Top 8 Green Manufacturing Trends for 2022


The past two years have brought many changes in every economic sector around the world. This is especially true for the manufacturing industry.

Many of the changes had already been made before the outbreak of the pandemic. Thanks to the pandemic, many of these are being used with great success. These changes have been accelerated due to factors such as supply chain instability, high demand for products and changing customer needs.

Tesla Fremont factoryphoto credit: Maurizio Pesce / Flickr

Green trends to watch out for in 2022

1. Smart digital wire

Major manufacturers have adopted IoT and IIoT to power up smart manufacturing practices. These ‘digital threads’ play a key role in improving operational efficiency, improving product quality and in turn brand loyalty. Companies are now asking for input from customers to improve the customer experience with innovations and design changes suggested by end users. Developing elaborate digital threads will not only result in green manufacturing practices, but also quality products. This is possible thanks to secure digital platform connectivity.

2. Sustainability

Manufacturers also pay a lot of attention to sustainability. Sustainability through environmental, social and governance policies are no longer just keywords. Companies invest in scalable technologies to improve their production process to reduce resource use while producing less waste.

3. More onshore production

To cut costs, the procurement of production supplies was outsourced to China and other countries. The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain and there is no clear idea when the supply chain will be reset to pre-pandemic levels. Using supplies made in the country will create more jobs and reduce reliance on foreign sources, while cutting shipping costs. This will take priority in 2022.

4. Shifting focus from B2B format to B2C

Manufacturers are now focusing more on B2C to offer the end customer cheaper goods and to maintain control over the brand. Manufacturers have many factors to focus on when it comes to the quality of the customer experience.

3D printing an item

5. 3D printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is going to be a big thing in 2022. Some of the benefits that this method offers are freedom to design, customized products and products that perform better. This type of production promotes affordable prices, a sustainable process and above all a shorter time-to-market. This process is actively used in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

6. Increased Use of Automation

Automation has been around for a while in a few industries with PID controllers and PLCs. With the availability of fast computers and many specialized software packages, automation has stepped in to fill the void of staff shortages. Automated processes are now in use not only on the factory floor, but also in the back office. Technology and smart machines help with good decision-making, product quality and consistency.

7. Predictive Maintenance

Technology and automation once again fill a gap and eliminate guesswork. Predictive maintenance programs track problems and inform managers about problems in the production process. Scheduled maintenance of machines and replacement of parts is also done so that there is very little downtime. This results in major cost savings that can then be passed on to the end user. Digital transformation is the way to implement this and other similar programs.

8. Talent in the workplace

The adoption of automation and other technologies in manufacturing means that the workforce must be technologically proficient. The heavy engineering industries such as automotive and aerospace need access to a talent pool familiar with current practices. Many companies partner with vocational schools so that they have the right people on the job.

Production material inspection:photo credit: Cottonbro/Pexels


Many of the changes in manufacturing today are driven by consumer input. End users want to know how their items are manufactured and what materials are used. When energy and raw material costs peak, companies also have to deal with (environmental) regulations.

Consumers are driving the change to sustainability and companies are taking their social responsibility seriously. Fortunately, technology helps make many of these decisions and changes possible. Manufacturers are well aware of the link between their brand image, production practices and profit.

Access to technologies such as AI, robotics and blockchain will fundamentally change the way products are made.

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