Canadian Packaging

Less than a quarter of F&B leaders are highly knowledgeable about smart manufacturing: Rockwell Automation

By Krystle Morrison   


Only 23 per cent of food and beverage leaders said they’re extremely familiar with smart manufacturing, compared to 48 per cent of CPG leaders in home and personal care who said the same, according to the eighth edition of Rockwell Automation’s “State of Smart Manufacturing: CPG Edition.”

Based on the results of a survey of 216 CPG leaders in 13 countries — 38 per cent of which were in the food and beverage sector, with the rest in home and personal care — the survey explores how CPG companies are adopting smart manufacturing technologies to tackle industry challenges and drive their business forward.

More than half (52 per cent) of surveyed CPG manufacturers said inflation is their greatest external challenge this year, followed by supply-chain disruption (41 per cent) and a shortage of skilled workers (38 per cent). And many CPG businesses are using smart manufacturing to navigate these challenges:

  • Four in 10 said they were driven to adopt digital technologies by the need to minimize costs.
  • More than a quarter (26 per cent) said smart manufacturing helped the most with supply-chain disruption.
  • Nearly one in four said that smart manufacturing helped the most with their shortage of skilled workers, yet most (90 per cent) CPG companies aren’t expecting to decrease their workforce due to tech adoption. In fact, nearly 30 per cent said they’ll likely hire more workers.

Other common reasons for embracing digital technologies were to improve quality (44 per cent), keep up with the competition (42 per cent), and adapt to rapidly changing consumer behaviours (40 per cent).


CPG businesses invested an average of about 21 per cent of their operating budget on technology, most commonly investing in cloud technology (45 per cent), supply-chain planning (42 per cent), and cybersecurity (41 per cent). Nearly 80 per cent see smart manufacturing as very important to their businesses’ future success.

For more insights on smart manufacturing adoption among CPG companies, see the full report.


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