Software and the internet have revolutionized the way people work across industries. However, the manufacturing workforce remains mostly unaffected by their benefits. So-called Industry 4.0 revolution promised to change this, but so far it has failed to deliver significant impact to manufacturing operations.

Today’s manufacturing workforce is expected to perform increasingly complex tasks with the same old, analog tools. At Tulip, we envision a different future —a future where the manufacturing workforce enjoys the benefits of friendly, easy-to-use apps that helps them do their job better and improve faster.

Tulip has begun to realize this vision through Manufacturing Apps, a technology we pioneered and developed at the MIT. Over the last four years, we’ve turned this technology into an enterprise software platform, used by leading companies such as Merck, Jabil, and New Balance, to run their factories. During this time, we’ve seen process engineers take ownership of their digital transformation by building apps that bring the power of the internet to the shop floor, increasing the productivity of their teams, reducing mistakes, and providing real-time data of their operations.

Inspired by our early customers’ success, we launched Factory Kit earlier this year: aiming to democratize this new Industrial Revolution. We designed Factory Kit to be a fast and low-risk way to start building IoT-enabled manufacturing apps, and the response has been overwhelming—hundreds of process engineers, across twelve different countries, are now making apps to run their factories. From work instruction apps to quality apps to production visibility apps and many more, we’re continually amazed by what they’ve created with Tulip.

These process engineers have inspired us to make our platform available for manufacturers of all sizes, as the industry’s first Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). It’s the same enterprise-grade solution recognized by Gartner, IDC and the World Economic Forum for its impact. Now it’s available at the click of a button with a free 30-day trial. It’s the first and only manufacturing software you can start using directly from your browser, immediately, and for free. It is designed to put the power of data and software driven manufacturing in hands of process engineers.

This announcement comes with the launch of our Manufacturing App Library, a growing collection of flexible applications based on apps built by real Tulip customers. With the App Library, manufacturers will find inspiration for apps to make or customize for their operations. This is manufacturing’s first App Store like experience, with the added benefit that anyone can use and customize the apps as part of their free trial, which also includes a personalized onboarding experience and access to our extensive Knowledge Base.

As manufacturers continue to embrace Manufacturing Apps to run their operations, we envision a future where they can build, upload and download apps to run their factories. Workers in other industries have revolutionized their fields and careers by embracing online software to improve the way they work. We’re excited to be paving the way for innovative shop floor engineers to do the same in manufacturing. Today’s announcements are an essential step in this direction.

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