Asia Pacific Manufacturers Increasingly Embrace Smart Factories

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 | 834 Views

The number of manufacturers in Asia Pacific supporting a fully connected factory would nearly triple by 2022, according to a study commissioned by Zebra Technologies—a manufacturer of marking, tracking and computer printing technologies.

Manufacturers will continue to adopt Industry 4.0 and the smart factory during the forecast period. Almost half of manufacturers in Asia Pacific (46 percent) anticipate having the capability in five years’ time.

“Manufacturers are entering a new era where there are increasing expectations of faster and higher quality production along with highly competitive margins,” said Ryan Goh, vice president and general manager, Zebra Technologies, Asia Pacific. “As we move toward Industry 4.0, this trend will continue to expand and shape the industry in the coming years.”

The study found that workers will be using a combination of radio frequency identification (RFID), wearable technologies, automated systems and other emerging technologies to monitor the physical processes of the plant and enable companies to make decentralised decisions.

Asia Pacific manufacturers will lead the way globally in Industry 4.0 practices, with 77 percent of respondents expecting to collect data from production, supply chain, and workers in a holistic manner by 2020, compared to 46 percent doing so this year.

Forward-looking manufacturers are embracing a quality-minded philosophy to drive growth, throughput and profitability. In a sign that improvements made by both suppliers and manufacturers will ultimately boost the quality of finished goods, fewer respondents say quality-related issues will be a top concern in the future. In 2017, 55 percent of manufacturers see quality as a top concern, but this falls to 35 percent in 2022.

Manufacturers expect to expand the level of technology use between 2017 and 2022, specifically mobile technology (27 percent versus 72 percent), wearable technology (33 percent versus 65 percent), location tracking (38 percent versus 51 percent), and voice technology (45 percent versus 51 percent).

By 2022, 44 percent of manufacturers expect to enable just-in-time notifications for their customers. The request will increasingly come from the high-tech (48 percent), pharmaceutical (40 percent), automotive (35 percent), and food and beverage (36 percent) industries.

The study also found that 42 percent of manufacturers expect investments in visibility technology to spur growth. Fifty-five percent will implement real-time location systems and 48 percent plan to use RFID by 2022, providing the much-needed transparency across their operations.


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