How are manufacturers creating connected factories?

Posted on 19 Jul 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The latest Annual Manufacturing Report has revealed the forms of connectivity UK companies are using in their factories.

Annual Manufacturing Report 2017 - How are manufacturers creating connected factories?For the first time in its almost decade-long history, the Annual Manufacturing Report has a dedicated Connected Factories section.

It probes manufacturers’ attitudes to the connected factory, and explores what technologies are being used, how much is being invested in connectivity, and what returns are being expected from that investment.

Perhaps predictably, the most widespread application for factory connectivity is human machine interfacing (HMI), used by more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents.

However, almost as many (64%) take the next most logical step in connectivity – connecting sensors.

Furthermore, 68% connect to alarms, in order to respond more quickly to out-of-nominal conditions.

While the 52% of respondents reporting connectivity to programmable logic controllers (PLCs) might be especially surprising, the percentage of those reporting connectivity to motor and actuators (32%), and robotics (28%) can be certainly be regarded as positive signs for the future.

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