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Three Trends Driving Automation in Industry

– Contributed content –

Robot arm and gripper

(Michal Jarmluk, Pixabay)

20 Jan. 2021. Automation is bringing about huge changes for industrial businesses and any company that wants to remain competitive must invest in these new tools. There are so many benefits to automation including reduced costs, improved accuracy, and increased productivity. Businesses that fail to take advantage of new automation technology will soon become obsolete and fall behind the competition.

If you want to get ahead, you need a clear understanding of the automation trends that are currently driving change in industrial businesses. The most successful companies are the ones that get in on the ground floor and pave the way, not the ones that follow behind and adopt technology once everybody else is already using it. If you want your industrial business to be competitive you need to keep up with these automation trends.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a major driving force behind automation technology in all sectors. AI can be used in a number of ways to improve your business. Many manufacturing companies, for example, collect and analyze data to predict market trends, allowing them to be more prepared for fluctuations in demand. It can also be used to gather information about supply chains and suggest changes, so they can be optimized.

Inventory management has also been revolutionized by AI systems. Automating inventory management and picking improves logistics and cuts staff costs at the same time, which is a big priority for all businesses.

Robotics

Robotics is already used in many manufacturing businesses to automate tasks normally carried out by humans and as the technology improves, their role will be increasingly important. Robotic arms using an SMC pneumatic cylinder can be used to automatically pick and move items on conveyors or even to check for defects in products. However, there is a new trend in co-bots, which are smaller, more versatile robots that work in conjunction with human employees to carry out more advanced tasks instead of the basic repetitive tasks that robots are typically used for.

Machine vision

Machine vision is a technology that opens up a lot of possibilities when used in conjunction with robotics. Machine vision is already used to identify defects or color differences in products, for example, but in the near future, it will be used to facilitate close working between robots and humans. The majority of robotics at the minute are caged-off for safety reasons. However, as co-bot technology improves, it’s likely that machine vision will have a big role to play. Robots that are able to identify humans will be able to move around them autonomously, opening up a whole range of new working possibilities on the factory floor. Machine vision is also improving grasping applications because robots are now able to differentiate between different items and determine whether a soft or tight grip is required.

These are the key driving forces behind automation in industrial businesses and it’s these technologies that you should be investing in right now. Unless you are willing to be at the forefront of innovation in these areas, your business will fall behind.

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