Not only did the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) and collocated Hanover Messe USA break records by setting an all-time high for exhibitors and attendees, but these events also captured something more important: a sense of unbridled global optimism in the manufacturing industry.
We couldn’t agree more.
The economy is strong and manufacturers are increasingly looking to technology to drive additional efficiency to help them be as lean as possible. Manufacturers globally are embracing Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as a business strategy to become more data-driven, and workers see themselves at the core of this evolution.
Manufacturing presenters focused less on seeking out small gains and ‘squeezing blood from a turnip’ and more on opportunities for big returns as a result of technology. Much of this is a result of a recurring theme we’ve seen over the past few years: using data to limit unplanned downtime, predict maintenance failures—and for good reason, double-digit or even single-digit returns infuse new capital into the business.
What we noticed at IMTS was that technology was more pervasive and more personal. There were reports of evolution from preventive to more automated prescriptive maintenance with real-time communication from individual and smart line-side robots. But there
VR headsets, now a norm in many households, are not as foreign (or expensive) to the factory worker as they once were. Whether it’s for product design, digital twin, machine maintenance, on the job training (OJT), or lights-out manufacturing, workers realize they are key to VR adoption and success. Analytics are powerful tools, but workers are the ones creating the rules and workflows derived from these insights. Industry 4.0, IIoT and connected systems are keys to the future, but workers ultimately dictate what to embrace and how to create business benefit from these capabilities.
Plex firmly believes that people drive business, while technology serves it. Shows like IMTS and Hanover Messe demonstrate technology that better enables people to accomplish
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The State of Manufacturing Technology Report
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