The article and report focus on 3 major drivers of the new manufacturing economy:
1. The meshing of the physical and digital worlds: This is due to the rise of the Internet of Things, which GE calls the Industrial Internet. This is expected to result in 50 billion objects being connected to the Internet by 2020. Key quote from the article on what this means:
The Industrial Internet allows us to fix things before they break, reduce waste, and optimize the performance of individual machines and entire systems like hospitals, power grids, and fleets of airplanes or trains.
2. The emergence of new design and production techniques and new materials: This is a range of technologies and systems that will create what GE calls "the Brilliant Factory". Key quote:
At the core of the advanced manufacturing idea is the ability to digitally link together design, product engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, and remanufacturing (or servicing) into one cohesive, intelligent system—a Brilliant Factory
3. The shifting role that human beings are playing in the production process: GE's view is we're all going to join what they call "the Global Brain". Key quote:
We are witnessing the rise of the global brain, when a buzzing hive of knowledge, connectivity, technology and access unites the human and the machine, the physical and the digital, in previously unimaginable ways.
Overall a good report and description of what's going on in manufacturing. Well worth reading.