Manufacturers today are confronted by three related challenges: expanding their business in a highly competitive global marketplace, adapting production resources to fast-changing customer requirements, and reducing operating costs through increased efficiency, automation, and transparency.
Concurrent with these business challenges are technological issues impacting nearly every stage of the manufacturing process, from the exponential growth of data-driven sensors and mobile devices in plant operations, to the convergence
of traditionally separate Operations and IT systems, to increasingly stringent compliance requirements for data security, intellectual property, and asset tracking.
Despite these imperatives, 54% of U.S. manufacturers say they lack a unified view of what’s happening on the plant floor (Aberdeen Group). Largely as a result of legacy control systems that are more expensive to maintain and operate with each passing quarter, IDC notes that manufacturers are increasingly investing in “standardizing production processes across their network of factories to create better visibility, coordination, and orchestration.”