Cloud technologies are having major impact on manufacturing operations, innovation
Plex Systems released a survey examining the use of technology by more than 130 manufacturing organizations. The Plex State of Manufacturing Technology study finds that a host of emerging technologies are converging on the shop floor. This has changed how things are made, how products are tracked along the supply chain. It has also helped streamline materials handling and improve shop safety and product quality.
One of the major findings in the report is the impact the cloud and cloud technologies have had in manufacturing. According to the report, 40% of respondents drew a direct correlation between cloud technologies and their ability to drive innovation in their own products over the next five years. The cloud has already demonstrated its value in delivering enterprise software more efficiently and cost effectively. However, it is now demonstrating real improvements in aiding manufacturing operations. After deploying cloud systems:
- Two-thirds of respondents saw improvements in plant productivity
- 74% achieved operating process improvements
- 61% achieved better quality in their own products.
Manufacturers are also experimenting, adapting, and leveraging new technologies to improve their operations. The findings included:
- 80% use consumer mobile devices such as tablets and webcams to access, stream and share information across large production facilities and global supply chains
- 55% use IP-enabled tools and machines, which automatically adjust to meet product specifications and capture rich, real-time data for traceability.
The survey also asks what skills are most important for the next generation of workers. A little under 35% believe data analysis is the most important with mechanical engineering running a close second.
– Edited by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering cloud, virtualization stories.