Rockwell Automation recently conducted a survey titled, “State of Smart Manufacturing: CPG Edition.” This eighth annual study encompassed the responses of 216 CPG leaders across 13 of the leading manufacturing countries.

In this podcast episode, Rockwell’s Lee Coffey (Strategic Marketing Manager – CPG) puts some of the results of the survey into context.

With labor reduction often touted as a benefit of automation, one finding of the survey that surprised Packaging Strategies is: 90% of CPG manufacturers believe they will maintain or increase the size of their workforce as a result of technology, and 29% assume they will actually hire more workers due to technology adoption. The survey also found that 38% of manufacturers expect to repurpose their existing workforce.

Coffey told Packaging Strategies that he wasn’t totally surprised by those survey findings.

“In a lot of cases, it [automation] creates new opportunities … new jobs. It really allows employees to be utilized in more efficient ways. It allows them to really use their creativity, problem solving, ingenuity – to work on higher-value tasks,” Coffey said. “They may have been tied up in mundane, repetitive tasks, and now, aligning with our brand promise of ‘Expanding Human Possibility,’ we’re enabling humans to work on more complex problems.

The study also found that while 35% of leaders across industries are extremely familiar with smart manufacturing, the level of familiarity varies within CPG. For example, 48% of Home and Personal Care leaders say that they are extremely familiar with smart manufacturing – well above the global average – while only 23% of leaders in the food and beverage industry say the same.

In the podcast, Coffey offers his thoughts on these varying levels of familiarity with smart manufacturing.