Industrial automation technology has come a long way since the Industrial Revolution, but where do we go from here? Our custom machine builders in Holland, MI, always have a finger on the pulse of the .
We love to find new ways to streamline manufacturing and are excited to see the new directions the industry is taking. Here are a few of the hot topics in the automation world today. Contact our office today if you would like to learn more about custom industrial automation!
Automation and Employees
The primary concern about the future of industrial automation is that the machines will take over many jobs currently done by humans. While this is partly true, the fear is largely misplaced. The jobs that the majority of these machines are taking are the menial, sometimes unsafe jobs that can be accomplished more efficiently and with a lower risk through the use of industrial automation.
The long-term goal of many companies is “lights-out” manufacturing, in which a company can turn the lights out in the factory and have machines complete the work on their own, no employees required. This doesn’t mean that every employee will be out of a job. Rather, it means that employees will be free to focus on other tasks that machines can’t do instead of spending countless hours performing tasks that are repetitive and sometimes even dangerous.
Technology for the Future
Today, we’re seeing the beginnings of the technological advancements that will allow companies to have fully automated production floors going forward. As automation technology improves, we’ll see custom machines that can not only complete their work, but also troubleshoot and self-repair any issues that come up during the process.
As computers become integrated in automation technology, we’re seeing a rise in machines that can be customized with different software and upgraded as time goes on. Wireless and Bluetooth advancements allow machines to sync with each other like never before, allowing many types of machines to be operated completely remotely. Barcodes and QR codes will allow machines to keep track of inventory much more easily, leading to more accurate numbers for the parent company.
The goal for industrial automation is to have machines that can each perform a number of tasks, rather than the highly specialized we typically see today. When machines can multi-function, they can provide more value to a company. In the future, we hope to see machines that can be programmed to do their jobs more efficiently by making decisions about their work, similar to humans.
There’s plenty of room for industrial automation to grow, and new advancements are happening all the time. If we observe the trends in consumer technology, we can see a preview of the kinds of technology we can soon expect from the industrial sector. Until we see a day when “lights-out manufacturing” can become a reality, we’ll continue to look towards the future.
If you’re looking to add custom automation to your company’s manufacturing process, our custom machine builders in Holland, MI, can help. For industrial welding or custom automation machines, contact Paramount Tool Company by calling (616) 582-5300.