Automation-friendly companies are setting aside capital for investments in cutting-edge manufacturing equipment that might be subjected to tests such as oee tracking among others. Such as 3D printing and additive manufacturing. So, for example, The Manufacturers Alliance for Innovation and Manufacturing (MAIM) is raising $40 million to make manufacturing more efficient, helping companies build their products faster with customized, customized materials.
Michael J. Anderle, MAIM’s executive vice president of marketing, said it was impossible to find another area where manufacturing companies could expect more capital to flow than they can from investors who want to support their efforts to use new technology.
The MAIM fund will look at manufacturing investments both in the U.S. and abroad.
“The biggest factor with any investment opportunity is all about the expertise of the team and the technology,” said Dan Kaufman, who is working with MAIM to develop new partnerships.
If a manufacturer can get the right technology, it will cost it a little more to manufacture its products, but it’s still a much lower percentage than it costs the manufacturer to manufacture them today, Mr. Kaufman said.
“The investments will be strategic in scale and make up a small portion of the total capitalization,” he said.
Hence, automation will have a bigger impact on manufacturing than on other industries, such as retail or technology, where automation and robotics were originally used to move inventory and make more efficient use of space.
At a more material level, Automated Material Handling Systems and manufacturing solutions appear to be fetching more profits for manufacturers.
For instance, Wright Electric now makes auto batteries at the old GE plant in Milwaukee.
“There is no doubt that technology today is getting smaller and smaller, which makes it hard for smaller manufacturers to compete,” said Philip Monahan, director of the manufacturing section at the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), a business group.
A new manufacturing model will help create new jobs and produce more goods than they could ever produce if manufacturing were a conventional industry with one person going to work on each task. But manufacturing will need to become more like the service industries in the future in order to continue to succeed.
The next year, Mr. Monahan said, will be the beginning of manufacturing companies deciding how to improve the efficiency of their operations and increase their production, which means providing new jobs.
Those looking to invest in manufacturing should expect to make investments in machinery, equipment like Cyrus Vibratory Conveyor, and real estate.
Among the companies expected to invest are Microsoft Corp. and Qualcomm Technologies, which is adding new manufacturing equipment at its San Diego headquarters.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
WMC says advanced manufacturing will be a significant investment area in the coming years. That’s especially true in areas such as the Southeast, where advanced manufacturing is being established for products such as circuit boards and composite components.
Big companies like Boeing Co. and GE are expanding their manufacturing operations in the Southeast to produce components. For example, Boeing now has operations in the Southeast to make materials for its commercial aircraft.
So, if you’re looking for an investment opportunity, make sure you have access to reliable information about investment opportunities, and think of investing as being two steps ahead of the competition in a tough economic environment. Enough by John Bogle is a good read if you want a more in-depth grounding on the core principles of how to invest.