Automation control is increasing in popularity and can be found in many industrial facilities and manufacturing plants. The automation control is used for operating all sorts of equipment, such as heat treating ovens, boilers, processes in factories, various machines, switching in telephone networks, stabilization of ships and airplanes and many other applications that require minimal human intervention. Many business owners start to recognize the benefits of using automation products and systems, which are labour, energy and materials savings, improved quality and accuracy. Each year, there are new trends in the automation products and systems, based on many different inputs from users, industry consultants and suppliers. Here are the automation trends for 2015.
Lean Automation System – The new technology is making it desirable and possible to connect two or three automation products or systems for increased performance and reduced software maintenance costs. This simplifies the typical 5-layer system model that the automation industry has been using over the previous years. The new model of automation products, devices or controllers gathers and delivers information to all levels using the appropriate protocols. This trend is quickly developing because of its more capable and reliable controller, devices and sensors.
Cooperative Robots – The last couple of years, new light and inexpensive robots have been introduced, which can cooperate with humans. This type of robot costs about $40,000 and is suitable for a big number of applications. These robots are made by following the pattern that causes the computer revolution, resulting with robots that consume less power and offer a great versatility. The low-priced robots are increasing the interest in purchasing and using robots in plants for different applications.
Remote Monitoring – With the improvement of both software and hardware tools, the remote monitoring is also improving. Automation products experts strongly suggest remote monitoring, as it allows operators to solve all sorts of plant issues without traveling to the plant. This trend is hugely popular for 2015, but it has a tendency to grow bigger in all countries around the world. Also, today virtually every human uses a smart phone, laptop or tablet, so remote monitoring is available for everyone.
Panel-Free Installation – This trend is largely popular in Europe, as it tends to eliminate the control cabinets and make the wiring simpler. To eliminate the need of mounting devices in control cabinets, business owners need to use IP67 and IP20 connections. The panel-free installation used with automation products leads to reduced cost, simplified installation and lower maintenance efforts.
Wireless – Sounds fancy? Indeed. But that’s not all business owners should know before implementing wireless points in their facilities or plants. Wireless points are very popular this year, but they have two large cons. First, they are very expensive, which narrows down the number of suitable applications. Second, there are cyber security concerns with implementation of wireless devices. There are specific standards regulating the industrial wireless devices or controllers.