Industrial automation is a trend that can be compared, say, with the development of smart home devices or driverless cars. The automation of most processes in a manufacturing facility allows to reduce costs and produce more goods. It, in turn, helps the facility to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive environment.
There is no doubt that automation processes will be advancing and an increasing number of machines will be deployed in facilities. Industrial linear actuators will move robotic arms. AI allows robots to analyse standard situations and learn. Thus, robots are developing, and with time, there are forecasts that they might replace humans in the majority of tasks.
It Happens Because They Offer Those Crucial Benefits That Make Them Highly Advantageous:
- Machines work with no interruptions. They don’t get tired or sick. They can work 24/7 with no extra payment. Well, they don’t charge any payment at all. Thus, the only reasonable investment and maintenance costs are involved. And they pay off very fast.
- Equipment is very easy to program and implement changes in the procedures and processes. They don’t need prolonged training. Some changes in code and a new process is ready. And if all the algorithms are implemented correctly, you can count on errorless procedures. This is not the case with people though.
- Robots can work efficiently in environments where people either cannot work or additional security measures need to be taken. In such locations, robots are replacing people very fast. In many dangerous processes, the replacement of people by robots is a common practice.
Now, let us have a look at the most frequently used machines and systems. They will stay in the industry for ages. It looks like they will be the main players in industrial automation.
Those are not only humanoid robots. Actually, in the majority of cases, those are robotic arms and other devices. They are programmed to perform specific tasks in a specific order.
Such robots are becoming more independent. New technologies are developed and implemented. For example, machine vision enables robots to be more integrated into the facility space. They learn to adapt to new conditions. While earlier, to start using a robot, a facility owner needed to make changes in the facility.
Also, this technology allows to remove the isolation of robots. While earlier, robots could work separated from humans, now, they are becoming safer and more flexible. It enables them to work side by side with people.
SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition)
SCADA systems are mostly used to perform all the manufacturing processes control. The tools collect information from devices of lower levels and arrange it in a form that is easy to understand. Thus, with SCADA, monitoring in real-time mode is possible. Also, they provide all the data needed to assess the health of processes in a manufacturing facility.
ANNs (Artificial Neural Networks)
This is a type of AI (artificial intelligence). ANNs are used for machine learning. Machines analyse immense data volumes. Based on the analysis results, machines create specific models. These models are later projected to real-life situations to find out how to act in a specific situation.
In the industry, ANNs are widely used for quality assurance. A machine can check multiple products for their compliance with specific standards. Such assessment is unbiased and the results are based on compliance or non-compliance with given requirements. Machines can check more products than humans. Also, for machines, it is easy to detect defects that cannot be detected by a human eye. Thus, the production quality is going to improve immensely. And the manufacturing costs are dropping.
Trends? They Are All About More Automation
When we speak about the trends in industrial automation, we see that the main trend is in more automation. Robots are being developed. The technology is moving forward. It looks like rather soon; machines will replace people in all the processes that don’t require non-standard solutions and creative thinking.
Industrial automation is here to improve the work conditions of people by replacing them in most demanding and even dangerous positions. For workers, it means more opportunities to unveil their talent and apply it in the fields they would like to work. All the dirty, heavy, dangerous jobs can be done by machines.
For business owners, automation means significantly less manufacturing costs. And it, in turn, means more production while the expenses stay the same or even decrease. Add the fact that machines can work day and night, and you will see a great benefit in it only. Add other pros that we have mentioned, and it becomes clear why automation cannot be stopped.
In any market, this is a great opportunity to sell more goods at more affordable prices. Thus, you can get a bigger share in the market compared to your competitors.