The 8th annual edition of the State of Smart Manufacturing Report from Rockwell Automation, in association with Sapio Research, surveyed a more global population that represents the modern manufacturing industry. Responses from more than 1,350 manufacturers across 13 nations reveal a focus on delivering profitable growth without sacrificing quality, an emphasis on accessing data’s true potential, and increasing the adoption of technology to build resilience, enable agility, increase sustainability and address workforce challenges.

Survey results indicate that twice as many manufacturers believe their organization lacks the technology needed to outpace the competition, as compared to 2022. To correct this deficiency, 97% of participants reported that they are using or plan to use smart manufacturing technology over the next one to two years.

More than two-thirds of manufacturers believe technology can be very helpful in addressing workforceSource: Rockwell AutomationSource: Rockwell Automation challenges​, and more than 50% additional manufacturers are using machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI) compared to last year. AI is expected to deliver greater contributions to manufacturing in terms of closed-loop control and in-line quality relative to automation, forecasting, and tracking and compliance.

To date, investments in process automation and cloud/software as a service are generating the greatest returns. These technologies have been adopted by 63% of survey participants.

The lack of an end-to-end supply chain planning solution remains a challenge for four out of five manufacturers. Cybersecurity risks rank highest as the obstacle respondents are looking to mitigate with smart manufacturing initiatives.

To contact the author of this article, email