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Industrial Automation

A manufacturing revolution in automotive and industrial equipment

Overview

Automated production, integrated end-to-end: transparent, reliable, predictable and efficient. That’s the promise of Industrial Automation, a core component of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—the vast and self-sustaining digital ecosystem that could be contributing more than US$10 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

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“Industrial Automation is already transforming manufacturing in the automotive and industrial equipment industries.”

BACKGROUND

Realizing the full potential of Industrial Automation will pose challenges for many companies.

It requires new tools, new skills, new ways of sharing and managing information—and new ways of thinking. That's a big ask for companies that are not digital "natives". And an even bigger one for those that are not organized operationally to network across functions, in collaboration with the start-ups and other digital disruptors whose innovations are powering the Industrial Internet of Things.

Our research suggests that most companies, though keen to take full advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things, still hesitate to do so. ​

KEY FINDINGS

Leaders are taking full advantage of intelligent tools and an intelligent workforce: the key enablers of Industrial Automation, which together permit deeper analysis of both manufacturing processes and the supply chain.

Intelligent Tools

Sensors, materials tracking mechanisms, 3D printing, automated product design, robotics and “wearables” can all help manufacturers cut costs and increase productivity. Research suggests that by identifying optimal efficiency drivers, predictive asset maintenance can reduce overall maintenance costs by up to 30 percent, and result in up to 70 percent fewer breakdowns.

Intelligent Workforce

Intelligent tools require an intelligent workforce, and vice versa. As men and machines do more together, new technologies can deliver the skills needed to make the most of Industrial Automation, helping boost both the skill sets and collaborative capabilities of the human element in a more change-ready and responsive workforce.

ANALYSIS

Sensors and control mechanisms are now embedded into most of these industries’ shop-floor machinery. What’s more, such devices are increasingly connected with management, execution, logistics and ERP systems.

As a result, manufacturers have unprecedented visibility into the factory production process. Because they can identify and predict performance bottlenecks, they can improve compliance, boost availability, and minimize waste. They can also pilot new processes more effectively. And they can make smarter decisions about how to manage a significantly more connected and collaborative workforce.