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Industrial equipment

4 Critical Challenges Facing Industrial Equipment Manufacturers

Modern manufacturers cannot afford to ignore the challenges coming their way, considering the cut-throat competition and the rapidly rising market demands. According to experts at Infiniti Research, some of the key challenges faced by industrial equipment manufacturers include industrial equipment manufacturers can come across include an incomplete view of their profitability, lack of insight into supply chain, and the means to collaborate productively across the various stakeholders. Although several industrial equipment manufacturing companies respond to these challenges by installing ERP systems, it may not be a complete solution to overcome these roadblocks.

To know more about how to tackle these business challenges facing industrial equipment manufacturers

Errors in quotation

The quotation is one of the foremost areas of focus for any business. An inaccurate quote or costing prevents businesses from making adequate profits as either all the elements are included or even the client can be lost due to high costing. Sales personnel need access to details so they can provide the right estimate and quote to their customers.

Portfolio management

Portfolio management for industrial equipment manufacturers include creating premium support offerings, connecting service offers to business value, and launching new service offers. Making this challenge a priority will facilitate industrial equipment companies to take more responsibility for improving customer outcomes with offers and that would be required to prove their value in order to sell these offers.

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Service flow

In most cases, the scope of work for manufacturing companies may not end with the project assembly or manufacture. It could further involve transfer of project results to the base, which offers service opportunities like maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. This can cause several service integration issues for industrial equipment manufacturers.

Logistics inconsistencies

Industrial equipment manufacturers have a considerable amount of equipment and materials that need to move from the factory floor to production operations. Without the right support, this could lead to severe logistics inconsistency and confusion for industrial equipment companies. The companies in the industrial equipment manufacturing sector need to implement a solution that would help them plan the capacity of the machine so that the person in charge can assign resources to the machines based on the requirement.

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Business Forecasting

Disruptive Trends to Watch out for in Industrial Automation

With industrial automation gaining more limelight in recent times, man and machines have started working more closely than ever before. In retrospect, it is quite evident that technology has massively evolved; thereby, transforming the nature of industrial and manufacturing operations. Industries are no longer entirely dependent on a human workforce for simple or complex tasks. The capabilities and technologies of future manufacturing are increasingly coming into sharp focus. In an effort to drive down the unit price and maximize profit margins, industrial automation has gained prominence since it has historically helped reduce manufacturing costs, eliminate variability in product quality, and rapidly produce commodities in high volume. Furthermore, with industrial automation trends like digitalization and IoT, industrial automation has become a competitive advantage in today’s industrial landscape.

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Industrial cybersecurity: A must-have

The rising rate of cyber-attacks has put cybersecurity on the forefront of concerns in industrial automation. Fortunately, advances in industrial automation trends and cybersecurity management are playing a crucial role in addressing the vital requirements of industrial automation applications, equipment, and plants as these relate to stringent constraints on network communications and system updates. Today’s advanced cybersecurity solutions include both behavior-based anomaly detection that helps to identify would-be cyber threats using conventional cybersecurity approaches and rule-based analysis that allows manufacturers to leverage deep inspection to uncover malware cyberattacks on the network.

Digital twins and IIoT

The concept of ‘digital twins’ is concerned with the creation of a virtual copy of a machine or system. This is now becoming a prerequisite in the product development landscape and is one of the popular industrial automation trends this year. As IIoT grows, manufacturers will have to spend a lot of time testing new systems on the floor. While connected networks help, creating digital twins of the products/services and testing them thoroughly in a virtual environment before going live can also help manufacturers avoid downtime problems and save them from committing actual resources. Additionally, these industrial automation trends will help them in fixing issues on the factory floor before going live and allow for continuous design and manufacturing improvements.

Improved accuracy with machine learning 

AI and machine learning capabilities have, at present, become the most popular industrial automation trends. These technologies have already penetrated the customer relationship management segments and are a cornerstone of Industry 4.0, Big Data, and IoT. Manufacturing units can leverage data analytics and machine learning for their process improvements. These systems help in predicting yield rates at various supply chain levels; thereby, reducing the cost of raw materials and ensuring brand quality. Furthermore, AI provides real-time operational intelligence that supports product lifecycle management, which includes process integration, automation and collaboration insights, monitoring, and diagnostics.  

AR and VR

Simulator-based training is an effective way of training factory staff. IIoT-enabled technologies such as gaming, augmented/virtual reality, 3D immersive and wearable devices can improve learning and help develop skills by replicating real-life plant scenarios. This technology can help manufacturers understand how employees will react to worst-case scenarios and plan emergency procedures. 


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Industrial Shift to Automation: A Game Changer in the Industrial Scenario?

In recent years, industrial automation has facilitated the control over various operations of an industry without any significant intervention from humans, using various control devices. Companies use a set of technology in automation strategies to get the desired performance or output. Some of the advanced technologies used in industrial automation involve control strategies such as cascade controls, modern control hardware devices such as PLC’s sensors, other final control devices, standalone computing system, communication system, and human-machine interfacing systems.

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Types of Industrial Automation 

Based on the flexibility and the level of integration in the manufacturing process, Industrial automation systems can be classified into four basic types:

  1. Fixed Automation

In this type of automation, the sequence of operations to be performed is set by the equipment configuration. It is mostly used in the case of high volume production. Some examples of fixed automation systems are distilled process, assembly lines, machine transfer lines, etc.

  1. Programmable Automation

In programmable automation, the sequence of operation can be changed by changing the program. The sequence of operation varies based on the different product configurations, and new programs can be entered for new products, into the programmable devices. This kind of automation can be found in industrial robots, batch processes, and steel rolling mills

  1. Flexible Automation

This is an extension of programmable automation, but there is a greater flexibility to deal with product design variations. In this case, the sequence of the process should be changed so that the programmer can give commands in the form of codes

  1. Integrated Automation

This type of industrial automation is entirely under the computer’s control. From the designing process to the dispatching, the entire system is entirely automated. Robots handle everything including the equipment in this system.Integrated automation has simplified various industrial processes. The new trends in industrial automation deal with latest communication protocols and control devices, which help control field devices such as control valves and other final control elements. The automated industry also uses some instruments or smart devices that have communication capabilities and also the ability to control processes without interfacing to the other field level control devices.

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