Automated mechanisms are increasingly becoming an integral part of the modern world. They help us in the kitchen as microwave ovens or coffee makers, they streamline our activities and leisure in the living room as TV lifts and adjustable desks, they make the environment comfortable for wheelchair users. However indispensable in our everyday life such mechanisms can be, it is in the industry that their greatest use can be observed.
Having made their appearance in the 1950s at car manufacturing assembly lines industrial automation products are permeating different fields of business and production.
Be it Heavy Duty Linear actuators or demolition robots, factory machinery provides unrivaled productivity and remarkable quality. Moreover, industrial machines can drastically cut down costs and maintain strict safety standards.
Modern Trends in Industrial Automation
Realizing all the advantages automation brings any manufacturer today should try to leverage technological upgrades which will eventually maximize the company’s profits. It is only possible when one keeps up-to-date with the 10 most influential trends that will dominate industrial automation in the nearest future.
- Reduced energy consumption: According to some estimates, factories consume around 40% of the world’s electricity and two-thirds of this is utilized by motors in machines of all kinds – from industrial actuators to scissor lift tables. So major manufacturers are bent on introducing high-efficiency motors that enable easier retrofits.
- Industrial internet of things: A system of interconnected computers, digital and mechanical devices featuring the ability to transmit data without human interference is what will change industries very soon. High-performance processors and sensors, analytic software and cloud technologies are likely to lower overall costs and increase productivity.
- Edge device proliferation: The previous trend has much to do with it. Internet of things called forth the appearance of intelligent nodes connecting industrial machinery to operate at the network edge. It is sure to enhance industrial productivity.
- Wireless rules: One more development is spurred by the internet of things. Although being greatly outnumbered by hardwired devices, wireless technologies are gathering momentum and are likely to become omnipresent being installed in numerous wireless sensors.
- The ubiquity of smart sensors: State-of-the-art sensors are provided with inherent intelligence which makes external software irrelevant. With their cost falling dramatically they are expected to be employed in many spheres, especially in locations that are unsafe for the personnel.
- Mobile apps in industries: Now you will be able not only to check the latest football game score or streamline your shopping using smartphones. Developers are introducing a plethora of applications that will allow to access and control various plant or agricultural operations and machines – from a Heavy Duty Linear actuator to a food packaging conveyor.
- Multi-touch approach: Single-touch technology is quickly going extinct. In comparison with it, multi-touch reveals greater speed, power, and flexibility. Having experienced the advantages of multi-touch in their gadgets users clamor for the selfsame approach in industrial automation and manufacturers are ready to respond.
- Open architecture automation solutions: Modern software and hardware architecture is increasingly becoming open, .i.e. not limited to a single vendor or field of automation. Such architecture is flexible enough to integrate customers, suppliers, and manufacturers into a single ecosystem. It means seamless communication between manufacturing field inputs and outputs including drives, sensors, industrial electric actuators, analyzers, video, and robotics.
- Affordability of “cobots”: Also known as collaborative robots, these devices displayed a boom in 2016 with the expected number of 31 million to be reached by the end of 2019. And this is for domestic household “breeds” only! Their prices are on a continuous decline which promises an ever-expanding presence of these light robots that can be applied in the industrial environments requiring repeatable motion. With the development of software, cobots will be learning to perform a wider range of versatile operations.
- Safety matters: If personnel injuries occur the whole production cycle is brought to a hiatus. Consequently, a drive for safer machines is what will eventually ensure the smooth operation of the equipment and higher productivity.
With the advancement of industrial automation electric actuators, sensors, collaborative robots connected via wireless technologies and operated with the help of mobile devices will minimize cost and downtime, provide maximum equipment utilization, and guarantee a safer production cycle for the personnel involved.