IT set to transform manufacturing as Apple moves Mac Pro production to the US

An overwhelming majority of manufacturing firms worldwide are looking to digitise their production processes, with 63.6% expecting to entirely or largely digitise their processes within the next five years, according to a new survey.

According to new IDC figures, around 26% of manufacturing companies are expecting a quarter of their ICT budgets to be spent on the plant floor.

In total, 43% of manufacturing firms have a process in place to examine their production process into the future.

“The manufacturing industry is back onstage in developed countries worldwide. Governments, media, manufacturers themselves, and their people are all changing their mindset with a stronger focus on production,” said Pierfrancesco Manenti, IDC Practice Director of Operations Technology Strategies.

“We are about to witness a new generation of manufacturing enterprises where operational processes on the plant floor — at the very heart of the enterprise — are considered the centrepiece of this transformation.”

The figures come after Apple chief executive Tim Cook told a recent US Senate hearing the company intends to open assembly plants in Texas for its Macintosh line of computers, with the plant likely to be highly automated.

“We are investing $100 million to build a Mac product line here in the U.S. The product will be assembled in Texas, include components made in Illinois and Florida, and rely on equipment produced in Kentucky and Michigan,” Cook said.

Apple has since confirmed its Mac Pro computers will be assembled at the plant.

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