The Future of Industrial Innovation: Top Trends at 2023 Automation Fair

22 Nov 2023

Rockwell Automation Fair, one of the world’s premier industrial automation and digital transformation events, serves as a platform for industry leaders to discuss and showcase innovations that are shaping the future of manufacturing. In this article we explore the key trends from the conference, that are set to redefine the industry.

  1. Transformation of Production Logistics:

One of the major points was the ongoing transformation of production logistics. A 2018 research by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute predicted the creation of 4.6 million jobs in the industry by 2028, half of which is expected to be understaffed. The potential for a substantial increase in productivity, as well as safety and staffing concerns, have prompted industry leaders to explore the integration of robotics to handle mundane tasks, allowing human workers to engage in more meaningful work that require creativity and critical thinking.

  1. Digital Design Tools:

Imagine designing products in a virtual environment before actually making them. The concept of a digital twin, representing a physical entity or system throughout its lifecycle via data, analytics, simulations, and emulations, facilitates swift scale-up and launch. This innovation is reshaping traditional manufacturing processes, making it more flexible and responsive. Moreover, a digital twin serves as a powerful tool for virtually training operators, enabling them to learn from a diverse range of production scenarios than is practically possible with physical training. This includes raising awareness among field workers about hazardous tasks, utilizing the digital twin to test and simulate scenarios for enhanced workplace safety.

  1. Data-Driven Productivity and Sustainability:

Industry leaders emphasized the significance of harnessing AI and data insights to boost efficiency, with more than half recognizing the direct influence of effectiveness on sustainability. The seamless integration of Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) proves crucial, supporting multi-users and multi-devices to cover the entire system plays a role and has a direct impact on resilience as well as agility. In response to these needs, Rockwell discussed the importance of implementing a versatile platform, enabling industrial organizations to create adaptable solutions that meet diverse requirements and evolve with changing technologies.

  1. Building Resiliency:

As industries become more interconnected the need for cybersecurity becomes paramount. The conference addressed the increasing complexity and the rising threat of cyberattacks, particularly targeting the manufacturing sector. The focus on building resiliency includes implementing IT-level security measures to address vulnerabilities in Operational Technology.

The major theme of the 2023 Automation Fair was the increasing complexity within the industry, prompting a search for ways to simplify software and human operations. Digitization is not just a distant prospect anymore, it’s already a reality. From smarter ways of moving things around to using virtual tools for design, the industry is moving towards a more efficient and sustainable future. Yet, the biggest challenge lies in striking a balance between automation and human involvement, ensuring a more effective and adaptable approach to manufacturing.