MC Machinery Survey: Pandemic Reveals Opportunities for Manufacturing Innovation

Collaboration and automation cited as key opportunities in recent survey of manufacturers by MC Machinery.

More than 60 percent of manufacturing employees surveyed by MC Machinery said the pandemic has revealed opportunities for innovation, most notably collaborative manufacturing and automation.

More than 350 people participated in the online survey between April 24 and May 1. The respondents represented all types of manufacturers, including job shops, automotive, food, mold & die, aerospace, medical, and energy. Eighty-six percent work for or own manufacturing companies with under 200 employees.

Eighty-two percent of respondents were working on-site at essential businesses, and 30 percent were manufacturing COVID-19-related products, including personal protective equipment, ventilator parts, testing supplies, hand sanitizer, and hospital equipment.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said the pandemic revealed manufacturing innovation opportunities. The biggest opportunities cited were collaborative manufacturing (29 percent), automation (21 percent), supply chain (17 percent), and virtual training/education (14 percent.)

Sales has been the part of manufacturing companies most impacted by the pandemic (48 percent), followed by production (25 percent) and supply chain (17 percent), the survey found. Ten percent of respondents said sales, production, and supply chain were impacted equally.

However, 37 percent of survey respondents said there will be a low, short-term negative impact on revenue from existing customers. Thirty-eight percent said it is too soon to tell, 20 percent expect a high, long-term negative impact and 5 percent expect no impact.

"This survey illustrates how versatile and proactive the manufacturing industry is," said MC Machinery Marketing Manager Isabel Florence. "Not only are many manufacturers stepping up to help produce vital healthcare equipment and products, they are looking for ways to innovate and improve."

About MC Machinery
Headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Ill., MC Machinery Systems is a premier manufacturer of laser, press brake, wire EDM, sinker EDM, milling, high-speed VMC, automation equipment and consumable products. A subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corporation, MC Machinery serves industries including aerospace, mold and die, job shops, medical and energy. Along with manufacturing industry-leading products, MC Machinery provides an advanced, responsive service network and the robust production monitoring and support solution remote360®. Visit for more information.

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