According to global business advisory company KPMG, global manufacturing companies have begun investing heavily in new, advanced manufacturing technologies and started to devote significant portions of their R&D budgets to integrating robotics into their workflows. Additionally, more than a quarter of the interviewed business leaders have already invested in cutting-edge AI and cognitive computing technologies. KPMG published the results of their manufacturing industry research in the 2016 KPMG Global Manufacturing Outlook (GMO) survey. According to the survey, manufacturers are being forced to increase investments in new products and services and innovative manufacturing technologies in order to continue to compete in the global market. Those surveyed also stated that pressures to reduce pricing and costs, as well as new technologies increasing competition, played roles in their new investments.
KPMG surveyed more than 360 manufacturing executives from large global corporations, including 80 executives from the United States. When asked, 39% of them said that they will be devoting a significant amount of their upcoming R&D budgets to advanced manufacturing technologies, including robotics, over the next two years. Many respondents indicated that they had already made large investments in advanced 3D and digital technologies. 25% of them reported that they have begun investing in a wide range of new tech, including artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. Another 35% will definitely be investing in 3D printing, 33% in materials science, 30% in AI and 39% in robotics within the next 12 to 24 months.
“Manufacturers recognize a failure to evolve will leave their organization in a non-competitive position. The need to become more digital has never been greater and investments in new technologies are a way to enhance agility, flexibility and speed to market when launching new products and services-critical elements for manufacturing companies to win in the marketplace,” said KPMG’s Global Chair of Industrial Manufacturing Doug Gates.
While both global manufacturers and manufacturers based in the United States share a similar urgency to develop new technologies, the global market seems to be more motivated to directly invest. According to the KPMG GMO about 21% of all global respondents expect to be devoting more than 10% of new revenues to R&D over the next two years, while only 15% of respondents from the United States will be devoting as much to R&D. In comparison, 56% of global respondents will be devoting between 4% and 10% of new revenues on R&D over the next two years; only 53% of respondents from the United States will be devoting the same amount to R&D.
“Investing in innovative solutions and services is at the top of the agenda for manufacturers. Whether investing in incremental improvements for existing products or inventing entirely new products and services, it is clear manufacturers recognize the need to increase their investment in innovation,” said the National Sector Leader of Industrial Manufacturing for KPMG in the US, Brian Heckler.
Some of the other notable finding from the annual KPMG GMO survey include 56% of respondents looking to change or expand their range of products and services offered will make new investments to launch one or more new products in the next 12 to 24 months. 39% of them plan to launch one or more new services. 45% of global respondents and 42% of US respondents are concerned that their products or services will not remain relevant. 38% of global respondents and 31% of US respondents are concerned that advanced technology will allow competitors to take business from them. And 44% of global respondents and 42% of US respondents worry about customer loyalty.
KPMG International’s member firms include more than 174,000 professionals and more than 9,000 partners throughout 155 countries. Their 2016 Global Manufacturing Outlook survey is based on Forbes Insights-conducted interviews with 360 senior executives. The respondents represented six industry sectors — Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Conglomerates, Medical Devices, Engineering and Industrial Products, and Metals — and they were evenly distributed between Europe, Asia, and the North American markets. You can read the entire 2016 survey here. Let’s discuss further over in the KPMG Additive Manufacturing & Robotics forum at 3DPB.com.