By: Doug Devereaux

Steady industry growth was a trend for manufacturers in 2018. According to a recent Forbes report, U.S. manufacturing has rebounded since the Great Recession, with a gain of 1.1 million jobs over the last eight years. Those numbers are expected to climb in 2019.

New technologies and innovations continue to create manufacturing jobs. For instance, computer numerical control (CNC) machine advances are boosting output and efficiency metrics, leveling the productivity playing field for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs).

But are manufacturers taking full advantage of these technological advances? According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, U.S. manufacturers could boost their overall value by 20 percent — up to $530 billion — by 2025. However, McKinsey cautions that the industry as a whole (including SMMs) must take advantage of newly available technologies and processes to achieve those numbers.

From additive manufacturing to collaborative robots, manufacturers across the country are already utilizing many of these high-tech advances, often thanks to connections they’ve forged with the MEP National NetworkTM via their local MEP Centers.

Based on these engagements, here are a few hot opportunities we recommend SMMs keep an eye on in 2019. For the full list click: