Manufacturing content writing is very different from other types of writing.
First, manufacturing writers have to know their audience, and this can consist of anyone from machinists to machine shop owners to designers to product developers.
Manufacturing writers don’t typically write for a naive, general audience, but a very specific one that has at least some knowledge about what’s going on in the field. Therefore, writers in the field need to know their stuff. They need to know where to go for sourcing, what industry associations are the most relevant, and the trade shows that are important.
In this edition of the manufacturing content marketing news, we’ll break down some of the top trends, resources, and trade shows in the industry today.
Trending Topics in Manufacturing
So, what’s new with manufacturing writing?
Pick a number. Because the technology that’s involved in manufacturing is always changing, and the trending hot topics are always changing, too. Here’s a look at some topics that are currently influencing the industry:
- 3D Printing. 3D printing has been a trending topic in the industry for a number of years now. 3D printing is an additive process that has been used to rapidly prototype parts to test for form, fit, and function. As technology and materials have improved, 3D-printed parts have become more durable and functional. However, it’s become increasingly utilized for short-run production in addition to prototyping. 3D printing is also becoming more affordable, enabling a greater number of users to acquire the necessary equipment. 3D printing is also sustainable; the machines are only using the material that’s absolutely necessary to create a product, so there’s little to no waste.
- Robotics. Some reports project the industrial robotics market to more than triple within the next 10 years. As factories become more automated and efficient, new technologies are going to play an increasing role on the factory floor. That’s where robotics enter the picture, as they’re able to do work that humans cannot.
- Industry 4.0. Speaking of the automated factory, the factory floor is getting smarter, and it’s only going to get smarter moving forward. Equipment manufacturers are getting in on the Industry 4.0 trend, which refers to the connected, automated factory of the future. The Industry 4.0 concept is one where all equipment in the factory “talks to each other” via the Internet, greatly enhancing the efficiency of operations. Some 25 billion devices are expected to be connected in manufacturing environments by 2025.
- Manufacturing Employment. During the great recession, manufacturing in America was at a historic low. The industry has been gradually coming back over the years, since more and more American companies have invested in their operations and workforce in the U.S. as the economy recovered. Manufacturing is alive and well in the country today, and if the expected tax cuts take effect, it will likely mean even more good news for manufacturing in America.
- Sustainability. More and more equipment suppliers and manufacturers are doing their part to leave the smallest footprint on the environment possible. But there’s another key factor that’s driving this trend of sustainability in the industry: the developers. Product developers and product consumers are preferring more sustainable machinery and operations. It’s another key reason why “green” practices are becoming more important than ever.
Looking to hire manufacturing writers? There are a bevy of websites and resources you’ll want them to scope out to gather supporting information for their assignment.
When it comes to this industry, sometimes the best manufacturing writing tips that you can offer are the resources where the best information can be attained. Here’s a look at some must-visit resources that freelancers can use to gain manufacturing writing insights:
- Modern Machine Shop (www.mmsonline.com). This business-to-business publication covers all things metalworking: machine tools, software, and tooling that ranges from the automotive to the aerospace industry. Though metalworking is the publication’s main focus, it also covers additive manufacturing and other processes. As a monthly publication, Modern Machine Shop has its pulse on the manufacturing industry as a whole.
- AMT (www.amtonline.org). AMT, or the Association for Manufacturing Technology, is the premiere association in the manufacturing industry. A visit to its website won’t just offer updates and association news, but industry news, trade show news, surveys, reports, forecasting, and more.
- SME (www.sme.org). SME, or the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, is an association that works to move manufacturing forward in the United States. It also offers reports and insight on the state of manufacturing in the country, advanced manufacturing technologies, the manufacturing workforce and manufacturing education. The society is over 85 years old.
- NTMA (ntma.org): The NTMA, or the National Tooling and Machining Association, is another industry organization with a wealth of information to share about manufacturing. The association hosts its own events and webinars on certain manufacturing topics, and also offers the likes of a suppliers guide, job board, and reports page for those in the industry.
Best Trade Shows
- IMTS. IMTS, or the International Manufacturing Technology Symposium, is held every other year in Chicago and brings the manufacturing world together. Organized by AMT, IMTS has been going on for 90 years. The latest edition of the show in 2016 hosted more than 115,000 attendees and more than 2,400 exhibitors across 1.3 million square feet of exhibit space. The next scheduled IMTS will take place from September 10-15, 2018, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
- Additive Manufacturing Conference. Dedicated to additive manufacturing technologies, the 2017 edition of this event is scheduled to take place October 10 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
- Westec. Though manufacturing has the perception of being a Midwestern industry, Westec has become one of the most popular West Coast-based shows in the industry.
About the author
In a career spanning more than 15 years, Scott C has experience writing for a variety of mediums. He started in sports writing, which is still his favorite type of writing, and then moved on to hard news and feature writing while working for a community newspaper. He also has experience in technical and automotive topics and has an ability to take complex subjects and write them in a way that is understandable and engaging.