Smart Manufacturing Blog

Welcome to your source for all things smart manufacturing. Whether you’re looking for expert insights, hard data, or actionable tips for your plant floor, we’ve got you covered every week of the year.

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Plex Team

About the Author

Plex Systems, Inc., a Rockwell Automation company, is the leader in cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions, empowering the world’s manufacturers to make awesome products. Our platform gives manufacturers the ability to connect, automate, track and analyze every aspect of their business to drive transformation. The Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform includes solutions for manufacturing execution (MES), ERP, quality, supply chain planning and management, Industrial IoT and analytics to connect people, systems, machines, and supply chains, enabling them to lead with precision, efficiency and agility.

Improving Operator Efficiency with Asset Performance Management KPIs

Plex Team May 16, 2023

Operators and front-line supervisors are critical in keeping equipment running smoothly in any industrial setting. They spend hours controlling machinery, monitoring its performance, making adjustments, and intervening when necessary.Often, operators are intuitively aware of issues with their machines. They quickly learn each machine's quirks and their normal and abnormal performance. While this…

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Take Us to Your Leader

Plex Team May 9, 2023

Old black-and-white movies of invading outer space robots are an old staple of weekend cable television. Landing on an open field surrounded by stern-faced military staff, guns, tanks, and anxious political leaders, the ships always revealed robots with waving arms and impending doom for humanity.We've come a long way from fearsome robots resembling a cross between a giant propane tank and the…

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Beating the Devil in the Details

Plex Team April 25, 2023

Imagine driving down a dark road at night. You're cruising along, listening to the radio, and suddenly, your engine dies. You look down and see the “Check Engine” light as you ease to a stop on the side of the road.If your car is older, the technology on board may tell you nothing other than that your engine has a problem. If you're lucky, and your car's onboard technology is a bit more advanced…

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Clearing Your Manufacturing Hurdles with the Right Software

Plex Team April 20, 2023

On your mark.Get set.Go!As the starting gun cracks, athletes streak down the track to clear hurdles in a race to the finish line. Some will clear them all, others will knock over one or two, and one athlete might seem incapable of getting the rhythm, height, and pace correct and crashes into them all....

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Key Takeaways from the Smart Manufacturing Software Buyer's Guide

Plex Team April 12, 2023

With advanced technology driving industrial digitization across the globe, companies are reaching new heights in efficiency, process optimization, and other revolutionary achievements unheard of even a few years ago.To stay competitive, it's essential to identify superior solutions that align your company with all these technologies. But choosing the best software solution to accomplish this isn’…

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Dial in Quality with Smart Manufacturing

Plex Team April 11, 2023

Traditional manufacturing has always sought to build quality into the process. Initially, these systems focused on quality control which required manual data collection and analysis and lots of inspection done by people. As systems improved, companies sought to move beyond quality control and toward quality assurance to prevent defects....

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Walking a Tightrope: How Automotive Manufacturers Find Balance in Digital Transformation

Plex Team March 30, 2023

Watching aerial artists walk a tightrope is both thrilling and nerve-wracking. Whether over a raging waterfall, between skyscrapers, or across cliffs, we marvel at the skill and balance of the person on the rope....

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How Smart Manufacturing Lets You Create the KPIs You Need

Plex Team March 15, 2023

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for manufacturing. They are signposts that help you determine which areas of your operation are performing to expectations and which need improvement.But KPIs can be challenging to create if you’re unsure what data points you should track or if your manufacturing operation has unique requirements based on your industry, level of connectivity, or…

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Where Did My Product Demand Go?

Plex Team March 9, 2023

We've all been there.One day, demand is high, forecasts are rosy, and life is good. The next, demand has plummeted, and you're sitting there with a mountain of inventory and booked capacity with no demand to support it.Wild swings in demand have always been a headache. But with supply chain volatility and complexity increasing, it's becoming harder and harder to prevent these swings....

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A New Look at the Cost of Quality

Plex Team February 28, 2023

The cost of quality has been a manufacturing KPI for generations. By understanding the cost of waste, rework, and scrap, companies can develop continuous improvement strategies that reduce or eliminate defects.Many manufacturers rely on technology to strive for 100% quality, which lets them focus on continuous improvement and leads to significant savings when combined with the right tools and…

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