- Manufacturers will follow the path of Industry 4.0 adoption and "smart factories," according to a recent press release by Zebra Technologies.
- In addition, half of manufacturers say they plan to adopt wearable technologies in order to better manage factory floors by 2022.
- Manual processes are expected to decline in the interim, with only one in five supply chain workers resorting to pen and paper recording methods by 2022.
Within the next five years, fully-connected factories are expected to double, with more than one-third of those surveyed anticipating having this capability by 2022, according to a study by Zebra Technologies. Nearly 88% expect corresponding revenue growth, while 44% expect that growth to be at least 5% or higher. A full 50% cite gaining flexibility in order to adjust to fluctuating market demands as a top business strategy, with connectivity improving that ability.
According to the Zebra survey behind the study, manufacturers are introducing quality checkpoints and automation more often within the production process. This is in order to prevent imperfections and errors, and to more easily identify trouble points within the course of manufacture. A connected floor will speed this process, as well as increase total production; increase the number of product variants, and increase visibility across the enterprise while decreasing the cost of production.
Underlying the move toward smart factories is a greater need for quality assurance. Both manufacturers and suppliers are employing better visibility on the plant floor to increase quality, speed production and limit costs. Wearable technology will enable easier communication between workers and allow for faster, better decision making.