Industrial Automation and its future scope have led us to a revolutionary phenomenon which is Industry 4.0. Moreover, automation in the manufacturing process has been greatly advanced to be autonomous.
The future scope of Industrial Automation also aims to eliminate the redundant and hazardous job roles by outsourcing the same to a machine. Hence, this enhances the quality of work by not only reducing errors but also improving productivity and mitigating costs.
That is to say, in this article, we will discuss the future scope and evolution industrial automation brings in and the trends that will follow.
Although, before we delve deep into the subject let us first familiarize ourselves with a few terms.
Future Scope of Industrial Automation
Industrial Automation refers to the process of using control systems like computers and robots. It also includes Information Technologies that handle various activities and programs.
Above all, these control systems replace humans by taking up their place in the manufacturing process. Industrial Automation is also the next big thing in the future scope of industrialization after mechanization.
Currently, multiple industries have adopted industrial automation to improve their productivity. Hence, dealing with different intensities and complex human interactions that these automated systems apply.
As a result, there are many applications of industrial automation solutions. Moreover, they fall under the following categories:
- Fixed: A fixed automation is also known as rigid or hard automation. In other words, it is the least flexible type of automation. As a result, it mostly executes repetitive tasks that require allocated equipment to function.
In addition, fixed automation provides consistency and is a great process for high-volume outcomes.
- Programmable: Mostly, programmable automation is perfect for products that require manufacturing in batches and assortments. It also needs a set of instructions and time slots to change the manufacturing process depending on the products. Therefore, it is a process that functions on specifications that control tasks like sequencing.
Moreover, it helps procure medium volumes in production. Although it can also produce low and high volumes depending on the economics.
- Flexible: Flexible automation can sometimes be referred to as soft automation. It is in the same vein as Programmable Automation that offers flexibility for producing a variety of products.
However, the major difference lies within the product changeovers. Therefore, it allows the control system to convey necessary changes automatically at a faster pace. Hence, it reduces the time efforts taken to reconfigure the equipment for different batches.
- Computer-Integrated Manufacturing(CIM): It is a process that includes automation and production activities that depend on computer systems. CIM systems mainly encompass the following:
- Automated Cranes and Transfer Systems
- Numerical Control Machine Tools
- CAD and CAM integrations
- Computer-aided planning, scheduling, and production
- Machine Systems and Robotics
- Industry Automation guarantees cost efficiency. Moreover, it mitigates labor costs by eliminating human intervention in the production process.
- Furthermore, it allows an organized productive model by implementing VR and AR technologies that simplify learning processes.
- Moreover, it also provides a competitive advantage in the industry. As a result, it allows standardization and automatic redesign procedures for a constant and accurate outcome.
- Similarly, it operates 24/7 delivering results by increasing productivity, improving capacity, and optimizing the quality of processing. Hence, reducing inaccuracies and cost during downtime.
- It also helps with the scalability and flexibility of the production activities.
- In addition, robots and devices are easily reconfigurable and accurate while performing tasks. As a result, it reduces process and response time during activities.
- Moreover, Industrial Automation guarantees utmost safety while performing hazardous tasks. Most importantly, these tasks are handled by machines and robots and reduce the risk to the staff.
- It also provides advanced comprehensive security management used for equipment, components, people, and systems. As a result, offering cybersecurity to protect confidential information and the privacy of the company.
- Above all, it monitors, records, and generates valuable information about the process and tasks. As a result, the patterns and changes in the system also help provide insights for future events and implementations.
The evolution of Industrial Automation has led to the future scope of manufacturing to become autonomous. Moreover, there have been tremendous changes and applications in adopting new technologies, network architectures, and innovations in the devices and systems.
Above all, industrial automation and its applications have helped determine the scope and future of many technologies and companies. Hence, here are the top latest trends in Industrial Automation that will shape its future:
PLC stands for programmable logic Controller. It refers to a technology that regulates and automates functions in the process of manufacturing.
PLC may be referred to as a mature technology as it uses different sensors that are connected to record actionable information. Hence, it gives out an impression that it cannot provide more scope of advancement.
Although, with the implementation of AI, cloud computing, big data analytics, PLC is also evolving. As a result, it plays a pivotal function in the future scope of industrial automation.
Moreover, there are the latest tools that are used in industrial automation. Various aspects of manufacturing processes for instance are being affected.
The aspects include PLCs, PACs (Programmable Automation Controller), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA), Human Machine Interface (HMI), and Robotics.
Above all, these tools help the automation industry to improve productivity that leads to better profitability. Hence, The future scope of industrial automation lies with the development of these tools. As a result, offering energy efficiency, design advancements, and better safety protocols.
IIoT is a term that refers to the Industrial Internet of Things. It is the interrelation and correspondence between instruments, sensors, and other devices. Hence, it helps create a network between machines and devices in the industrial environment.
Moreover, IIoT provides great support to improve the performance, visibility, and insights of industry operations. As a result, evolving the future scope of industrial automation to streamline the process.
Therefore, here are the top applications of IIoT that aid the future Scope of Industrial Automation:
- Firstly, providing service engineers and manage remote access to industrial machines.
- Secondly, allowing web-based virtual network connection to manage and observe HMI functions on the IIoT platforms.
- In addition, it offers predictive analytics for maintaining machines and identifying potential problems.
- Most importantly, it controls, monitors, and manages data from multiple systems in various locations. Simultaneously storing the collected data at a central cloud application. Hence, real-time machine data and analysis are easily accessible using industrial communication networks.
Consequently, industrial automation has led to the merger of IT and operational technology (IT/OT). Therefore, the phenomenon has spread like wildfire as manufacturers realize digital transformation is the key.
Moreover, it has led to the connectivity and convergence between OT and IT. As a result, it is helping businesses tackle the increasing demands of products.
Above all, it leverages information to understand various advancements and emerging technologies. Hence, IT/OT convergence offers cybersecurity functions across the business.
Most importantly, the merger between power and automation leads to integration and a digitalization approach. Therefore, increasing the scope of interoperability and flexibility in the process.
During this pandemic, manufacturing industries have been hit the most. Hence, they are in dire need of new technologies in the operation processes.
That is to say, industrial automation provides advances in digitalization that lead to new processes in automation. Moreover, it digitally transforms manufacturing processes with IT/OT. Hence, manufacturers have an opportunity to convert from “automation” to “autonomous” processes.
In conclusion, industrial automation has led us to develop comprehensive strategies for Industry 4.0. Although, manufacturers would soon have to prepare for the next generation, Industry 5.0.
It is a further advanced trend that will focus on personalization and immediate customer service. As a result, it will integrate people with “cobots” or collaborative robots.
According to Esben Østergaard, Universal Robots chief technology officer and co-founder, “Industry 5.0 will make the factory a place where creative people can come and work, to create a more personalized and human experience for workers and their customers.”
Also, by 2025 over 60% of manufacturing and other industries will employ chief robotic officers to help run operations. Hence, people are required to train and qualify to be a part of the new model of society.
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