APAC Organisations Embrace Smart Manufacturing Technology

Thursday, July 14th, 2022 | 917 Views

Nine in ten APAC organisations believe smart manufacturing technology is key to their success, reveals Plex Systems, a Rockwell Automation company. 


Plex Systems, a Rockwell Automation company that specialises in cloud-delivered smart manufacturing technology solutions, has announced the results of its 7th annual study, “The State of Smart Manufacturing Report.” The research reveals that smart manufacturing technology adoption accelerated by 50% globally in 2021, and these new technologies are now solving the industry’s critical challenges. Asia-Pacific (APAC) organisations (93%) view smart manufacturing as “very” or “extremely” important to future success, compared to North America (NA) (84%) and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) (75%). 


Reflecting their optimistic attitude towards smart manufacturing technology , most APAC organisations reported a shorter timeframe — “within the next 7 to 11 months” — for adoption of smart manufacturing solutions, compared with NA and EMEA’s majority response of “within the next 1-2 years”.


The global study surveyed more than 300 manufacturers in a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, food and beverage, electronics, consumer goods, plastics and rubber, precision metal forming, and more. This year’s report, conducted in collaboration with Hanover Research, offers valuable insights into trends, challenges, and future plans for global manufacturers.


“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, 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.” 


The report’s findings show the pandemic both exposed and exacerbated pre-existing conditions in manufacturing. Skilled worker shortages, competition, and supply chain disruptions are the top three challenges being faced by Asia-Pacific organisations because of the pandemic. With that in mind, nine in 10 APAC respondents (93%) believe smart manufacturing technology is key to their organisation’s future success.


“Asia’s manufacturing sector has been adversely impacted by the pandemic and global crises such as the civil unrest in eastern Europe. As a key global hub for manufacturing which accounts for nearly half of the worldwide manufacturing output, Asia-Pacific economies are depending on their industrial sectors to drive recovery post-pandemic,” said Steven Chiu, Asia-Pacific sales leader, Plex Systems. 


“The adoption of smart manufacturing solutions, such as cloud-based technologies, has become imperative for APAC organisations to stay competitive and thrive. The report findings show that organisations in the region are placing significant value on using such technologies to address and improve actual business outcomes,” Chiu added. 


Additional key findings include:

  • Smart manufacturing adoption is accelerating worldwide. By end-2022, 75% of organisations will adopt some components of smart manufacturing. Technology and automation are driving the next generation of manufacturing, and smart manufacturing technology adoption will continue to accelerate in 2022.


  • The pandemic has accelerated adoption of smart manufacturing technology solutions. Investment-wise, APAC organisations primarily plan to implement automation of business processes, automated process enforcement, and supply chain planning. 


  • All manufacturing components are recognised as important by more than half of surveyed organisations. Across regions, including APAC, manufacturing execution systems (MES) (69%) ranked as the most critical/significant smart manufacturing initiative. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and asset performance management followed this, ranking just above quality management systems (QMS) and supply chain planning (SCP). 


  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are the primary technologies that organisations plan to use in the next five years. Globally, organisations primarily use data for planning purposes, such as product planning/scheduling (46%) and process optimisation (44%), while Asia-Pacific organisations (54%) primarily use collected data for AI applications.
  • Over 50% of APAC organisations are adopting cloud for risk mitigation. Adopting cloud technologies, managing cybersecurity risks, and consulting with experts on regulatory/compliance issues are the most common strategies among APAC organisations for risk mitigation. 


For the full results, download the report at plex.com/sosm.