The future of food safety is in the cloudWhile some consider cloud-based software to be more cost effective and efficient that its counterparts, a new survey of manufacturers found that 66 percent saw improvements in plant productivity after deploying the systems.

The survey, “The State of Manufacturing Technology: Cloud Emerges as the Innovation Platform for the Shop Floor,” was conducted by cloud ERP technology supplier Plex. This first-time survey from the company examined responses from more than 130 manufacturing organizations to track emerging technologies that are transforming how products are made and improving safety, materials handling and product quality.

According to the survey, 40 percent of respondents drew a direct correlation between cloud technologies and their ability to drive innovation in their own products over the next five years.

After deploying cloud systems, 74 percent of manufacturers said they achieved operating process improvements while 61 percent achieved better quality in their own products.

Eighty percent of respondents said they use consumer mobile devices such as tablets and webcams to access, stream and share information across large production facilities and global supply chains and 55 percent use IP-enabled tools and machines, which automatically adjust to meet product specifications and capture rich, real-time data for traceability.

“This study illustrates that cloud software, once a low-cost path to plant automation, has become a crucial tool for manufacturers working to capitalize on new technologies, collaborate across the supply chain, gain operational insights, foster innovation and dramatically improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain,” said Jerry Foster, chief technology officer for Plex.

 The full study can be found here