Here at Brunel University London, we take our role in the manufacturing industry seriously. We’re proud of the research that our academics have taken part in as well as our partnerships with some of the leading manufacturing companies of the last few decades. To see some of these industry partnerships, visit this page here.

Brunel’s experts have recently been involved in projects such as developing sustainable bioplastic films for agricultural use, decontamination of urban soils, challenges in the lifecycle of offshore installations, and more projects that are addressing the leading-edge topics of the manufacturing industry. Some of our most notable partners include Jaguar Land Rover, the National Aerospace Technology Programme, European Commission, Caterpillar Inc, and many more.

You can also browse the catalog of recent and current research projects that some of our faculty and students have been involved in here.

As we look toward the future of manufacturing, let’s dive into some of the top manufacturing trends in the industry.

What is Manufacturing?

Throughout history, people have developed various ways to take raw materials and create goods on a large scale through the use of tools, human labor, machinery, and chemical processing. As technology evolves, so does the way we produce goods and the ways in which manufacturing companies operate.

What are the Manufacturing Trends of the Future?

To learn more about Brunel’s online Advanced Manufacturing Systems MSc, be sure to check out our Advanced Manufacturing Systems MSc online page to find out how you can earn your postgraduate degree from the convenience of any location within a flexible timetable.

Our online academics have recently put together a webinar detailing these programmes, which you can watch here: Benefits of Brunel’s Master's in Engineering Management and Advanced Manufacturing Systems. You can also find out more information about the advantages of studying online with Brunel by visiting: What is Online Learning | Brunel University London.

If you have any questions about online learning or the application process, feel free to contact our educational advisors for more information at (+44) 203 535 1404, or email us at

How are 3D printing and additive manufacturing changing the manufacturing landscape?

Brunel’s manufacturing experts have provided some of the most frequently asked questions about the field. These include:

What are the emerging sustainable practices in manufacturing?

What are the implications of cybersecurity in the future of manufacturing?

What are the challenges and opportunities of implementing smart factories?

Trend 1: The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

What is IIot? The Industrial Internet of Things allows interconnected devices to collect data and share it with one another. These devices are used in manufacturing and industrial settings to enhance the manufacturing process. Some of the devices can be cameras, sensors, applications, and other networking equipment.

Trend 2: 5G & Edge Computing

For technology in manufacturing to connect the IIoT, we’ve seen an increase in the use of fifth generation of mobile data network technology also known as 5G. Smart machines and sensors are considered edge computing and manufacturers can create a private 5G network on-site to enable rapid data speeds. This aids in securing data and reduces the need for cables and other bulky equipment.

Trend 3: Advanced Automation and Robotics

One of the most prevalent manufacturing industry trends is the use of automation and robotics. Machines are increasingly able to perform certain tasks that were previously done by humans. The use of automation and robots allows for higher productivity, greater accuracy, and lower costs.

Trend 4: Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on sustainability within manufacturing. While sustainability can mean a variety of things, for manufacturing this is mainly about pursuing carbon-neutral practices. Manufacturing can contribute to environmental and health effects like water, air, and noise pollution. According to Our World in Data, energy use accounts for 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions with an additional 5% from industrial sources. Ultimately, reducing energy and water usage in facilities can lead to healthier populations, environments, and even significant cost savings.

Trend 5: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Manufacturing

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have become more prevalent in the manufacturing sector. These processes enable remote monitoring, servicing and equipment operation. This allows the operator of these machines to do so without needing to actually be at the factory.

Trend 6: Cybersecurity in Manufacturing

The downside to companies adopting IIoT technologies is that they are opening themselves up to cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity in manufacturing has become a growing segment of the industry as the need increases for companies to protect their network and operations.

Trend 7: Predictive Maintenance

If you’re a prospective manufacturing employee, you’ve probably come across this term. But what is predictive maintenance? As we’ve already stated, sensors and artificial intelligence are now a major aspect of manufacture technology, and these largely contribute to detecting failure patterns in machinery and components. Instead of fixing a problem that has already arisen, these technologies are used to figure out the most likely scenario for machinery failure. This allows companies to take preventative action and efficiently maintain equipment.

Future Manufacturing Trends

How is automation revolutionizing the manufacturing industry?

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