New technologies have come to make life easier for us in many ways, especially in industries and companies in different sectors. One of the main ones is automation, either through robotics or advanced and easy software, adapted to the different needs of each company. As this continues to advance, we share some of the key technology trends that will have a major impact on the process and industrial automation of 2018.
1. Intelligence on the Edge
As data is transferred to the edge (connection to the cloud), remote management in real time and a simplified infrastructure, essential for success. Problems that have arisen for industries such as asset performance management to improve production and reduce unplanned downtime. With this, users will be encouraged to implement edge computing (a philosophy that is applied in business and industrial scenarios, which makes the devices used more “smart”).
With this technology, it will be possible to unlock additional data to those previously accepted by the machines and processes; will allow to compare the quality of the product manufacturing conditions; and identify potential safety, production or environmental problems. Remote administration will allow operators to connect in real time with external experts to resolve more quickly, or even avoid, unplanned machine inactivity. With this, the experience of the staff is maximized, and they focus on their main tasks.
2. Advances in the management of industrial cybersecurity
Advances in industrial cybersecurity solutions have been made to address unique requirements of equipment, applications and industrial automation plants. Above all, because they are related to strict restrictions on system updates and network communications. The advances will include solutions for the management of commercial cybersecurity, but in a way that limits the negative impact on the operation of the control system.
In addition, these new industrial solutions for cybersecurity management will expand their functions to include industrial assets and protocols for non-PC based control systems.
3. Open Process Automation (OPA): Better visibility
This initiative aims to build test prototypes, to establish standards and to build commercial systems of automation of open processes, which minimize the specific technologies of the vendor; in order to increase the overall return on investment of the system, thus maintaining strict security and protection.
4. Fusion of the physical world and the virtual world
New technologies, while the world is changing, are accelerating both the virtual and the physical, allowing the creation of new business models. Manufacturers are introducing new business models, in which digital services are sold along with their products. An example of this is digital twins, virtual replication of a physical product designed, built and maintained; adding that services are augmented with real-time monitoring and predictive analysis.
5. Distributed analysis
Distributed analysis will further extend data processing, typically through intelligent bidirectional communication devices, such as sensors, controllers or gateways.
These devices can be located close to or embedded in a wide variety of machines and equipment, such as robots, float vehicles and distributed microgrids. The analyzes can be integrated into distributed devices or created in a cloud environment and then sent to the edge for execution.
This method can help support the generation of income, from new methods of serving existing customers and other ways to reach new ones.
Among the techniques are the optimization of assets through an improved, proactive and highly automated management of infrastructure and resources. Also, greater satisfaction and retention by involving customers with high value products and services, whenever they need it; as well as greater operational flexibility and responsiveness, through better and faster decisions, based on data.
Now that you know it, keep up to date and be prepared for future changes.