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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

MCADCafe Industry Predictions for 2024 – Proshop

January 22nd, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Paul Van Metre, ProShop ERP

Paul Van Metre

Reflecting on the Past: Insights from 2022 and 2023

As we move into 2024, it’s crucial to reflect on the predictions made in the preceding years. TheCNC machining/manufacturing sector witnessed significant shifts, primarily influenced bytechnological advancements, cybersecurity concerns, and market segmentation.
In 2022, we observed the pivotal role of cloud-based ERP systems in streamlining supply chainsand enhancing operational efficiency. Some shops embraced a heightened focus on sales andmarketing strategies, which became increasingly important as competition intensified.Cybersecurity emerged as a critical concern as CMMC 2.0 loomed on the horizon, withcompanies struggling to understand the costs and impact on their systems to safeguardcustomer and business data.
2023 was a dichotomous year, bringing record-breaking success for some while othersstruggled to survive. The industry saw a clear division between companies that embraced asales-driven approach and those that did not. Compliance with cybersecurity regulations likeCMMC and NIST 800-171 became ever larger in the windscreen, with the release of theproposed rule in December. Furthermore, certifications such as AS9100 and ISO 13485solidified their importance, underpinning business efficiency and opening doors to high-endmarkets. Many shops pursued certification to help open doors to new markets and reaped thebenefits of doing so.

2024: A Year of Technological Mastery and Strategic Divergence

Looking ahead to 2024, the industry is poised to experience further evolution driven bytechnological innovation and strategic business decisions.

1. Advanced Automation:
Automation will continue to reshape the manufacturing landscape. In 2024, we expect to see amore profound integration of automation to increase throughput, shorten leadtimes, and dealwith the lack of staff to hire. These technologies will enable manufacturers to optimizeprocesses, reduce downtime, and enhance product quality.

2. Cybersecurity as Standard Business Practice:
The emphasis on cybersecurity will further evolve from a compliance requirement to a standardbusiness practice. As the CMMC rule becomes finalized, other industries adopt similarrequirements, and as cyber threats become more sophisticated, companies will be forced toinvest in robust security protocols, making cybersecurity a core aspect of their business model,or possibly decide to stop serving the industries requiring it altogether. Some OEMs will startrequiring reporting of cybersecurity maturity postures.

3. Rise of Customized and On-Demand Manufacturing:
Driven by consumer demand for personalized products and industry requirements for very smallbatches with short lead times, the industry will witness a rise in customized and on-demandmanufacturing. This shift will require CNC machining firms to be more agile, adopt flexibleproduction techniques, and leverage technologies like 3D printing in metal alloys.

4. Sustainability and Circular Economy:
Environmental sustainability will become a critical focus area. Companies will adopt greenermanufacturing practices and contribute to the circular economy. This shift will not only be drivenby regulatory pressures but also by consumer and stakeholder expectations.

5. Enhanced Focus on Employee Skills and Training:
As technology evolves, the skill gap in the workforce will become more apparent. Savvycompanies will invest heavily in training and development programs to equip their less skilledemployees with the necessary skills to operate advanced machinery and software systems. Ifthey can’t find them, they’ll need to build them with training and systems.

6. Grow or Die:
In 2024, there will be a continued consolidation with shops that are bought by other firms or dothe buying themselves and shops that don’t wish to participate in the industry with its fasterpace and technical and regulatory requirements. The haves and have nots, I predicted in 2023will become more acute.

7. Shift in Global Supply Chains:
The ongoing trend of localizing supply chains will continue, driven by geopolitical tensions andthe need for supply chain resilience. Companies will focus on building robust, regional supplychains to mitigate risks associated with global disruptions. Shops willing to rise to the challengeand meet the needs will thrive!

Conclusion: Navigating the Future Landscape

As we step into 2024, the CNC machining/manufacturing sector stands at a crossroads ofopportunity and challenge. Companies that embrace technological advancements, prioritizecybersecurity, invest in sustainable practices, and focus on strategic growth will thrive. Theindustry will increasingly cater to a market that demands customization, speed, andenvironmental responsibility. It will be a transformative year for the CNCmachining/manufacturing sector, with technological prowess and strategic foresight being thekey drivers of success.

About Author:

Paul is the president of ProShop USA and founder at Adion Systems, which develops ProShop, a revolutionary web-based and paperless ERP/MES/QMS system specifically designed for the metalworking industry. They partner with shops that seek to push the edge of technology by going completely paperless, strengthening their ISO or AS9100 systems, combining all their shop software into one system, and building robust business processes to achieve high growth rates, profitability, and performance. Paul holds a BS in Industrial Technology and founded a precision aerospace machine shop directly out of college in 1997 using the concept of a “Franchise Prototype.”

Category: Predictions

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