New industry trends for drones, self-driving cars, and customization medical equipment

- 2021-12-02-

In the manufacturing industry, some of the trends we are tracking in 2021 include the increased adoption of automation and digital technologies, the shift to sustainable manufacturing efforts, and the 3D printing revolution, which is growing at an annual rate of about 60%.
Other trends that we pay close attention to include changes in the aviation, automotive, and medical industries, which will dominate in 2021 and beyond. Having an insight into the development trend of the next few years and keeping up with the trend in the early stages can make you achieve long-term success.

1. Drones shine in the aviation industry

 Although drones are not new to the aviation industry, reports predict that drones will have two major growth areas in the next few years: delivery and air taxis. ARK Investment Management estimates that in the next five years, drones will transport more than 20% of packages and promote the adoption of e-commerce.

The investment company also estimates that by 2025, drone delivery platforms will become a $50 billion industry. As Amazon and other top digital markets have begun to accept and test this technology, ARK's predictions do not seem far away.

 Looking further afield, Roland Berger, a global consulting firm, predicts that air taxis will become the means of transportation of the future. According to a 2020 study of the industry, the company estimates that by 2050, there will be as many as 160,000 commercial air taxis, generating approximately US$90 billion in revenue each year.

Moreover, this research is not only based on predictions. The Chinese company Ehang has already taken drones into the air. The manufacturer produced 20 passenger and cargo air taxis in 2020, and plans to produce another 600 in 2021. The study also pointed out that as 110 cities and regions around the world are committed to solutions in this field, with the development of start-ups and established airlines, the number of new participants continues to increase.

2. Autonomous driving and electric vehicles promote the development of the automotive industry

WITTMANN ranks self-driving cars as one of the biggest trends in 2021 and beyond. This article predicts that in the next 3-5 years, autonomous vehicles will become mainstream. In addition to self-driving cars on the streets, self-driving cars in company corridors, production workshops, and operations centers are expected to become more and more popular, thanks to a range of functions and an ever-increasing number of devices provided at reasonable prices.

As electric vehicles approach the price tag of natural gas-powered vehicles, electric vehicles are another automotive trend that ARK will focus on in 2021. The company predicts that sales of electric vehicles will increase by 20 times in 2025. Leaders in the industry are developing batteries that can realize long-range vehicles at a lower cost.

As the automotive market undergoes major changes this year, technology tracking company ZDNet will call 2021 the year of electric vehicles. However, for traditional car manufacturers, there may be some obstacles. With the development of this trend, the main threats facing the automotive industry include whether traditional automakers can successfully transform, and whether they have the software and electrical engineering talents to succeed in this field.

3. Customization and automation design & the future of medical devices

As medical device design has become more innovative in the past decade, the demand for niche and specialized components has also grown. This trend indicates that the era when OEMs will be able to "off-the-shelf" purchase these special parts is coming. Prior to this, the partnership between medical device designers and manufacturers capable of manufacturing these custom parts was key.

The use of commodity products will limit design opportunities and product capabilities. Or, cooperate with custom manufacturers in the early stage, especially those who provide assistance in the design process, can conduct experiments, tests, and finally get an optimized medical device that meets each condition.

Gene Kleinschmit, product manager of the Swedish engineering company Sandvik, said: "We have many customers telling us that they want to come to us soon." "In the beginning, they designed based on what they could find, and in the end they became someone who could make commodity products. They tried to use commodity products to design this new device, and they worked hard to make it work; they couldn't change their design. To make it work... As the product matures, it will become more and more powerful." For example, if we look at a pacemaker product, when they first appeared, they were very professional... Now the design Enough changes have occurred so that it is not a specialized product. There are many suppliers capable of manufacturing them. "

In the medical device manufacturing industry, the automation trend also experienced a peak last year and is expected to continue to grow in the future. The 2020 statistics released by the American Robot Industry Association show that robot orders in the life sciences, pharmaceuticals and biomedical fields have increased by 69% year-on-year. 2020 is also the first year that the annual orders for robots in the non-automotive industry exceed the orders for the automotive manufacturing industry. This is the transformation of robot manufacturers in the global flu pandemic.

Dean Elkins, head of the processing division of Yaskawa Motoman, said: “With the changes in people’s personal buying behavior caused by the new crown virus, the number of robots used has set a historical record. The e-commerce field completes orders while allowing correct social distancing behavior.". "In addition, robots have largely helped to produce personal protection and testing equipment, as well as medical equipment needed to maintain the health and safety of our society."

The main benefits of robotic production automation include optimizing productivity, improving quality, reducing costs, and improving safety. We expect the development of automated production in the medical manufacturing industry to continue after the pandemic. 

Whether it is drones, autonomous driving, and customized medical equipment, their prospects in the manufacturing industry can be expected in the future. However, in terms of hardware manufacturing, all parts and accessories are inseparable from CNC machining. As a high tech manufacturer, Sunbright has seen more opportunities and challenges.  

Pls kindly watch the following video about the model of airplane by CNC machining.