Innovation

Industrial IoT: 64% of manufacturers will have fully-connected factories by 2022

A new study by Zebra Technologies examined which technologies are impacting the future of manufacturing.

By the year 2022, 64% of manufacturers believe their factories will be fully connected with the latest technologies powering the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), according to a new report from Zebra Technologies.

The report, announced via press release on Monday, noted that radio frequency identification (RFID) tools, wearables, and automation will have manufacturers build out their smart factories. It should be noted that Zebra Technologies is a provider of connected business solutions, including for the manufacturing industry.

For wearables, around half of the survey respondents said that their firm would be adopting the technology by 2022. Of those currently using wearables, 5% said they planned on increasing their usage in the same time period, the release noted.

SEE: Internet of Things policy template [download] (Tech Pro Research)

In terms of automation, manual processes in manufacturing are expected to decline, the report found. Steps in the manufacturing process are tracked by pen and paper in some 62% of organizations, but that number is expected to drop to roughly 20% in the next five years.

Visibility is a big part of the manufacturing industry. Asset and system tracking is set to be deployed by 63% of manufacturers to improve visibility and drive growth, the release said.

Another interesting trend highlighted in the report is the growing use of voice technology, which 51% of respondents said they were planning to expand their use of in the coming years. When that growth is broken down by company size, the largest companies—those valued greater than $1 billion— will see use grow by 55%.

Zebra CMO Jeff Schmitz said in the release that the results "prove that IIoT has crossed the chasm, and savvy manufacturers are investing aggressively in technologies that will create a smarter, more connected plant floor to achieve greater operational visibility and enhance quality."

The report was conducted from a survey of 1,100 business leaders in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. These leaders represent industries such as tech, automotive, food and beverage, and more.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. According to a Zebra Technologies report, 64% of manufacturers believe their factories will be fully connected with the IIoT latest technologies by 2022.
  2. Roughly half of the surveyed manufacturers plan on using wearables by 2022, with current users planning on increasing their use as well.
  3. Automation, tracking, and voice technology are also being targeted by the survey respondents for their smart factory efforts.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/KeremYucel

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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