ProMat 2019 Day 3 – The Smart Factory and Supply Chain is Here

In an article yesterday discussing the ProMat 2019 show, Modern Materials Handling editor Michael Levans said “IoT is already all around us, and the applications inside operations are only gaining steam. It’s turning from a conceptual thing to an actual thing, as many IoT-connected sensor vendors are now turning their sights inside the four walls. It’s going to be a slow, but steady ramp up, and it’s already started with temperature sensors for cold storage, vibration sensors for motors and sensor data being relayed to the Cloud by solutions such as lift truck telematics or autonomous mobile robots.”

In the recently released 2019 MHI Annual Industry Report, titled “Elevating Supply Chain Digital Consciousness” they highlight trends and technologies that are having a dramatic business impact on supply chains and the people who run them.

Eight out of ten survey respondents believe digital supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. The survey results also suggest that investment in supply chain innovation is at a critical inflection point, with a trend of declining investment from 2015 to 2018 being more than countered by a 95% increase in projected spending for 2019.

  • 57% of respondents are planning new technology investments totaling more than $1 million over the next two years (up 10% over last year’s survey)
  • 34% plan to spend more than $5 million
  • 22% plan to spend more than $10 million.

The eleven technologies covered in the report are:

  • Blockchain
  • Robotics and automation
  • Predictive analytics
  • Internet of Things
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Driverless vehicles and drones
  • Wearable and mobile technology
  • Inventory and network optimization
  • Sensors and automatic identification
  • Cloud computing and storage
  • 3D printing
Factory of the future

Illustration of the Factory of the Future

These eleven technologies work together to create next-generation supply chains that can meet these challenges because they are digital, on-demand and always-on.

 

As I walked the show, just about every exhibitor displayed their “Intelligent” supply chain solution. And, everyone was more than willing to discuss how their products fit into the greater scheme of the “Smart” factory and supply chain.  What does all this mean? According to Levans, “Just imagine billions of physical devices around the world—from your refrigerator, to your car, to the automation systems running your DCs—all connected to the Internet, collecting and sharing data.”

 

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Jim Donaldson

Jim is the Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at Mojix, Inc., a leading provider of ITEM LEVEL intelligence solutions to the retail and industrial markets. Jim has more than 30 years experience working for both start-up and public technology companies.

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