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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.

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Declining Manufacturing Production Turns the Corner

Jerry Foster April 22, 2020

This week’s global data marks a turning point: the decline of manufacturing production is starting to flatten, and in some regions and industries, even shows an upturn in activity. For instance, let's first look at two of our bigger data sets – manufacturing in the United States and China, both of which are showing signs of improvement (see graphs below). U.S. data set ...

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Global Manufacturing Community Activity Diverges from China Recovery Model

Jerry Foster April 15, 2020

Global manufacturing activity continues to drop – now producing at approximately 20% of where rates were four weeks ago, when we saw the start of a steep decline in activity....

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While New COVID-19 Cases in Asia and Europe Flatten, Manufacturing Recovery Lags

Jerry Foster April 8, 2020

According to the latest Plex data on global smart manufacturing production, overall manufacturing activity (see graph, below) is still dropping, while reports that the rate of new COVID-19 cases in some Asian and European countries we’ve been tracking are flattening and slowing, respectively. ...

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Manufacturers: Expect a Prolonged Recovery

Jerry Foster April 1, 2020

A lot has changed around the world since we at Plex reported last week’s findings. The number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Italy, and Spain have each surpassed China. Italy is starting to see a modest decline in new cases....

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China Serves as Potential Model for Post-Coronavirus Manufacturing Resurgence

Jerry Foster March 26, 2020

Over the weekend, China announced it would be reopening its tourist attractions. It’s an encouraging turnaround for the country, which has experienced more than 80,000 confirmed cases since the virus broke around Chinese New Year. As the first country to experience the devastation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), China is also serving as a model for recovery....

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COVID-19 Resources for Manufacturers

Jerry Foster March 20, 2020

Given the pace of change with coronavirus (COVID-19) – both the spread of the virus, and the responses from local and federal governments – we are sharing resources and information that may be helpful to you as you determine your own company’s business continuity response and strategy in real time....

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Unique Data Set Contextualizes COVID-19 Impact on Manufacturing

Jerry Foster March 19, 2020

A mere week ago, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic. In the weeks leading up to and following this announcement, governments, organizations, and businesses (including us here at Plex Systems), have taken measures to not only reduce the spread and impact of the coronavirus for the health and safety of the communities we live and work in, but also…

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CES for Manufacturers: Key Takeaways for Industrial Application

Jerry Foster February 4, 2020

I recently spent three days walking the halls of CES 2020 (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, and I can only describe it in one word: "insane." With over 2 million square feet of exhibits, 4,400 vendors, and 180,000 attendees, I felt even after three dedicated days, dozens of miles of walking, and one big blister, I still only scratched the surface. ...

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3 Key Technologies to Focus on for Industry 4.0

Jerry Foster November 5, 2019

It’s no secret Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will influence the industry for years to come. This cyber-physical evolution is changing the way manufacturers make things, serve customers, run their plants, and do business....

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The Top Five Things to Know from IndustryWeek’s Manufacturing and Technology Show

Jerry Foster April 23, 2019

In early April I joined hundreds of manufacturing and technology professionals at the IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Show in Pittsburgh both as a presenter on the role of leadership and culture in business transformation, and as an attendee....

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