Smart factory investments have immense operational, fiscal and work-wide benefits. Productivity and efficiency, for example, have risen to the forefront and increasingly determine the overall success of the organisation in the marketplace.

Fremont, CA: The pandemic has triggered fundamental changes which will continue to accelerate innovation. Inevitable transformations—such as flexibility in the workplace or shift to online trade channels—have been accelerated as organisations are pressed to meet the challenges of the "new normal."

This is especially true for the supply chain, as leaders realise the significant value and flexibility of digitally enabled operations. Supply chain leaders whose operations are strained by the current environment can help boost organisational resilience by embracing the smart factory—an innovative, holistic solution that enhances supply chain capabilities through the use of artificial intelligence, the IoT and robotics.

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Even before the pandemic, organisations identified the smart factory as a key competitive differentiator and began to invest accordingly.

A study showed that, in mid-pandemic terms, 62 per cent of leaders continue to invest in smart factories, with 20 percent more than last year. And 75 percent of US manufacturing leaders are concerned about the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and economic slowdown on operations, while 72 percent are concerned about meeting the profitability targets.

Increase Efficiency While Driving Down Costs

Smart factory investments have immense operational, fiscal and work-wide benefits. Productivity and efficiency, for example, have risen to the forefront and increasingly determine the overall success of the organisation in the marketplace.

It has been found that those who embrace the smart factory see an average 20 percent improvement in asset efficiency. They optimise the functions of the facility while reducing changeovers and downtime, putting products out faster and with less effort.They don't lose product quality along the way, either. These organisations are seeing a 30 percent improvement in product quality—a key component of customer satisfaction as the marketplace evolves.

Robotics and connected sensors provide enhanced analytical insights, reduce maintenance and warranty costs by addressing key operational issues. In addition, increasing human work through machine intelligence enables manufacturers to enhance and streamline processes to make better use of workers' time and abilities.Overall, these transformations have proven to pay off financially while boosting employee satisfaction.