In 2019, the manufacturing industry continued to add smart capabilities at every level of operations, as evidenced by the results of the 2020 State of Manufacturing Technology Report issued by Plex.

According to the survey results, making sure business functions across the organization remain connected is a key component to their technological needs. Thirty-nine percent of respondents are focusing their efforts on IT-OT convergence and Industrial IoT/Analytics systems to gain shop floor to top floor visibility and control. This approach gives leaders the ability to make better decisions by connecting systems to integrate and standardize across the business, automating key processes to reduce errors and enforce in-line quality, and enabling end-to-end material tracking and traceability to reduce risk.

Another 38 percent of leaders surveyed are focused on upgrading information management and business systems. They understand that future-proofing manufacturing operations requires the ability to handle the data volumes and data management required to contextualize analytics that drive informed decision-making.

The IIoT is showing industrialists how they can easily adapt to technological and industry trends. This latest survey shows manufacturers are finally accepting cloud technologies, with 61 percent of respondents using Microsoft Azure or some other managed cloud service. This is a change that will allow for greater scalability and extensibility as companies increasingly collect data.

Also, the skilled workforce gap, which is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future, remains a challenge, even with sky-high unemployment rates due to the coronavirus pandemic. Increased investment in and focus on IIoT/analytics technologies indicate that manufacturers aim to use data and analytics more effectively to augment and automate decision making, which would reduce the strain on individual workers.

Where does your company stand with smart manufacturing initiatives? 2W Tech can step in to help you along the way no matter where you are in your journey. 2W Tech is a technology service provider that specializes in solutions for the manufacturing industry. Give us a call today to learn more about adopting smart manufacturing solutions within your operations.

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