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MESA in the News: Digital Transformation for Small and Medium Manufacturers


Author: Dr. Ananth Seshan, MESA Board Member

Small and medium manufacturers have largely been hesitant to make the transition to a smart manufacturing system due to concerns over the cost and time investment. However, those hesitations may not actually be true when the implementation is done right.

Small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) have been largely hesitant to make the transition to smart manufacturing due to the following widely held beliefs:

1.    Smart manufacturing principles are not useful for SMMs.

2.    Smart manufacturing is costly, and the return-on-investment is uncertain.

3.    Smart manufacturing cannot be implemented with the in-house legacy infrastructure and manpower resources available to SMMs.

The SMMs mentioned in this article are mainly from the auto industry. Only a small minority of the SMMs encountered had a sophisticated network infrastructure and/or computer/programmable logic controller (PLC) controlled machine—whereas, a large majority had very poor infrastructure, lack of in-house information technology skills and legacy machines that did not have a PLC or computer control.

Read the full article over on Automation World.


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