Industry Update: Four Hot Trends in U.S. Manufacturing

four hot trends in u.s. manufacturing

With the first quarter of 2015 under our belt, several aspects of the manufacturing industry have gained momentum. These trends are expected to continue and rapidly impact 21st century manufacturing around the globe.
Industry Growth for the U.S. & Michigan
It is a critical time for American, specifically Michigan, manufacturers. With a feeling of cautious optimism, manufacturers are experiencing upticks and improvements in business, yet they are still working harder to set a stronger foundation for growth. Indicators are pointing to a manufacturing comeback.
According to the Institute of Supply Management Report, “economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded for the 27th consecutive month.” Industry Week named Michigan as one of its “Top 10 States for Manufacturing Jobs” earlier this year, citing that Michigan:
  • Employed more than 514,000 workers at approximately 12,500 companies
  • Boasts more engineers per capita than any other state
  • Has the 4th largest high-tech workforce in the nation
Manufacturers are embracing innovation to revitalize the industry. As a result, innovation institutes are being established across the country to bring together manufacturers and STEM professionals. The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) opened its 100,000 square-foot innovation acceleration center in Detroit on January 15 with a innovation exhibition featuring lightweight metals technologies, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony announcing its new program name, LIFT — Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow.
ALMMII was founded by the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), and has partnered with a selection of Michigan businesses and universities. These companies include some of the world’s aluminum, titanium and high-strength steel manufacturers, along with universities with staff and students who are actively building the current landscape of technology development and research. The goal is to explore all the benefits of lightweight metals and to see where else they can be applied to provide more cost-effective options.
Additive manufacturing, most commonly known as 3D printing, and robotics are particularly emerging as hot trends in the manufacturing field. Although both 3D printing and robotics have been around for a while, recent advancements are allowing these technologies to become more affordable for small to mid-size U.S. manufacturers. These breakthroughs will help companies become more innovative and reduce production costs.
Did you know that 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside the U.S.? Exporting enables manufacturers to target new customers and increase sales. It also allows companies to introduce new product lines and test new and innovative approaches. Companies are realizing these benefits and are prioritizing exporting initiatives.
Be on the lookout for more industry trends in U.S. manufacturing! And to stay current with manufacturing news and information, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!
MMTC offers expert consulting services for manufacturers seeking business solutions regarding lightweight materials, strategic growth, innovation, capacity constraints, and more. For additional information on MMTC's programs and services, call 888.414.6682 or email

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Categories: Data & Trends, Export, Innovation, Lightweighting, U.S. Manufacturing