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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Plex Manufacturing Blog

Cure Your Downtime Blues with Smart Platform Views

Plex Team January 24, 2023

Efficiency and downtime are two of the most recognized words in manufacturing. These two words are taught and enforced formally and informally from the executive boardroom to floor supervisors to an operator in their first week on the job.While efficiency has a lot of variables and is calculated as creating as many finished units with the least amount of resources, downtime appears to be simple…

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ERP KPIs: Not Just for Execs Anymore

Plex Team January 10, 2023

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software helps companies manage their core business processes, including HR, finance, supply chain, and manufacturing. Companies can manage their business processes more efficiently by integrating them into a single software solution.Today, most ERP systems are cloud based and use cutting-edge technology like AI and machine learning to deliver insights to…

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What Your Clipboard Won’t Tell You, Your Data Will

Plex Team December 20, 2022

At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Write down if there are any breakdowns, stoppages, changeovers, or anything that makes a machine stop. Write the time, the date, the reason, and how long it took to restart. Oh, and if you have any scrap from a startup, write that down by pounds and material type on another form. In its day, this method was helpful because it was the beginning of modern-…

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Quality Management in an Age of Disruptive Supply Chains

Plex Team December 14, 2022

Once upon a time, it was easier. For decades, supply chains stabilized globally, allowing companies to source components confidently and manage their supply chain plans with Lean methodology. And while supply chain complexity increased during this time, the ability to span the globe and know their materials would arrive on time....

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The Future of Automotive: Your 2022 OESA Supplier Conference Recap

Plex Team December 7, 2022

Many conference attendees recently filled the Suburban Showplace in Novi, MI to gain new insights and collaborate with fellow subject matter experts on the evolving landscape that has become the new automotive marketplace. The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) held its Supplier Conference “The Future of Automotive Is Calling. How Will You Answer?” and it lived up to its expectations…

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Leverage Your Data to Unlock Hidden Capacity and Supercharge Processes

Plex Team November 29, 2022

Capital equipment is one of the most significant variables in calculating a manufacturing company’s capacity. The higher the capacity, the more business a company can take on. Optimizing that capacity means a more substantial ROI, which leads to higher profits and less new equipment in the future....

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Industry 4.0: Go Big or Go Small - Just Go

Plex Team November 15, 2022

Traditionally, large manufacturing companies benefited from scale. They could put money, resources, and in-house expertise into implementing massive enterprise-level software like an ERP or MRP. Smaller companies with limited resources, capital, and expertise under their roof had trouble acquiring the benefits of such software. This disadvantage meant they had to utilize manual data collection,…

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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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When You Don’t Know What’s Broken: Fighting Frightening Manufacturing Monsters

Plex Team October 18, 2022

Bumps, clanks, hisses, and creaks. What’s that noise? In a manufacturing operation, just like a Halloween movie, these sounds are always scary. But sometimes, we don’t hear the sounds until they’ve jumped out at us, eliciting a haunted-house scream and a bit of embarrassment that we didn’t see it coming....

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What IIoT Can Do for Manufacturers

Plex Team October 11, 2022

It’s no secret that the age of smart manufacturing is here and fully underway. Most industries are already leveraging the power of data-driven insights and the adoption of smart manufacturing platforms....

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