May 30, 2016 | By Benedict

According to KPMG International’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Outlook (GMO), a quarter of manufacturers have invested in 3D printing, with a further 31% certain to invest over the next two years. The report showed that manufacturers are generally adopting aggressive strategies to achieve growth.

KPMG, a Netherlands-based professional service company and one of the “big four” international auditing organizations, has conducted the 2016 edition of its annual Global Manufacturing Outlook, a report concerning the state of the manufacturing sector. By analyzing data from surveys sent to 360 manufacturing CEOs, KPMG has found that more than half of responding businesses are planning “aggressive” growth strategies, with more than one-in-six calling their growth strategy “very aggressive”. The report also sheds some light on manufacturers’ attitudes towards additive manufacturing, with statistics showing that investment in new technology, 3D printing included, forms part of the growth strategy of many responding businesses.

According to the recently published report, an increasing competition for market share is forcing manufacturers to adopt more aggressive strategies: “There are fierce competitions being fought over every scrap of market share available and we will certainly see winners and losers,” said Doug Gates, KPMG’s Global Chair of Industrial Manufacturing. “Maintaining the status quo will not drive growth. Manufacturers need to do something different in order to win market share in today’s environment.”

The report showed that responding CEOs were planning to enter new markets and diversify their product range in order to facilitate growth, while investment in new manufacturing technology was also on the agenda for many. Twenty-five percent of responding CEOs told KPMG that they had already invested in additive manufacturing technology, with the same number claiming to have invested in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing tech. Almost two-fifths of those participating in the survey plan to invest “significant” resources in robotics over the next two years.

Interestingly, the GMO showed that many manufacturers remain undecided over 3D printing. Although 25% of responding CEOs claimed to have already invested in the technology, 35% said they would “possibly” be investing in additive manufacturing over the next two years. 9% said they had no plans to do so, while 31% said they would “definitely” be making the investment. For U.S. CEOs, just 5% said they had no plans at all to invest in 3D printing.

“Manufacturers are evolving into industry 4.0 and becoming more digital,” Gates explained. “Investments into new manufacturing technologies are a way to enhance agility, flexibility and speed to market when designing and launching new products and services—critical elements for manufacturing companies to win in the marketplace.”

The KPMG report is based on a survey conducted in early 2016 by Forbes Insights. Responding CEOs came from six industry sectors, and were evenly spread over the Americas, Europe, and Asia. To support and provide context for the raw data of the report, KPMG also conducted a number of interviews with manufacturers around the world.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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