The future is now as it applies to robotics and AI in the energy industry. Already big data has taken the nuclear market by storm, but the next step is to weave in artificial intelligence and robotics into nuclear power processes as well as those of other energy production. Those advances are not that far off the horizon now. Here’s how we see robotics and AI shaping the industry soon.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT, is all about businesses leveraging the interconnectivity of machines and systems with built-in sensors, data, and analytics designed with the purpose of providing businesses insight into processes and issues as they occur. It gives industrial businesses an insider’s view of how their machines are performing, what efficiencies can be improved on, and overall how they are impacting workflow. It has great potential in this and many other industries because it can improve productivity, product quality, and profitability.
Despite businesses expressing security concerns around IoT adoption, the industrial sector is expected to steadily move in the direction of a connected work environment. Most business leaders in this sector recognize industrial IoT as something that can spur growth, believe that agility is a benefit of proper IoT adoption. While adoption rates may be slow in these early days, businesses are starting to put their money where their mouth is, and we will likely see normalized IoT in the very near future.
The key difference in the capabilities of industrial IoT is the connectivity across platforms. Machines that speak with each other and with a variety of data collection tools help to create a more productive manufacturing system. Therefore, the overall cost of implementing an AI fueled, smart factory is reduced because the technology is already in place. Rather than needing to completely overhaul an established system, a few minor upgrades are all that is needed. But those minor upgrades are enough to provide extensive data collection and synchronization that can make a huge difference for companies able to make sense of the wealth of information.
The Future of Event-Triggers and Robotics
Event-triggered control systems are responsive to situations and initiated by an event. For example, a machine (or even an entire factory) responds to an event only when it occurs rather than at a designated point in time. So, when a machine is required to perform the next action in a manufacturing process, the step only occurs when the previous step is complete. This method allows for more complex communication between various machines and processes that simultaneously collect information as they produce the product.
Robotic systems can be built for daily inspections, maintenance, and troubleshooting tasks in remote locations. They can be used to crawl into locations that humans could not otherwise access. Autonomous driving robots can transport large battery systems to other robots within a factory. The automation of processes with reduced human error can provide substantial benefits to an energy facility. The possibilities are nearly endless, and the impact of event-triggered processes will increase profits, reduce waste, improve efficiency and take manufacturing fully into the modern age. Industrial IoT provides the opportunity for connected devices to respond to events occurring across the network, expanding an otherwise limited functionality greatly.
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