News Column

Replacing paper with IT

June 1, 2014



Despite rapid advances in information technology, more than 90 percent of manufacturers still use paper forms and Excel spreadsheets to create reports.

That may be changing, reports Machine Design magazine, as Siemens and Arena Solutions, both big players in the prod- uct lifecycle management industry, claim big increases in their customer bases. So is industry truly getting behind paperless manufacturing, or is this just another false alarm?

Several reasons point to continued acceptance of IT solutions. According to officials at Arena, more midsized and large compa- nies are using the technologies to connect multiple factories in multiple locations. Chemical plants, in particular, are becoming more modular, allowing the industry production from a number of small plants rather than large-scale enterprises. Such mini- factories could boost efficiency 30 percent, according to Machine Design.

Second, software as a service delivered through the cloud has made IT solutions more accessible with less upfront invest- ment. This agility makes executives more amenable to joining the IT train.

Connecting plant floor data throughout the enterprise is important when a major retailer like Wal-Mart decides that frozen-fish packaging must change from a box to a stand-up pouch within a year.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Industrial Engineer

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