New manufacturing technologies are emerging faster than ever. Some of them, such as collaborative robots and 3D printing, are already disrupting the long-established environment on the factory floor and have the potential to fundamentally transform or even replace conventional manufacturing operations.
The potential benefits of technological advances, whether from reduced manufacturing costs, improved lead times, or better quality, can be tremendous. And the ability to manufacture additive, individually customized products at a previously unachievable scale, cost, and lead time could open up whole new markets. Already today, 3D manufacturing has in some cases surpassed conventional manufacturing for small lot sizes.
Keeping pace with new technologies is more important than ever. Success requires actively scanning new technology frontiers and grasping opportunities when they arise.