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Connecting to the cloud is improving manufacturing, says Plex


Plex Systems, a provider of cloud enterprise resource planning software for manufacturing, says its annual survey examining the use of technology by leading manufacturers shows that increasing levels of connectivity is leading to dramatic improvements.

The 2016 Plex State of Manufacturing Technology study provides real-world insight from nearly 200 manufacturing organizations that are using technology today to meet the demands of customers, drive product innovation and improve operational efficiency.

Among the key findings, Plex found was that “cloud technology improves manufacturers’ ability to manage changing business needs”.

With the cloud, manufacturers connect the plant floor with the top floor, providing everyone access to one version of real-time data.

By connecting manufacturing operations to the cloud, Plex says:

  • 64 percent of respondents better managed fluctuating customer demands
  • 55 percent achieved stronger management of their global supply chain
  • 48 percent found introducing new products was easier for them to manage
  • 98 percent noted that connectivity to systems, machines, suppliers and customers delivers value to their business today

Consumer technology is making plant floor connectivity easy and affordable. Plant floor mobile solutions have historically been limited to expensive, proprietary, ruggedized devices.

Affordable consumer mobile products, combined with cloud connectivity, make it easy for manufacturers to connect people and systems throughout the plant.

As a result, says Plex:

  • 64 percent of respondents are using consumer tablets on the plant floor
  • 10 percent have decreased the use of laptops

Respondents noted significant growth in their deployment of iOS devices – up 9 percent year-over-year, 70 percent total – and Android devices – up 24 percent year-over-year, and 56 percent in total.

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