Automation is an umbrella term covering a variety of hardware and software that simplifies redundant tasks by reducing the need for human intervention.
Automation technology can be used in anything from software applications to machinery and robotics. The purpose of automation is to increase production efficiency without depending on human constraints and working hours.
See below for all about the global automation market:
The automation market has been estimated at $36.5 billion in 2020. It is expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% over the forecast period from 2020 to 2027, reaching $56.8 billion by the end of the forecast period.
Regionally, the global automation market is segmented as follows:
- The US market segment was estimated at $10.8 billion, accounting for 29.5% of the global market share in 2020
- The Chinese market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2%, reaching $10 billion in value by 2027
- Japan and Canada are each expected to grow by 6.1% and 5.3% over the period from 2020 to 2027
- In Europe, Germany is expected to maintain one of the highest CAGRs at 5.5%
- The Asia-Pacific segment, led by Australia, India and South Korea, is expected to account for 11.6% of the market by 2027 at $6.6 billion.
By industryThe automation market is dominated by the automotive industry, which accounted for 29.1% of the share in 2021, followed closely by the heavy manufacturing sector.
Other notable industry sectors include:
- Consumer electronics
- oil and gas
- Mining and metals
- Health care
- Chemical products
The concept of automation can generally be divided into four main categories based on the technique of execution:
Fixed automation, commonly referred to as hardware automation, is a predetermined sequence of steps and procedures confined by the configuration of physical equipment.
Fixed automation is most commonly used in manufacturing facilities and production lines because processes rarely require manipulation or modification and require minimal supervision.
Programmable automation is capable of executing a variety of sequences in batches, receiving commands through computer software. Not limited by its initial setup, programmable automation can produce different results when presented with different instructions.
Programmable automation is mainly reserved for mass production in batches, ranging from a few tens to thousands. The program can then be modified according to the requirements of the product specifications.
Flexible automation, also called soft automation, is considered an extension or upgrade of programmable automation. To limit the time and energy spent reprogramming automated systems, flexible automation is able to straddle the life cycle of multiple products, minimizing equipment changeover time.
As the most widely used form of automation, flexible automation can be used to make in-house manufacturing and user experiences more efficient.
Built-in automation puts the entire manufacturing system and workflow into computer-controlled models. Thanks to the integration, everything from part design, to testing, to manufacturing and time setting, is seamlessly automated.
Integrated automation can be used to combine non-industrial and industrial processes in automation efforts, maximizing efficiency and productivity in manufacturing facilities and offices.
AI and automation
Data Architecture Overviewtures with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) could open the door to smarter automation.
“At the forefront of automation, we strive to make every tool agile, scalable and usable. Regardless of skill level, our goal is to ensure that the tool is ‘fit for purpose’ for every user. That’s where AI comes in.” eWEEK says.
“In practical and real terms, automation efficiency in a [enterprise resource planning] The ERP system can drive a fairly complex orchestration. Traditionally, every iota of this feature will have been built by a developer, which will naturally limit it somewhat. Today’s technology has fewer limits, thanks to AI.
The adoption of intelligent automation in AI is largely dependent on developing a culture that embraces change, encompassing shareholders, employees, and technology entrepreneurs.
Benefits of automation
Different types and extents of task and process automation can be used to streamline workflows and increase efficiency. The benefits of automation vary depending on the context and compatibility of the type of automation and its available resources.
Here are some benefits of automation:
- Reduces operating costs
- Improves worker safety
- Reduces redundancies in system workflows
- Reduces human errors
- Enables accountability through continuous logging
- Increases productivity
- Delivers consistent process results
“Sectors such as supply chain and retail could make the most of automation, to meet increased demand and keep their employees safe,” says Shawn Harrismember of the Forbes Technology Council.
“Automation is not only a benefit for the company, but also for the consumer. Understanding what their consumers want will help leaders decide how to implement automation in a way that supports their operations. »
Automation Use Cases
Here are some examples of organizations in various industries that are benefiting from automation:
Volkswagen Sachsen is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles within the Volkswagen Group. Based in Zwickau, Germany, its national sites employ more than 10,000 people and ship 1,400 cars, 3,200 engines and 4,000 vehicle components daily.
Developing in an eco-friendly direction, Volkswagen Sachsen has invested more than 1.2 billion euros in upgrading its smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices and manufacturing robots. Working with IBM, it was able to support a higher degree of automation across its entire production line, maximizing efficiency and minimizing its impact on the environment.
“The industry experience and technical know-how that IBM shared was key to the success of the project, and their hard work and commitment enabled the project to be completed within a very ambitious time frame,” said Ronald Gollnitzproject manager, Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH.
“IBM Services’ deep expertise in SAP S/4HANA implementations was evident from the start – the industry experience and technical know-how shared by the team was key to the success of the project.”
Thanks to automation, Volkswagen Sachsen improved its financial processing by 20% and halved the number of employees involved in order processing.
Insol is a family business specializing in the manufacture and installation of custom facades for commercial construction projects. Based in New Zealand, it is a leading supplier to the construction industry.
One of Insol’s last projects was the design, construction and installation of a wind tunnel to test the impact of wind on building materials and building structures.
Using EIS Group, a Rockwell Automation-recognized system integrator, for the task, Insol used Rockwell Automation’s harmonic modeling software to control and monitor the wind tunnel generator harmonics.
“There are design parameters for how you would design the pressures on a building surface, but when it comes to seeing how things will act under actual wind load, that’s something you don’t. you won’t find in a manual”, says Greg SimmonsCEO, Insol.
“It’s hard to find a better working relationship. EIS has extensive in-house capacity and is able to adapt to project requirements. »
Working with Rockwell Automation and its partner, Insol was able to operate its wind tunnel safely at different speeds, testing the durability, risk factors and even the acoustics of experimental building structures.
Lenovo Group is a Chinese multinational technology company that designs, manufactures and sells consumer electronics, software and business solutions to a global consumer market. Based in Beijing, Lenovo ships millions of computer units around the world every year.
With thousands of employees, Lenovo’s internal audit of employee reimbursements is a critical but challenging task. Working with UiPath, Lenovo integrated its robotic process automation (RPA) software, enabling its accounting team to automate repetitive parts of the audit, typically done manually by employees.
“With the integration of RPA and AIOps, Lenovo Group has now developed an advanced system for auditing employee reimbursements. The solution has resolved key issues and improved the overall user experience,” said Bonnie QiuDirector of Global IT Operations, Lenovo Group
“Results are more than the sum of its parts. We hope that more companies can benefit from our successful experience and bring digital transformation to their businesses. »
By automating internal financial auditing with UiPath, Lenovo was able to speed up its regular internal audits by 87%, saving more than 1,500 man hours per year.
Some of the leading automation solution providers include:
- ABB Group
- Rockwell Automation
- Honeywell International
- Emerson Electric
- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
- Omron Company
- Yokogawa Electric Corporation
- General electricity company