Aerify Solution’s disinfectant services help usher in the next industrial revolution.

As we aren’t quite yet standing in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, we haven’t seen the full effects and damage that it will wreak across multiple industries. Nearly every industry has been affected in the public and private sectors. However, it’s important to take a look at the industrial industry.

The truth is that when the industrial manufacturing industry is hurting, the American, and likely many others’, economies are hurting. Typically, an increase in manufacturing indicates a prosperous time in American history. That said, the opposite is also true. When manufacturing decreases jobs are lost projects related to economic growth are halted, and the country suffers.

Economics aside, there is a bright spot. In the wake of COVID-19, we can work to predict the future of industrial manufacturing and it looks like it’ll be focused on disinfection. Here’s what you need to know about what we anticipate for the future of industrial manufacturing and how it has been impacted by the current pandemic.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Industrial Manufacturing

After COVID-19’s arrival in the U.S., the rapid spread of the virus forced individuals, groups, and the government to take drastic action to counter its high infection rate. Among many businesses in other industries, major industrial companies have shut down their facilities.

To date, 80% of manufacturers have indicated that the coronavirus outbreak will hurt their businesses financially—a staggering number alone, but particularly when compared to the 48% of companies in other industries that have expressed concern about their financial health.

Such a major setback couldn’t have arrived at a more inopportune time. The industrial manufacturing industry has been embroiled in policy strife and has struggled amid a decline in global manufacturing growth. In combination with those factors, the uncertain prospects for the industry leaves no one astonished—though certainly concerned.

Approximately 13 million Americans work in this sector, and the impact of these sudden closures is significant. Many of such workers have been furloughed or have lost their jobs. The disproportionate impact on the industrial manufacturing industry can be explained by the on-site nature of the work. Employees cannot simply perform their duties from home. Moreover, the unpredictability of the months that lie ahead, projects have slowed down and demand has declined rapidly.

Industrial Manufacturing’s Response to COVID-19

Manufacturers have united to pave a way forward as leaders in the recovery of the American economy. The American Renewal Action Plan was created by industry leaders, which calls for legislative action that can equip manufacturers with the resources necessary to respond to today’s demands, as well as to prepare for the future.

On March 18, the White House issued orders by drawing on the Defense Production Act of 1950, with the aim to provide all medical and health resources necessary. This is achieved by requiring the performance of contracts by manufacturers that create the necessary supplies and demanding that these supplies are prioritized. Honeywell received one of the Pentagon contracts to make 39 million N95 face masks.

On April 7, FEMA’s supply chain task force released a four-pronged plan to secure equipment and supplies. One of the four pillars is the acceleration of industrial manufacturing so that it can meet the demands of the market during a critical time. In return, companies have made efforts to quicken production and extend operating hours to meet these demands.

Individual companies have reprioritized investments and placed holds on non-essential investment programs. Secondly, they have established initiatives to reduce costs across the enterprise. The pandemic has shifted the collective industry mindset towards long-term planning and building capacity to anticipate sudden demands and address vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply-chain.

A Look Into the Future of Industrial Manufacturing

The pandemic has shed light on the fact that the U.S. supply chain has vulnerabilities, as equipment shortages have made all too clear. But that isn’t the only gap that warrants reconsideration. While the current priority is on America’s capacity of addressing and meeting the demands of an immediate health emergency, we aren’t self-reliant in many other categories.

This includes 5G equipment, for example, as well as nanotechnology. These vulnerabilities are mostly a result of habitual industry-wide outsourcing of labor to enhance cost-effectiveness. Most of this labor was offshored to China. Now that the effects of supply-chain disruptions are reverberating throughout the nation, the future of industrial manufacturing post-pandemic will involve an abundance of planning and expansion.

Companies are anticipating the resurgence of business, but with the mindset of cultivating long-term operating plans that can meet the needs of future demands for critical industrial equipment. Additionally, a reconsideration of the U.S.’ reliance on foreign labor will likely emerge.

Moving Forward

In the near future, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the industrial manufacturing world shift toward disinfection machines and technology, especially once PPE levels have stabilized.

Not only is it likely that public and government officials will work to ensure that the disinfection of public spaces is prioritized, but it is also likely that disinfection services will be called upon to handled these needs.

That said, these companies will need more equipment and more field technicians to handle the increased demand. The future of industrial manufacturing lies within disinfection.