Automation – A Quick Guide to the Latest Trends in Industries

Automation

We are living in a world that stops at nothing, it is fast and immersive via the different modes of the technology. To keep up with the pace of this moving technology, automation is here to help all the industries scale up its growth. Traditionally, Industrial automation was  just a source of more production and less labor cost. With the changing times, the purpose of automation shifted from increasing productivity and decreasing cost to increasing quality and flexibility in the manufacturing process.

Furthermore, Industrial automation can entail many things, from a simple start-stop conveyor system to a full production line with safety systems, data collection and with continuous progress in automation and technology, it has led us to the industrial internet of things 4.0, machine learning, cobots, and IO-Link. Let’s have a look at how these trends are doing for the manufacturing industry.

IoT 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), which is also known as Industry 4.0 plays a very important role in industrial automation. It is beginning to explore and implement IoT concepts and technology. IoT allows companies to not only automate processes but also equip establishments with the tools to gather, review, and store data that can be utilized to improve processes.

Their main objective is to create frictionless communications for the manufacturing field input/output. Therefore, It includes analyzers, robotics, etc in order to increase their flexibility. Let us take the example of Amazon, this company with the help of IoT utilizes robotics to fulfill orders. Additionally, it is used for data collection of warehouse quantities, shipment flow etc.

IO-Link

A newer serial communication protocol, IO-Link, is the first standardized I/O (input/output) technology (IEC 61131) utilized in large parts by PLCs and their automation processes. Additionally, it supports a robust and quick transfer of data that shares device identification, faults, digital signals, and more. We use IO-Link to communicate with sensors and actuators. The advantages of IOL are that it allows a simpler installation, increased operating efficiency, and the ability to reduce maintenance stress. Additionally, IO-Link and the data transmitted with it is used for preventive maintenance and service.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is identical to IoT 4.0. It does not correlate to futuristic robotics that is walking and talking. It’s a kind of artificial intelligence application that enables computers to learn without any specific programming. It is not a set program that continues its cycles but instead, it assists with aspects such as inventory management, production forecasting, and more. Thanks to machine learning, there has been massive progress in the manufacturing unit. Above all, they have optimized systems in factories to be compatible with machine learning. Manufacturers are able to create what is called a “smart factory”.

With the help of various smart devices, machines, and systems, these small factories are digitized which monitors production, collects and evaluates data. However, with the help of this evaluation, new processes are obtained that can adapt to production changes.

Collaborative Robots (Cobots)

Collaborative robots or cobots are slowly gaining grip in the industry. Moreover, The intention of collaborative robots was that of putting humans and people side by side in the workforce. However, traditional robots need a lot of protection. They need to have light curtains, area scanners, and even physical barriers to keep humans from injury or fatal accidents. Cobots are built to work alongside workers. There is one issue with cobots is that they have a smaller workload.

However, they move at a much slower rate of speed. Cobots rely on the application they are being installed and are tailored to a work in partnership with human beings. Above all, some robots are made for the delicate work. That work is to handle electronic components, protect fragile parts, and expensive fixtures.

Also Read – What is Net Metering?

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