The challenges, constraints and complex (and often contradictory) safety and productivity requirements COVID-19 presented the manufacturing industry have tested its people, its processes and its technologies like never before. It fundamentally changed the way the industry operates—it required new production systems, new supply chains and new procedures for the full market while individual companies experimented with new technologies to meet unexpected surges in demand while keeping customers and workers safe.
An interesting year to say the least.
The totality of the changes 2020 required will be studied in textbooks for years. It was a unique high-stakes, high-speed innovation race, the likes of which the world has rarely experienced. Some of these changes will likely prove to be temporary, though others—particularly around the technological and automation implementations it included—have already begun to reshape the industry in permanent ways.