Connected Worker Solutions

Improve workforce productivity, quality, and enterprise collaboration by connecting people, products, and processes. Discover what you need to get started in our complete guide.

What is a connected worker?

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A connected worker is a frontline worker who leverages digital technologies to access and visualize knowledge, data, and insights from people, products, and processes across the organization. Whether on the factory floor or out in the field, these workers are connected to the information they need, where and when they need it.

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Solving the disconnect

Enabling your workforce with the data they need is crucial. Industrial organizations can’t afford to stay disconnected in a world embracing digital transformation. Explore the details of the connected worker story below.

Challenges for industrial organizations

Manufacturing and service organizations are challenged with an aging workforce, high worker turnover, and increasing data and technology complexity. Frontline workers are expected to perform today’s tasks at tomorrow’s speed with yesterday’s resources. It’s a hefty demand, and one that’s difficult to meet when 77% of frontline workers say they don’t have the right tools to be more productive. 

Embracing digitization

Digitization is the transformation of traditional and manual systems into digital formats by leveraging a variety of connected technologies. For many companies, it’s the first step in their digital transformation strategy. Digital transformation is a key initiative to tackling the challenges facing industrial organizations. Digitized documentation and automated workflows play important roles, enabling frontline workers in manufacturing and service to be more productive.

Connecting people, products, and processes

Digital transformation is incomplete without the connected worker. Digital technologies don’t have an impact on productivity if information is not connected, people aren’t trained, processes are not replaced or updated, and proper policies aren’t in place.

Connected worker technologies ensure your digital transformation initiatives are effective. Workers connect with people, products, and processes by using digital technologies to connect, access, and visualize knowledge, information, and insights. Connected workers source information from the digital thread and feed it with relevant data.

Connected worker strategy impact

A successfully implemented connected worker strategy leads to increased workforce productivity, significant quality improvement, and more effective enterprise collaboration. Lighthouse factories that leverage connected worker technologies see measurable results with double-digit KPI improvements. LNS Research found that over 25% of manufacturers have already adopted connected frontline workforce (CFW) initiatives.

Connection across the product lifecycle

Connected worker technologies can be applied across the product lifecycle—from engineering to manufacturing and service—accelerating design processes, improving operations efficiency, and increasing service quality.

PTC’s CAD and PLM solutions provide the relevant product information while IoT, AR, industrial connectivity, and field service management serve as digital technologies to connect, visualize, and automate knowledge and workflows. The digital thread serves as an authoritative source of product data, built on a foundation of CAD and PLM. It ensures that accurate, up to date, and contextual product data is available to enable frontline workers in manufacturing.

Identify, adopt, scale

Our PTC experts guide manufacturers and service organizations through the key milestones to identify areas for improvement and define the expected outcome. We enable companies to implement a connected worker strategy and accompany their leaders and workers through change management for successful adoption.

Manufacturing outcomes

Manufacturers that enable connected workers will see benefits business-wide, especially in areas of productivity, quality, and collaboration.

Workforce productivity

A growing skills gap paired with increasingly complex products makes traditional processes and instructions inadequate. The drive for greater operational efficiency can’t be attained through outdated factory benchmarking. Organizations can improve the productivity of their manufacturing workforce by enabling operators and technicians with in-context digital work instructions, expert-authored training, and remote assistance. And with industrial connectivity and IoT, frontline workers and plant managers have access to real-time data and actionable insights.

Quality improvement

Manufacturers operate in a competitive, complex global market where strict regulations and increasing customer expectations cause constant pressure. This pressure is acutely felt in quality, where inspection accuracy, product data, and consumable information are critical to achieving high quality outcomes for products and operators. To ensure products are assembled correctly the first time, version-controlled digital work instructions offer clear guidance to frontline workers. And with automated in-line quality control and end-of-line AI visual inspections with AR overlays, workers can know instantly if a part passes inspection.

Enterprise collaboration

Siloed information and expertise, rigid business processes, and out-of-date tools can hinder collaboration across an organization. Connected worker technologies can support collaboration between—and within—business functions with current product information and performance data and closed-loop feedback. Experts can more easily share and scale their knowledge to frontline workers via digital instructions and remote assistance technologies.

Service outcomes

Connecting service technicians to digital work instructions, live asset utilization data, and remote support improves their productivity and quality.

Workforce productivity

The productivity and effectiveness of your field service technicians impact customer perception as well as your business performance. Connected worker technologies can scale business capacity to improve productivity of field service and remote service engineers. In-context digital work instructions offer clear guidance for repairs and improve upskilling, while remote assistance tools can connect workers and customers to live experts at any time. A unifying field service solution optimizes technician schedules, delivers full job and customer context, and ensures the right parts are in hand to improve first-time fix rates.

Service quality improvement

Empowering technicians with the right job context—SLAs, contract coverage, parts, and live equipment data—is key to boosting the quality of the service experience. When on site, digital work instructions and real-time expert support improve accuracy, minimize errors, and reduce repeat visits. For even greater accuracy, AI-enhanced visual inspections can be used to confirm the job has been completed correctly.

Field and customer collaboration

Leveraging the right data and connectivity level for customer operations boosts service effectiveness. Collaborating with customers to provide live asset monitoring and utilization, predictive maintenance, and performance metrics gives technicians clear visibility before starting a job. Collaboration can also be supported through remote assistance, where experts can help guide technicians in the field, or customers performing self-service.

Connected worker case studies

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Increased service efficiency

Harpak-ULMA leveraged connected worker technologies to enable their technicians and customers with augmented reality work instructions.

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Improved factory operations

Electrolux implemented industrial connectivity to acquire real-time data that reduced scrap, automated OEE, and minimized outsourcing costs.

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Enhanced quality inspections

Nascote Industries, a division of Magna International, accelerated new hire training and improved quality and efficiency with AI-enhanced inspections.

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Reduced assembly times

Vestas enabled connected workers by delivering role-specific digital work order information and instructions in real time, reducing assembly times, and improving workflows.

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Improved workforce efficiency

Woodward improved workforce efficiency with standard digital work instructions, connected tools, and visual management in its operations environment.

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Reduced cycle time

LS Electric reduced cycle time by embracing a digital transformation strategy that connected workers across the product life cycle, from design to final inspection.

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Optimized field service

Elekta used connected field service solutions for faster, more efficient, and cost-effective service to their customers and their customers’ patients.

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PTC is a leader in digital technologies for connected workers

Industry analysts recognize PTC as a leader in digital technologies that power a connected workforce across the product lifecycle.

IDC names PTC leader in service lifecycle management platforms

Asset-centricity is key to PTC’s unique, innovative SLM approach, as equipment data removes silos between engineering, manufacturing, and service.

Asset-centricity is key to PTC’s unique, innovative SLM approach, as equipment data removes silos between engineering, manufacturing, and service.

SPARK names PTC leader in Quadrant Knowledge Solutions IIoT Matrix

PTC’s consistent market growth, expanding installation base, and strategic vision demonstrate the commitment to IIoT product innovation and customer excellence.

PTC’s consistent market growth, expanding installation base, and strategic vision demonstrate the commitment to IIoT product innovation and customer excellence.

SPARK names PTC leader in Quadrant’s 2024 Enterprise AR Matrix

PTC received the highest Customer Impact and Technology Excellence scores, earning the highest overall vendor placement.

PTC received the highest Customer Impact and Technology Excellence scores, earning the highest overall vendor placement.

ABI names PTC leader and #1 innovator in 2023 CAD Competitive Matrix

PTC has built out the most comprehensive suite of computer-aided additions, with an intuitive model-based approach and a robust toolset.

PTC has built out the most comprehensive suite of computer-aided additions, with an intuitive model-based approach and a robust toolset.

ABI names PTC leader in 2024 Enterprise PLM for Large Manufacturing Assessment

PTC’s PLM solutions seamlessly integrate with in-house and external enterprise software, providing great time to value and proficiency for new users.

PTC’s PLM solutions seamlessly integrate with in-house and external enterprise software, providing great time to value and proficiency for new users.

Digital transformation solutions

Digital manufacturing

Smart digital manufacturing solutions can unlock new levels of innovation, productivity, and growth through connected worker and continuous improvement strategies.

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Field service optimization

Transform your entire service chain through software-driven innovation to improve first-time fix rates, reduce truck rolls, and increase customer satisfaction.

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