Dec 4, 2020

70% of Manufacturing Firms Without In-House App Development

Oliver Freeman
3 min
Manufacturing executives are pushing for companies to adopt the skills necessary for in-house app development and coding to better the quality of production and supply chain norms.
More than two thirds of manufacturing companies lack the skills or resources to develop employee-facing mobile apps in-house, new research has found...

Research published by mobile data capture specialist WorkMobile found that employee-facing mobile apps play a key role in the majority of manufacturing businesses’ enterprise mobility strategies, with 92 per cent of manufacturing businesses making use of the technology. 

However, while in-house app development offers businesses the necessary flexibility when it comes to tailoring and implementing effective mobile solutions – particularly crucial in industries with a significant field-based workforce – a staggering 70 per cent are unable to do so successfully.

Overstretched and Overwhelmed 

According to the research, 38 per cent of the manufacturing sector’s IT teams are overstretched and don’t have the time or capacity to develop their own apps, and another 38 per cent do not have the coding skills and expertise required to do so.

Given the growing digital skills shortage and the prevalence of apps in both our professional and personal lives, it is unsurprising that 40 per cent of CIOs have found it difficult to recruit employees with the right mobile development expertise.

The research also found that even among those businesses that are capable of developing their own apps, many have struggled to make them a success.

More than two fifths (42 per cent) of CIOs in the manufacturing industry have experienced problems developing apps within a particular timeframe, and as a result, 54 per cent have been forced to abandon the development of an app before completion.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) have had difficulties developing apps within a designated budget, and 29 per cent have struggled to develop apps for a range of operating systems and devices.

Manufacturing Executives Wade In 

According to Colin Yates, Chief Support Officer at WorkMobile, “these statistics are very concerning in the current climate, given the crucial role that mobile solutions play in a successful enterprise mobility strategy.

Even pre-pandemic, enabling remote working was the most common pressure CIOs faced from the rest of the C-suite, according to half of those surveyed. And with social distancing now a priority, that pressure is greater than ever.

The past few months have also shown us that in order for businesses to succeed, agility is absolutely key. In-house mobile app development can be a really cost-effective way for CIOs to respond quickly to ever-changing external factors, and ensure employees always have the right tools to do their jobs.

However, with so many teams facing such significant barriers to in-house app development, they could find themselves struggling more than necessary over the coming months to keep up with rapidly evolving business requirements.”

In light of these difficulties, the research revealed that 67 per cent of CIOs in the manufacturing industry would be interested in using a no-coding mobile app toolkit as an alternative to developing apps in-house themselves. 25 per cent said that they believe no-coding mobile apps would reduce the workload for their team, and a further 25 per cent said that they would make it easier for them to meet the expectations of the senior leadership team.

“It’s clear that effective in-house app development is just not feasible for the vast majority of manufacturing businesses. Fortunately, technology is evolving, and no-coding app development platforms can now offer a fantastic alternative,” Colin added.

“These toolkits make it possible for CIOs and their teams to quickly produce mobile apps that are specifically tailored to the needs of their employees, with no coding expertise required.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router

3 min
Siemens’ first industrial 5G router, the Scalancer MUM856-1, is now available and will revolutionise the concept of remote control in industry

Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age. 


Siemens Enables 5G IIoT

The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). 

Siemens presents its first industrial 5G router.
Siemens presents the Scalance MUM856-1.

The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.


Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance


  • Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
  • The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
  • A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
  • Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites


5G Now

“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.


Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said. 


Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future

Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’ 


And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.


The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.


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