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Changing digital transformation landscape for 2021 (Includes interview)

Given that 2020 has been an especially disruptive yeat it might have been expected that companies would spend 2021 seeking to stabilize. However, what is more likely is an accelerated application of digital technology and different ways of working. This is based on some predictions made by Keith Higgins, VP of Digital Transformation for Rockwell Automation.

Higgins explains to Digital Journal just how the changing digital transformation landscape is going to reshape business operations.

IT/OT Integration is critical for answering the $77 billion need for IIoT

With the Industrial Internet of Things market expected to grow from $77 billion in 2020 to $111 billion by 2025, the majority manufacturers plan to increase their investment in smart factory technology over the next year. Given that connected sensors produce 1.5 billion data points per plant per day, getting integration right is crucial when seeeking better operational efficiency. while accelerating success through digital transformation initiatives. However, enterprises have traditionally been challenged with converting real-time, historic data from legacy systems into new systems.

Edge is the new cloud

For companies up-scaling smart factory initiatives, then the real-time availability of mission-critical workloads is an important path to achive the desired business outcomes. Edge computing will support the cloud infrastructure and allow for real-time data processing close to the operation. Furthermore, implementing integrated analytics from the edge to the cloud creares digital process efficiencies.

Commentators predict by 2022, most industrial enterprises will utilize edge computing.

Digital twins save $1 trillion in manufacturing costs

Over the next 12 months, by interconnecting business systems via digital thread, organizations will seek to virtually commission new production lines. By deploying digital twins, firms can operate machines virtually before certain parts are ordered. This also allows manufacturers to predict future performance challenges.

Pandemic promotes AR training as the new standard for a distributed workforce

A large number of manufacturers say the biggest impacts of robotics on the workforce in the next five years will be an increased need for talent to manage in a more automated, flexible production environment and the opening of new jobs to engineer robotics and their operating systems. Given that the job training is constrained due to social distancing requirements, this makes remote training tools more attractive, like augmented reality.

Automation accelerates employee advancement through human-machine interface

The coronavirus’s hit upon factory capacity and new social distancing regulations, technology is vital for success, but people are still the heart of the operation. With Industry 4.0 there is opportunity to evolve jobs. Automation stops a crowded factory floor and it substitutes tedious and repetitive tasks. This frees up personnel to leverage their creativity and expertise.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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