A new survey of manufacturers found that nearly two-thirds saw improved plant productivity after implementing a cloud-computing system.
Nearly three-quarters reported process improvements following cloud deployment, while just over 60 percent said product quality improved.
In addition, more than 70 percent expect to increase company integration and quality programs due to cloud technologies. Forty percent believe the cloud will prove critical to their companies’ innovation over the next five years.
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The first State of Manufacturing Technology report from Plex — a Michigan-based manufacturing ERP provider — polled more than 130 manufacturing organizations. Most operated multiple plants and half maintained an international presence.
The survey showed that nearly half of manufacturers use Internet-connected devices and a quarter of respondents use nascent low-power Bluetooth technology. The vast majority — 80 percent — include consumer mobile devices in their manufacturing operations.
A majority of companies also use tools to automatically meet product specifications and collect real-time data, and 35 percent believe data analysis will be the most important skill for the next generation of manufacturing workers.
"The transition to cloud-based solutions is catalyzing a new technology adoption curve among manufacturers," said Plex Vice President of Strategy Jim Shepherd.
Although companies often cite data security as a top risk of operating on the cloud, 90 percent of respondents indicated their security wasn't impacted or improved after implementing cloud systems.