US Could Out-Manufacture China In The Near Future, Thanks To IRR 4.0

A new manufacturing study says it’s a great time to be in manufacturing – as what some are calling the “fourth industrial revolution” is on the horizon.  And the image on that horizon is an explosion of manufacturing …

“Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed,” author Klaus Schwab wrote.

Michelle Drew Rodriguez, manufacturing leader for Deloitte’s Center for Industry Insights, said at a recent conference she believes the key difference between this industrial revolution and the past three is the pace of change.

“The last three industrial revolutions have essentially taken place on a linear path,” she said in a keynote at the second annual RobotiqUser Conference (RUC). “But the pace at which technology is advancing—particularly in the last few decades—isn’t linear; it’s exponential.”

These exponential changes are inherently disruptive, and they’re just beginning to be felt in manufacturing. “Bottom line: it’s a great time to be in manufacturing,” Rodriguez said. “We’re seeing very strong output globally.”

Another insight in the GMCI is the close link between a country’s ranking and the prevalence of its high-tech manufacturing. “Nations that have more than 50 percent of their exports coming from high-skill, high-tech manufacturing exports are correlated very significantly to manufacturing executives feeling that they’re going to be more competitive in the future.”

Rodriguez suggested that this is part of the reason the U.S. is predicted to overtake China at the top of the GMCI by 2020. “This is the first time ever that global manufacturing executives are ranking the U.S. in the number one spot.”

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