As 2017 nears, what’s next for manufacturing?
System integrators offers their views on the coming year.
The 2016 System Integrator Giants (tallied by system integration revenue by Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, CFE Media) were asked questions about industry trends, including outlook for manufacturing. See responses from some of the integrators, along with their rankings in the tally, below.
Q: As we face 2017, what’s your overall outlook for manufacturing?
President and CEO
Optimation Technology Inc.
#28 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
Manufacturing is strong. It is possible with the world economy that manufacturing in the U.S. will grow faster than other sectors of the U.S. economy. Right now, the system integration business continues to grow in importance to manufacturers looking to upgrade their plant operation. Assess the state of the system integration industry as a whole.
Automation & Control Concepts
St. Louis, MO
#44 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
Crossmuller Technology Pty Ltd.
#87 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
We are looking at increased growth, driven by investment in helping our customers identify ROI [return on investment] projects in the MES [manufacturing execution system] space.
Cotmac Electronics Pvt Ltd
#12 on the 2016 System Integrators Giants List The overall scenario in [the] manufacturing sector is still confusing. We see growth in some areas like food and beverage and pharmaceuticals, while other sectors are continuing to show the sluggish growth. I think world over the capacity utilization is an issue for most of the companies. The real investment in manufacturing sector will come only after the capacity utilization improves. This is expected to happen within one year.
Concept Systems Inc.
#20 on the 2016 System Integrators Giants List
Excellent! Companies are investing in American manufacturing, robotic use is on the rise, and manufacturing data is soon to be at our fingertips. It is a very exciting [time] to be a system integrator in the manufacturing sector.
#43 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
In our region, the outlook is rather grim. Serbia, where most of our projects are being done, is still suffering the consequences of the recession. But in other countries, manufacturing seems to grow slowly but steadily.
Walled Lake, Mich.
#2 on the 2016 System Integrators Giants List
Based on available industry data, it appears that the manufacturing market will be flat over the next year, but forward-looking manufacturers will likely continue increasing their technology platforms. These investments could give them a production and cost savings advantage over competitors. And if production levels increase, this additional capacity and increased efficiencies will be used to drive larger profit margins.
IASTECH Automação de Sistemas Ltda
Sao Paulo, Brazil
#65 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
Manufacturing will continue investing money to make their shop floor and overall operations better, safer, and faster.
Matthew Burton, PE
Corporate Director of Automation Technology
Hargrove Controls + Automation
#46 on the 2016 Systems Integrator Giants List
2016 was slower than expected, and many of the projects scheduled for this year were delayed from 2015. Again, we are seeing large projects pushed into 2017, and without any significant trends in the world or American economy to increase manufacturing, 2017 is expected to be flat as well.
Automation and System Integration
The Dennis Group LLC
#62 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
The forecast for manufacturing in the United States differs sector to sector with some export markets being hurt by a strong dollar, but the overall outlook for 2017 is strong. In growing sectors, manufacturers are adding capacity. Across the board, there is a continued focus on efficiency gains and most companies are authorizing capital spending for these types of projects.
Director of Business Development & Chief Strategic Officer
Burrow Global LLC
#14 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
Upstream is still brutal. We’re waiting until the end of 2017 and then we [will be] ready for growth. Downstream is strong but with more competition. The midstream also is very strong, but margins are tight.
Brave Control Solutions
#71 on the 2016 System Integrator Giants List
2017 is going to continue to be a growth year for manufacturing, but that growth will be slower than previous years.