Productivity has now become a global race, a fierce, head-to-head competition between regions and nations. Those who can produce materials and products cheaper, faster, better - win. Within the next few years, smart equipment will include predictive diagnostics and self-monitoring, to maximize equipment up-time. Wireless sensor networks will allow more measurements to be accessed at relatively low cost. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications will improve operating ROI.
Future worldwide competition will come from China, India, Brazil - and local equipment suppliers. The antidote is to move beyond product-based equipment to knowledge-based products & services.