Industrial Transformation is Coming
Thomas Friedman has an article on the New York Times about how General Electric has revolutionized some of their manufacturing processes. It is clear, based on what Mr. Friedman has disclosed that huge changes are on the horizon for some industries. Almost no major industry will be left untouched and a huge wave of new jobs will be created in the wake of such change.
Value of a Streamlined Feedback Loop
One thing I learned from the article is how much the quality and duration of a feedback loop can impact how things are done. Whether you are writing computer programs, assembling a cuisine, diagnosing profit or loss, or monitoring respiratory activity, the feedback loop is one of the primary ways to optimize the process. Technology that can significantly improve the feedback loop from idea to end-result are huge agents of change.
GE is Thinking IBM
Just as IBM put more emphasis into the services business, GE is contemplating similar thoughts. The technology available to GE today greatly increases the feedback they get in a range of situation. This data puts them in the position to do far more in a more substantial way.
More Jobs Requiring Excellent Interpretive Skill
The Internet of Things and 3D Printing are 2 areas discussed. With the Internet of Things is slated to provide a tremendous amount of data and equip the physical world with computer capabilities. With 3D Printing, many small groups and individuals can form local manufacturing and services enterprises to achieve things that traditionally required huge capital and huge facilities. The advance of these things is occurring rapidly.
Each of these developments can influence the emergence or growth of a variety of areas of endeavor. Many we can determine and many that will be unanticipated. At the outset, some of the job and business opportunities will be the following areas:
- Data analysis.
- Process optimization.
- Systems and communications integration.
- Local manufacturing.
- Designers and design solutions for in-home 3D printing.
- 3D printed food and the chemical, thermal, and sanitation enterprises surrounding this.
- Restaurant automation to increase safety and speed up food production to 20 seconds or less per entree item.
- Reverse 3D printing involving shearing technology for cosmetic industries.
- A revision of e-commerce to ship the right physical cartridges and programs for 3D print fulfillment of product.
- Warehousing and logistics optimized around 3D print cartridge staging, shelf-life, certification, and release.
Like the Internet divorced design from the near exclusive purview of a small set of designers and printers, 3D printing combined with the Internet might change the way people obtain things. Organizations might have to reorganize and adapt to a different way of interacting with society. A change that may trigger the emergence of new organizations and groups to even out such transitions.
With 3D Printing, it is possible that instead of 200,000 people employed by a single company conducting manufacturing, you have numerous local companies employing 400 people each. Before the first Industrial Revolution, there was a strong crafts community that built things to the particular tastes of a given group. The introduction of 3D Printing stands to reintroduce such a concept in a modernized, streamlined form in which there is increased competition on quality or differentiation on philosophy. That is one possibility, though not certain.
Micro manufacturing operations of the next years will have a website, mobile app, or voice app that will allow people to design things for submission to the micro manufacturer. There could even be an eBay like marketplace for micro manufacturers that allow each micro manufacturer to bid on requested designs. The market would then allow the people to get the finished design they want at an acceptable cost. Of course, people could have 3D printers in the home or workplace and the role of the third parties is to suggest refinements to a design or other optimizations suitable to an individual request or mass production.
If you take automation, 3D Printing and other things to a certain level, fast food restaurants of the future may look like a Redbox Kiosk outside of Walgreens . That may be too impersonal an only suitable for those audiences likewise served by vending machines. Restaurants that look like today’s may be outfitted with a type of 3D printer that can print out entrees, drink cups, utensils and the like. Properly defined, the supply cost for restaurants would go down. With other technology advances, patrons are served better and possibly have a better experience including little touches like customized lighting levels for a given booth or table automatically triggered by the preferences in a person’s smart watch.
Workers in this scenario may be wearing a work/safety appropriate form of Google Glasses. The eye wear, with the permission of the patron, communicates with that patron’s smart watch to allow the server to assist the person with greater attention. I will probably have my smart watch off but for those that participate, the worker has an opportunity to provide a higher value service than is possible today. This could mean that the number of workers could increase as restaurant services become far more attentive to the preferences and sensibilities of people. The demand for these environments could increase.
Transformation is Coming
For some us recovering from the last recession, the change to an environment of greater opportunities will be too slow to produce an appreciable difference over the majority of a lifespan. Yet, for the generations to come, exciting times are ahead. The times past will resemble the times of the 1970′s and 1990′s in terms of energy, enthusiasm, and optimism. Hope will be in the air and the future will finally have arrived.
- 3D printing as a hobby (booksnlibraries.wordpress.com)
- 3D Printing Transforms Manufacturing, But in Unexpected Ways (3dprintinginsider.com)
- Nine Stunning 3D Printed Objects (sys-con.com)
- Mobile 3D-Printing Robots Could Build Spacecraft In Orbit (gas2.org)
- 3D Ceramic Printing Shaking up a 30,000 Year Old Industry (3dprintinginsider.com)
- Start-ups Move from the Web to the Workbench (hiscoxusa.com)
- How an 83-Year-Old Inventor Beat the High Cost of 3D Printing (techland.time.com)
- A Helping Hand From 3D Printing (urbantimes.co)
- DIY manufacturing revolution a long way off, says 3D printing expert (pacetoday.com.au)
- 3D printing market is booming as the buzz catches on (nanowerk.com)
By Michael Gautier