Industry in America usually takes a deep breath in December before gearing up to start a new year. But Denver’s manufacturing sector is anything but typical as it races to the finish line with an uptick in active interviews and business transactions.

From process improvement to employee development, we’re seeing advances across the board in manufacturing and goods producing – including the oil and gas, IT, retail and construction industries.

All of this bodes well in the coming year for manufacturing in the Mile High City, which is now a strategic hub at the crossroads of traditional and emerging technologies. Emerging trends in manufacturing will empower manufacturers to design smarter operations and increase the speed of doing business.

As we move full steam ahead into 2019, here are three trends to watch for in Denver-area manufacturing:

Intelligent efficiency

 We’re in the midst of a new industrial revolution, as the next generation of sophisticated technologies – such as artificial intelligence and machine learning – transform manufacturing into a highly connected, intelligent and more productive industry. No longer just builders, modern manufacturers are the thread that connects the whole lifecycle of a product. To thrive in this environment, they must increasingly rely upon technology to power breakthrough innovations and drive smarter operations.

From industry leaders to ‘mom and pop’ shops, manufacturers are adopting intelligent technology and exploring new service-based business models to

  • improve manufacturing processes and eliminate defects
  • better support employees with improved safety and operations
  • build value and grow customer relationships
  • give customers more options with greater flexibility
  • create innovative new products and experiences

A new breed of high-tech employees

 As manufacturers replace the human-powered shop floor of the past with smart facilities, a new breed of tech-savvy workers, aided by intelligent robots, are creating the products of the future. Couple that with Denver’s exploding popularity as a destination for talent, and you have a new generation of highly educated workers in the region:

  • Colorado is now home to a core of smart and healthy workers whose lifestyle and training make them more productive.
  • Denver has one of the highest per capita rates of people with science and technology degrees and offers a desirable location in which to recruit and retain the most talented workers.

An incubator of innovation

Metro Denver has become a crucible for innovation and entrepreneurism, thanks to its entrepreneurial business environment. Dynamic industries, significant venture capital awards, and high concentrations of scientific and research talent, are propelling the area forward.

With numerous major relocations and expansions in 2018, the Denver metropolitan area is proactively planning for infrastructure growth with a multifaceted transit system, transit-oriented development and urban redevelopment. And Denver International Airport – recently ranked the best U.S. airport by The Wall Street Journal – reached a new milestone in 2018 with 200 nonstop destinations.