Industry Trends for Industrial Mechanics in 2021

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The industrial field has prioritized innovation and growth from its very inception and it often feels like every new year brings a new technology that improves efficiency, reduces costs, or changes the industry in some new and exciting way.

With so much going on, it can be difficult to keep track of it all — especially if you’re an industrial mechanic who wants to learn about the trends that are going to be relevant for your job.

Below, you’ll learn more about trends in the industrial space and will see our list of the most important ones for industrial mechanics in 2021.

Why pay attention to industrial mechanic trends?

If you have a career in the industrial sector, then it’s super important to keep an eye on the trend lines that are developing in the space. Doing so will help you keep tabs on developing stories, technologies, and shifting priorities.

You can pool all of this information together to make a more accurate prediction about where the industry is heading. For example, if you see that employers are starting to hire industrial mechanics with a certain area of proficiency more often, that suggests this skill is starting to be valued higher and deciding to pursue further training in the skill to be more desirable to employers is a smart move.

The bottom line is that industrial mechanic trends are often predictive of where the industry is heading next. So if you pay attention to those trends, you’ll be able to prepare yourself effectively for the future. This can have a very positive impact on your career.

Industrial Mechanics Millwright - Skills Canada Alberta

Understanding the nature of trends

Why trends occur

Trends in the workplace are often driven by technological advancements or shifting societal values. For example, the invention of the steam engine sparked the industrial revolution by allowing business people to locate their factories away from sources of water for the first time.

Similarly, the advent of the internet has completely reshaped the way that companies in the industrial sphere operate. People who had the foresight to see how impactful the internet was going to be early in its evolution have done incredibly well for themselves.

We can also look at the growing concern regarding global warming and how that’s impacting laws, and how companies self-regulate their production processes. Similarly, consumers are starting to care more about a company’s purpose and meaning when they buy products. These changes also impact overall economies and how the industry performs. 

How changing trends impact economies 

Shifting trends can play a huge role in determining the shape of the economy as a whole; for starters, trends about what employers value more in employees have a big impact on training programs, academic curriculums, and what students choose to study.

But beyond that, major trends can disrupt entire sectors and replace them with entirely new ones.

For example, the advent of blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry looks poised to challenge the way that banks operate and financial institutions settle payments on a global scale.

In the past, OTT platforms have completely reshaped the way the middle class entertains itself and have almost totally erased certain industries that previously thrived, such as movie rental companies, DVDs, and more.

Top industry trends for industrial mechanics to pay attention to 

Now that we know why trends matter and how they impact the economy, it’s time to look at the top industry trends for industrial mechanics in 2021. Here are five trends that you should absolutely be paying attention to if you have an interest in this sector.


Smart machinery is one of the biggest things to happen to the industrial sector in years. More and more facilities are swapping their old machinery in favor of new devices with powerful data-gathering capabilities.

These new devices are built with sensors that provide a ton of useful functionality. Amongst other things, they can:

  • Detect abnormal vibrations
  • Analyze heat and noise
  • Predict when a machine will breakdown

Industrial mechanics will be able to use the information that sensors provide to do their jobs more efficiently. Essentially, these smart sensors will allow a mechanic to fix a problem before it becomes significant enough to impact the production line.

Reducing downtime

More and more companies are realizing just how important minimizing production downtime truly is. It’s one of the biggest sources of waste in the manufacturing process and managers are addressing it more forcefully than they have in the past.

This makes predictive maintenance more important than ever. When hiring new mechanics, company leaders are showing clear favoritism for candidates with expertise in this area.

That means if you plan on looking for a new industrial machinery maintenance job sometime soon, it may pay (literally) to brush up on your preventative maintenance skill set. You could do that by completing a certification or taking a few courses at a local trade school.

Inventory management

Many manufacturing facilities are also paying attention to inventory management with renewed vigor. Companies are using new technologies to reevaluate their current inventory management processes and use data to make incremental improvements.

This could impact how industrial mechanics order, receive, and store the components and tools they need to do their jobs.

Virtual technology 

Virtual technology was already prevalent before COVID-19 and has assumed a larger role in the modern workplace since then. Companies today are relying on virtual technology to manage every aspect of their business remotely — maintenance included.

Now industrial mechanics can learn a lot about a problem and do a ton to begin fixing it without even having to be in the same physical location as it.

Sensors and other technologies are allowing industrial mechanics to perform real-time maintenance tasks from wherever they are in the world. Mechanics that get skilled at this now should be rewarded for it in the years to come.

Cloud-based analytics and IoT

Cloud-based analytics are beginning to play a larger role in the industrial sector. Experts expect that trend to continue over the next decade. Essentially, what’s happening is companies are using smart machines to collect data about various aspects of their operation.

Then, the machine sends that data to the cloud where it is stored and analyzed. The potential of this process is really astounding. Managers in industrial jobs say that this combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) with cloud-based analytics could help tremendously with improving both predictive maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance.

New business models 

For years, most manufacturing facilities have employed their industrial mechanics in-house. However, there are some signs that this may be changing. Some new companies offer external industrial maintenance solutions, powered by the IoT and cloud-based analytics.

These companies are offering maintenance services with pay-per-use and subscription models. If these options become prevalent, we could see a shift in how industrial mechanics are employed.

In the future, people in this role may work for standalone maintenance subscription companies instead of full-fledged manufacturing facilities.

3D printing 

3D printing is another hot new technological innovation that’s having an impact on the industrial field. Instead of ordering parts from various suppliers, industrial mechanics are now able to make their own replacement parts — often in-house.

This is already doing a lot to minimize downtime and improve maintenance efficiency. With a 3D printer, a mechanic can identify a problem with a machine and print a new part out to repair it right away.

Industrial mechanics of the future will need to be familiar with 3D printers and how to use them to create custom parts. Now is the perfect time to begin developing this skill set.

Keep tabs on the latest trends for industrial mechanics with Rock the Trades

Keeping up with the latest trends is essential to having a long and successful career as an industrial mechanic. That’s one of the reasons why we created Rock the Trades. It’s a site that’s packed with information about industrial jobs, new trends, and more. 

You can use Rock the Trades as a way to keep yourself current with the times and ensure that no new industrial mechanic trends are passing you by. Check out our app today to see more of what we have to offer.

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