The agriculture industry loves its iron and the upcoming trends in equipment manufacturing are an exciting prospect.
Al Cervero, senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, recently wrote an article titled Five Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2021, and also joined Shaun Haney on RealAg Radio.
First up is how the equipment industry will fare through the rest of the pandemic. “From an equipment manufacturing perspective, we’ve got probably a long time — at least six months — while everybody’s getting their shots and so on, so we’ve got to keep those lines moving, we’ve got to be able to repair those machines, got to keep putting them out the door,” says Cervero.
Equipment manufacturing line workers are considered essential workers in the U.S., but every state has different protocols for vaccine rollout. Cervero foresees that the safety procedures in place will continue to work for the industry and that lines will keep running.
A connected workforce also made Cervero’s list as the manufacturing line requires many different skills — for example the 400 sensors that are put into a sprayer unit connects that unit to a computer and it’s no different for the manufacturing line, there are sensors all the way through that connect to a cloud. Third on the list and tying into the connected workforce thought, is the internet of things (IOT).
“It’s much easier in a manufacturing facility, even in a rural manufacturing facility, to have a completely wi-fi connected facility,” says Cervero. “It’s a little bit more difficult out in the field when you’re looking at a 1000, 2000 acres, but at a manufacturing facility it’s fully connected.”
The data that can be collected from all of these sensors, and from field equipment is immense, but of course the challenge is rural internet and connectivity. Low-earth orbiting satellite systems may also be part of the solution, says Cervero, as the SpaceX satellite project go the go-ahead recently.
Listen in to the full conversation for items four and five from Cervero’s list: localized production and near-sourcing, and predictive maintenance:
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