Mobile Devices' Effect on Manufacturing Processes, People

Every aspect of manufacturing has become increasingly “connected,” to the advantage of product quality and enterprise efficiency.

LNS Research’s Mike Roberts teases out the idea that mobile technology makes individuals more disconnected, but emphasizes that that mobile connectivity has transformed the way we interact with each other and the way businesses interact with and collect information from their employees and processes.

Every aspect of manufacturing — “top floor down to the shop floor” — has become increasingly “connected,” he writes, and that connectivity is accelerating. LNS has documented that 65% of operations managers have performance information within a day or sooner, a standard that is almost certain to accelerate. Roberts posted a graphic summary of the types of mobile devices manufacturing professionals are using now, and ways that mobility allows them to be more effective.

Because of the consumerization of IT, the array of devices over which today’s manufacturing professionals communicate and collaborate with other people, processes, and technology has mirrored the growth of mobile technology available in the consumer market, according to Roberts. The capabilities and applications of these devices is market-driven.

Today, many manufacturers are deploying smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, health monitoring, and optical display technology that is available to consumers, but the specific applications and uses of these technologies is evolving for manufacturing.

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