What Automation Innovations Will Become the New Normal?

For a while, we were waiting for the coronavirus to go away so everything could go back to normal. Now, we’ve realized that we may just have to live with it. That means we’ll have a new normal.

Some of the characteristics of the new normal might include more robots, fewer handshakes, and tougher standards for worker safety.

But research company Deloitte has looked back at last year’s Smart Factory Study and identified some trends that were already gathering steam at that time, and have now come into their own.

71% of respondents used data analytics

Big data is, by definition, information with too many data points for human beings to grasp just by looking. Computers can analyze the information brought in by big data and provide information in a form that people can then use for action.

Having this kind of analytics in place allows useful responses to safety issues. For example, you could quickly identify bottlenecks where it’s hard to maintain physical distance.

54% used active and passive sensors

Sensors in the factory often catch things like excessive vibration in a machine or high temperatures in a cabinet. They can also identify a work slowdown suggesting that an operator might be in ill health, or physical contact between workers.

What’s more, sensors can power self-opening doors to reduce human contact with surfaces, or check for fevers before workers enter the building.

29% used wearables

Industrial wearables can include buzzers to alert workers when they enter someone else’s space. They can catch fevers or falls, and even help with contact tracing.

Wearable patches monitoring vital signs are most often used in healthcare settings, but could help in meat packing plants and other high-risk industrial settings.


It’s good to see that existing technologies can help with reopening. If you need to get your Rexroth machinery in shape for your reopening, contact us for immediate assistance.

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