The Future of Manufacturing: How Reskilling Will Define the Industry

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The manufacturing industry has always been known for its use of machines and technology, but in recent years, there has been a significant shift towards automation and robotics. According to Zippia, a career research site, 46% of factory jobs will be replaced by robotics by 2030. At the same time, Oxford Economics reports that 53% of manufacturing roles are being redesigned around technology. These two statistics paint a picture of an industry undergoing significant change.

However, it’s not all bad news for workers. According to the Manufacturing Institute, 70% of manufacturers are planning to upskill or reskill their employees. This means that while machines may replace certain jobs, there is still a need for workers who can oversee and maintain these machines. Additionally, as new technologies are introduced, there will be a need for workers who can operate and integrate them into the manufacturing process.

As the manufacturing industry evolves, being proficient in operating and maintaining machines is just part of the equation. Being able to effectively analyze and utilize data for decision-making will be a critical ingredient in remaining competitive.

As more and more machines are integrated into the manufacturing process, the amount of data being generated increases exponentially. This data can provide valuable insights into the manufacturing process, such as identifying areas where efficiency can be improved, pinpointing where errors are occurring, and predicting maintenance needs for machines.

However, simply having access to data is not enough. Workers need to be able to understand and interpret this data to make informed decisions. This is where data literacy comes in. Data literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyze, and communicate data. It’s a critical skill that will be required for workers to be competitive in the future of manufacturing.

“While we get a lot of data from tools and sensors, we need people with advanced troubleshooting skills to process the data and take the best action.” —Tim Kinnard, Vice President of Wafer Fab Manufacturing, Texas Instruments

“The digital acceleration is giving us access to more data, but we need more people to interpret data.” —Sherry Cassano, Senior Vice President of People Experience, Pfizer

“We have established a digital academy, which will be an enterprise-wide upskilling and learning and development program. Everyone in the company needs at least a certain level of proficiency in the basics of digitalization – whether that’s about data technologies, systems, or smart manufacturing. Ultimately, our employees need to be data-savvy enough that, when we equip them with an app or a report, they can read it and make more informed and strategic decisions.” —Athina Kanioura, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, PepsiCo

Workers who have a strong grasp of data literacy will be empowered to use data to make decisions that improve the manufacturing process. For example, they may leverage data to detect patterns in machine performance that can be used to forecast maintenance needs, thus minimizing downtime and increasing productivity. Additionally, they may use data to pinpoint areas where materials are wasted or errors occur, leading to improved efficiency and cost reduction.

Furthermore, data literacy will be essential for workers to effectively collaborate with machines. As machines become more autonomous, workers will need to be able to communicate with them effectively. This may involve providing instructions to machines based on data insights or using data to analyze the performance of machines.

In conclusion, as the manufacturing industry continues to integrate more machines and technology into its processes, the ability to understand and use data in decision-making will be a critical skill for workers to possess. Data literacy will enable workers to make informed decisions that improve the manufacturing process and collaborate effectively with machines. Manufacturers who prioritize data literacy training for their employees will be better positioned to remain competitive in the future of manufacturing.

Learn more about Coding Temple’s Data Analyst career path or talk to our enterprise team about creating custom programs for your organization.