Examples of Manufacturing Technologies

Author: Michael Larner

The modern manufacturer has a plethora of advanced technology options to choose from. For example, mobile robots can streamline assembly line processes and simulation software can shape the product or process design.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have put a hold on heavy investment from some companies, the hiatus was just temporary. Whether it’s pressure from the competition, workplace safety, government regulation, or something else entirely, manufacturers have been and will continue to be one of the most significant market opportunities for technology vendors.

Over the last few years, ABI Research has compiled numerous market data reports in the manufacturing sector composed of deep insight into market share analysis and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts. In total, smart manufacturing spending will reach US$950 billion by 2030, which is nearly triple the spending in 2021. In this post, ABI Research shares where some of the spending originates.

Manufacturing Technology #1: IoT Connections

IoT connections include technologies like sensors, trackers, video surveillance, wearables, and other connections that help manufacturers better understand the flow of operations. These connections reveal key data to operators, such as equipment condition, predictive analysis, product location, etc.

In 2021, manufacturers spent US$4.2 billion on condition-based monitoring, which was 55% of total IoT connections revenue among all applications. By 2026, that number will be over US$17 billion in revenue and 54% of total revenue.

Asset tracking manufacturing investments were about US$2 billion in 2021, for 26% of total manufacturing IoT connections revenue. There will be a slight uptick in percentage by 2026, as asset tracking will account for 28% of total revenue, at US$8.6 billion.

Chart 1: Manufacturing IoT Connections Revenue by Application in 2021


            Chart 2: Manufacturing IoT Connections Revenue by Application in 2026



Manufacturing Technology #2: Simulation Software

Simulation software can be used for manufacturers to see how a product/component or a production line will behave under carefully selected conditions. That way, operators know how to optimize their designs in a way that bolsters productivity and adheres to regulations.

By 2030, manufacturers will allocate US$2.6 billion to simulation software—roughly double the US$1.2 billion spent in 2018. That’s a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.7%. The growth between 2022 and 2030 will be a little higher at a CAGR of 7.1%, as post-COVID-19 investments increase, a wider adoption among Tier One manufacturers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) persists, and remote production teams require cloud-based software.

Manufacturing Technology #3: Smart Manufacturing Platforms

Smart manufacturing platforms cover innovations like digital twin support, low-code app development, edge and cloud development, connectivity, and Augmented Reality (AR). Innovators like PTC and Siemens provide advanced platforms for manufacturers to leverage, and ABI Research identifies these two companies as the top innovators in the Smart Manufacturing Platforms Competitive Ranking report.

There will be more than US$66 billion in annual spending on Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms by 2030, up from roughly US$20 billion in 2021.

In the next sections, ABI Research takes a deeper look at three of the main manufacturing segments: mining, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods.

Technology Investments In Mining

Spending on mining digitalization will be US$9.3 billion in 2030, up from US$5.6 billion in 2020—a CAGR of 5.2% for the forecast period. Digitalization in mining includes advanced analytics, assessing samples at the exploratory phase, calculating yields by simulating mining operations, and modeling drill/blast effects, among other applications. IoT sensors can collect data information on wastewater levels, vehicles, staff, and supply chain shipments.

Industrial software applications make up US$1.8 billion in revenue in 2022, and by 2030, that will be US$2.3 billion. Device/application platforms services will see similar, albeit slightly higher, forecast numbers.

Connectivity and network connections are other areas of digitalization because mining workers often work in dangerous and underground communications where safety requires good communication and reliable coverage. Connection revenue will reach nearly US$1 billion by 2030, while network services revenue will have the highest CAGR between 2020 and 2030 (11.1%).

Technology Investments In Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical firms look to modernize their factories with investments in advanced manufacturing technologies like asset tracking, analytics, application enablement platforms, security, and services. Total digital factory revenue will be worth more than US$4.5 billion by 2030, growing at a 17.5% CAGR between 2018 and 2030.

Until 2028, device/application platform services will remain the most in-demand category. But data/analytic services will take over, accounting for US$857 million by 2028.

There’s also considerable interest in professional services, as pharmaceutical companies need assistance from third parties to shift and optimize processes, learn how to leverage data, and maintain operational security. ABI Research forecasts a 21% CAGR between 2018 and 2030 (US$850 million in 2030) in the professional services vertical within pharmaceutical digital factory revenue.

ABI Research sees the greatest spending on the following technologies:

  • Asset tracking
  • Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs)
  • Industrial Personal Computers (IPCs)
  • Connected Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
  • Industrial smart glasses
  • Industrial intelligent pumps

Technology Investments In Consumer Packaged Goods

Technology spending in the consumer packaged goods sector is going to be US$23.8 billion by 2030, a huge jump from the US$7.1 billion in 2021 spending. Device/application platform services revenue will reach US$6.8 billion in 2030, compared to US$2.4 billion in 2022.

Revenue in professional services is quite significant, reaching US$4.5 billion in the consumer packaged goods segment by 2030.

Collaborative robots see a little momentum in consumer packaged goods—US$11.8 million in 2030 revenue and growing at a CAGR of 58% between 2018 and 2030.

Collaborative robots see a little momentum in consumer packaged goods—US$11.8 million in 2030 revenue and growing at a CAGR of 58% between 2018 and 2030.

Digging a little deeper, the biggest use cases for technological investment are:

  • HMIs/PCs
  • Asset tracking
  • Connected PLCs
  • Intelligent industrial pumps

To see how advanced manufacturing technologies are used in real world scenarios, let's review three examples from solution providers.

Manufacturing Technology Example #1: MindSphere

Siemens offers a smart IoT platform called MindSphere that provides real-time analytical insight into operations like equipment maintenance and production lines. Using these insights, organizations make more timely decisions, prevent equipment failure, and improve the quality of assets.

Steelmaker HBIS partnered up with Siemens to integrate MindSphere with existing Operational Technology (OT) infrastructure. Before using MindSphere, factory asset and system process data were separated into different silos, making it challenging to optimize digitalization. After implementing MindSphere, HBIS gained fuller transparency into operational data like the health status of mills and temperature changes from coil motors.

The advanced analytics MindSphere provides also allows HBIS operators to detect product abnormalities and the reasons for degraded steel quality. For example, HBIS can use MindSphere to record every instance of steel coil surpassing the ±5 micrometer benchmark. From there, the company can dig into historical data and working conditions to help understand cause/effect relationships.

Manufacturing Technology Example #2: Zemax

The Zemax OpticsStudio and OpticsBuilder platforms offered by Ansys allow engineers to create, simulate, optimize, and then migrate their CAD designs to native CAD parts and assemblies. This saves CAD teams many hours recreating their lenses while also reducing the likelihood of errors manifesting in the real world.

Bulgarian optical device manufacturer OPTIX JSC turned to Ansys when the design team realized its existing platform couldn’t keep up with the greater workload demands. Leveraging Zemax products OpticsStudio and OpticsBuilder, OPTIX JSC can take their optical drawings and export them to manufacturing for the next stage of processing. With the Ansys product deployments, the company’s production flow runs more smoothly, and development times and costs are cut down. Finally, the prevalence of last minute design adjustments was reduced.

Manufacturing Technology Example #3: Roambee

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Roambee provided IoT technologies to vaccine providers that promote supply chain transparency. Using sensors, accurate data on ETA and the condition of shipments could be gathered and accessed on one platform. Some of the conditional data captured include temperature, humidity, and vibration. The accuracy of the ETAs enabled logistics teams to dynamically allocate vaccine stock and confidently receive shipments without unexpected damages. Roambee’s IoT solutions bolstered inter-department collaboration and improved the company’s ability to meet its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Concluding Remarks

As these examples show, technology is a manufacturer's best friend in the face of fierce competition. Key decision makers must turn to reliable technologies with advanced features to gain more visibility into operations, increase worker productivity, and keep their networks secure. Besides IoT hardware and software, many manufacturers are also spending a lot on professional services so they can learn how to better utilize their assets. As some manufacturing technologies will require a steep learning curve, system integrators and third-party services can enable a quicker and smoother digital transition.

To learn more about how companies can digitize themselves with manufacturing technologies, check out the following ABI Research reports: