Industrial design naturally adapts to the ever-changing needs of the marketplace and those companies that require facility design and retrofits to keep pace.
Today, several intriguing trends are driving the way industrial designers approach their work. Without a doubt, these trends ultimately will affect every sector of the industry.
Trend 1: Renewed Regard for the Environment
A recent announcement from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in conjunction with the University of Leeds, confirmed that the hole in the Atlantic ozone layer is closing.
With this amazing news comes the realization that the world’s efforts to right the environmental ship are working. You can expect this development to fuel a renewed commitment to environmentally conscious industrial design.
This trend has already begun to proliferate in manufacturing, as companies make the switch to sustainable materials. In addition, expect to see more manufacturers looking for innovative ways to minimize their carbon footprints and clean up their production processes.
Finally, we are seeing many organizations from the industrial sector making changes to processes and even locations as they endeavor to reduce the environmental impact of shipping both materials and finished products.
Industrial design offers countless ways to contribute to each of these goals, while at the same time helping companies carve out larger market shares and improve production levels.
Trend 2: E-commerce and Manufacturing’s Returns to the United States
E-commerce is leading the industry in a variety of ways.
Online commerce in itself is only a part of the equation, however. This boon to the U.S. economy is one of the major drivers of manufacturing’s return to American shores. U.S. residents are speaking with their dollars, and products made in this country are in demand more than ever before.
This trend was not truly sustainable until consumer price tolerance adapted to the perception that, although American-made products may cost more, the net investment is positive. Helping to push this trend, U.S. companies are finding ways to improve cost and production structures to bring costs more in line with those of imported products.
Industrial design is responding to this trend by helping companies revisit the idea of one centralized manufacturing facility. Instead, look for industry to adopt a more regional approach, using smaller-scale facilities designed to serve a smaller consumer base.
Trend 3: The Rise of the Global Economy
The growing global economy brings with it several important drivers of industrial engineering.
Developing nations have needs that are unique and unlike anything the industry has previously seen. The importance of producing tools and products for struggling populations is gaining in popularity for two key reasons.
First, corporate social responsibility has become the mantra of industry, whereas it was given little more than lip service before. But even more important, organizations have discovered that they can maintain a reasonable level of profitability while still operating in a way that improves the world.
As the global economy continues to change the way the world does business, you can expect to see other changes in the industrial design sector. The adoption of international standards, for example, will push many companies toward retrofit and redesign of their facilities.
DesignTek Consulting Group understands that each client’s needs are unique. Our experienced team of industrial, mechanical and electrical designers and engineers approach every project with a fresh eye and a commitment to improving our clients’ operational advantages. Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from these industrial design trends.