IoT and 3D Printing Review

The Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D Printing are rapidly evolving technologies that are changing manufacturing and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Investing in IoT for Manufacturing

Starting with IoT, QAD started offering QAD Automation Solutions, a shop floor data collection and label printing set of capabilities and services, in 2015. QAD made this investment because the shop floor and the supply chain are becoming highly automated and integrated – primarily through robotics and IoT. QAD Automation Solutions acts as a foundational IoT backbone for customers. In fact, we see IoT potentially having a huge impact on the medical device industry.

3D Printing in the Supply Chain

3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, will obviously change production processing for many manufactures, but will also transform supply chains. While the material needs of a manufacturer might change due to 3D, there are other powerful impacts.

For example, with 3D Printing a manufacturer’s intellectual property shifts from managing physical objects to controlling design media. This is analogous to what has happened in industries like software, music, and movies. 3d product viewer software can be used in this instance if a potential customer/client can see your product on their screen in a 3D format, it can give them a better understanding of what it would look like, and how it would function. Doing this can promote your product better and increase a potential sale to happen.

As a result, concepts like digital rights and media management, similar to those used by Apple, Amazon and Google, will become important aspects of managing data in the ERP world. QAD is observing these trends closely and waiting for this inevitable trend to become a real-world business need.

QAD will continue investing in R&D to stay abreast of these important emerging technologies that will all require ERP and related supply chain solutions to enable manufacturing business processes transformation. QAD looks before it leaps onto technology bandwagons. All this new technology must be applied for the obvious benefit of customers. QAD looks for technology that produces positive business outcomes for manufacturers at an acceptable risk and cost.

Do you find yourself wading through the seemingly endless new technology? How do you determine the fads from the useful trends? Learn more in my recent white paper, Looking Before Leaping onto Technology Bandwagons.

Tony Winter
With over 20 years in the ERP industry, Tony is responsible for driving QAD’s long-term technology, architecture and product release strategies. When he’s not leading the technology charge at QAD, you can find him spending time with his wife and four children. He also builds software-controlled devices and has a large collection of metal cast puzzles.


  1. Great article Tony! I think you would be intrigued by some of the things we are doing in our Innovations Lab. I’m your designated Verizon Enterprise Executive assigned to QAD, and I’m hoping you may be available for a meeting/lunch in the coming weeks. Please give me a call at the number below so we can coordinate- Thanks Tony. Best Regards, Marcus Barrett

  2. Informative write up! and i completely agree. With 3D printing many traditional process are going to transform and eventually there will be a focus shift. Being part of 3D printing service industry i have witnessed many changes after 3D printers and materials became more available and cost-effective!