Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Global survey results show 50 percent growth in smart manufacturing adoption over previous year

March 17, 2022
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Plex Systems, Rockwell Automation company, recently announced the results of its seventh annual study, “The State of Smart Manufacturing”.

The company surveyed over 300 global manufacturers in a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, food and beverage, electronics, consumer goods, plastics and rubber, precision metal forming and more.

The report was put together in collaboration with Hanover Research. It offers insights into trends, challenges and future plans for global manufacturers. Building on previous research conducted by Plex, the data indicates that smart manufacturing technology adoption continues to accelerate and these new technologies are now solving the industry’s critical challenges.

The findings in the report show that COVID-19 not only exposed but also worsened pre-existing conditions in manufacturing. Skilled labour shortage and security concerns increased significantly when compared to the previous year. Eighty-three percent of the respondents said that smart manufacturing is key to their organization’s future success.


“The impact of COVID-19 underscores the necessity for more pervasive access and control, and the benefits of cloud-based solutions in not only enabling the new ‘work from anywhere’ paradigm, but as a fundamental next-generation technology enabler,” said Rick Franzosa, senior director, analyst – supply chain at Gartner Research.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Smart manufacturing adoption accelerated by 50 percent. Technology and automation are driving the next generation of manufacturing and smart manufacturing adoption will continue to accelerate in 2022.
  • The pandemic exposed three evolving business challenges. Supply chain management, skilled worker shortages and risk mitigation all require a new approach. Sixty-one percent of respondents do not have a risk mitigation plan in place.
  • Cloud, industrial hardened devices and process automation are helping companies overcome challenges with the skilled worker shortage, supply chain management and risk mitigation. Specifically, 64 percent of organizations agree that technology can reduce hiring challenges and fuel growth in the next five years.

“This report aims to help manufacturers benchmark their technology strategy and incorporate smart manufacturing best practices to stay competitive and thrive,” said Jerry Foster, chief technology officer at Plex Systems. “A scalable technology strategy makes it possible to incrementally adopt solutions and achieve value quickly. As manufacturers look to streamline processes and solve today’s challenges, they are placing significant value on using smart technology to address and improve actual business outcomes.”

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