How Manufacturing Regulatory Expectations Are Evolving

    Manufacturing has a significant contribution to the economy. Moreover, manufacturing is an excellent indicator of a country’s progress. Manufacturers helped fuel the U.S. economy with $1,365.31 billion in exports in 2019. 

    Manufacturing employs individuals at many levels, from blue-collar to white-collar. It has been proven that manufacturing jobs are more stable than positions in other industries. In 2019, there were an estimated 12.8 million manufacturing workers in the U.S., with an average yearly salary of $87,185.18. 

    Manufacturing can add value by buying raw materials at a low cost and selling completed goods at a high price. Moreover, manufacturing is essential to many industries, including pharmaceuticals, automotive, food/beverage, tech, and pretty much any product development. 

    The government has laws regulating manufacturing in five key areas: labor, communication, environment, health, and safety. Current manufacturing standards reflect the world’s shift toward more sustainable and safe expectations.

    Several changing manufacturing regulatory expectations include:

    Safer Environments

    Certain industries, such as food production, historically had a high risk of accidents. As a result, employee health and safety regulations are growing more stringent, with more suitable work hours and safety practices. 

    Safety regulations were improved and updated to reduce accidents and improve safety. Agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ensure that employees are working in a safe and healthy environment. It accomplishes its task by enforcing regulations and providing training, education, and assistance programs. Employers are required to follow all OSHA regulations.

    Real-time communication technologies can help ensure all employees are aware of their safety status. For example, employers can keep track of their employees’ health and safety by outfitting them with wearable technology that allows for real-time monitoring. 

    Smarter Technologies

    In addition to being safer, manufacturing companies are expected to be smarter. Smart manufacturing is a technology-driven strategy that monitors the manufacturing process using software and Internet-connected equipment. The purpose of smart technology is to improve productivity, processes, maintenance, and efficiency through technology and data analytics. Many softwares are available that are customizable to track maintenance, schedules, and project development to ensure all regulations are followed. 

    Reliable preventative maintenance software for manufacturing can help your business cope with the changes in the industry. Such technologies can help with preventive maintenance, tracking inspections, and providing data to help improve a company’s efficiency.

    5G is also growing in popularity, as well as the use of robotics in manufacturing. For example, you use 5G to connect smart cameras throughout the manufacturing line. Managers will be able to track quality control and inspect products remotely thanks to the high-speed wireless connectivity. This will ensure that regulations are followed and implemented in the manufacturing process. 

    Going Green

    Approximately 66 percent of buyers are willing to pay a higher price for a sustainable product. Becoming an eco-friendly business can also help your company’s reputation. Sustainability and eco-friendly practices are drastically growing in regulatory expectations. 

    Many industries have specific regulations regarding CO2 emissions, water usage, and other environmental concerns. For example, laws such as the Clean Air Act impose emission controls. In addition, the Act requires that proper pollution control measures are used for new industrial facilities. 

    Traditional manufacturing procedures emphasize strong production at the expense of the environment. However, recent regulations changed that, and now manufacturers are beginning to embrace green technology. Green production promotes appropriate post-production recycling and waste management. This means that new facilities are generally cleaner than older ones. 

    Green manufacturing means decreasing harmful chemical byproducts during the production process in compliance with new environmental regulations. Reusing or repurposing materials is also becoming popular for many manufacturers to reverse their carbon footprint. 

    Connectivity

    As technology progresses, more machines are linked together via the internet. This technology significantly contributes to improving automation. For example, connected equipment reports their status in real-time to online central servers and even automatically orders additional raw material as supplies run short.

    Manufacturing can often involve many outsourced or third parties to provide certain materials or services. Even though the material may not be manufactured under the company’s roof, they are still responsible if it is a part of their products. By using a connected central database, companies will know where such outsourced materials are coming from and how they are being produced. 

    Learn to Adapt to Changes 

    Rules and manufacturing practices change, and you must be ready to evolve and adapt. You can use technology to help you make the necessary transition. You have to adjust to the shifting regulatory environment or risk being left out by others in the industry. 

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