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There are currently four key trends in smart manufacturing: 3D printing and additive manufacturing, cloud computing including IoT analysis, demand-driven supply chains with big data, and distributed manufacturing. In their 20th CEO study , the consultants at PwC have found that the trends are increasingly interconnecting humans, machines and production; and it’s not at all about eliminating jobs. "In short, the human factor works closely together with technology to create opportunities, not to take away jobs."

According to a recent study by Grand View Research , current trends will see the global market for "smart" manufacturing grow to $ 395.2 billion by 2025. Efficiency gains and end-to-end visibility across the entire value chain are mentioned as the two main drivers of market growth in this context. In addition, the availability of trend technologies such as 3D printing and plant asset management for small and medium-sized businesses is accelerating ongoing development.