If there were an initiative to choose the production word of the year, the current winner would probably be: adaptability. Flexibility combined with a high level of resilience is increasingly becoming a basic requirement for economic existence for manufacturing companies. Without it, not only crisis situations but also everyday customer expectations can hardly be managed. In this context, digitalization and networking are becoming indispensable keys to success.
Volatility is the hallmark of our time. While at the beginning of 2020 it was still believed that the greatest transformation task for the manufacturing industry in the coming years would result from climate change, since then a series of international crises have called decades of production certainties into question. Established supply chains are tottering, sales markets and location conditions are changing radically. At the same time, companies are struggling with long-known difficulties such as the growing shortage of skilled workers and fierce international competition, which are exacerbating cost and time pressures. All these factors are forcing industry to rethink its methods, processes and technologies.