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.

7th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing

Now Available!

Get your copy of the 7th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing and hear from 300+ manufacturers in this new survey report!

What is Connected Manufacturing and Why Should You Care About It?

December 14, 2017

Manufacturing is increasingly becoming part of the digital economy. Even if you are doing good as a business, you still need to respond to the changes taking place in your industry: shop floor (industrial) automation, additive manufacturing, lot sizes of one, cloud computing, analytics, mobility, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Because if you don’t, you risk losing your competitive edge.

Because of the shifts occurring in the industry, you’re being required to move faster while keeping up with quality and personalization requirements. The old, reliable way of doing things is no longer sustainable. How can you tell? Ask yourself. Does your business often have excess inventory or carrying costs? Do you have too much scrap? Is customer demand hard to predict? Are your people spending more time solving systems problems than they are on production or customers? Likely, these challenges sound familiar and they’re hampering your ability to be agile and responsive.

What is connected manufacturing?

Do you see these as challenges or opportunities? We are seeing that those companies who embrace connected manufacturing can turn these not only into opportunities, but also gain sustainable competitive advantages.

Connected manufacturing is a business strategy that leverages cloud computing to harness operational and business data for greater visibility, efficiency, control, and customer satisfaction.

Why should you care about connected manufacturing?

Connecting your people, processes, and supply chains gives you end-to-end visibility and control.

On the shop floor, you know exactly what’s happening in real time because activity is recorded and collected at the manufacturing moment—and is visible not just to you but also to your customers and suppliers. You have the visibility into historical data so you can build a demand and supply plan around it, then share it with sales, marketing, and operations so they can adjust their plans as needed. You can take that plan and translate it into your materials requirements and scheduling, which in turn drives your manufacturing execution. Using rich, visual, and intelligent analytics enables you to make more-informed decisions and adapt as demand shifts.

These are real differentiators that have a huge impact on your ability to deliver on customer demand and compete in dynamic marketplaces.

But the time to act is now.

The longer you wait for technology evolution, economic indicators, or even customer demand to stabilize, the farther behind your business will be in the game. The more you learn, the more you’ll be convinced that connected manufacturing is a strategy that will put your business in a better position today, and in the future.

Take the first step by downloading the infographic: Why Connected Manufacturing?

About the Author

Hemant Makhija Senior Director of Product Marketing, Plex Systems