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Smart Manufacturing Blog

Welcome to the official Smart Manufacturing Blog. Gain access to the experiences of smart manufacturers that make the world's most awesome products, and insights into cloud-based MES, ERP, Supply Chain Management, Industrial IoT (IIoT), and Analytics solutions.


200 Manufacturers Weighed In

See what they said in the 5th Annual State of Manufacturing Technology Report

Jerry Foster

Chief Technology Officer, Plex Systems


About the Author

Jerry Foster is CTO and leads our technology strategy, along with research and design initiatives focused on next-generation cloud solutions for the manufacturing enterprise. A founding member of the Plex team, Jerry has been instrumental in the entire evolution of Plex, overseeing the technical transitions in each phase of our growth. Jerry earned his degree in Computer Science at Liberty University.

Global Production at 94% of Pre-COVID Activity Levels

Jerry Foster August 14, 2020

Global manufacturing activity continues to climb, reaching 94% of pre-pandemic rates of production as of August 9. Global data set ...

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Global Manufacturing Production at 91% of Pre-Pandemic Rates

Jerry Foster August 6, 2020

In the last two weeks, global manufacturing production has continued to climb, reaching 91% of pre-pandemic rates of activity as of August 2. As reported last month, activity in 2020 (indicated by blue line, below) continues to resemble trends seen in 2019 (see orange line, below). However, not all regions are experiencing the same rate of growth. A variety of different influencers are impacting…

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Manufacturing Production Activity Begins to Echo 2019 Trends

Jerry Foster July 22, 2020

While some regions around the world continue to see surges in coronavirus cases, including the U.S. and Mexico, the global manufacturing community has largely remained insulated from these spikes, with trends in activity now more closely resembling those seen in 2019. However, the levels of production within some individual countries are not as immune....

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Global Manufacturing Not Slowed by COVID-19 Spikes, Outbreaks

Jerry Foster July 8, 2020

Despite COVID-19 spikes experienced in the U.S. and new outbreaks documented in China, production activity among manufacturers continues to climb, if at a slower paced than we tracked in June....

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Global Manufacturing Production Activity Grows by 10%

Jerry Foster June 24, 2020

Our latest unique smart manufacturing data shows that global production activity continues to gain momentum, increasing by 10% since last week. As of June 21, the food and beverage sector has now exceeded pre-coronavirus levels of activity, and activity among automotive manufacturers is at 80% of pre-coronavirus production....

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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for Manufacturers Drives Automation

Jerry Foster June 23, 2020

With efficiency as an ever-present strategy for modern manufacturers, automation can be a key component to achieving success. Automation reduces strain on resources required for data entry and review, allowing teams to focus on higher value activities, such as re-investments in the company, streamlining the supply chain, or continuous improvement. It’s not just individual manufacturers who sees…

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Global Manufacturing Production Continues to Increase, North America Leads the Way

Jerry Foster June 10, 2020

In the last week, global manufacturing production activity experienced its second biggest growth spike since the recovery began in early May at 48% week-over-week. According to our most recent data, this increase is only slightly less than the largest surge in production levels to date, which occurred the third week in May. ...

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Global Manufacturing Activity Increases for Fifth Consecutive Week

Jerry Foster June 4, 2020

In the last week, global manufacturing production activity has increased by 30%, largely led by the automotive industry, with spikes of activity emerging in Europe. This is the fifth consecutive week of growth according to our most recent data, representing 150% growth over those 5 weeks. Global manufacturing data set ...

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May Manufacturing Data Shows Signs of Rebound

Jerry Foster May 28, 2020

Global data set As we near the end of May, Plex’s unique COVID-19 related data suggests weeks of cautious optimism is warranted, as evidence of a rebound gains steam. Since the end of April, we’ve seen a four-week long streak of positive production activity. U.S. data set...

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