What Is Industrial Automation?
Integrating automation is the future of manufacturing. At it's most basic essence, automation is the utilization of intelligence in an industrial process to accomplish manufacturing work. Industrial automation can take on many forms including items such as controls, tanks, mixers, robotics, 3d printing, and a host of many others.
The Appeal of Automation
Efficiency is the name of the game in automation. Automation appeal is growing fast and invading a number of reputable industries including hospitals, writing, manufacturing, and packaging. This short list of industries is just barely scratching the surface. In a recent New York Times piece, it was reported that, "A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published." In the past few months, our team at MXD Process has witnessed an automated continuous still, a robotic bottle packager, and a teachable robot that could learn multiple tasks suitable for a variety of industries. Automation is here. It is in our homes, smartphones, automobiles, and much more. It's improving at a quick rate and its not going anywhere anytime soon.
Shifts In Manufacturing Automation
With every year Manufacturing's role is in a state of change. As innovation advances, the economy will shift and the necessity of increased productivity will become a constant question mark. This question mark is perpetuated by the need for companies to rely more heavily on automation and all the services needed to operate. With the constant onslaught of developing automation technologies such as 3d printing and robotics, industrial manufacturers are getting high tech. The ability to efficiently produce products of all sizes and materials is becoming more and more prevalent. It is to no surprise that larger companies are taking the plunge into automation with little to no reservation. As robotics and 3d printers become more affordable, medium and smaller sized companies will be jumping in as well. Needless to say, the continual incorporation of automation into the manufacturing industry will be interesting.
What better news for manufacturers than the sight of new opportunities and increased demand for products? Global manufacturing is on the rise. As manufacturing phases into the future, a new set of consumers will arrive along with a ton of new markets to be a part of. According to technolgy futurist Jim Pinto in a recent article on AutomationWorld.com, "As a new global consumer class emerges in developing nations and innovations spark additional demand, global manufacturers will have substantial new opportunities. Innovative automation systems will be the core of future manufacturing growth".
The Industrial Re-Revolution
Automation arrived on the scene and has never looked back. As the manufacturing industry continues to progress year over year its astonishing to look how far we have come. In the infographic below, you will be able to visually travel through a timeline to guide you through the evolution of industrial manufacturing over the last hundred years. From manufacturing companies initial adoption of automation the bright future manufacturing, this is the Industrial Re-Revolution Infographic.