Nowadays, the heavy machinery is being developed at a good speed. The main reason is the growth of cities and thus, the growth of the infrastructure where heavy machinery applications are needed.
The more projects are carried out, the better it is for the industry. And for more projects, more equipment is needed. Another option is to automate the machines to make them comply with the existing requirements and to make them increasingly efficient.
Smart linear actuator systems controlled by specially developed algorithms will handle the most complicated or monotonous tasks. This is just a general understanding of heavy machinery automation that is to come. What about checking all the automation trends in 2020 in more detail?
AI Will Be Used Widely
AI and machine learning are already applied in many areas. In heavy machinery, they are going to assist manufacturers with such issues as an ageing workforce and the lack of young specialists that can work successfully in the field.
AI and machine learning can make manufacturing processes faster and more efficient. They can reduce costs significantly. Equipment will be more adjustable and intuitive.
As an example, there are some applications of AI that are being tested now. Some applications are used in wind turbines. Such applications can adjust to the weather conditions and thus, be efficient in disaster management.
Cloud Technology Application Will Be Expanded
Cloud technology is already used for plenty of purposes, however, mostly, it concerns the IT field. In heavy machinery, the cloud can be applied in many various ways. It can enable remote management of equipment. Cloud is perfect for data sharing and collaboration.
Thus, instead of scheduling calls and visits of clients, working schedules of employees, or handling administrative tasks, you can use an automated system to do it for you. You can be sure that all the tasks will be planned with the consideration of all details and no errors.
Prototyping Speed Will Boost
Prototyping will not take months or years anymore. 3D printers and CNC machines have already made great input in this type of work. Moreover, they have made the production of heavy machines and equipment faster and cheaper.
While traditional methods of creating a prototype of a machine could take months or years, and still, a prototype needed tests and improvement, with 3D, the entire prototyping stage can last several minutes. Moreover, special software will consider all the details and will eliminate all the errors and flaws, if any.
If you need it, a robotic device can work not only during standard working hours but also at nights and during the holidays and weekends. It also helps to reduce manufacturing costs immensely.
Now, when the main trends are discussed, let us have a look at how they might change specific industries.
Automation in the Mining Industry
Mining is a very specific industry. It is connected with heavy work, risks, dangers to health, and even life of workers. Thus, automation has a lot of things to change here.
Most likely, the future of the mining industry is in the implementation of autonomous and remotely managed equipment and machines. It is connected with the wish to eliminate dangers to employees. Such machines would allow removing people from hazards and dangerous places.
It will make the mining processes cheaper, too. If there are no people, you don’t need to take care of special protective equipment for them. Specially equipped places are also not needed. Besides, you get other benefits such as more freedom and mobility because you aren’t risking human life.
Humans will still participate in mining works but not in the field. Human operators will manage machines while being in a more comfortable environment.
Exploration will also profit from automation. For example, advanced machines are going to make it possible to explore the resources of the ocean. For now, they are mostly not available for human use.
Construction Will Be Changed Completely
While automation is already applied to some construction equipment, the construction industry is still one of the most traditional among other heavy industries. Thus, major changes are coming.
Machines are already very advanced. In the future, they will interact more one with another and with people. Thus, the main technologies applied in the construction industry will be:
- The Internet of Things;
- Robotics solutions;
- Modularity and prefabrication solutions.
The buildings of the future are going to be increasingly complex. Thus, all the construction processes will become more demanding. Automated solutions will allow the designing and construction of such complex projects without errors. More focus will be on modular and prefabricated solutions. The entire rooms and even floors will be constructed in a different place, and then, delivered and installed.
All these solutions are going to drop the construction costs immensely. They will also increase the construction reliability: all the details will be considered by smart robots and the calculations will be made based on these details.
It will become possible to use 3D printing to print houses for the entire neighbourhoods. In some countries, the first projects of this kind have been already implemented but they are still to become popular.
New communication ways will be developed and the existing communication means will be improved. New satellite systems will provide a constant connection with the construction site. Machines will learn to communicate one with another. it will allow them to chare their paths, tasks, schedules.
New ways to share information will enable construction companies to follow the work process, solve the arising problems, and manage the projects doesn’t matter what the distance between a company and the project location is.
And of course, automation solutions will enable us to complete construction projects faster and with lower expenses.
Heavy machinery needs automation. This is one of the cases when automation means not only boosting work efficiency. This is one of the cases when automated solutions will make the work of people less demanding and in many cases, these solutions shall prevent people from being exposed to hazardous environments and dangerous conditions.
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