Like most manufacturing facilities, you're facing both new opportunities and challenges integrating robotics into your process flow. Robots are actively used for repetitive tasks in industrial automation. But many factories underestimate the ability of industrial automation programming.
How are systems integrators creating cost and efficiency gains through robotic industrial automation? The following are robotic capabilities of the future of Industry 4.0 that are being used today.
Automating Manual Tasks
How smart are AI machines? Each plant may have a different answer. Most manufacturing environments are using robots to perform repetitive tasks. This may involve filling orders, processing purchases, or taking inventory. Employing machine learning, robots are identifying patterns and recognizing anomalies.
But can they troubleshoot? In other words, how well can they reason and solve problems? Demand for robotic system integrators will grow at a robust 15.9 percent annually to about $190 billion by 2025 (2018–2025). Most of this integration work will involve increasingly higher thinking processes.
Conducting Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance is one area in which robots are already troubleshooting. The critical difference between ultrasonic equipment that tells you if a part is wearing down and predictive intelligence is machine learning. When a control system integrates your ultrasonic test gear with robotic intelligence, automatic quality control checks can be performed. The ability of machine learning to learn from data what maintenance failures could happen and under which conditions adds predictive intelligence.
From this data representation, industrial shop floors are creating digital twins. A digital twin enables you to monitor operations in real-time and to perform scenario testing on the twin. Gradually, artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking over these functions. They collect, analyze, and learn from big data. As they get smarter, these algorithms are automatically optimizing processes and performing predictive maintenance.
Improving Manufacturing Processes on the Cloud
Robotics bring powerful simulation capabilities to industrial automation programming. But the real advantages are created when you assemble robotic machines on the cloud. Cloud-based control system integrators bring together systems, machines, IoT devices, and processes. The cloud, for example, makes it easier to add deep learning. Algorithms can mine deeper into data and systems, and across more IoT devices.
Complex scenario planning can take place based on optimization strategies identified by the robot. Can a process increase volume, operate at a faster speed? What are the real-world limits?
Your systems integrator can help you explore how robotic automation can be integrated into your manufacturing floor.