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Digitization of the factory continues, and automation continues to be a focus, says PMMI Business Intelligence

A new report, 2017 Evolution of Automation, predicts adoption of real-time data collection, edge computing, and cloud analytics.

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“One day the machines on the plant floor will talk to each other, take corrective action to maintain maximum uptime, schedule repairs, and order inventory – automatically and autonomously,” says one industry consultant.

That is the target everyone is shooting for, but how far along the evolutionary curve are packaging and processing OEMs in delivering automated solutions to their end users?


Currently, some machines are connected, but many are not, advancements in the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) will connect M2M (Machine-to-Machine) and machines to people. Edge computing will be used to analyze data on site for improved operations insights and cloud computing will be used for big data analysis across the enterprise.

The trend shows all companies are going towards digitalization and will ramp up in the next five years. Increases will continue into the next decade.

“Most companies still react to maintenance needs now, but in the future, there will be more predictive maintenance utilizing sensors and warnings,” says one Senior Controls Engineer, for an OEM.


One production manager at a small food company says, “Increasing utilization of OEE is a ten year goal; we will get a user interface, achieve CIP, and have remote connectivity in the next five years.” Compute your OEE here.

The 65-page study covers what CPGs want from OEMs, and how CPGs can work better with machinery and materials providers to develop complex systems that are easy to maintain and operate.

Source: 2017 Evolution of Automation, PMMI Business Intelligence. Download here.

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