2021 | Smart Industry trends for 2021: What can we expect?

Smart Industry, also known as Industry 4.0, refers to the extensive digitalization and automation within the industry. The difference between ‘of’ and. Thanks to pioneering ICT techniques, it is possible for machines, processes and data to be connected to each other and controlled more effectively. This also applies to the high-tech sector and the manufacturing industry. At BKB Precision, we follow these developments closely, which means plastics processing – and the processes which surround it – is getting better, faster and more efficient. We already saw significant changes in 2020. Which Smart Industry trends will we see in 2021? 

Extensive digital collaboration within the supply chain 

When the COVID-19 crisis began in the spring of 2020, it showed the importance of having extensive digital collaboration within the supply chain. It turned out that the current supply chain is often too vulnerable, suffering interruptions and distribution problems in times of crisis. 

In 2021 (and 2022) the emphasis will be on making the supply chain smarter. Supply Chain Collaborations is therefore indispensable and used as standard within BKB Precision. What is essential is cooperation and trust within the chain. Therefore, the digital bundling of data, the creation of trust networks, and the collaboration of suppliers will be a central trend in 2021.

Smart Industry 2021: rapid adoption of new techniques

This same global crisis will also cause another trend in the area of smart industry. In previous years, we saw new technological developments having to endure quite long adoption processes. Resistance to change and minor bottlenecks caused delays in digitalization. 

However, the corona crisis made it necessary to adopt certain smart technological advances at lightning speed. Rapidly adopting new techniques turned out to be crucial for manufacturing and distribution. 

As a result, new 3D printing and augmented reality (AR) techniques supporting healthcare workers were quickly implemented in 2020. In addition, we expect these techniques to become a permanent part of the new Industry 4.0.

At BKB Precision, we also do everything we can to implement digitalization on the work floor. We focus on getting the right information to the right place, so that the process between supplier and buyer can be streamlined and standardised throughout the product’s life cycle. In 2021, we expect this development process to continue.

Smart Industry trends: ethical transparency

Consumers and companies increasingly place higher value on fair and sustainable business practices. This also applies within the supply chain – companies want to be certain that the materials used were acquired or made under fair conditions. 

This forces manufacturers to ensure a secure, transparent supply chain. Data plays an important role in achieving this. After all, factories must be able to show customers which components and materials they use. 

However, this demand for transparency also creates additional data flows, so we expect the trend in Smart Industry in 2021 to be for even more innovative technologies to address this. These new techniques would not only be used to generate data flows, but also to regulate and secure them so that they are not subject to abuse by third parties. 

Supplier portals and blockchain techniques will play an important role in achieving this, so that track and trace from raw material to end product will become ever more transparent.