Yearly, the What’s the SCOOP spherical of interviews performed by Philip Stoten provides one of the vital fascinating round-ups of views from business leaders wanting ahead into the brand new yr and past. At a time of profound change and nice uncertainty, that is extra priceless than ever. The interviews are centered on the electronics business and the broader manufacturing sector. 4 key themes have emerged from this yr’s subject:
First: business leaders count on provide chain disruptions to persist into this yr, however concern and concern are step by step being changed by optimism that business has already begun to adapt, by way of better localization and smarter, technology-driven innovation of provide chains. The pandemic acted as an accelerant, and the quicker push in the direction of digitalization and good manufacturing unit applied sciences guarantees important speedy good points in effectivity and flexibility. “Whereas many people understood the worth and significance of manufacturing unit digitalization previous to 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably elevated the strain for accelerating digitalization within the electronics manufacturing business,” stresses Michael Ho, Director of Enterprise Improvement at Cogiscan. Rajeev Bhalla, co-founder and CEO of CLIP Automation, thinks we’re on the cusp of lastly unlocking the true potential worth of automation as “within the coming years extra options like CLIP begin to present an working system that gives manufacturing unit vast connectivity, hyperawareness, the power to mixture knowledge to make use of to plan, predict and react.”
Second: the development in the direction of shorter and extra localized provide chains continues. International provide chains had been below stress for a number of years previous to the pandemic: a revival of protectionist pressures had introduced again in trend tariffs and non-tariff obstacles; occasional pure disasters had proven their disruptive potential. With geopolitical tensions nonetheless on the rise, enterprise leaders perceive that even as soon as the pandemic fades, we is not going to revert to the golden age of globalization. Anastasios Arima, CEO of IperionX (previously Hyperion Metals Ltd), places it very clearly: “If current occasions have taught us something, it’s that world provide chains are much less resilient than we thought. I imagine the reply is regionalised provide chains, to create extra resilience, extra adaptability and pose much less risk to the setting.”
Third: rising consciousness of the significance of sustainability amongst shoppers, staff, buyers and business leaders contributes increasingly to steering company methods. The sustainability objectives dovetail properly with no less than a few the important thing present tendencies: Localization of provide chains reduces transport emissions; and efforts to realize better vitality effectivity in manufacturing reduces general vitality consumption whereas assuaging value pressures (the current surge in vitality costs constitutes a robust incentive). Bruno Racault, CEO and President of ALL Circuits, sees a extra accountable method to the setting as one of many key tendencies for 2022 and past, and says “Which means making merchandise which can be extra sustainable, utilizing manufacturing methods which can be extra sustainable and as soon as once more growing shorter extra sustainable provide chains.” Gunter Lauber, CEO, SMT Options Section & EVP, ASMPT, agrees: “…ethics and sustainability more and more affect enterprise methods and processes additionally within the electronics manufacturing business.” This synergy between industrial innovation and sustainability can carry a self-reinforcing virtuous loop: “I additionally count on a big increase for electronics in inexperienced applied sciences. Solely with the appliance of recent applied sciences, and electronics all the time play a key function right here, can greenhouse fuel discount be achieved,” says Rainer Koppitz, CEO of KATEK group, who sees electrical autos as a sector with notably sturdy potential.
Fourth: Expertise has emerged as an important scarce consider company methods; expertise shortages are pushing up labor prices and stressing firms’ capacity to scale. Corporations are responding in two methods: (i) stepping up efforts to recruit and retrain the precise staff; and (ii) intensifying their seek for one of the best automation methods. Microart CEO Mark Wooden quips “We’re working exhausting to alter the time period [great resignation] to “the nice retention.”
From the privileged vantage level of those business leaders, we now have entered a interval of accelerating transformation, with digital innovation providing the instruments and options to efficiently meet various persisting formidable challenges. Cybord CEO Zeev Efrat places it finest: “All in all 2022 seems like one other yr of disruption with rising demand, unsure provide, unpredictable freight and logistics, and an growing understanding that good digitally enabled provide chains are the longer term.”