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The top engineering trends to follow in 2018

18/12/2017
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Whilst it’s possible to identify hundreds, if not thousands, of minor ongoing developments within specific engineering industries, what are the major, overarching trends that are likely to impact you if you work in engineering in 2018?

We take a look.
Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) is becoming an increasing common technology in engineering environments.
Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) technologies are increasingly being adopted in commercial engineering environments. Initially used for prototyping work, additive manufacturing is now finding its way into production applications, with companies such as GE using the technology to produce componentry for usage in the aerospace, defence, medical, automotive and power generation industries. Demand is only set to increase throughout 2018 for engineers that are skilled in using additive manufacturing technology, or that are adept at integrating it into production processes.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The increasing spread of the Internet of Things (IoT), is likely to have a major impact upon the engineering production process (see our recent article on the rise of ‘Smart Factories’). What exactly will this impact entail? With the IoT factories will be able to inter-network devices and equipment, increasing productivity and efficiency considerably. Other benefits of the IoT will include equipment being able to correct itself (picking up errors and malfunctions by its own volition). With this technology encroaching upon the production environment, it is those engineers and technicians that are best able to understand data access and analysis that will thrive in 2018 and beyond.

Sustainability

The sustainability agenda continues to drum loudly, and there’s no chance of it diminishing in 2018. Expect topics such as energy and resource conservation, emissions control, waste reduction and the use of renewable energy to dominate considerations in new engineering projects next year. As a result, demand for Environmental Engineers looks to continue its exponential growth.
Automation and robotics are leading to exponential increases in engineering productivity.
Automation

Automation is yet another watch-word for 2018. Robotics and plant automation are becoming both increasingly advanced and widely adopted, impacting productivity in an unambiguously positive manner. With this being the case, there will undoubtedly be a negative effect upon lower skilled workers.  For talented instrumentation and controls technicians however, automation should prove to be an overall positive development with increasing numbers of job opportunities arising throughout 2018.

Optimisation

The New Year is traditionally the time of year when many people attempt to get lean. Industry is no different. Engineering companies are focusing on optimising their production processes using methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma. As a result, engineering professionals with experience in quality assurance, lean manufacturing and production optimisation should be feeling positive as the New Year approaches.

Get set for 2018

If you’re thinking of making the new year the time for a new start, register with Fircroft now to receive updates on the latest engineering jobs from across the globe.
Tags: Engineering
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