2015 was a year of numerous technological advances in the industrial computing industry in virtually every business and industry. We are in the era of a technological revolution, and each year, more progress is being made as new technologies continue to emerge and current technologies continue to evolve. Last year was no exception. While there have been numerous advances and changes in the industrial computing industry as a whole, these are the top 3 that took place in 2015.

Cloud/Client Computing

Last year, more companies invested in cutting-edge cloud computing technology which reduced capital expenditures and lowered IT labor costs. Some of the benefits include faster and more efficient deployment and increased operational flexibility. The cloud aids in the optimization of operations thru enabling more convenient collaboration among remote suppliers and mobile workers, thus enabling quick, secure access for important data-based decisions.

Substantial gains in cost, capability and efficiency are achieved as more and more products become cloud-connected and “intelligent.”  As this technology continues to mature, manufacturers will eventually have the ability to run their mission-critical applications in the cloud. The conjunction of cloud and mobile computing is continuing to promote the development of centrally coordinated computing applications deliverable to virtually any device.

Mobile Devices in Automation

In 2015, tablet PCs and other mobile devices had achieved a level of power higher than that of a super-computer from a couple of decades ago. The utilization of WiFi-connected tablet PCs and other mobile devices generated a significant amount of growth in the industrial manufacturing industry. Handheld devices are utilized in the reporting of the status of every other device in the facility, giving the employees unlimited mobile access to actionable, real-time information. This essentially improves operating efficiency, reduces costs, increases throughput with personnel and resources, and boosts overall productivity, in general. Service and diagnostics functions can be accessed with mobile devices utilizing low-cost 2-way audio and video to assist in service and troubleshooting procedures. This is giving more companies incentive for allowing BYOD (bring your own device) and increasing the amount of manufacturing personnel working beyond the facility’s “four walls.”

Autonomous Automation

Autonomous automation is inclusive of software agents that help adapt computer-controlled manufacturing processes and industrial machinery. It essentially self-manages any unfavorable conditions and instinctively self-optimizes according to continuously evolving requirements. All machine modules in the production line:

  • feature advanced algorithms that are represented by the specific software agent
  • self-manages the production process
  • work in conjunction with other modules

This approach is distributing “intelligence” through enabling computerized machines to “learn” over periods of time and increasing their general ability to effectively respond autonomously to situations that may arise.

The changes that have been taking place in the industrial computing industry over the past year have resulted in improvements in a wide array of industries. Strides are being made industrial computing each and every year. We can certainly look forward more innovative technological changes and advancements, and upgrades in the upcoming year.