Australia’s traditional manufacturing will continue to thrive at the back of new advanced technologies despite a lack of outstanding performers in the 2017 Top 100 Manufacturers list, according to IBISWorld.
Notable new additions to the Top 100 List:
Manufacturer of doors and windows, Jeld-Wen, is a newcomer into the list, pushing its way up to 87th. It increased its revenues by nearly $200 million (37 per cent swing) due to its acquisition of Trend Windows and Doors and ArcPac Building Products.
Food companies once again lead the host of newer entries into the list. In 2016, Inghams began trading on the ASX and as a result they acquired Inghams Holdings as a wholly owned subsidiary which explains their entry into the list.
As a result of the merger between Sanger Australia and Bindaree Beef, Industry Park was formed and the newly formed meat processing business made the list this year thanks to the acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Scot Technologies, an engineering based company – through this acquisition, Industry Park is now also involved in the manufacturing and sale of automated process machinery.
Future trends to be looking out for
IBISWorld predicts that a lot more manufacturers are looking towards green or sustainable manufacturing. The environmental effects of manufacturing have caused many companies to search for alternative methods of production that are environmentally sustainable while still remaining competitive and keeping up with demand.
“While this is not exactly a new trend, IBISWorld sees that this demand for green or sustainable end products will continue to grow as consumers demand for it,” said Vuong.
Vuong also added that with factors that include waste pollution and cost reduction, manufacturers must find new ways to sustainably expand.
Another ongoing trend that looks to gain even more steam in the years ahead, would be the use of robotics and machines to streamline manufacturing processes. This is because more companies will be looking to use automation in production to reduce their reliance on labour and stay competitive.
“What is being increasingly used in America now, that we predict will be widely used in Australia, is co-botics which are essentially robots that can be used in collaborative work environments with human workers,” said Vuong.
IBISWorld expects that the automotive manufacturing industry to increase investment and use in robotics especially in tasks that are repetitive and require pinpoint accuracy. With the increased use in robotics in this industry, it will reduce the cost base of employees.
“Even if they are working in cohesion with humans, the cost factor will still be reduced because the production process will be more efficient with both sides working together,” said Vuong.
Finally, 3D printing looks set to take centre stage according to IBISWorld. The advent of 3D printing will affect many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). By using 3D printing for prototypes, it enables manufacturers to get to the market quicker with significantly lower costs and that it will allow for more advanced research and innovative designs to create new products.
“3D printing is no longer a niche market. It is experiencing widespread acceptance across the sector as compared to previously when it was mostly used in specialist and niche production aspects. Hence manufacturers are starting to print with graphene which can be low cost, easily recyclable and sourced because of its durability. So, IBISWorld expects that there will be more widespread usage of this material in everyday applications,” said Vuong.