The Automation of Everything
The issue and challenges with automation
The first industrial revolution unleashed the steam engine to drive powered machinery, such as textile looms. Fast forward 150 years later, we have seen successive waves of technology transform our lives. And now we’re entering the fourth – the revolution dubbed “Industry 4.0” – operational technology (OT)-focused sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, energy and mining begin adopting digital transformation strategies as a way to streamline their operations.
It’s understandable why companies are forging towards Industry 4.0 – the benefits enable more than one could imagine. In manufacturing, they can implement predictive maintenance and automate logistics. The transportation industry can improve fuel efficiency and inventory tracking. No matter the industry, embedding data and analytics will ensure they become more efficient, productive and secure.
With any new technology era, comes challenges. However, the companies operating in these OTfocused industries are hit with more obstacles during digital transformation compared to others. The retail and finance field typically rely on their digital systems, whereas physical assets are still critical to OT-focused industries. Consequently, digitising operations in these sectors is often a slow and complicated process. OTfocused organisations have to manage a wide range of physical operational technologies, ranging from manufacturing equipment to tractor trailer trucks that may be older, difficult to integrate and siloed from traditional IT systems and oversight.
Despite considerable progress in the first revolutions areas over the last few years, the creation of new missioncritical networks will be an integral component for this transformation. In the third revolution – the information age – the driver was consumer web services. The only service delivery parameter of importance was capacity, and not even constant capacity, only aggregate or verage capacity. The industrial and infrastructure services that are driving Industry 4.0 are an entirely different proposition, which require an end-to-end 5G network.
5G and Automation
The 5G network platform includes everything needed to power this revolution: cloud technologies, multiedge processing, analytics, machine learning and AI. By leveraging a 5G network, operations technologies (OT) and information and communications technologies (ICT) will come together symbiotically to redefine how we meet our social and economic needs.
We are entering the era of the Automation of Everything. Entire physical industries and infrastructure will be transformed, from electric grids and logistics centers to transportation hubs, farms and agricultural processing plants, and everything in between. It will revolutionize the ways first responders handle emergencies, how healthcare is delivered, and the way our built environment,buildings, roads and cities, intelligently respond to us as we go about our daily lives.
To fully reap the benefits of Industry 4.0, industrial organizations must converge OT with IT, embrace emerging technologies and build out 5G end-to-end networks that can securely support and bridge both types of technologies.
WITH ANY NEW TECHNOLOGY ERA, COMES CHALLENGES. HOWEVER, THE COMPANIES OPERATING IN THESE OT-FOCUSED INDUSTRIES ARE HIT WITH MORE OBSTACLES DURING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION COMPARED TO OTHERS — Nitin Dahiya, Head, End-to-End Solutioning, Nokia India