Driven by globalization, intensifying competition and rising customer demand for more options and higher quality products, a connected plant floor has become a necessity. Zebra’s survey shows the number of organizations achieving a fully connected factory is expected to rise dramatically over the next five years.
Manufacturers will continue to adopt Industry 4.0 and the smart factory. Workers will use a combination of RFID, wearables, automated systems and other emerging technologies to monitor the physical processes of the plant and enable companies to make decentralized decisions. By 2022, 64% of manufacturers expect to be fully connected compared to just 43% today.
One-half of manufacturers plan to adopt wearable technologies by 2022, and 55% of current wearable users expect to expand their level of usage in the next five years.
Manual processes are expected to dramatically decline. Today, 62% use pen and paper to track vital manufacturing steps; this is expected to drop to one in five by 2022.
Manufacturers stated investments in visibility will support growth across their operation. Sixty-three percent cited tracking as a core focus with a blend of technology (i.e. barcode scanning, RFID and real-time location systems [RTLS]) expected to be deployed to achieve the desired visibility.