Rockwell Automation: ‘State of Smart Manufacturing Study’

Rockwell Automation’s Phil Hadfield, Managing Director UK, discusses the results of the ‘State of Smart Manufacturing Study’ & what it means for the sector

Rockwell Automation has shared the results of its 9th annual “State of Smart Manufacturing Report,” a study which surveyed 1,500 respondents from across 17 countries.

Several major trends have emerged in the report: 

  • The AI revolution is ready for the manufacturing sector
  • Its technology can give the manufacturing workforce superpowers
  • Building resilience in operations is increasingly vital. 


State of Smart Manufacturing Report results from Rockwell Automation 

For Rockwell Automation, the goal is to accelerate the quality of life through sustainable production and smart manufacturing. The company builds automation and control systems which integrate various industrial components and control of industrial processes. Rockwell Automation's solutions help to reduce downtime and maximise production efficiency. Rockwell Automation also leverages IIoT technologies to connect machines, devices and systems across the industrial landscape. 

Rockwell Automation was featured in our Top 10 Manufacturing Companies Exploring Industry X.

President and CEO Blake Moret took on his role in 2016. Read more about his career, here: Blake Moret, CEO of Rockwell Automation.

Key findings from the “State of Smart Manufacturing Report” include:

  • 79% of UK manufacturers expect to use GenAI in their operations in 2024.
  • 91% of global manufacturers expect to use AI and ML in advanced analytics in their work.
  • 33% of UK manufacturers said that a lack of skill set was the most significant barrier to implementing smart manufacturing technologies, which was the highest percentage of all the European countries surveyed.
  • Automation and optimisation through AI and ML are the main reasons for smart manufacturing investments within the UK
  • When companies deploy the technology, the top applications are for: quality control (38%), cybersecurity (37%), logistics (34%) and customer service (32%).


Advancements in manufacturing technology propel growth

Phil Hadfield, Managing Director UK at Rockwell Automation, says that the company has witnessed notable improvements and increased adoption of technology in the UK, bolstered by strong government support. 

“Companies are now more cognizant of the potential outcomes. While many UK companies have long-standing traditions and may initially resist change, we are observing a shift in mindset among leadership teams and owners. They are recognising the profound impact of technology and are actively driving change. This shift not only aids in achieving organisational goals but also opens avenues for new revenue streams, enhances staff retention, and ensures employee satisfaction. 

“Additionally, it enables companies to optimise their processes and remain competitive in their respective markets. The rising adoption, particularly among leadership teams, reflects a growing acknowledgment of technology's transformative potential." 


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