Among the major Mexican manufacturing trends in 2019 are 3D printing and the “remanufacturing” of products.
In the context of Industry 4.0 (the fourth industrial revolution), due to new technology and production processes experts, have recognized four trends that will influence Mexican and global manufacturing. They are outlined below:
- Additive manufacturing: This trend in Mexican manufacturing is generally known as 3D printing. The technology has recently gained considerable importance in the Mexican automotive, aerospace, and medical device industries. The increasing use of additive manufacturing is due to the flexibility that it offers to build virtually anything.
Those in industry define additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, in terms of its “low-cost complexity.” This is because when compared to traditional production processes, in which cost increases as a piece is customized or its degree of complexity increases, additive manufacturing costs remain practically the same when such changes occur.
Among the Mexican manufacturing trends in 2019 is the mass customization process, whereby the automotive, aerospace, and medical device sector will be the first industries to benefit. While additive manufacturing is now a fully viable technology, it still has to overcome some challenges that are related to production times, cost, and product quality.
- Hyperflexible manufacturing: Among the Mexican manufacturing trends in 2019 is the use of a set of technologies by which production can be fully optimized. Hyperflexible manufacturing is characterized by its ability to react quickly to sudden changes in the marketplace. Variations in the quality and quantity, and assembly and storage of products can easily be achieved. Hyperflexible manufacturing systems are interconnected to computer terminals and equipment that process all data in real time. This allows manufacturers to program their production according to the type, quantity, and demand.
This approach not only involves the manufacture of goods themselves, but also includes the undertaking of measures that make supply chains more efficient. The process of optimizing the performance of supply chains is one that includes the integration of supply chain functions, the improvement of collaboration and control between suppliers and customers, and the synchronization of supply chains using digital technologies.
While Mexico is now internationally recognized for its growing manufacturing prowess, in order to keep pace with global competition, however, the country must employ hyperflexible manufacturing processes that allow more value to be added.
- Digital Manufacturing: Mexican manufacturing trends in 2019 include the adoption of computer-aided machines and software tools. The purpose of doing this is to work more efficiently and productively. What is interesting about this trend is its flexibility to adapt itself to any type of industry and to any point in the supply chain. Through the use of digital marketing, it is possible for companies to reduce maintenance costs and to reduce equipment down time in their operations.
- Circular Manufacturing: This type of manufacturing employs technology that addresses challenges such as resource scarcity, and the generation of waste and pollution, by managing the entire lifecycle of a manufactured product. Its main objective is to extend the life of supplies. Circular manufacturing is a response to the needs of factories that may be struggling with a growing shortage of the raw materials that they use as inputs to their production.
It is important to point out that, because of this Mexican manufacturing trend, “remanufacturing” is becoming more commonplace.
Remanufacturing is a well-defined industrial process. It consists of the restoration of a warn product or component (broken, end-of-life, obsolete, or in a waste state) to a level of performance and quality that is equal to or greater than those of a new product, as well as offering the user a warranty equal to or greater than that of a new product.
Circular manufacturing and remanufacturing are an example of one of the rapidly expanding Mexican manufacturing trends in 2019. Over time, more and more companies will adopt these measures to reduce their overall costs. Manufacturers realize that the real value and benefits of employing a new and more sustainable way of conducting their business can add to their overall profitability and success.
The circular manufacturing system is intentionally designed to close the product loops through multiple life cycle, through a value management approach that includes the phases of the creation of value, delivery, use, recovery, and reuse from a systemic perspective. In this sense the future of manufacturing will undergo gradual development towards a high-quality circular manufacturing industry. As this trend becomes more prevalent globally, it will also play a growing role in the manufacturing sector in Mexico.