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In today’s post, we take some time to reflect on the history of American manufacturing innovations and the trends that will define the future of our industry.  

Before we get into the history portion, let’s take a quick look at the current state and what trends we see on the horizon.

3D Printing

The hype of 3D Printing hit the proverbial fan around 2013. It seemed as though the future was here and now and that soon we would have a 3D printer on every desk in the coming years. While the hype may have been a bit overexaggerated, the potential for 3D printing was not. That was 2013. The question on everyone’s mind now is, “But where are we now?”  Well, we’re improving. As technology in this field improves, we are seeing costs decrease across the board making it more available to individuals instead of larger manufacturers and we see production times dropping. We still have a long way to go, but this industry deserves a google alert on the ole’ browser. 

The Internet of Things

The term “Internet of Things,” coined in 1999, has come a long way since then. At the time, it was more of a daydream or something you would see in the next sci-fi movie. The technology just was there yet. And then 2015 showed up. It was the year that the IoT market finally gained its legitimacy. As the internet permanently permeates our culture with the introduction of smartphones, tablets, wearable devices like Google Glass and the Apple Watch, it was only a matter of time before businesses started seeing the benefits to their company’s overall efficiency and integrating the technology into their business. If a company wants to stay competitive, they already have this squarely on their radar. 

What the IoT should help us with next is more access to real-time analytics and business intelligence. Which leads us to our third topic:

Big Data

The cornerstone and unsung hero of the entire business intelligence and predictive analytics world. Big data is here and here to stay. As with 3D printing and IoT, the reason this is such a big deal is that technology has finally caught up with the daydream. Data warehouses now have the ability to store the amount of data that large companies need and database management software like SAP HANA can compile and organize the data at extremely quick speeds. 

What American Innovations Are We Seeing Now?

It doesn’t take much to see that the big picture has American manufacturing innovations going in a slightly different direction than we have in the past. To some, this is exciting and allows young makers and innovators to transform the future of our great nation and the world. But what about today? For those that can’t see the big picture, you might be worried about lost jobs and blaming trade deals and weak tax laws on companies relocating facilities to other countries. The problem is that the industry, along with technology, is changing: AND THATS A GOOD THING! It is up to us as an American people to educate ourselves and focus on the increasing skill gap in our industry. The technologies create all sorts of jobs; we just need to learn the skills that qualify us for those jobs. 

[Infographic] American Manufacturing Innovations & Moments

Our goal at Cerasis is to not only talk about how our customers can make transportation management more effective through our blog articles about technology and best practices but also to inform them about their own industry and how they might use this information to better their companies and history is a huge part of that. To quote Winston Churchill, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” With that in mind, the following is a timeline of key American Manufacturing Innovations & Moments up to present day. 

america manufacturing innovations