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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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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Great Leadership Builds Great Culture. Great Culture Creates Great Products.

Anthony Murphy January 24, 2024

In every business – no matter the industry – quality is a two-way street. The way a company is managed directly impacts the products and services they develop. Every business wants to deliver a quality product. But an organization can only deliver that great product if executives are great at managing and leading the company. Culture, in particular, is an essential part of this equation. To…

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Digital Building Blocks for Quality

Plex Team January 4, 2024

Automotive manufacturers operate in a hyper-competitive industry, producing complex pieces of equipment that have, on average, over 30,000 parts. Manufacturing them comes with substantial uncertainty due to quickly shifting consumer tastes—and the unwavering expectation for high quality....

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Best Maid – An Automation Fair Sneak Peek

Plex Team September 7, 2023

Sometimes, opportunity awaits those who reach for it. Other times, it can be part of a dynamic shift to a new way of doing business and a new way of thinking. When Best Maid needed to refine and sharpen its performance and inventory accountability to take in the growth it was experiencing, Plex was the answer....

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Where Did My Plant Performance Go?

Plex DemandCaster June 28, 2023

An ERP system must be fed with insights from several data sources or software systems, and that data must be accurate. Plant performance suffers if the data tracking and analysis are manual or the software is inaccurate. Even if companies use software, it’s critical to use the right combination of software to improve performance....

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Where Did My Machine Data Go?

Plex DemandCaster May 31, 2023

Labor and capital equipment are usually the two most expensive manufacturing operating costs. And in terms of expenditures, capital equipment can often run into the millions. Machinery is considered a long-term investment that will remain in service for years or even decades.With so much on the line, it would make sense that every manufacturer would drill down as deeply as possible to ensure…

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Where Did My Production Data Go?

Plex DemandCaster May 17, 2023

Traditionally, manufacturing companies relied heavily on manual record-keeping for production processes. Operators on the production floor recorded data like units produced, machine downtime, scrap rates, and others manually.But manual record-keeping has several problems that can immediately and negatively impact the bottom line....

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Where Did My Profit Go?

Plex DemandCaster April 19, 2023

While the last few years have seen significant events like COVID-19 and other disruptions impact profit for companies in every industry, staying profitable and maximizing profit is a never-ending pursuit.Companies often audit, implement improvement initiatives, and pressure suppliers to lower the cost of raw materials to increase their bottom line. But hidden in the weeds is a cumulative set of…

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The Machines Are Not out to Get You: Making AI Work for Your Manufacturing Operation

Jerry Foster October 31, 2022

You can hardly turn on a news or media channel these days without a reference to artificial intelligence (AI) and how it affects everyone. AI, alongside other core technologies from Industry 4.0, are already transforming many industries. For manufacturing, AI is poised to be no less impactful. AI as the driver of manufacturing operations is advancing rapidly, but despite its potential, there are…

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A Guide to Process Automation

Plex Team August 30, 2022

“Automation” means different things to different manufacturers, depending on the equipment, systems, and processes in place. But many companies only automate some of their processes, leaving others disconnected or with manual processes still in place....

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