The state of manufacturing technology

Oct. 2, 2017
Survey of finds innovation driven by cloud and connectivity.

Plex Systems announced the release of its annual study, The State of Manufacturing Technology, which investigates manufacturers’ use of technology from the shop floor to the top floor. This year, the study finds four key reasons that the 4th Industrial Revolution has not only started, it has already become a major factor in manufacturing industry leadership.

The 2017 Plex State of Manufacturing Technology study found at least four major facets are already in place. Below find insights from Plex Systems...

#1 The cloud powers transformation

Cloud has resoundingly moved from “what’s next” to “what’s now” in manufacturing. That value is now firmly established, with 96 percent of survey respondents noting that improvements in connectivity to systems, machines, suppliers, and customers are a direct result of cloud systems

#2 Connectivity drives innovation

Seventy-four percent of this year’s respondents cited improved connectivity with mobile and personal devices, and more than half have improved industrial equipment integration using cloud technologies. Most importantly, 98 percent of respondents reported that cloud-based systems are a key enabler for continuous innovation.

#3 Supply chains are transforming

Not only is the cloud fueling a new era in industrial automation, it is also extending that connectivity to supply chain planning. By leveraging accurate, timely data from the shop floor and across the enterprise, 60 percent of those surveyed noted better supply chain performance using a cloud-based system of record. Seventy percent of respondents also noted improved communications with their own suppliers.

#4 Manufacturers are tapping the power of big data

This year’s survey finds more manufacturers than ever are using that data to drive decision-making. Twice as many manufacturers are using analytics today when compared to last year’s study, with even more are planning implementations over the next five years. Half of respondents (48 percent) highlight data analysis as the most important skillset for their next generation of employees.