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Responding to market adversity with agility, improved processes, and technology adoption
Welcome to the 2022 State of Smart Manufacturing Report, the most robust edition yet. Based on surveys from 321 manufacturers from across the globe, the results reflect general consistency in major factors impacting manufacturers.
This study from Plex Systems, a Rockwell Automation company, in collaboration with Hanover Research, uncovers the current state of smart manufacturing, the challenges manufacturers are facing, and expectations for the future of the industry. Key takeaways include an increased need for agility, technology, and process improvement, so let’s break these down below.
Technology and automation are driving the next generation of manufacturing, and smart manufacturing adoption will continue to accelerate in 2022. Modularization of software, which allows for incremental technology adoption, is gaining traction as manufacturers look to become more agile in the face of adversity.
The 2021 and 2022 State of Smart Manufacturing Reports made clear that the pandemic exposed and exacerbated pre-existing conditions that manufacturers had previously tolerated or used band-aid solutions to address. Supply chain management, skilled worker shortages, and risk mitigation require a new approach.
Technologies that were once viewed as over-hyped and unlikely to contribute in a meaningful way are now deemed vital to success. Cloud, industrial hardened devices, and process automation are helping companies overcome challenges with the skilled worker shortage, supply chain management, and risk mitigation. Additionally, augmented reality and wearables are gaining mainstream adoption by helping to quickly onboard new employees and attract fresh talent.
To achieve positive, enduring change, be thoughtful about your smart manufacturing approach. Set and track goals for continuous improvement and decide how you will best measure adoption success early in the process. Each organization is different, and the points laid out here will help to ask the right questions in pursuit of answers that will guide your mission.