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Smart Manufacturing: Machines for Millennials

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These aren't your father's machines.

Just a generation ago, nearly every decision in every factory was made by well-intentioned workers and managers, but based upon limited information. They routinely manually tweaked equipment and processes in a constant quest to meet production quotas. All the brainpower was human. It's staggering to examine the difference a few years can make.

Smart manufacturing — connected machines talking to each other and the enterprise — are fundamentally changing how products are designed, made, shipped, and sold. The brains in an enterprise are now shared among humans and machines — improving performance dramatically:

  • Equipment adjusts itself to improve uptime, quality, energy usage, and safety.
  • Machines sync with peers to keep production volumes level, even during delays or faster-than-expected runtimes.
  • Executives enjoy real-time insights that enable proactive decision-making for production, customer fulfilment, asset management, operations safety and security, maintenance, and logistics.

Companies that embrace smart manufacturing can rapidly reinvent their industries — and seize new market share. Executives at manufacturers with a “wait-and-see” attitude toward smart manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT) should note that there are already 4.9 billion connected “things” in 2015 — a jump of 30 percent over 2014. And that total is projected to grow to 25 billion by 2020.

Savvy leaders are already running fast to implement smart manufacturing — in products, facilities, and across supply chains. They're building a sustainable competitive advantage by combining automation, working data capital, and business analytics in creative new ways.

Don't fall behind. Start planning now for your own smart manufacturing revolution:

  • How will your organization use smart manufacturing to improve processes, products, and customer service?
  • What IoT-enabled data could you use now to operate more profitably?
  • When will you capture the operations insights you'll need tomorrow to keep pace with customer demands — for new products, services, tracking and documentation?
  • Who will design and implement your smart manufacturing model — in information technology and operations management?
  • Where can smart manufacturing take your organization — new products, new markets — and how will you fund the journey?
  • Why are you still waiting?

Learn more about The Connected Enterprise.

Beth Parkinson
Beth Parkinson
Market Development Director, Connected Enterprise, Rockwell Automation

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