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Industrial automation is adopting control systems such as information technologies, robots, and advanced computers to handle several machinery and processes within a company. Before, automation was thought to be a medium that increases productivity and reduces the labor operating cost. However, today, there has been a significant shift in the functioning of automation in industries. Focus is more on increasing flexibility and quality of manufacturing processes.
Fortune Business Insights reports that the global market for industrial automation is expected to reach USD 326.14 billion by 2027 while exhibiting a CAGR of 8.9% between 2020 and 2027. Factors such as the increasing implementation of artificial intelligence and the growing adoption of wireless technology are likely to boost these automation services worldwide.
The global pandemic brought industrial operations to a screeching halt. A majority of the labor force was confined to their home spaces. The businesses were burdened with additional responsibilities and evolving business dynamics to cater to the customers, and further protect their employees. The growing focus on ensuring a safe working space has led to the accelerated adoption of automation services globally. According to the Honeywell-KRC research survey, more than half of the companies in the U.S. started investing in automation post-COVID-19 to stay afloat.
As they say, adversity is indeed the mother of innovation; several companies focus on leveraging the lucrative opportunities presented by the market.
ABB Ltd. is a Swedish multinational company having its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. The company is one of the prominent industrial automation companies with a footprint in power, robotics, and heavy electrical equipment. In 2019, ABB generated revenue worth USD 2,797.8 crores and currently has a strength of around 106,000 employees in over 100 countries. The industrial automation segment of the company offers a broad range of solutions for hybrid and process industries by providing electrification, integrated automation, and digitalization solutions. In February 2021, ABB Ltd. announced a low voltage motor control center, ReliaGear LVV MCC. The center has been developed to provide durability, security, and simplicity.
The American Conglomerate General Electric Company has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. The company operates mainly in the digital industry, power, additive manufacturing, aviation, and healthcare. In 2020, the company’s strength stood at 205,000 employees, and it generated a revenue of USD 7,561.9 crores. The company has advanced significantly in the aviation segment by introducing advanced technologies in the military and commercial markets. For instance, the company’s new T901 turboshaft engine was selected by the U.S. Army owing to its improved turbine engine program to power the Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. Moreover, in March 2021, General Electric introduced intuitive software applications and expert services, Connectix. The service is aided by advanced data analytics to increase energy efficiency and enable fast-paced decisions to optimize processes in manufacturing.
Honeywell International, Inc. is an established American multinational company positioned in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company majorly operates in four segments such as technologies, aerospace, performance materials, and safety. The company was ranked 92nd in 2019 with a global workforce of about 110,000 employees and over 44,000 present in the United States. Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), a business unit of Honeywell International, Inc., is the leading provider of process automation control and business solutions. Moreover, the company has a strong footprint in providing these automation systems, software applications, and professional services to help customers improve business agility, decision-making, and productivity.
Established in 1921, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is a Japanese multinational company operating in the global market. The company has its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Mitsubishi Electric operates in six business segments such as Industrial Automation Systems, Energy and Electric Systems, Home Appliances, Electronic Devices, Information and Communication Systems, etc. Besides, in the factory automation systems segment, the company provides a wide range of products and solutions consisting of drive products, power distribution products, power monitoring products, and processing machines. In May 2020, the company launched MELFA ASSISTA, a family of robots that collaborates with humans focused on safety functions such as collision avoidance.
One of the leading companies in this market, Rockwell Automation, is an American company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company has an overall employee strength of around 23,000 people and has its presence in over 100 countries globally. Rockwell reported sales of about USD 6.69 billion in 2019. The company primarily operates across two business segments such as architecture & software and controls products & solutions. The company offers industrial automation solutions such as engineered-to-order and custom-engineered systems. In January 2021, the company announced the release of its updated intelligent conveyor system, QuickStick HT. The system provides functional safety and can save the plant floor space while reducing the size of the control cabinet.
Emergence of Nanotechnology Systems to Lead to Explosive Growth Ahead
In times ahead, industrial automation is projected to experience exponential growth with the evolving technology at a rapid pace. Systems such as nanoscale and nanotechnology will play a pivotal part in the growth of the market. For instance, the development of low-cost nanotech sensors that will have the capability to measure anything and everything, coupled with the machine to machine networking, will ensure a paradigm shift in the working of industries. The real-time systems will make way for multi-processing and complex adaptive systems. Several advanced software applications will be developed by adopting wireless sensors and distributed peer-to-peer networks consisting of small operating systems in wireless sensor nodes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly led to significant changes in the way businesses work. Companies globally have started adopting digital services and solutions to accelerate their business processes. Besides, the growing adoption of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is projected to drastically improve business processes and operations and surge economic growth.