The ongoing trends in automation suggest that latest technologies such as big data, cloud and Internet of Things are changing the face of industrial manufacturing. We are closing in towards an era where manufacturing plants will operate autonomously without any major human intervention. Increasing focus on developing smarter production procedures and an urgency to enhance manufacturing capabilities are speaking up for this unfolding technological revolution that is taking place. As the manufacturing industry steadily adapts to the new digital environment, it is expected to encounter technological bottlenecks and other formidable challenges going forward.
At present, the manufacturing industry is in transition, actively focusing on a wider use of open systems that are more successful as compared to conventional proprietary models. In the forthcoming years, process control and industrial automation will function entirely on APIs based on open standard systems. Healthy progress is being made on this front, technology providers and industrial manufacturers are coming together to take manufacturing standards to a whole new level. For instance: IMB recently agreed to collaborate with Opto 22 for developing a special IIoT capability for manufacturers.
— Opto 22 (@opto22) March 16, 2017
The collaboration will see IBM’s Watson AI integrate with Opto 22’s wide range of industrial automation tools. The Armonk-based tech giant has been quite optimistic about its flagship program, the company has made massive investments to develop ‘Watson’ – a dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer. Meanwhile, this partnership is likely to augment Opto 22’s expertise in building automation equipment, industrial automation solution, remote monitoring, data acquisition applications, process control and industrial refrigeration. The partnership is anticipated to combine all the required toolset for developing applications that can comprehensively convert analogue signals to digital commands. Opto 22 is a leading industrial automation solution provider, it appears that the company has realised the urgency to develop products that can independently support and communicate with several popular internet technologies and allow an easy integration of IIoT applications.
For industrial automation solution developers, offering contemporary and effective solutions will be crucial to their survival. Over the next couple years, the manufacturing sector is likely to ramp-up IoT investments, which is why industrial automation solution providers must continue to develop innovative products that can meet client requirements. Moreover, components such as collaborative robots, sensors, and assembly line machines are yet to find complete compatibility with cloud-based applications or AI platforms such as the IBM Watson. The large untapped data from such equipment can provide valuable information to help in decision-making and improve business processes across various industrial verticals. Therefore, the partnership between Opto 22 and IBM can allow developers to rapidly design prototype models and test applications that can connect internet tools to existing manufacturing equipment. This, in turn, will enable manufacturers to obtain real-time data, and increase operation efficiency.
Nevertheless, connecting existing industrial components to the latest technological spheres will need more such joint efforts. Companies such as IBM and Opto 22 have a vast knowledge of their respective fields and combining such potentials will certainly prove beneficial for the manufacturing sector.