From fledgeling newbies to proven multi-billion dollar corporations, the use of robotics and automation in industrial sectors has soared to unprecedented heights. And with the possibilities of technology growing every day, the race is on to augment industrial productivity plus develop innovative technologies and applications that can help businesses drive more growth and efficiency than before.

The upsurge in digital infrastructure and smart factory mechanisation technologies has given way to a highly sophisticated era of industrial productivity. Here are the four top trends in the industrial automation market that you need to know.

1. Advanced machine learning

Advancements in technologies such as AI based machine learning and augmented reality are speeding up the inevitable merging of the physical and virtual aspects of computing. This is motivating corporations to build more sustainable and profitable business models while opening up limitless opportunities not just in production, but also in areas such as customer relationship management. Machine learning and AI, along with IoT and Big Data can help businesses to track changes in consumer behaviour that are associated with product quality and customisation. This data allows companies to make smart, educated decisions when making changes within the production system.

2. Virtual reality and augmented reality

From consumer applications to production, both VR and AR are used to fulfil many purposes in business processes. Augmented reality, in particular, is used together with many other technologies to change the way corporations manage product development and complicated production processes.

3. Digital twins

Digital twins are a huge step forward in the field of industry 4.0 and automation. This idea works by making a perfect virtual replica of a system or machine that is in its development stages. Creating digital twins allows corporations to maximise their efficiency by ensuring smooth operations, viable machine designs, quick changeover and fast commissioning. Digitalising machinery also helps businesses eliminate large costs that would otherwise be spent on designing expensive prototypes.

4. Improved cybersecurity

With the vast majority of businesses committed to developing a cyber presence, it comes as no surprise that the demand for cybersecurity is now at an all-time high. Security has become a principal priority among corporations that are completely reliant upon their networks to carry out every aspect of their business, from managing industrial automation applications and machinery to communicating with clients and shareholders. Today’s cybersecurity solutions protect corporations and users by utilising cutting-edge software applications that work by both conveying rules-based analysis and identifying behaviour-based anomalies, meaning they can expose and remove any malware attacks on a network before they even strike.