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The Future of Industrial Automation; Where are We Heading?

The Future of Industrial Automation; Where are We Heading?

With automated systems and smart industrial solutions, we are urged to believe that we are already in the epitome of industrial-technological excellence, but the recent emergence of disruptive technologies keep challenging us to think otherwise. The pace of innovation in industrial automation keeps accelerating with new-age technologies converging operational technologies with information technology. Industrial technology has optimised industrial systems from cloud to edge to core and consolidated workloads into a single human, non-human or combined effort. With industrial players saving ample amounts of time, cost and effort in relying on industrial automation and making system management a self-reliant task for any user, technology can no longer be disparate from the future of the industrial world. It is believed that three main aspects combine to power future industrial automation technologies: 

  • Efficient and Hyper-performing Computing Systems
  • Real-time Capabilities
  • Safety and Security of sensitive data, assets, human counterparts and more. 

This article probes the new challenges and impending benefits of upcoming industrial technologies and how your industrial establishment can be facilitated with disruptive technologies.

Industrial Automation as We Know It

Industrial automation is simply the use of automated control systems to upgrade machines to handle industrial processes and tasks without human intervention. Industrial Automation was merely an approach used to transform human-centric systems into machine-based systems. This transformation did have a few drawbacks like expensive installation and deployment charges, loss of jobs and more. Still, it also led to a series of benefits for manufacturers in the industrial domain, such as:

  • Allowing production operations to be carried out 24/7- without stress or fatigue
  • Better utilisation of shop floor space
    Better versatility, productivity, flexibility and efficiency
  • Expand productivity potential
  • Less reliant on outsourcing and rely on a holistic compact solution
  • Power to face competitors confidently
  • Reduce factory lead and idle time
  • Seamless integration in between the disparate components of any expansive ecosystems
  • Success-guaranteed planning since asset degradations can be measured accurately compared to the ambiguous nature of humans
  • The rapid increase in ROI rates

After the announcements related to industry 4.0, it was hinted that this is not the end to Industrial Automation Evolution. The best of industrial automation is yet to come or at least pending to be used generally.

The Future of Industrial Automation

The future of automation is entirely based on wireless nanotechnologies where all industrial solutions will be cloud-based, and all companies would take the best of capitalising on Big Data using their advanced analytics technologies. Analytical processes will be moved closer to data sources making data processing faster, secured and success-guaranteed. The application of mobile robots and Cobots will be a norm rather than a smart go-to-have operational luxury for manufacturers. A series of technological features like AI, AR, VR, Digital Twin, Simulation, Additive Manufacturing, IIoT, Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics and more will form smart solutions that industrial practitioners cannot miss in automating their industrial systems. Here are some of the not-to-be-missed industrial automation technologies that you should expect in future industrial technology systems.

Edge Computing
Embedded data processing is another prominent feature that makes industrial automation smoother, faster and futuristic. Edge computing is a futuristic technology that makes industrial automation uninterrupted and quicker. This technology brings data processing algorithms closer to the data sources (or the edge) to save computation time and exhaust during data transmission.

Edge computing upgrades local real-time process control and machine-driven automation tasks that scaffolds discrete automation with faster insights generation. It helps industrial technology solution systems to get the best out of Big Data Analytics, IIoT Architecture, horizontal and vertical integration systems simultaneously. Edge Computing boosts interoperability, smart and process-driven architectural changes, and facilitates all industrial systems regardless of their industry, environment or complexity in the IT infrastructure.

Edge Computing can process, filter and compute copious amounts of data, meet real-time control requirements, and guide manufacturers and industrial experts with data-driven insights that are solely produced with better data analytics to back industrial decisions that make industrial automation effortless. It can be considered as the shortest and fastest route to leverage IIoT and optimise the internist of industrial automation systems and applications. Click here  to read more about the role of Edge Computing in the Manufacturing Industry.
Advanced MES Solutions
Current MES solutions will undergo explosive upgrades with the newly-fangled disruptive points related to the nanoscale assembly systems, manufacturing execution systems advances with Nanosensors, M2M networking, pervasive interconnection enabled by IIoT and more. MES technologies go beyond traceability, paving the way for intelligent real-time systems advanced with adaptive systems and multi-channel processing.

Unlike traditional MES solutions, Advanced MES solutions will not be locked into vendors, experts or that ‘go-to’ person in your industrial establishment. Instead, these solutions allow users to self-reliantly execute and automate operations according to the unique business requirements. With the large-scale usages of automated, parameterised industrial devices and intelligent data solutions, advanced industrial automation via MES is not an obligation but an advancement for industrial practitioners.

Further into the future, these MES solutions will be advanced with interactive instrumentation, virtualised controllers, and more precise horizontal and vertical integration. New age industrial automation systems will share critical resources carefully and act in synergy to quicken the leap for a possible fifth industrial revolution. With these MES solutions, industrial automation will be too smart and unlock newer values and sources that will act as the primary driver to make an incremental upgrade for future industrial automation.
Smart Asset Solutions
One of the main future advancements that are already in motion in the automation technology world is Smart Asset Solutions. Smart Asset Solutions provide a boost for industrial automation with assured asset performance and unfaltering reliability levels. These solutions ensure that all assets starting from a simple pump to conveyor belts to colossal smart infrastructures are in their best condition to meet the required asset utilisation standards.

Smart Asset Solutions uses technologies like Digital Twins, Smart IIoT networks that nanosensors and remote smart devices, GIS maps, Smart Dashboards, Predictive Models powered by AI-driven ML Algorithms, Simulation Technology and a range of other intelligent technology suites. These solutions are not confined to facilitating manufacturing systems but can also be applied in oil and gas, water, wastewater, transportation and other domains as well.

In an industrial context, this solution ensures that all mechanical assets, smart devices and all assets that are housed in industrial vicinities upkeep their performances, serviceability and resilience during changing industrial environments. Thus, providing the best diagnosis and inspecting technologies for automated industrial systems via user-friendly, insightful and intuitive solutions.
5G
5G can mean a lot of things depending on the technological applications, implementation, context and other aspects that have been discussed by different people. But in the context of industrial automation and its future, 5G mainly contributes in three main aspects: URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications), eMMB (Extreme Mobile Broadband) and mMTC (Massive Machine Type Communications). Industrial practitioners can overcome the limitation and concerns of disparate geographical locations between industrial establishments since 5G will contribute to industrial automation regardless of geographical dispersion, fluctuating bandwidth and all limitations related to traditional Wi-Fi connections.

This capability will allow industrial systems to create the signature and private networks that do not rely on telecommunication companies. With advancing systems with 5G connectivity, no expensive configuration will be required to optimise functionally safe collaboration and communications between controllers and smart devices in future industrial automation systems. When applied rightly and practically, this emerging capability will allow industrial automation to enable ubiquitous services and operational easiness and promote the availability of new-age technologies throughout the global industrial domain.
Smart Factories
Another attribution of the future of industrial automation is smart or fully automated factories. Automated factories are highly configurable and flexible to dynamic manufacturing events. Smart factories are rigged with smart technology devices that break down information and real-time details of drivers, motors, valves, pumps, switches and more into a fine level. Smart industrial vicinities are fulfilling the promise of emerging technologies that allow 100% remote-controlled automation in maintenance application and operational manufacturing settings.

Smart factories are inherited with solutions that are interconnected to automated IIoT sensor networks, top-notch quality diagnostic software, highly interactive and flexible interfaces that centralise operations for smarter error remediation advisories and hierarchical diagnosis. Smart factories of the future are hyper integrated, foster omnichannel connectivities, are more intelligent and data-driven compared to legacy industrial establishments. These factories rely on delivering amazing amounts of revenue with better instrumentation, PLC and control products that can be utilised to drive towards growth and innovation easily. Smart Factories rely on the cloud, robots, IIoT, AI and many industries 4.0 recognised technologies to reshape the future of industrial automation and gain tangible benefits from innovation and smart technologies.
Mobile Robot Fleets

Remote control of advanced robotics is another advancement in the future industrial automation systems. Factories would house fleets of industrial robots that are developed based on the technological luxuries enabled by the newly emerging 5G technology. There are many types of industrial robots, like Delta, Cartesians, Cobots, Spherical Robots and more. Read about the 7 most common industrial robots for more information about selecting the best industrial robot for your industrial factories.

Fleets of Smart Robots will be a not-to-be-missed upgrade in future industrial automation Systems, and new generation robots will be a lot cheaper, highly accessible and easier to be deployed than they are now. Robots will be given their smarts to work with their human counterparts (like in utilisation Cobots) or without any human intervention whatsoever. These smart robots codon off their ancestors since they inherit embedded controllers, enhanced software, improved and IIoT-powered sensors and many other futuristic advancements. They are advanced with smart cameras, LiDAR, radars, processors, ultrasonic sensors and more that are seamlessly interconnected to the core, edge and cloud. Regardless of whether they are logistic, collaborative or remote robots, the interconnectivity, intelligent algorithms and smart control points make the future of industrial automation more machine-centric, thereby continuous.

The Future of Industrial Automation Sprouts from Cerexio

Cerexio Smart Technology Solutions have contributed to automated industrial systems with a plethora of capabilities that make autonomous systems and control points accurate, laggard free, facile and user-friendly. Cerexio is already declared as one of the best advanced MES solution providers at a Global Scale and the best in Asia, making our company a proven software vendor for its futuristic capabilities and reliability. We have accumulated the technological capacities of new-age technologies like AI, AR, VR, IIoT, Microservices, Hybrid Clouds, Streaming Data, Practice and Prescriptive Analytics, Smart Warehouses, Multi-protocols and APIs and many more to make our solution future driven. The brainchildren of Cerexio are highly integrable and are compatible in working with 5G connectivities despite the changing goals, sustainment needs and environments of our clients. We are one of the very few new-age technology solution providers that assure that industrial automation is supercharged starting from instrumentation, PLC to custom hi-tech solution building. Connect with Cerexio to battle the upcoming industrial-technological shock with future-proof technologies.

Prepare for Bolder Industrial Automation Initiatives in the Recent FutureT

With cost-efficient, smarter and viable automation systems dominating the industrial world, all industrial practitioners are challenged to host automation systems sooner or later. Companies are urged to make critical corporate investments, take holistic system approaches while aligning their automation strategies to correspond to their future goals and value-adding requirements of the companies. Manufacturers, Industrial Experts, Automation Specialists are now on their tiptoes to seize the opportunities to define the next best industrial automation technology and push innovators and technology providers to the pioneering edge to reinvent newer solutions, launch and repeat. It is impressive to learn about the current and future disruptions that influence industrial automation. Still, the following question is, are your industrial establishments ready to face the impending disruptions of industrial automation confidently?

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