What is Industrial Automation?
Industrial Automation is the use of technologies like computer softwares, robotics, and machinery to automate the processes involved in various industries with minimum human intervention. In today’s era, it is impossible to imagine an industry or warehouse without automation. With automation processes in place, there is optimum opportunity to increase productivity by enhancing accuracy and efficiency.
With the industrial revolution, which is also most commonly referred to as the most profound revolution ever seen in human history, mechanizations of goods came into the picture. Through the help of technical innovation, lots of new tools and machineries were being used for production and assembly of goods. This made it possible to achieve efficiency that could never have been dreamed of before. Perhaps, what made the industrial revolution indispensable was the acceleration of work across all industries from agriculture and transportation to textile and energy. The major contributor to the success of the industrial revolution was how technology was mixed with innovation to optimise and streamline processes that were ranking extremely high on human dependency. We are currently in the midst of another big wave of change, as technology is advancing at a rapid pace, we are shifting from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0. Let’s dive deeper to understand how technology has changed the industrial sector.
The Leap of Technology through the Years
In this technological revolution, those tasks that were completely done manually were mechanised. This was possible through the use of steam engines which were used to generate power and used for weaving looms.
The second industrial revolution began in the 19th century through the discovery of electricity and the assembly line production. Earlier, an entire automobile was assembled in a single station, Industry 2.0 revolutionised this using conveyor belts, where partial assembly was done. This innovation increased the efficiency in warehouses by reducing costs and optimising productivity in the automobile industry.
In Industry 3.0, computers, electronic automation & information, and electronic systems played a major role by shifting tasks that were primarily being done by humans to robots, and thereby automizing it.
The digitization era is here! Now everything is getting digital, industries are also adapting to this change to stay relevant in the market. The IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) has changed the landscape of how industries function by introducing concepts like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and Cloud Computing. This increases automation connectivity and allows softwares to make smart real-time decisions independently to achieve competitive advantage. With Industry 4.0, predictive maintenance is possible, which involves making important decisions in advance based on the data captured by the sensors. Data also plays an important role as it is necessary to accumulate as much data as possible for analysis and forecasting, which will help to improve the manufacturing process by finding loopholes in the system.
How is E-Commerce accelerating the Industrial Automation Market?
The E-Commerce ecosystem is going through rapid changes, with the drive in demand for instant and same day delivery, constant return of products, and the growth in number of businesses involved in the ecommerce industry, there is a need for businesses to make changes to keep pace with the demand. One way to deal with this hurdle is setting up more warehouses, especially in metropolitan cities where the demand is higher. Another solution is to automate warehouses and increase throughput to achieve efficiency and meet the ever-growing demand.
Market survey shows that the market size of the global automation market is valued at $13.6 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow up to $57.6 billion by 2031. This estimation projects an overall growth rate of 14.3% CAGR from 2021 to 2031. Key players in the market like Amazon, Flipkart, and Mantra are already adapting to this change and automating their warehouse. Amazon is using robots for packaging and processing of products to optimise maximum efficiency while reducing human errors and increasing productivity.
Benefits of Industrial Automation
1) Best Quality
Automation systems are precisely set up with customizations in place to tailor fit the needs of that particular industry. This essentially means there is a lesser chance for errors. Machines can work more consistently and effectively than human labour, automating warehouse processes gives the best results in terms of the quality of the product.
2) Higher throughput rate
Unlike manual labour, robots can work 24x7, 7 days a week with maximum efficiency. This additional work time attains more efficient throughput rates. Moreover, automation systems can be reprogrammed to suit new requirements without any downtime.
Operator requirements are minimized in warehouses that are automated. This eliminates hazards such as poor working conditions and working on tasks that are hazardous.
4) More production equals more profits
With industrial automation, production increases naturally, which means businesses can ship their products to the market at faster rates. This makes a strong case for keeping production in-house rather than outsourcing.
5) Cost reduction
Utilization of robots is much better than human labour, since investments in robots are one time in most cases. Once a system has been set in place, the only recurring costs involved are maintenance and energy required while the systems are operated. This leads to lesser costs involved in production.
SJK Innovation develops and delivers various technologically advanced solutions across industries under the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. With the help of industry leaders and experienced professionals, SJK delivers the best innovative solutions for agriculture, airport, and warehouses industries.
The next industrial revolution has already been set in motion, and it looks like automation will change the way industries operate for the better. How do you think automation will change the world?