While the automation industry expands and evolves, many manufacturing companies still haven’t touched their production lines with automation technology. Whether the hesitation comes from cost or uncertainty, their competitors are eating into their profit margins with the advantages of modern industrial solutions.
What three technology trends can manufacturers use to stay competitive?
Real-time data grants managers a kind of manufacturing omniscience, continually reflecting machine performance so that workers can respond to problems quickly and evaluate productivity at a glance.
With real-time data, manufacturers can:
- Track the performance of a machine, production line, or entire manufacturing floor
- View multiple facilities and applications in one portal
- Train floor managers to respond to downtime or malfunctions on the spot
Equipped with constantly fresh and actionable information, managers can make informed decisions at any step of the process and resolve problems in half the time or less.
Big Data & Analytics
While real-time data displays important metrics instantly, Big Data keeps a detailed history of everything that happens in the network. Manufacturers can use that information to make precise predictions and spot patterns in the production process, but many aren’t equipped with the necessary management tools to parse Big Data into a clear picture.
When a manufacturer already has a robust data collection system, the right analytics software:
- Offers a highly visual, intuitive overview of the facility’s performance
- Reveals patterns over customizable periods of time
- Helps the user develop predictive models
Analytics can be used to predict problems before they occur, including predictive maintenance that preempts unscheduled downtime.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) extends manufacturing intelligence to previously “dumb” or analog applications. Equipment networked into the Internet of Things feeds into Big Data collection and real-time data, while making it possible for automate more tasks or even operate certain functions remotely.
IoT networks offer a variety of industrial solutions, including:
- Interconnection with Big Data and real-time data
- Allowing machines to “speak” to each other even if running on different languages
- Managing equipment remotely
- Streamlining hardware costs with a unified network
- Creating scalability
- Automation of more tasks
Whether in addition to data collection and real-time data or as an independent project, the Internet of Things extends the possibilities of modern automation technology to entire facilities.
Adopting the Technology
While these three technologies are trending across the industry, they're far more than trends. Manufacturing as a whole will only become more digitized, interconnected, and accelerated with every passing year. Now is the time to explore modern industrial solutions to ensure that manufacturers today can keep up with the competition of the future.
To learn more about automation technology, speak to one of our engineers at Premier Automation. Our experts have the knowledge and practical expertise to help you choose the best application for your business.
You may also be interested in reading:
- Automation Solutions: 3 Ways to Defeat Choice Paralysis
- The Top 3 Safety Concerns in Manufacturing
- The Evolution of Integrated Systems