True or false? Automation is expensive, time-consuming and complicated. False! New technology makes it increasingly fast, economical and flexible.*
Industrial automation is a growing trend, expected to grow at a CAGR of over 7% per year to 2026. Why? Automation has dramatically improved worker safety, product quality and operational efficiency while also reducing costs.
To date, however, automation has been limited to larger factories and industries due to the many high barriers to implementation. Automating your factory was expensive, time-consuming and complicated. It required using systems integrators who needed weeks to add a simple new program.
For example, you might be running a production line where the end product is boxed up and moved along a conveyor belt to the warehouse. If you want to add sensors to count the number of boxes coming down the line, and then use the data for logistics, you would have to call a systems integrator. It could cost 50,000 euros and take weeks to implement.
Today, you can simply plug in and get to work- with no coding. The sensors are included, as is the data platform where you can extend the capabilities of your production line to save money and time. The packages will be counted and a ticket automatically sent to the forklift queue. They are picked up quickly, then moved further down the distribution line – also automated using plug-and-play. Simple!
This is the concept behind our partnership with the ifm group, a market-leading industrial automation provider. With the ifm edge portfolio, connected to Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT, you can enrich your machines, factories and assets with data and digital services to increase their efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The possibilities for automation are endless. And now it is more important than ever with the COVID-19 crisis, as you ask, "How can automation help us recover faster and keep our workers safer?"
(*With thanks to Forbes, from whom I borrowed the true/false idea!)