Three Top Takeaways from FABTECH 2023

What is a product development engineering firm doing at FABTECH – an event focused on metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing?  Prodigy networked with manufacturing leaders to stay fresh on the latest trends and technologies to continue to pull manufacturing insights earlier in the design process. Here are our main takeaways:

Manufacturing is coming back to the USA – but it’s not going to look like it used to.
Supply chain frustrations, government policy, and new tech are pulling manufacturing jobs back onshore. However, to sustain this movement, technology and tools must enable both the process and the worker in new ways.

The manufacturing workforce is becoming more enabled to improve career outlook and overall quality of life.

Hype: AI and Machine Learning will replace all skilled labor.
Reality: AI & Machine Learning  are allowing engineers and skilled laborers to focus on mission critical tasks. 

Arnold Kravitz, CTO of Blueforge Alliance, calls this the “hyper-enabled worker” and it’s providing employees opportunities to continuously learn high value skills.

Hybrid machinery will allow companies to lay out factories without being beholden to the manufacture of one, singular product.
Edward Mehr, CEO of Machina Labs, warns against the danger of purchase and installation of capital equipment that performs a singular manufacturing process tied to a specific product.

Advances in additive and hybrid manufacturing technologies are allowing for more freedom in product design and manufacture while increasing process efficient and flexibility.

Manufacturing is returning to America, but innovations in technology have changed the landscape of modern manufacturing. Industry leaders in R&D and manufacturing must use this technology to create useful products and processes in the rapidly evolving world of fabrication.

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