Virtual manufacturing platform company Fictiv has released a 2018 State of Hardware report highlighting manufacturers across 72 industries.
“The State of Hardware report is part of our commitment to make hardware development easier and more accessible and to ultimately unleash the next wave of innovation in engineering and design,” said Dave Evans, co-founder and CEO of Fictiv. “By unlocking new information and insights about product development and manufacturing trends, we can help engineers and designers deepen their understanding of their fields and accelerate the shift to a more modern tech-enabled global manufacturing process.”
Their findings at the intersection of hardware and digitization include the following:
- 71 percent of product teams depend on external manufacturing shows and prioritize fast lead and response times as well as expedited services from those shops
- 93 percent of product developers and 94 percent of manufacturers use email as their primary communication, while most software development teams have moved to other communication systems
- 75 percent of manufacturing personnel say they perform three or more roles, which limited their ability to deliver products quickly. This is the case even in teams that use external shops to expedite work
- 49 percent of developers say their external vendors are often or always local to their site
- 74 percent of manufacturers 66 percent of developers have experienced a communication problem with a CNC machining of 3D printing shop in terms of design intent
Overall, the survey focused on communication and found that 76 percent of project delay problems might be solved with better communication.
Some of these problems might stem from human error, but others stem from inefficient processes and technologies, the report found.
“Manufacturing continues to be an outdated process that is increasingly in need of the digitization that has already swept through industries like transportation, grocery and hospitality,” said Evans. “Fictiv believes that machine learning and the introduction of software platforms and systems to centralize communications will shave days - even weeks - off production timelines.”
Fictiv has a vested interest in moving to software, but they’re also part of a longstanding trend of moving office communication from email to platforms such as collaborating messaging platform Slack.