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Growth Trends In Manufacturing

MH900198188Distributors need to keep current on the ever changing state of manufacturing to stay successful. Today we report on some of the areas where industry experts see growth this year and in the future.

The world market for valves used by industry will grow to $65 billion in 2017, increasing the current annual sales by $10 billion, according to the latest forecast reported by Flow Control, Industrial Valves: World Markets, published by the McIlvaine Company.

New infrastructure and waste water management in East Asia will account for 30% of the growth, with more power plants built in this region in the next five years than in the rest of the world combined, according to McIlvaine. The U.S. production of gas and oil from shale along with desalinization and subsea projects will generate very substantial investments in valves.

Flow Control also reports that, according to McIlvaine, the market for air pollution control equipment and consumables will be $35 billion in 2012. Power plants will purchase more than 50 percent of scrubbers and more than half of the power plant purchases will be in Asia. Industrial plants in the U.S. will be spending over $1 billion per year over each of the next four years to comply with toxic air pollution control standards for their boilers, kilns and incinerators.

Demand for information and automation systems in manufacturing is also soaring. Automation spending has sharply increased as manufacturers continue to look for ways to increase productivity, improve quality and reduce costs by automating human tasks that involve hard physical or monotonous work.

The use of automation, including industrial robots, is increasing. A couple of decades ago, 90% of robots were used in car manufacturing. Today the auto industry represents only half of their use, with the other half spread among other factories, laboratories, warehouses, energy plants, hospitals and other industries. Steven Hawkins, Director of Automation Services, Stellar, reports on this trend in his article, 10 Trends in Manufacturing Technologies.

Shariz Cruz reports in her article, 2012’s Top Growth Industries for Business Reivew, that biotechnology is expected to grow massively in 2012 due to the fact that it is instrumental in the development of a variety of other industries. Health care, crop production for food and other products and environmental consulting all rely on advancements in biotechnology to thrive. Strict regulations and even stricter allotment of funding produce challenges for the biotech industry, but it has still continued to show impressive growth through the beginning of 2012.'s Industry Market Barometer® (IMB), an annual survey of buyers and sellers of products and services in the industrial market, reports growth with nearly 46% of all survey respondents stating they grew in 2011. This trend is expected to continue with close to 70% estimating their businesses will grow by the end of 2012.

For product and custom manufacturers, the top growth markets for 2012 are Fabricated Metals, Aerospace and Defense, and Automotive. Their chart below illustrates this in more detail.

 Source:'s IMB Survey Results - May 2012

Paul Markillie, in a special report on Manufacturing and Innovation for the Economist, says that as manufacturing goes digital, the nature will change completely, and the consequences of all these changes amounts to a third industrial revolution. It's an interesting read on the future of manufacturing.

IBIS World is out with a new report (pdf) on the 10 fastest-growing U.S. industries, including generic pharmaceuticals, green and sustainable building construction, and solar panel manufacturing. If you’re supplying any of the industries in their report, Top 10 Dying Industries, it’s time to look into new markets.

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