Vice President of Industrial Automation UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric
In pushing for greater efficiency and sustainability in cities, we forget the operations that act as its foundation, from water to food production.
Industrial processes usually exist on the edge of our large urban centres, but they are no less crucial to the running of a city or the health of the economy. With supply chains becoming more localised due to the global pandemic, British manufacturing has a bright future ahead of it – but it must also be smarter and more sustainable.
Our future industrial strategy should be founded on three core pillars: universal automation, sustainable efficiency and software-centric automation. These create a firm base for protecting the environment and improving health and safety, whilst also enabling real-time data sharing and remote operation. The result is greater sustainability and step-change improvements in productivity and cost savings, ensuring that we can scale at pace.
Intelligent application of technologies
Tomorrow’s challenges will not be addressed with new hardware alone. It will require the intelligent application of software-based technologies and the power of AI. Yet many industrial ecosystems, sadly, aren’t open and interoperable by design. New technology often isn’t compatible and can’t be implemented easily into existing systems, which only slows our ability to evolve and improve our industrial processes. Instead, manufacturers should embrace open standards and interoperable, ‘plug and produce’ automation software components, much as the IT and technology industries have in recent years.
Tomorrow’s challenges will not be addressed with new hardware alone. It will require the intelligent application of software-based technologies and the power of AI.
When we share our insight and develop based on open standards, it becomes much easier to adopt the game-changing AI technologies that can transform our industries for the better. When we collaborate and communicate, our challenges suddenly don’t seem so big.
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