How Industrial Automation is Transforming the Manufacturing Industry

Industrial automation in manufacturing has been changing the manufacturing industry in several ways. It is making the manufacturing process faster, that too in a more productive and more accurate way. Also, it is making it probable for producing goods of higher standard at a cheaper cost.

Traditionally, the industrial automation in manufacturing industry has been observed as a stable and accepted field, not notable for its innovation. However, in the last few years there has been a increase in technological advancements and exciting new innovations and discoveries in the sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has structured uncertainties, however, it has also speeded up the implementation of cutting-edge technology, such as AI, automation, integration, etc. This article will analyse some of the latest trends in automation that are receiving traction and making a considerable impact in the world of the manufacturing industry.

We have stated several common challenges people are facing in their business operations. These are following:

Dealing With Erratic Supply Chain Variables:

Managing a supply chain is not an easy task and is often beset by uncertainties that can interrupt even the best well-laid strategies. The sudden transformation in demand, unforeseeable weather conditions, and unanticipated transportation disruptions can all play havoc on the supply chain management, therefore, driving towards delays and exaggerated prices. Companies need to be prepared for quickly adjusting their processes in order to reduce the impact of these changes and must make sure of the smooth flow of products.

Fluctuating Raw Material and Energy Prices:

The cost of raw materials and energy can be extremely inconstant, and these volatility may have a considerable influence on a business's bottom line. Therefore, for decreasing the chance of these uncertainties, businesses should have a robust risk management approach in place and be able to rapidly handle their processes in order to transform in the market.

On Going Automation is Accomplished With the Help of Bots Which Are Not Interconnected or Mobile:

While the industrial automation in manufacturing is having the capability for highly boosting the efficiency and accuracy of a supply chain, the present generation of robots are typically constricted in their potential. In fact, several are not movable and are not even linked to other systems, therefore, creating it challenging to implement them into the complete  supply chain. To entirely realize the leverage of automation, business should invest in more advanced systems that are interlinked and mobile.

Finding Skilled Labor:

The lack of skilled labor is a challenge that has been there for several years, however, it is now becoming more difficult as companies are highly relying on technology for leading their operations. Identifying the correct talent can be a challenge, and human resource unit must be active in pulling in and retaining the skilled and proficient workers in order for them to stay competitive.

An increased Attempt For Trading With International Business Partners:

The international economy is making it extremely imperative for companies to commerce with partners in other countries. Nevertheless, this has its own array of challenges, involving language barriers, cultural differences, and the need to comply with different rules and regulations of the countries. Companies ought to be prepared for navigating these challenges in order to propel in the international marketplace.

Technology and Automation Trends

Having comprehended the difficulties , let's look at how technology is facilitating companies in overcoming the pain points.

Increased Role of Interconnected Robots

As we discussed previously, manufacturing unit has always been dependent on proficient labor. The most considerable growth in the unit has been because of the convergence of physical and cyber fields.

Although robots have been in the industry for a long time now, the trend has been to have interconnected and programmable robots which are able to operate alongside their human counterparts. Co-Bots, as they are known, can help in performing mundane operations to perfection. They can be networked through facilities intranet and can get instructions over the internet. Companies are searching for hyper automation for dynamic condition with the integration of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. A further updated level of this automation is Industry 4.0, which we will be discussing in the next section.

Adoption of True Industry 4.0 for Automation

Industry 4.0, also termed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, pertain to the ongoing trend towards the implementation of advanced technologies, which includes artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics, into the manufacturing industry and other sectors. The objective of Industry 4.0 is to build "smart factories" that are extremely flexible, and responsive to dynamical market conditions.

The acceptance of Industry 4.0 technologies has the prospective to bring about important changes in the way that manufacturing and other industries are operating. For instance, the integration of interconnected robots and IoT sensors will be allowing the real-time monitoring and control of the production process, directing to enhanced efficiency and quality. In addition, the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will be enabling factories for becoming more flexible and adaptable, as they are learning from data and making decisions on their own.

The implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies is yet in the early stages, however, it is projected to increase significantly in the coming few years. Some of the major technologies that are being accepted as part of Industry 4.0 include:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI technologies, including natural language processing and machine learning, are being operated in order to boost decision-making quality, predict maintenance needs, and customize production processes.

  • Internet of Things (IoT): The integration of sensors and other IoT devices are allowing for real-time monitoring and controlling of the production process, driving towards improving efficiency and quality.

  • Robotics:Interconnected robots, also termed as collaborative robots or cobots, are being implemented for executing functions that are hazardous, repetitive, or need a high extent of precision. They can communicate and operate with each other, as well as with other systems and machines, which will be enabling for higher coordination and collaboration within the required manufacturing process.

  • 3D printing:3D printing will be enabling for the quick prototyping and production of tailored parts, driving towards improved flexibility and reactivity to changing market situations.

Leveraging Digital Twin (virtual recreation of the physical company) facilitates organizations to operate simulations for dealing with real life conditions and allow them to take business decisions. For instance, if there is an issue with raw material supply in a specific country, the organization can imitate the implications of shifting demand to another factory.

Increasing Investment in IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interlinked network of machines, devices, and objects that are outfitted with sensors and software, enabling them to gather and exchange data. The augmented investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is led by the increasing demand for linked devices and the capability for these devices to make new sources of data and revenue. As the need for IoT solutions is continuing to increase, businesses and governments are spending more on research and development, as well as in the preparation of IoT networks and devices. The manufacturing industry is highly investing in IoT for several reasons, including:

  • Improved efficiency: IoT devices are able to monitor and control different aspects of the manufacturing process, ranging from supply chain management to product quality control, mitigating waste and downtime.

  • Predictive maintenance: IoT devices can gather information on the performance of machines and equipment, allowing manufacturers to forecast when maintenance is required and decreasing the probability of unanticipated

  • Increased visibility:IoT devices help in providing real-time information on the manufacturing process, enabling manufacturers to rapidly recognize and resolve problems, enhance decision-making, and therefore, boosting overall performance.

  • Enhanced customer experience:IoT devices are able to collect data on consumer likings and behavior, enabling manufacturers to customize their goods and services to meet the dynamic needs and demands of their customers.

All in all, the investment in IoT has the capability to bring important benefits to the manufacturing industry, boosting efficiency, mitigating costs, and improving the customer experience.

Final Words

Overall, the future seems to be bright for the industrial automation in manufacturing sector. The next few years are all set to bring about incredible changes, as technology is prepared to structure and boost the industry. Aeologic Technologies will help you in building a robust manufacturing automation solutions for all your needs. The outcome will be a more productive, efficient, and innovative industry, poised to meet the requirements of the modern economy.

Featured Product

ELATEC RFID Systems – Ensure only those authorized have access

ELATEC RFID Systems - Ensure only those authorized have access

With a tap of the badge, RFID readers from ELATEC provide secure, reliable and easy-to-use user authentication, access control and usage tracking of hardware and software in industrial automation processes. Reader durability in harsh plant floor environments is another essential feature. Choose the right authentication and access control solution and extend RFID card-based capability for the access control of PLC, robot and HMI automation controller software and devices requiring special operator training.