How are manufacturers across the nation future-proofing their communication systems to ensure worker safety, productivity and unified collaboration across departments and plants? The results of our 2017 Manufacturing Communication Survey are in and 500+ manufacturers from 47 states have given us a window into what they believe are today and tomorrow’s key manufacturing trends, priorities and pain points.
What’s clear is that plant communications are at an inflection point—with manufacturers ready to transition from outdated technology to modern systems. In the age of smart manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things, efficiency improvements and cost savings are waiting to be found. Connecting people, machines and processes is becoming a true competitive advantage. How are today’s manufacturers overcoming these challenges and bringing their factory into the future?
Multiple Devices on the Job is the Norm but Two-Way Radios are Top Choice
Just like we use multiple devices at home, the same holds true on the job. In fact, 78% of surveyed manufacturers are using more than one device to communicate at work. The most commonly used devices include smartphones, two-way radios, PCs/laptops, landlines, overhead paging systems and tablets.
However, even with the use of smartphones and tablets on the rise, two-way radio communications continue to grow in popularity. 2016 was a banner year for their adoption in the manufacturing industry with 45% of manufacturers indicating they are using two-way radios as their primary form of communication, up from 32% in 2015. When asked why, they said two-way radios help them resolve emergencies quickly with instant push-to-talk, boost efficiency and make decisions faster with real-time data.
Unified Communications Enabling Seamless Collaboration and Workplace Safety
When a manufacturing production line goes down or a worker needs medical assistance, every second counts. In these critical situations, as well as during day-to-day operations, manufacturers are united in their desire for employees to be able to communicate quickly from device or network.
71% of survey respondents said that connecting all their devices would be very important/important. They cited this would help them resolve problems with greater speed and efficiency, enable seamless, instant team communication from any location or device and provide rapid response to emergency situations for worker safety.
A Unified Communications solution makes instant collaboration possible, connecting teams and eliminating network, device and geographic boundaries. By building a unified communications environment and enabling employees to communicate the way they prefer to, downtime can be reduced, safety issues can be reduced and operations can improve.
How Do Your Plant Communications Stack Up? Download the 2017 Manufacturing Communications Survey Report.
See what manufacturers said in the bi-annual survey and discover how your plant communications compare. Download the complimentary Motorola Solutions 2017 Manufacturing Communication Survey Report!
Aleksandra Ikanowicz is a Vertical Marketing Lead for Commercial Markets at Motorola Solutions.