Smart Manufacturing Blog

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7th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing

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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.

Key Takeaways from the 9th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing Report

Plex Team April 11, 2024

What’s new. What’s now. And what’s happening next. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report offers a comprehensive look at where 1,500+ manufacturers see challenges and opportunities both today and in the future. From the expanding use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to the ongoing need for a skilled, adaptive workforce, here’s a rundown of the report’s biggest takeaways that…

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Forecasting and Demand Planning in the Age of Machine Learning

Plex Team March 26, 2024

Companies use a variety of tools to assess the current state of their business and predict where it is headed. By “reading the tea leaves”, planners attempt to ensure correct stock levels, optimize inventory levels and inventory value, and provide a framework for staffing and operations.But the complexity of modern-day supply chains requires that forecasting and planning be more than just reading…

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Overcoming Challenges to Becoming a Quality Leader

Plex Team March 13, 2024

"Quality is everyone's responsibility."This decades-old quote from quality researcher and educator W. Edwards Deming has stood the test of time for good reason: essential to both products and processes, quality can be influenced by every role up and down the manufacturing process. Everyone shares the burden of maintaining and improving quality — and therefore can also share in the success of…

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Improve Your Improvements by Digitizing Processes

Plex Team February 20, 2024

In traditional manufacturing, continuous improvement was a misnomer. It wasn't that practitioners were insincere or wrong. But manual processes, data acquisition, and analysis, created hard limits to what the most zealous continuous improvement methodologies could achieve....

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Automotive Manufacturing Trends for the Balance of the Decade

Plex Team February 6, 2024

Each year brings new predictions of the future. These predictions include what to expect, what will happen, and which technologies will power the expectations.While these predictions are always interesting to consider, they should be kept in the context of reality to have value for automotive manufacturers. With a rapidly evolving landscape, this industry is producers are under intense pressure…

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Digital Building Blocks for Leadership

Plex Team January 30, 2024

Manufacturers inevitably begin with operational efficiency, cost reduction, and process improvement during the foundational stages of a digital journey. Beyond that, the tendency is to retain vestiges of traditional thinking that “wall off” other functional areas as separate from the production focus....

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When Customers Come Knocking: The Link Between Demand and Execution

Plex Team January 23, 2024

There's an old business phrase that says that the customer is always right. While many companies have tied themselves into knots trying to service ever-changing consumer tastes, there is one area they often neglect to address in their efforts.What if the message customers send points to your system more than your product? And what if the things they ask for require you to abandon a manual system…

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What Can Manufacturers Learn from Brass Aluminum’s Quest for Visibility and Automation?

Plex Team January 17, 2024

Running a multi-operational business is an impressive feat, but that hasn’t always been the case for Brass Aluminum Forging Enterprises (BAFE). The company specializes in the production of brass, copper, and aluminum forgings and was originally comprised of only two forging presses, one trim press, and an eight-operator workforce. Over the years, the company has grown both in size and in…

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How Smarter Manufacturing Helped These Companies Beat 2023’s Biggest Challenges

Plex Team January 9, 2024

As we look back on 2023, the ripple effects of the pandemic continued to shape manufacturing as businesses reassessed, adapted, and innovated in response to the many challenges the year brought. Businesses are rethinking their manufacturing strategies, leveraging cutting-edge tools to navigate unprecedented roadblocks. From enhancing visibility and agility to embracing automation not only to…

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Contents May Settle, But You Don't Have To

Plex Team January 9, 2024

Everyone has experienced the disappointment of opening a bag of chips or crackers and looking inside only to see half-empty space. Often, the product contains the cryptic warning "Caution: Contents May Have Settled."Visually, this isn't very pleasant, but everyone knows the content volume is the same. It's just the space between the products affected by the journey from factory to retail shelf.…

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