The State of Smart Manufacturing Report demonstrates that businesses believe smart manufacturing is essential to the success of their operations in the future.

The State of Smart Manufacturing Report, Plex Systems’ seventh annual study, has just released its findings. Plex Systems is a Rockwell Automation firm that provides cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions.

According to the study, use of smart manufacturing technologies increased by 50% globally in 2021, and these new technologies are currently resolving the major problems facing the sector.

Compared to North America (NA) (84%) and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC) organisations (93%) see smart manufacturing as “very” or “very” crucial to future success (75 percent ).

In contrast to the majority response from NA and EMEA, which was “during the next 1-2 years,” most APAC organisations cited a shorter timeframe – “within the next 7 to 11 months” – for adopting smart manufacturing technologies.

More than 300 firms across a range of sectors, including automotive, aerospace, food and beverage, electronics, consumer products, plastics and rubber, precision metal forming, and more, were polled for the global study.

The report for this year, produced in association with Hanover Research, provides insightful information on trends, difficulties, and future plans for international manufacturers.

The paper seeks to assist firms in evaluating their technology strategy and implementing best practises for smart manufacturing to maintain and grow their market share.

A scalable technology approach enables swift value realisation and incremental adoption of solutions.
Manufacturers are placing a high priority on adopting smart technology to address and improve actual business outcomes as they try to streamline processes and manage today’s issues.

The report’s conclusions demonstrate that the pandemic exposed and aggravated pre-existing manufacturing issues. The three biggest issues that Asia-Pacific businesses are dealing with as a result of the epidemic are a lack of skilled workers, increased competition, and disruptions in the supply chain.

In light of this, 90% of respondents from APAC (93%) think that smart manufacturing will be essential to their future success.

“The pandemic and other international issues, including as the upheaval in eastern Europe, have had a negative effect on Asia’s industrial sector. According to Steven Chiu, Asia-Pacific sales leader for Plex Systems, “Asia-Pacific economies are banking on their industrial sectors to drive recovery post-pandemic. Asia-Pacific accounts for roughly half of the world’s manufacturing output[1].

“APAC enterprises must implement smart manufacturing solutions, like as cloud-based technologies, in order to thrive and remain competitive. The report’s findings demonstrate that businesses in the area place a high importance on utilising these technologies to address and enhance actual business outcomes, Chiu continued.

Additional important findings are:

  • The usage of smart manufacturing is rising everywhere. 75 percent of businesses will have adopted some smart manufacturing components by the end of 2022. The next generation of manufacturing is being driven by technology and automation, and adoption of smart manufacturing will continue to grow in 2022.
  • The deployment of smart manufacturing technologies has accelerated due to the epidemic. Companies in APAC are primarily investing in supply chain planning, automated process enforcement, and business process automation.
  • More than half of the surveyed organisations acknowledge the significance of all manufacturing components.

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) (69 percent) were rated as the most important/crucial smart manufacturing endeavour across all regions, including APAC. This was followed by asset performance management and enterprise resource planning (ERP), which placed just above quality management systems (QMS) and supply chain planning (SCP).

In the coming five years, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the most important technologies. Globally, businesses utilise data mostly for planning purposes, including product planning/scheduling (46%) and process optimization (44%), while Asia-Pacific businesses (54%) use acquired data primarily for AI applications.

More than 50% of APAC businesses are utilising the cloud to reduce risk. The most popular risk mitigation techniques used by APAC organisations include implementing cloud technology, managing cybersecurity risks, and engaging with experts on regulatory and compliance matters.

For the full results, download the 7th Annual Plex State of Smart Manufacturing Report at


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