Pennsylvania’s top manufacturers are representative of the state’s robust and varied industrial economy, home to key players in the plastics, medical, defense, pharmaceutical and steel industries. Yet, to stay competitive, many of these employers recognize that they must invest in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) — and the time is now.

According to Rockwell Automation’s eighth annual State of Smart Manufacturing Report, manufacturers have more than doubled their use of AI in one year. The survey interviewed 1,353 global manufacturers on their use and plans for smart technology.

Among the findings:

  • Ninety-seven percent of participants reported that they are using or plan to use smart manufacturing technology over the next one to two years.
  • More than two-thirds of manufacturers believe technology can be very helpful, or extremely helpful, in addressing workforce challenges.
  • More than 50 percent more manufacturers are using machine learning/artificial intelligence compared to last year.

With higher and higher levels of automation, manufacturers continue to raise the bar for technology. The report reveals that manufacturers see the time for action as now:

  • Seventy-five percent of organizations expected to have some components of smart manufacturing in adoption by the end of last year.
  • Sixty percent of all companies are now using either a fully integrated solution or have some components of smart manufacturing in adoption.
  • Seventy-nine percent of organizations are prioritizing software that will automate processes.

The Rockwell report also found that more 50 percent more manufacturers are using machine learning and artificial intelligence compared to last year. Researchers expect this number will continue to rise as manufacturers see the impact that accessible machine learning/artificial intelligence can have on their business. Improved quality, productivity and workers who use data insights for decision-making are some of the benefits.

In this edition of the MBA Business Magazine, we’ll highlight the innovative technology and resources that are helping to support business and industry across the state, such as the health solutions provided by Highmark and AHN Saint Vincent.

We’ll also hear from Alan Hamilton of Wabtec about the company’s rich history of operating in the Keystone State and the importance of manufacturing today. Plus, don’t miss our annual Showcase of Manufacturers, including the many dynamic employers with operations in Pennsylvania.

The MBA recognizes that manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and the need for a well-skilled workforce to ensure its future, so be sure to save the date and join us for our 10th annual MFG Day on October 11, 2023 in Erie! We’ll showcase the innovation and technology happening in our region while educating more than 1,000 students on the value and impact of manufacturing careers.

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