The current pandemic brought about by the coronavirus has forced industries around the world to make significant adjustments to their operations. Employees in some industries have been working from home, in some cases, since March, while essential workers have been taking extreme precautions to prevent catching and spreading the virus.

In manufacturing, precautions have also been taken in the form of flexible work hours , social distancing guidelines being enforced, and more. But for the manufacturing industry, there is a silver lining beginning to emerge as a result of the virus; technological innovations are popping up out of absolute necessity.

Let’s take a closer look at how the coronavirus has led to astonishing innovations in manufacturing.

How did COVID-19 Change Manufacturing Operations?

Accenture may have best summarized the challenges manufacturing companies have been facing. Accenture wrote that, “COVID-19 has disrupted operations on a massive scale, challenging manufacturers to assess the impact and best way to respond quickly.

Highly volatile demand for certain products necessitates the assessment of short-term effects on workforces, ecosystem relationships and network assets.”

One of the challenges was attempting to maintain a similar level of production to pre-coronavirus operations without putting any employees at risk. Solutions to this problem have included mandated social distancing guidelines, limiting the duration of activities, training employees on proper sanitizing procedures, and more. While these steps were undoubtedly the correct ones, it was the innovations that have grabbed national attention.

What Innovations Have Emerged?

It might be impossible to understand what changes will stick in the long term throughout the manufacturing industry, it has already forced most manufacturers to rethink their operations, and brainstorm innovative ways to get work done. In this article from Newsweek, they spoke with ABI’s Chief Research Officer Stuart Carlaw “To effect change, there must be a stimulation of a magnitude that means companies cannot do anything but make bold decisions to survive. COVID-19 is that magnitude.”

This startling quote puts in perspective the importance of companies making bold decisions in response to a difficult situation. That same article from newsweek also offered areas in which manufacturers can innovate in a hurry.

“Additive manufacturing is a good example. The same 3D printer used to produce airplane parts can be used to produce respiratory ventilators. For robotics, rather than fixed conveyor belts, factories and warehouses can use AGVs and AMRs as an automated storage and retrieval system.”

Train for the Future with AMTEP

Entry level positions in manufacturing are available in surprisingly high numbers, in part due to a positive trend in the industry over the last few years. While there isn’t a universal amount of education required for job seekers to begin a career in the field, having a strong knowledge of the systems, processes and procedures on the factory floor can put you a giant step closer to achieving your goals. Particularly in an industry where the technology can change so quickly, having a strong basis of information can be essential to being able to adapt to new processes and technologies.

COVID-19 is teaching people around the world valuable, although difficult, lessons. For the manufacturing industry, the lesson is clear; always be ready to adapt.

If you’re read to take on all the challenges that manufacturing has to offer, explore the AMTEP training courses today.