3 Ways to Use Technology to Improve Industrial Automation

3 Ways to Use Technology to Improve Industrial Automation

The field of industrial automation is growing quickly, and emerging technologies promise to remodel many different manufacturing processes in the near future. In a variety of industries, automation is changing the way product lines and factories implement workflow in many different industries. Here are some of the ways in which these emerging technologies might improve industrial automation and processes, as well as quality assurance.

1- Predictive Maintenance

When programmed with previous data on system maintenance schedules and other points of data relating to maintenance, especially sensors feeding real-time information, maintenance software can now alert to potential developing issues in machinery and equipment. By identifying potential problems as they develop, these issues can then be resolved before they become the most costly to repair. This software can also predict when certain types of maintenance will be required in the future, making it possible to engage in predictive maintenance before machinery breaks. New technology also has the ability to analyze trends in these repair schedules, showing where performance might suffer under certain conditions or where energy consumption might be altered.

2- Artificial Intelligence

Software equipped with machine learning will likely be the future of automation. This software is capable of learning from previous experience and data fed to it and making decisions based on that data. While true AI, that is, software capable of acting in a way that is indistinguishable from a human, is still a ways off, current technology and emerging technology have reached the point where these systems can now make specific decisions and take appropriate action based on those decisions in much the same way a human would. This technology has the advantage of reducing human-made errors in various processes, freeing up human workers to do other work, and simplifying repetitive processes, as a form of quality assurance. Automation of these processes also saves time and cost.

3- Robotics

Robotics and automated robotics are not new to industrial manufacturing. In fact, robots have been used on the assembly line for decades now. However, the next generation of robots, powered by some form of AI, will change the game considerably. No longer relegated to simple assembly or sorting, robots can now weld intricate and delicate parts, handle materials, and paint fine details. These machines can work around the clock every day of the week, never get tired, and do a job with greater accuracy than humans. With robots doing hazardous jobs, workflow is now safer for humans and produces better quality. Robots handle heavy objects or perform work in hazardous conditions, such as environments heavy with caustic chemicals.

Emerging technologies in AI, predictive maintenance, and robotics all have the potential, along with other technologies, to ensure quality assurance in the industrial automation process of the future. Such technologies remove human error and make the process safer for the workforce. Industrial automation is changing rapidly, and employing the latest technologies in both hardware and software contributes to more efficient workflow and safer working conditions. For companies that rely on industrial automation, technology can have a monumental impact on productivity and efficiency.