Industrial control and factory automation have revolutionized modern manufacturing processes, bringing about a significant transformation in the way factories operate. These two components enhance efficiency, productivity, and safety within industrial settings. Industrial control entails the utilization of advanced technologies like programmable logic controllers (PLCs), sensors, and human-machine interfaces (HMIs) to monitor and regulate machinery and processes. On the other hand, factory automation involves integrating automated systems and equipment to carry out tasks traditionally performed by human operators. By reducing manual labor and optimizing production quality, industrial control, and factory automation aim to streamline operations, minimize errors, and expedite time-to-market for products.
Real-time data collection and analysis enabled by automation technologies provide valuable insights for decision-making and process optimization, resulting in improved product quality and consistency. Furthermore, industrial control systems incorporate advanced safety measures and protocols such as emergency stop functions, interlocks, and protective barriers to ensure the well-being of workers.
Typically, but not limited to, we consider components such as Collaborative Robots, Machine Vision, Human Machine Interfaces, Industrial sensors, Industrial 3D Printing, and Vibration Monitoring in industrial control and factory automation. Below is the brief details of these components:
Collaborative Robots: Collaborative robots, or cobots, are designed to work alongside humans in a shared workspace. They are equipped with sensors and advanced safety features to ensure safe interaction with human workers. Cobots are flexible, easy to program, and can be deployed in various industries, enhancing productivity, efficiency, and worker safety. They enable humans and robots to collaborate on tasks, combining both strengths for improved outcomes. The key driver impacting the market may include a high return on investment compared to traditional robots, increased demand in e-commerce, and others. The challenges may consist of payload and speed limitations of collaborative robots and the rise in cybercrime with connected robots. Recently, Techman Robot, a leading provider of collaborative robots, has unveiled a new model with the longest reach in its lineup. The TM12-1800 can reach up to 1800mm, expanding its potential applications in logistics, warehousing, and machine tending industries. With its extended reach and advanced features, Techman aims to cater to the growing demand for flexible and versatile cobots in various industrial sectors. The collaborative robots market is expected to reach ~USD 9 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of ~42% between 2022-2028.
Machine Vision: Industrial Machine Vision refers to using advanced imaging systems and artificial intelligence algorithms to inspect and analyze products and processes in industrial settings. It enables automation and quality control by capturing and interpreting visual information with high precision and speed. Machine Vision systems are utilized across various industries, such as manufacturing, automotive, electronics, and pharmaceuticals, to ensure consistent product quality, detect defects, guide robotic systems, and improve overall operational efficiency. The driving factor impacting the growth of the said market may include the increasing need for quality control and automated inspection and the growing need for vision-guided robotics systems. The typical challenges for this market may consist of the complexity associated with the integration and vulnerability of systems to cyber attacks. Last year in 2022, Zebra Technologies acquired Matrox Imaging, expanding its range of machine vision solutions. This acquisition will enable Zebra Technologies to offer a comprehensive portfolio of advanced imaging technologies and solutions, enhancing its capabilities in industrial automation, inspection, and quality control applications. Integrating Matrox Imaging’s expertise will further strengthen Zebra’s position in the machine vision market. The machine vision market is expected to reach ~USD 17 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of ~7% between 2022-2027.
Human Machine Interface: A Human Machine Interface (HMI) refers to the point of interaction between a human operator and a machine or system. It allows users to monitor and control the operation of machinery, equipment, or software through a graphical interface. HMIs provide an intuitive and user-friendly platform, often featuring touchscreens, buttons, and indicators, enabling seamless communication and efficient interaction between humans and machines. They play a vital role in various industries, including manufacturing, automation, transportation, and healthcare, enhancing productivity, safety, and user experience. The driving factor impacting the said market may include increasing emphasis on real-time data analysis & predictive maintenance and the growing adoption of digital manufacturing. The challenging factor may include the requirements of frequent software upgrades, lack of standardization of communication protocols, and increasing risk associated with cloud HMI. Renesas recently introduced a new RISC-V microcontroller unit (MCU) designed explicitly for voice-controlled human-machine interface (HMI) applications. The MCU integrates a low-power RISC-V CPU core with voice processing hardware, enabling efficient voice recognition and control capabilities. This development aims to facilitate voice control integration into various HMI designs, providing enhanced user experiences and expanding the possibilities for voice-enabled IoT devices. The human machine interface market is expected to reach ~USD 7 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of ~8% between 2022-2027.
Industrial Sensor: Industrial sensors are critical components used in various manufacturing and industrial processes. They gather data from the environment, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and motion, and convert it into electrical signals. These sensors enable automation, monitoring, and control of equipment and systems, ensuring optimal performance, efficiency, and safety in industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to food and pharmaceuticals. The advancements in sensor technology, including miniaturization, improved accuracy, and wireless connectivity, have further expanded their applications in industrial settings. The factor driving the said market may include the increasing adoption of digital manufacturing, advancement in sensor technology, and the growing need for sensor-based manufacturing processes. The factor creating a challenge in the market may include the high sensor cost and its installation cost. Recently, STMicroelectronics unveiled a waterproof MEMS pressure sensor designed for industrial IoT applications. The sensor offers accurate and reliable pressure measurements even in harsh environments. Its compact size, high performance, and resistance to water and dust make it suitable for various industrial applications, including smart agriculture, asset tracking, and industrial automation. The industrial sensor market is expected to reach ~USD 35 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of ~9% between 2022-2027.
Industrial 3D Printing: Industrial 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, revolutionizes traditional manufacturing processes by building objects layer by layer using digital design files. It offers numerous advantages, including rapid prototyping, customization, and cost efficiency. Industrial sectors such as aerospace, automotive, and healthcare utilize 3D printing to create complex parts, reduce lead times, and optimize supply chains, ultimately driving innovation and enabling greater design freedom. The factor driving the market may include the opportunity for high-volume production using 3D printing and the development of advanced 3D printing materials. The factor challenging the market may include high capital requirements and threats to copyright violation. Last year in 2022, Wipro 3D, a leading additive manufacturing company, introduced an industrial-grade 3D printer manufactured in India. The printer aims to cater to the growing demand for additive manufacturing solutions in the aerospace, defense, automotive, and healthcare sectors. With this launch, Wipro 3D aims to provide local manufacturing capabilities and contribute to the country’s self-reliance in advanced manufacturing technologies. The industrial 3D printing market is expected to reach ~USD 6 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of ~20% between 2022-2027.
Vibration Monitoring: Vibration monitoring measures and analyzes vibrations in machinery and structures to detect anomalies, evaluate performance, and ensure equipment integrity. It plays a crucial role in predictive maintenance programs by identifying potential faults and preventing costly breakdowns. Vibration monitoring systems utilize sensors and data analysis techniques to assess vibration levels, frequencies, and patterns, providing valuable insights into the condition of rotating machinery, such as motors, pumps, and turbines. The factor driving the market may include the adoption of wireless communication, the rise of predictive maintenance, and the increasing adoption of machine learning. The factor which challenges the market may include reliability issue in prediction and additional cost incurred for retrofitting with modern vibration monitoring technology. Last year in 2022, SICK introduced a new sensor called MPB10, designed explicitly for condition monitoring. The MPB10 is a compact device that combines vibration, shock, and temperature measurement capabilities. It provides service data to support predictive maintenance strategies, improving plant efficiency, extending machinery lifespan, and ensuring product and process integrity. The vibration monitoring market is expected to reach ~USD 2 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of ~7% between 2022-2027.
Apart from the technology mentioned above, other technology also helps automate the manufacturing shop floor, including SCADA, DCS, PLC, Industrial PC, and Plant Asset management.