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Technology Reviews: IoT and 3D Printing

The Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D Printing are rapidly evolving technologies that are changing manufacturing and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Investing in IoT for Manufacturing

Starting with IoT, QAD started offering QAD Automation Solutions, a shop floor data collection and label printing set of capabilities and services, in 2015. QAD made this investment because the shop floor and the supply chain are becoming highly automated and integrated – primarily through robotics and IoT. QAD Automation Solutions acts as a foundational IoT backbone for customers. In fact, we see IoT potentially having a huge impact on the medical device industry.

3D Printing in the Supply Chain

3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, will obviously change production processing for many manufactures, but will also transform supply chains. While the material needs of a manufacturer might change due to 3D, there are other powerful impacts.

For example, with 3D Printing a manufacturer’s intellectual property shifts from managing physical objects to controlling design media. This is analogous to what has happened in industries like software, music and movies.

As a result, concepts like digital rights and media management, similar to those used by Apple, Amazon and Google, will become important aspects of managing data in the ERP world. QAD is observing these trends closely and waiting for this inevitable trend to become a real-world business need.

QAD will continue investing in R&D to stay abreast of these important emerging technologies that will all require ERP and related supply chain solutions to enable manufacturing business processes transformation. QAD looks before it leaps onto technology bandwagons. All this new technology must be applied for the obvious benefit of customers. QAD looks for technology that produces positive business outcomes for manufacturers at an acceptable risk and cost.

Do you find yourself wading through the seemingly endless new technology? How do you determine the fads from the useful trends? Learn more in my recent white paper, Looking Before Leaping onto Technology Bandwagons.

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More Stories By Tony Winter

With over 20 years in the ERP industry, Tony Winter is responsible for driving QAD’s long-term technology, architecture and product release strategies. He oversees a global research and development team, manages all technical relationships with QAD global partners, and innovates on QAD’s key technology initiatives, including its user interfaces, foundation services, application lifecycle management, analytics, integration and quality.

Tony loves to spend time with his wife and four children, learning new things together through homeschooling, like trying to play instruments and traveling to experience different cultures and cuisines firsthand. He had a unique education in his home country of Wales with the first 18 years of his life being taught entirely in Welsh. He also builds software-controlled devices and has a large collection of metal cast puzzles.