Three Major Complex Industrials Trends in 2024

by Joe Rousseau / May 14, 2024

The increasing complexity of advanced industrial products is driving rapid evolution in industrial practices and processes. Emerging technologies and growing customer interest in increasing efficiency further fuel this evolution. Fortunately, Benchmark can identify and serve critical customer needs by tracking industrial trends. For 2024, key trends in complex industrials markets include a growing focus on sustainability, increasing integration of smart technology, and an expanding interest in automation and robotics. By tracking these significant trends, Benchmark keeps pace with growing customer demands. Through well-considered design, engineering, manufacturing, and test approaches, Benchmark supports our customers' innovations with reliable solutions that are both economically and environmentally friendly. 

Meeting Complex Industrials Market Demands

In the complex industrials market, product solutions often require efficient production to balance cost-effectiveness with innovation. These markets typically integrate hardware and software, utilizing semiconductor technologies to achieve hardware miniaturization. The success of solutions depends on the repeatability of manufacturing processes, particularly when producing millions of devices requiring consistent performance. High repeatability reduces final product costs while minimizing waste in the manufacturing process. Establishing close customer relationships is essential to understanding their needs and exploring options. Through proactive collaboration with customers, we leverage our global network of certified facilities (including those in the European Union, North America, and Southeast Asia). Benchmark stays abreast of the top trends impacting complex industrials customers, offering tailored design and manufacturing approaches to ensure customer satisfaction.

Trend #1: Evolving Focus on Sustainability

Sustainability is critical for continued industrial production, necessitating the adoption of processes that prioritize environmental and economic viability. Industrial initiatives striving to be more efficient and sustainable lead to the development of industrial systems that consume significantly lower amounts of energy and material resources. Employing fossil fuels for industrial processes has grown for decades, resulting in industry accounting for a large portion of the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the Earth's environment. Utilizing a limited resource implies the need for a more renewable industrial energy source to achieve realistic industrial sustainability. Achieving sustainability in modern industrial production requires collaborative efforts involving many departments within a company while partnering up and down the supply chain. Several factors are needed to generate high-quality electronic systems and subsystems without waste. These include carefully considered supply chain design, sustainable manufacturing methods, and measurement techniques combining speed and accuracy. 

Sustainability has emerged as a significant driving force when working with Benchmark's customers within the complex industrials sector. One of our projects involved developing and cost-effectively producing efficient and versatile heat pumps. Developed for sustainable climate control and energy management, the heat pumps were created by our customer's team focused on sustainability solutions. The customer needed a partner to mass produce the heat pump design in higher volumes, leading them to collaborate with Benchmark. We worked closely with our customer to meet environmental requirements across residential, commercial, and industrial applications. This collaborative effort resulted in efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) solutions worldwide for over 200 million heat pump installations.

Trend #2: Smart Technology Integration

Complex industrials markets can significantly benefit from manufacturing systems that leverage innovative technology. Smart technology practices based on artificial intelligence (AI) continue to support advanced manufacturing systems. Smart technology helps realize higher operating energy efficiencies than conventional procedures while reducing manufacturing operating costs. For many higher-volume applications, integrating smart technology into production processes results in enhanced final product quality and high unit-to-unit repeatability critical for these applications. Smart industrial thermostats are increasingly used in smart warehouses and factories to monitor and control thermal environments. Properly programming these thermostats helps industrial processes run efficiently and achieve high outputs. By collecting test data on thermally related energy consumption, industrial processes can be reactively adjusted for higher efficiency and lower operating costs without sacrificing production quality. 

By working closely with our customers, Benchmark's engineers can integrate smart technology into product development strategies for solutions with higher efficiencies and lower operating costs. As an example, Benchmark contributed to the development of smart industrial thermostats which were enhanced by incorporating highly compact smart temperature sensors and wireless communications circuitry. The communication capabilities enable remote smartphone or tablet control of smart thermostats. The eco-friendly smart industrial thermostats can readily integrate with many residential, military, and commercial applications. The successful integration of smart technology into controllable thermostats provides a solution that can significantly reduce HVAC costs for many facilities.

Trend #3: Automation Revolution

As products become more complex, the demand for automation grows. Increased automation boosts industrial process efficiency and lowers operating costs. In today's dynamic landscape, automated industrial processes and systems are critical for overcoming supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. Recognizing this need, the complex industrials industry is investing in digitalization and automation, two advancements that have become strategic responses to these challenges. 

Just as growing reliance on AI and robotics was a key trend for complex industrial markets in 2023, automation continues to play a critical role, necessitating new approaches from design through production and final testing. As more subsystems within each system work together, demand increases for embedded sensors and increased signal communication routes. Fortunately, with advanced production facilities (such as in Almelo), Benchmark readily designs and implements custom automation solutions that provide efficient and effective methods of linking each system's subsystems in hardware and software.

Evolving Focus on Sustainability, Smart Technology Integration, and Automation Revolution

By leveraging our engineering and advanced manufacturing expertise, Benchmark aims to facilitate and expedite the journey toward effectively serving our complex industrials customers. Establishing the capacity to serve as such a partner requires considerable time and effort. Therefore, Benchmark continues to invest in our complex industrials capabilities in many ways, including: 

  • Implementing data-driven manufacturing techniques to improve production efficiencies
  • Devising innovative testing methods for power and signal measurements up to millimeter wave frequencies
  • Deploying customized automation to enhance speed and efficiency where applicable  

As we continue to navigate the challenges of the complex industrials market in 2024, staying ahead of these trends is critical for any business looking to innovate and remain competitive. Embracing sustainability, smart technology integration, and automation will drive efficiency and cost-effectiveness, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Contact us today to learn how Benchmark can support your industrial innovation needs and help you align with these emerging trends. Let's work together to create solutions that meet the demands of tomorrow's industrial landscape. 

Industrial Connected Devices Sustainability Automation

about the author

Joe Rousseau

As a Sr. Director of Global Account Management, Joe brings over 25 years of robust experience in business and operations management. His expertise includes successfully managing P&L for accounts of considerable scale, while driving significant growth and process improvements. With specialties in cost reduction, contract negotiation, and international operations, Joe excels in leading global teams and managing complex customer relationships.

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