Digitising the factory: Four manufacturing jobs of the future

The manufacturing sector is currently undergoing a process of digital transformation, and is likely to be completely transformed within the next decade as industry leaders increasingly embrace a growing wealth of disruptive technologies, from the Industrial Internet of Things to 3D printing to artificial intelligence.

However, in order to fully realise the potential of this digital transformation the manufacturing sector’s workforce must have the necessary digital skills to integrate, operate, analyse and repair these cutting-edge technologies. Part of this skills gap will be bridged by upskilling the current workforce, of course, but in many other cases manufacturers will need to create completely new digitally-focused manufacturing jobs.

Here are just four jobs of the future jobs that could become increasingly important in the manufacturing sector within the next few years.

Digital Manufacturing Specialist

As advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printing are increasingly embraced by the manufacturing sector, alongside other digital technologies like artificial intelligence and IIoT, manufacturers will begin to seek out employees that can manage the process of integrating these technologies into the firm’s production process.

These Digital Manufacturing Specialists will help to design and implement new manufacturing systems that are tailormade to put digital at the heart of the firm’s manufacturing process, helping to minimise the financial burden of digital transformation while maximising the firm’s return on its technological investment.

Factory Automation Engineer

Automation is already an important technology for many manufacturing firms, but as new advances in artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things come together to make automation cheaper, more efficient and more effective, manufacturers will increasingly look to hire dedicated factory automation specialists.

Factory Automation Engineers will combine systems thinking with technological know-how to determine which manufacturing processes can be automated and how that process of automation can be implemented most effectively.

AR/VR Specialist

While consumer applications like Pokemon Go may have popularised augmented reality with a mainstream audience, AR (and to a lesser extent VR) also has a wide range of potential use cases in industrial environments, including the factory floor. For instance, augmented reality could be used to overlay schematics on machinery equipment in order to assist in the maintenance of that equipment, while virtual reality could be used to help plan the layout of a factory floor in order to ensure the factory is as safe and efficiently designed as possible.

As these technologies are gradually adopted by the manufacturing sector industry leaders will begin hiring AR/VR Specialists, who will be tasked with training employees on the use of augmented reality and virtual reality. These specialists will also be required to plan and implement new uses for AR and VR in the manufacturer’s design, production and maintenance processes.

Factory Cybersecurity Analyst

As the recent Wannacry ransomware attack made clear, it is not only governments and technology firms that are at risk from the growing proliferation of cybersecurity attacks. Both Honda and Renault were forced to halt their production lines after their systems were compromised by the Wannacry virus, demonstrating that the manufacturing sector is as exposed to cybersecurity threats as any other.

As digital technologies become increasingly integral to the operations of manufacturing firms, industry leaders will begin hiring Factory Cybersecurity Analysts to ensure the factory’s IIoT networks, production line computers and other digital connections are secure against hackers, industrial saboteurs or ransomware attackers.

Your own employees of the future

If your own organisation is at the forefront of innovation in the industrial sector then you will be in the process of building the leadership teams you need in order to embrace everything the digital revolution has to offer. That’s where we come in.

Miramar Executive Search Consultants have an extensive understanding of the industrial sector and the leaders required to maintain and develop businesses embracing current innovations. Our consultants and researchers reach globally to source the best executives for your industrial organisation. Contact Miramar today – we have offices in the UK, the USA and Asia.


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