Manufacturing Brings Mobile Technology into its Processes

Manufacturing is one of the main engines of our economy. Throughout our history it has helped drive progress, create incredible products, and will always be an important part of our country’s psyche. But there are challenges that require manufacturing companies to constantly change their business models. Pricing pressures, variable demand, growing competition and other challenges have made it more difficult to do business. However, these challenges have also spurred many companies to improve the way they work to be more efficient, including using mobile solutions to increase productivity and manage their systems.

Specifically, manufacturers are looking to improve operations and find cost savings from improved productivity, asset management and better maintenance. They also want to develop innovative products and increase competitiveness. By using mobile technology, manufacturers can better manage pipelines and better track their systems, which can help increase competitiveness and customer value. We help them by providing sellers and service professionals the devices and services to allow them to access information anywhere, anytime to make better decisions and plans. Business mobility is not just about digitizing paper content or putting a bunch of devices into the hands of employees; it’s about creating new business models and revenue streams.

For example, Rockwell Automation has developed a Windows 8 app that exposes machine-level data to workers. A first of its kind for enterprise manufacturing intelligence, the FactoryTalk VantagePoint Mobile App offers a native Windows 8 design where people can access centralized reporting and analytics from the Rockwell Software suite. Within the app, people can view key performance indicators (KPIs) – such as energy usage, operational equipment effectiveness, or mean time between failure and repair. By touching the KPI gauge or chart users can dive deeper into the FactoryTalk VantagePoint portal for full, detailed reports and trends driving those metrics. Users can also pin a KPI to a live tile so the metric is always visible from the Windows 8 tiled start screen. 

Collaboration is made even easier with this app, as employees can send KPI information to coworkers with one touch. With the new system, data can be pulled from the cloud via mobile devices and internet browsers to produce reports and dashboards on the condition of individual vehicles’ drivetrains, hydraulic fracturing performance, as well as process performance and maintenance trends related to entire fleets.

The PLM Software business unit of Siemens is also helping manufacturers go mobile with their JT2Go app, which, allows users to view JT files, navigate product structure, display PMI, create a snapshot of an event, and select and deselect parts, all from a Windows 8 device. Designed for touch-based devices, this app provides gesture-driven control along with an optional list-based reference to assist user orientation in assemblies. Users can manipulate PMI data with touch, interact with models, and use the SnapShot feature to copy 3D view to the clipboard as a 2D image for use in documents and engineering notes. It’s just another way manufacturers can go mobile at work.

These are just a few examples of how mobility is transforming the manufacturing industry. Here are a few more:

Oil & Gas Business Intelligence Framework: This app is developed by iLink Systems, and offers a real-time view of the entire business operations, allowing users to track business performance metrics, make better business decisions based on rich dashboards and identify scope for resource optimizations across business units. It also supports rich GIS capabilities and access to real time alerts and tickets for technicians as well as managers in the field.

accessTD : The accessTD app offers employees the ability to access many of the features of from their mobile devices, including product searches, pricing and availability information, order tracking, invoice details and shipment information. 


  • AccellosOne Pulse provides a supply chain centric dashboarding capability, so supply chain professionals can get tailored perspectives on their business. Pulse provides out of the box metrics, as well as an extensible solution to create new metrics or to adjust existing ones with business specific characteristics.
  • AccellosOne Inspection is a supply chain execution app that provides tablet driven, touch optimized capabilities for your quality inspection personnel to design, execute, and review inbound and outbound product and orders, equipment, and anything else within your organization requiring compliance or inspection.

TA Instruments: This app allows users to watch training videos and webinars, application notes, and register for upcoming training courses, ensuring users can stay up-to-date on all the latest information in TA Instruments’ high-technology thermal analysis, rheometer, and micro-calorimetry products.

Stay tuned here for additional insight into business mobility across business sectors. For more information, be sure to visit the Microsoft Business Newsroom for updates on how we are innovating with
businesses around the world.