Industrial automation refers to a variety of control systems, including robots, PLCs, HMIs, industrial computers, and information technologies, that are used to automate various machinery and processes on the factory floor in order to eliminate human intervention. The level of flexibility and integration of industrial automation systems into production activities and processes determines their classification. Industrial automation comes after mechanization in the context of industrialization.
Industrial automation has changed the manufacturing scene dramatically during the last two decades. Automation has become a critical component in today’s global and local production environments, thanks to the introduction of smart computers and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
Industrial automation has demonstrated its worth in recent years, particularly in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in travel restrictions and a scarcity of engineers. Remote connectivity and automation of most industrial processes have now become commonplace in our daily operations.
So, what do you think the industrial automation trends will be in the coming years? Let’s take a peek at what the coming year has in store for industrial automation.
The Top 10 Industrial Automation Trends
Expanding the number of remote plant operations
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed enterprises to resort to remote operations, with many plant operators working from home or other areas outside of the factory. With full remote access to plant operations becoming the new normal, a connected workforce with precise cyber-secure technologies is essential to give real-time visualization and control, as well as meet the difficulties that come with it.
To enable a connected and remote workforce, secure access to information for all parties involved, enhance collaboration and eliminate bureaucracy. Remote operations benefit substantially from Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, which allow a remote user to view any asset on the factory floor while overlaying digital information. Even after the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic have passed in 2022, industry stakeholders, notably manufacturers, will continue to practice remote plant operations to a large extent.
Robotic Process Automation Optimization (RPA)
To digitally modernize their processes, an increasing number of sectors are turning to industrial automation solutions.
However, as more automation systems are deployed, new difficulties emerge, leading to an increase in demand for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and rising adoption rates. Because RPA is a data transfer mechanism between automated systems, it will be beneficial in assuring data parallelization and consistency. In the face of rising adoption rates of new automated industrial technologies, this is a must.
As the deployment of industrial automation expands, RPA will be important in bridging the gap. This is because, without the addition of RPA, new digital systems will be ineffective. As a result, when it comes to 2022 industrial automation trends, RPA is here to stay.
Cyber Security Resilience
With the increasing usage of networked intelligent devices and sensors in the industry, cyber security resilience is more important than ever. The application of IT architecture, information security, processes, and corporate policies to safeguard systems, devices, data, programs and networks from cyber-attacks is known as cyber security.
Currently, industries are transitioning security function automation from identity authentication to threat detection, resulting in faster response times. This will help to ensure that manufacturing machines are appropriately secured against incoming connections from the factory’s internal network as well as external networks.
In 2022, industries will continue to explore ways to automate the first and second lines of cyber security defense, such as through cloud platforms, in order to better respond to factory-wide threats while also validating that security controls are working as planned.
Alliance for Safety
A fresh focus on industrial safety is one of the noteworthy industrial automation ideas projected in 2022. Whether it’s a wired or wireless network or safe autonomous technology, every automated system will have to have a safety component.
System engineers will build mobile industrial automated systems in 2022 that include safety, plug-and-play features, and improved human collaboration as part of their industrial design.
Automation as a Pathway to Long-Term Manufacturing
Across the industry sector, net-zero emissions, resource efficiency, and climate neutrality are all hot topics. Governments around the world are prioritizing proposals and tactics aimed at achieving carbon neutrality. And industries play a critical role in putting these ideas into action.
Most manufacturers are looking for practical uses of industrial automation technology for sustainable products and services, in partnership with government efforts. Additionally, in order to remain globally competitive, an increasing number of companies are focusing on automation. solutions that offer high-efficiency machines that produce less waste while consuming less energy. We anticipate a greater emphasis on sustainable industrial automation systems in 2022.
Increasing Research and Development Spending
When it comes to innovation, industrial automation is a very conservative area. Large leaps are less common than gradual steps. This is reasonable because engineers and automation solution manufacturers are hesitant to take chances that could imperil their jobs or, worse, result in poorly functioning devices.
Governments and other industry stakeholders are projected to invest more money in the research and development of high-end industrial automation systems, robots, software, and other accessories in the year 2022.
Industrial Automation Strategy Based on Conditions
We’ve all put “condition monitoring” on our to-do lists at some point, but we keep deferring the actual implementation.
The major benefits of condition monitoring, such as minimizing the risk of crucial equipment failure and on-time replacement of wear and tear parts, have just recently been made clear to machine makers.
Machine builders and system integrators who are already gathering data are anticipated to take the first steps toward a condition-based industrial automation plan in 2022.
Industrial automation is being led by CIOs.
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) play a critical role in accelerating the adoption of industrial automation within businesses. CIOs are likely to have more influence in 2022 to select appropriate industrial automation technology, establish plans to accelerate digital transformation and create automation directives. As a result, it’s critical for CIOs to understand Industry 4.0’s evolving requirements and map out a strategy for large-scale adoption of industrial digital technologies.
A Novel Approach to AI Technology Adoption
Employee concerns are predicted to grow as Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more advanced and organizations across industries progressively integrate it into their operations. Misperceptions about what AI technologies can and cannot achieve are also likely to grow. AI is sometimes criticized on the grounds that it isn’t as intelligent as people believe.
Distributed Control System
A control system having many control loops is known as a distributed control system. Various autonomous controllers can be found throughout the system. These systems are used in large manufacturing activities like chemical or water treatment plants, oil refineries, and nuclear power plants. After Mark III, for example, General Electric turbine control systems used DCS. IS200TRPGH1A, IS2020RKPSG1A are some examples.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented and Virtual Reality, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, Cloud Computing, 5G technologies, and Digital Twin technology have all been identified as key drivers of Industrial Automation by industry experts, regardless of industry.
With the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, the adoption of digital technologies in sectors will likely expand. As a result, 2022 will see a big leap forward in the industry’s development toward autonomous operations, with the key themes highlighted in this article predicted to emerge as a result.