There has been a dramatic increase in the importance of automation in the process industries. Process automation solutions enhance product quality, improve process safety, and efficiently utilize resources for the enterprises. Mass production is one of the main reasons for applying process automation solutions. The demand for these solutions is in many industries such as chemical industry, petrochemical industry, power generating industries and pharmaceutical industries. The traditional barriers between communication, information, and automation technology are gradually disappearing. Technologies such as wireless networks, asset management systems and Fieldbus systems increase the efficiency of the process systems. Below stated are some trends in automation that organizations must look forward to. They are:
- IoT to have a significant effect on automation – the impact of IoT concepts on the industry is gradually rising. The development of new products and technologies is driving IoT with better-connected The adoption of high-performance processors, analytic software, cloud computing, sensors, vision systems, highly distributed system architectures and other products is thriving the business world forward. This will eventually lead to higher performance and low costing of industrial automation systems. The cloud stack, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are the technologies that rely on automation. The IT automation approach to IoT will enable better application monitoring and data collection without operational disruptions.
- Better automation architecture would simplify integration
With the rise of open system architectures focusing on interoperable systems, on the edge computing and integration businesses are experiencing new growth. The new architecture is more efficient, responsive, and flexible. It tightly integrates manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, customer ecosystems. To achieve this functionality seamless communication and interaction in all enterprise systems is necessary.
- Use of portable applications
The primary issue in the automation industry is the low vendor portability of applications. The developers of open automation architectures realize that without the open ecosystems administering portable applications between vendor platforms is impossible. The new developers are already selling and demonstrating their products programmed to work better on IoT platforms.
- Merge of OT and IT
Businesses are developing to handle real-time transactions by integrating Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). Innovative developers are providing systems that are developed to accomplish the idea of connected enterprise. Automation controllers that communicate directly with business systems using various IoT mechanisms and web services have become a part of business information standards. The industry standards are being leveraged in attaining these goals. These changes will reduce the requirement of MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) in numerous applications.
- Increase in use of sensors
Sensors and devices that use embedded intelligence and do not need external software are being used everywhere. These devices are beneficial in providing the right amount of contextual data. The implementation cost of smart sensors is reducing rapidly with the new IO-Link addition sensors are being adopted rapidly. Enterprises are adopting Ethernet sensors to provide data for automation as well as to communicate with business systems directly. The use of Bluetooth sensors is also growing in both industrial sector and commercial sector.
- Increase in adoption of RPA
The adoption of automation technology is rapidly increasing as enterprises are seeing benefits from it. The adoption of RPA (robotic process automation) is on the rise in the manufacturing and supply chain sector. Stats from Gartner suggest that companies are planning to spend at least 100 million dollars by 2020. RPA and other automation platforms are becoming an inevitable part of business process systems not just for streamlining the business operations. To have an edge in development more and more organizations will be looking forward to investing in automation processes.
- Cloud automation
IT automation is going to be of the vital essence in the coming time for data centres. This impact will be primary in the form of cloud automation. Automation is essential in removing the manual errors, reducing costs and improving the accuracy of systematic business processes. The best method would be by eradicating the need for manual coding and scripting again and again. Automation of cloud speeds up processes like determining workloads on applications, testing, optimization, and others. With the increase in generation of data, data centres on premises are not viable options. Cloud automation allows efficient storage and security of essential resources balancing modern and traditional IT infrastructure in the cloud.
Successful digitalization has become the need of the hour for industries looking to maximize business performance. Organizations are looking to invest in technological trends that can keep them in the loop of business growth. Automation is going to be a necessity for growth and development of these organizations.