IT is driving a renaissance in manufacturing, employing tools such as big data, advanced analytics and AR to help companies reach markets faster and cut costs, according to Lux Research. The renewed push to manufacturing is led by initiatives such as Germany’s Industrie 4.0, GE’s Predix platform and improved PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software – itself a $35bn market – besides broader technologies such as 3D printing and factory robotics.
“While these new technologies are clearly making CAD (computer-aided design) and PLM better for manufacturing, they still need a strong business case, given the cost to purchase and implement such far-reaching new systems,” said Mark Bünger, Vice President, Research, Lux Research, and lead author of the report Information Meets Manufacturing: Fast-tracking Prototype to Production. “The business case boils down to incremental improvements that can reduce mistakes and speed time to market, and major changes to the design and ideation process itself, which can drive more innovative products and processes.”
Lux Research analysts studied the impact of emerging IT on manufacturing. Among their findings: