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SME and Plataine Industrial IoT Study Reveals 3x Increase in Industry 4.0 Adoption

A recent "Trends in Global Manufacturing" survey has revealed three times the level of Industrial IoT adoption than just two years ago. The survey, jointly conducted by SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, and Plataine, a leading provider of Industrial IoT and AI-based optimization solutions, was conducted before the COVID-driven shutdown in the spring of 2020, and indicates significant progress toward widespread implementation of digital manufacturing.

  • 84% of respondents are currently implementing or evaluating digital manufacturing strategies, whereas only 27% were doing so in 2018.
  • Similarly, in 2020 only 12% respondents were not interested in implementing digital strategies, compared with 55% in 2018.
  • Respondents who participated in the 2020 survey indicated their companies are making strides to become digital. 41% of respondents indicated their companies are at least "mostly digital" in 2020, up from 26% back in 2018.

The unique Industry 4.0 and IIoT survey was completed by nearly 200 C-level executives from multiple manufacturing industries including aerospace, metals, furniture, medical equipment and others. The survey was designed to help advanced manufacturing managers gain significant competitive advantages by harnessing technology to strengthen and improve the capabilities of workers and managers, speed the pace of innovation and lower the costs of production and maintenance. 

"Digital transformation is vital to manufacturers' ongoing success," said Sandra L. Bouckley, FSME, P.Eng., executive director and CEO, SME. "These survey results underscore that the transition to digital manufacturing was well underway even before COVID-19 — if anything, the pandemic is only accelerating an established trend — and that competitive advantage can only be maintained by embracing digital innovation."

The survey, conducted with a group of industry leaders (27% of respondents), showed clear trends that set their enterprises apart: 69% have implemented or are implementing Industry 4.0 solutions versus 48% of late adopters. 58% are fully and mostly digital versus 35% of late adopters.

Respondents see the following technologies as a very important factor to their future success: 69% included big data analytics and 66% included Industrial IoT Autonomous robots and sensors are also seen as an evolving trend among 56% of respondents.

The survey results present a significant increase in adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, mostly associated with market leaders. More than 66% of respondents find Industrial IoT as a very important part of the future of their company's success.

54% of advanced manufacturers pointed out that their main challenge is to lower production costs. 51% are looking to improve on-time delivery and to estimate delays.

Avner Ben-Bassat, president and CEO of Plataine, adds: "Plataine is proud to collaborate with SME once again on this survey. We're seeing a significant increase in global adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies since our previous survey in 2018. The market is adapting to the changes and decision makers keep up the pace and onboard innovative technologies, driving increased agility and improved efficiencies."

Access the full "Trends in Global Digital Manufacturing" survey here.

About Plataine

Plataine is the leading provider of Industrial IoT and AI-based optimization solutions for advanced manufacturing. Plataine's solutions provide intelligent, connected Digital Assistants for production floor management and staff, empowering manufacturers to make optimized decisions in real-time, every time. Plataine's patent-protected technologies are used by leading manufacturers worldwide, including Airbus, GE, Renault F1® Team, Stelia North America, Muskogee Technology, IAI, Triumph, General Atomics, TPI Composites and Ethan Allen. Plataine partners with Siemens PLM, McKinsey & Company, VIRTEK, the AMRC with Boeing, and CTC GmbH (an Airbus Company), and is also a part of the National Composites Centre (NCC) membership network, to advance the 'Factory of the Future' worldwide. For this work, Plataine has received a Leadership Award from Frost & Sullivan and Innovation Awards from the JEC and CompositesUK organizations, as well as the Shanghai Society of Aeronautics (SSA). Plataine is ISO 27001 certified for compliance with information security management requirements. For more information, visit:

About SME

SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With nearly 90 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through the SME Education Foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or