A new report from IHS Technoloy lists three factors that can be expected to drive growth in the field of industrial automation.
First, the trend toward technological convergence sees multiple kinds of technology working together. Specifically, IHS sees opportunities in the convergence of traditional production technologies with digital information technologies. It’s hard to predict how the Internet of Things will play out in an industrial environment, but it’s likely that there will be innovations we can’t yet imagine.
Innovation tends to drive growth. As manufacturers see the potential for integration of Big Data with production technology, new applications will open up.
Second, the development of 3D printing offers new ways to create highly specialized tools and products that can’t be made with molding and forging. As the cost of 3D printers falls and the capacity rises, 3D printing is beginning to be ready to integrate into manufacturing. Again, this will probably happen in ways we can’t currently foresee.
It may be that products which cannot currently be produced by automated mass production will move into that realm. Entirely new products may also be developed.
Finally, the looming retirement of skilled engineers coupled with the difficulty of replacing them may lead to increasing levels of industrial automation. IHS sees increasing levels of autonomy among robots with a possibility of fully automated factories in the future.
Greater safety and cost savings may be the outcomes here. If fully automated factories can produce the machinery for fully automated factories, we may see the peak of industrial automation.
For the field of industrial automation as a whole, revenues rose by 1.2% in 2012 and 3.4% in 2013. 2014 is predicted to see a rise of 7%, showing an encouraging trend. With the market forces identified in the new report, the future of industrial automation looks bright.
In the meantime, if you’re working with Indramat or Indradrive technology, we can provide the support you need.