When I first got my job with East Bay Manufacturers, I had many questions from friends and family about what it is that my company makes. Even now, when I meet new people, it is inevitable that they will ask what products we manufacture. I love this question, but I also dread it. I love it because I love talking about what we do here. I find it fascinating that we can take a piece of raw material and turn it into something useful for society. Our employees are great at their jobs; and I love to show off what they do. But I dread the question because the answer can get complicated. We create products to our customers’ specifications, which means that we provide a service and a product. Since we do not always know exactly what our customers do with the products, my answer to the question; “what do you guys make?” is fairly vague. Usually I say something along the lines of, “we make custom parts that are used in industries such as aerospace, defense, and technology.” I always feel dissatisfied with this answer because it only gives an idea of what we do. It doesn’t properly display the versatility of our capabilities, and the importance of what we make.
We are not just an old school machine shop. We are a manufacturer that has to keep up with technologies in all of the industries that our customers are in. It is vital that we are up-to-date because we need to continue providing them with the best and most relevant service to meet their evolving needs. Many of our customers are in defense; an industry where innovation is vital. We rely on the companies in the defense industry to be ahead of the curve and develop the best technologies to protect our troops and people. Here are some trends in the defense industry that we need to look out for:
Mckinsey & Company says that global executives in the defense industry are predicting cybersecurity to have the highest growth potential in the coming years. This does not come as a surprise. As we grow more dependent on cyber solutions, and potential attackers become more savvy, there is an increased threat of cyber-attacks. By extending their product/service line to include cybersecurity solutions, defense companies can diversify and increase sales when defense spending is low.
But with every opportunity, there come challenges. Cybersecurity will be extremely relevant in the coming years, however; there is also more competition from non-defense companies, regulatory uncertainty, and market uncertainty. What companies will be up for the challenge?
According to the research report, “Clean Technology in Defense Industry – Emerging Trends and Outlook,” the budget for the global defense clean technology market will increase 7.5% between 2016 and 2021. This predicts a revolution in this sector of the defense industry.
Some of these trends include paperless documents and clean power. A difficulty defense companies face as they try to move forward with these environmentally friendly technology initiatives will be integration with current systems. However, the savings over the long run from eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions are worth the initial investment.
Electronic Warfare is the use of focused energy to disable or confuse an enemy’s electronics. It can also involve listening in on an enemy’s radio signals or an incoming missile. defensesystems.com states that a new Electronic Warfare Strategy is to be employed by the Pentagon. The primary purpose of the strategy will be to defend U.S. assets and attack enemies. Some of the new technologies that will be developed for this strategy are the Navy’s Next Generation Jammer, Army vehicle-mounted EW, and Air Force integration of EW. The Next Generation Jammer makes it possible for strike aircraft to destroy targets without being detected by surface-to-air missile defenses.