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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. Innovations born of acute need and cross-functional collaborations are emerging, and include a 3D-printable medical device that allows four patients to benefit from a single ventilator, a breathing aid developed by Mercedes Formula One engineers which will reduce dependency on ventilators, and a refactored ventilator from Dyson, among many others.
Despite many manufacturers involved in the fight against COVID-19, the data that we’re reporting on is still showing the global manufacturing industry struggling as coronavirus cases continue to rise globally (see below).
Here are the top takeaways from this week’s data (current graphs and more details on the source are at the bottom of this post):
China still serves as the best model for the manufacturing industry’s eventual recovery given the flatness of its COVID-19 curve (see most current version here) and relative rise in productivity. And across Europe, we are seeing modest decline in new cases in heavily impacted countries like Germany and Italy, indicating manufacturing productivity improvements might not be far behind.
China Data Set:
France Data Set:
Germany Data Set
Italy data set
Mexico Data Set
U.S. Data Set
Plex Systems solutions are cloud-based, giving us access to 20 years of anonymized, compiled operational data from the approximately 700 manufacturers we serve. This group collectively runs 1,200 active production facilities in 29 countries, representing the aerospace, automotive, fabricated metals, food and beverage, industrial machinery, and plastics and rubber industries. For scale, in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, this group together processed over 1.4 million shipments. Daily, they record upwards of 8 billion transactions (such as barcode scans, moved inventory, shipments, etc.).
Note this data reflects two periods of activity to compare year-over-year trends: the blue trend line is production transactions from January 1, 2019 to March 30, 2020 and the orange trend line indicates production transactions from January 1, 2018 to March 23, 2019. Keep in mind that Plex customers added more facilities in 2020, so it’s not necessarily important to look at the absolute number of transactions but rather the relative shape of the curves year-over-year.