3 things I learned from HAX Hardware Trends: Economics, Data and Automation

3 things I learned from HAX Hardware Trends: Economics, Data and Automation

After 120 years since Henry Ford built his first experimental car in a workshop behind his home in Detroit, we have reached a very interesting point in this new hardware revolution. The manufacturing eco-system enables a completely new wave of hardware companies and new product manufacturing by distributed teams.

HAX Hardware reports brings a very interesting analysis of trends in manufacturing and product development. Check the slide deck and video here (https://hax.co/hardware-trends/). HAX made analysis of about 200 hardware startup investments and how these new companies are reinventing product development.

Here are my favorite 3 topics.

1- Enterprise data collection

Data is a new oil. Enterprises are focusing on data collections from sensors and other systems. It will allow to build intelligent decision making systems. The value of data is huge and it was proven by global web and consumer companies over the last decade and half. And it is company to enterprise now to change PLM paradigm from data control to data intelligence

2- Dark Factories

Automation is coming to factories. 60 people instead 600 in the example above. Henry Ford would be dreaming about such level of productivity. However, it raises lot of questions about process improvement and data management. Automated process requires significant effort in planning and manufacturing process control.

3- Manufacturing Geography.

Economical conditions moved manufacturing from country to country over the past 200 years. Innovation that enabled Henry Ford manufacturing to begin in 1890s is getting more distributed and global these days.

What is my conclusion? Manufacturing is changing. Economics, Data and Automation will play a key role in future manufacturing innovation taking it to a completely different level – global, intelligent and flexible. Until very recently, PLM technologies were mostly focused on data control and process automation. Future manufacturing innovation will be raising questions about new role of Product Lifecycle Management in new global manufacturing networks. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.

Picture credit HAX Hardware Trends 2017


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