching owners of 3D printers to children requiring artificial limbs.
The company has also developed open-sourced designs for printable custom-fit artificial limbs. Beyond their rising interest in personalization and customization, consumers are also increasingly apt to engage in the creation, or at least the conceptualization, of the products they buy. At base, this phenomenon represents a shift in identity from passive recipient to active participant—a blurring of the line between producer and consumer.
One manifestation of this trend is the growing popularity of the maker movement—a resurgence of DIY craft and hands-on production among everyone from Lego-obsessed kids to enthusiastic knitters, electronics geeks to emerging product designers. Some actually take on the mantle of maker, taking pride in creating rather than consuming. Others, while not producing objects themselves, become collaborators, engaging with maker culture to support and shape the products they buy, and deriving identity from that engagement.
The maker movement is aptly named. Its biggest and best-known event, MakerFaire, was launched by Maker Media in By , there were more than MakerFaires around the world, with flagship events in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York attracting more than , visitors. Even those outside maker culture are becoming more likely to seek involvement in shaping what they purchase. This involvement can take the form of voting for favorite designs on an ideation platform, crowdfunding a hardware startup, or engaging an Etsy seller to create a custom item.
More-involved individuals might customize or hack a build-it-yourself product kit, design and build pieces from scratch, or sell their creations to others within or outside the movement.
This incipient change in identity from consumer to creator is also driving a change in how brands are perceived. Many consumers want to get past the marketing to create a more authentic relationship with the products they consume. In this environment, manufacturers fully leveraged to produce large volumes of limited numbers of products will likely be at a disadvantage, forcing them to rethink their place in the manufacturing landscape and the value they bring the consumer.
The good news is that amid the fragmentation, new roles and new sources of value can emerge for large players. In parallel with, and in response to, shifts in consumer demand, the nature of products is changing. At the same time, how consumers view and use products is changing, redefining both the factors that determine product value and how companies can capture it.
The questions raised go far beyond the technical challenges of manufacturing. As products create and transmit more data, how much value will be located in the objects themselves, and how much in the data they generate, or the insights gleaned from it? And what of the option to rethink products as physical platforms, each the center of an ecosystem in which third-party partners build modular add-ons? Each of these questions envisions a change in the nature of products—and a much larger shift in how value is created and captured.
Quite a few led with their looks: Smart-device startup Misfit partnered with Swarovski to produce the Swarovski Shine Collection, nine crystal-studded jewelry pieces, each concealing an activity tracker. Such items are good examples of the quantified self movement, in which participants use technology to track and analyze the data of their daily lives.
As yet, most are still stand-alone tools. The emergence of technologically enabled products such as activity trackers is only one facet of a looming transition in physical goods. The pervasive expansion of sensors, connectivity, and electronics will extend the digital infrastructure to encompass previously analog tasks, processes, and machine operations.
To capture value in a world where products are as much about software as about physical objects, manufacturers should consider their business models in the light of four factors that play into generating value from smart products: integrated software, software platforms, the applications apps that run on those platforms, and data aggregation and analysis.
While integrated software handles all the performance functions needed by the hardware housing it, software platforms act as translators, managing the hardware based on new instructions delivered through easily updatable apps.
This platform-plus-app model allows for a greater range of customization and personalization, and makes it easier to update products in response to shifting needs and contexts. The drive for customization and personalization—coupled with the success of such platform-centric business models in software—is pushing some manufacturers to rethink products as physical platforms, with each platform the center of an ecosystem in which third-party partners build modular add-ons.
This change goes beyond simply adding software to physical objects, though that is an important component of platform creation.
The shipbuilding industry is recognised as one of the most profitable industries around the world. In spite of the recent financial slump, the introduction of new marine equipment for green ships and the rise in the level of sustainability along with innovation has put the shipbuilding sector among the top ranks in the global competition arena. As ships are the key mode of transportation for countries around the world, the shipbuilding sector forms an integral part in the development of nations. Moreover with the recent increase in demand of cargo and passenger ships, the requirement for economical and greener ships has also elevated.
Marine and Boat Parts Manufacturing
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American system of manufacturing
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Industrial Manufacturing Industry
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The American system of manufacturing was a set of manufacturing methods that evolved in the 19th century. The two notable features were the extensive use of interchangeable parts and mechanization for production, which resulted in more efficient use of labor compared to hand methods. The system was also known as armory practice because it was first fully developed in armories , namely, the United States Armories at Springfield in Massachusetts and Harpers Ferry in Virginia later West Virginia ,  inside contractors to supply the United States Armed Forces , and various private armories. The name "American system" came not from any aspect of the system that is unique to the American national character, but simply from the fact that for a time in the 19th century it was strongly associated with the American companies who first successfully implemented it, and how their methods contrasted at that time with those of British and continental European companies. In the s, the "American system" was contrasted to the British factory system which had evolved over the previous century. Within a few decades, manufacturing technology had evolved further, and the ideas behind the "American" system were in use worldwide.
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Industrial Info's Industrial Manufacturing Industry Platform includes the following industry segments:. Reports on the infrastructure sector deal with steam, chilled water, electrical distribution and independent power, including the microgrid needs of educational institutions, hospitals, prisons, military bases and governmental facilities. The automotive sector includes vehicle assembly plants that produce cars, light trucks, buses and commercial heavy-duty trucks, as well as tier suppliers that produce automotive parts.