Focusing on Rockwell Automation’s Industry Outlook, the growth of industrial automation & smart manufacturing in Asia Pacific, highlighting both the benefits and gaps that businesses must navigate in this growing market.
Tell me about Rockwell Automation’s Industry Outlook for the manufacturing sector in Asia Pacific
Rockwell Automation’s Industry Outlook for the manufacturing sector in Asia Pacific showcases a promising landscape. Manufacturing is one of the most significant contributors to the Asia-Pacific economy and is undergoing rapid transformation. Some key factors that are influencing the manufacturing sector include:
- Technological Advancements: The integration of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, including automation and IoT, is transforming the manufacturing sector, leading to enhanced efficiency.
According to our State of Smart Manufacturing Report, close to half (44%) of APAC manufacturers plan to adopt smart manufacturing within the next year; out of this, China (80%), Australia (60%) and India (59%) are already using some components of smart manufacturing.
- Sustainability and Environmental Regulations: An increasing emphasis on sustainability and environmental regulations is driving changes in manufacturing practices and product requirements.
Again, our State of Smart Manufacturing report cites that for the 94% of APAC manufacturers who have formal or informal environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies in place, close to half (48%) cite “a competitive differentiator” as the top driving factor for pursuing ESG initiatives.
- Economic Growth: The overall economic growth and stability of countries in the Asia Pacific region can have a significant impact on manufacturing. Rapidly growing economies drive increased demand for manufactured goods.
- How is smart manufacturing growing in Asia Pacific?
Smart manufacturing is growing in the region driven by a combination of factors including technological advancements, government support, and the region’s strong manufacturing base. APAC is home to some of the world’s leading technology companies and has a strong presence in industries such as electronics, semiconductors, and robotics.
These technological advancements are facilitating the integration of smart technologies into manufacturing processes.
With growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and a strong manufacturing base, Asia Pacific is well-positioned to stay ahead in smart manufacturing for the rest of the decade.
According to market intelligence firm Fortune Business Insights, APAC is currently home to the largest smart manufacturing industry in the world and it is expected to expand by 15.7% in compound annual growth through 2030. This provides a solid foundation for the adoption of smart manufacturing technologies in the region.
- What are the major challenges or barriers to the adoption of smart manufacturing, and how is Rockwell Automation working to overcome them? Our State of Smart Manufacturing Report finds that the biggest barriers to adopting smart manufacturing for APAC manufacturers are employee resistance to technology adoption and change, lack of skillsets to manage smart manufacturing implementation, and lack of a clear definition of the value/ROI of smart manufacturing.
To address these challenges, manufacturers should empower their employees with the necessary skills to adapt to evolving roles and collaborate effectively with AI systems.
Providing education and upskilling opportunities to enhance digital capabilities is crucial. AI and Augmented Reality (AR) tools can be highly effective in this regard, creating virtual environments for experiential learning and knowledge-sharing.
At Rockwell Automation, our solutions such as AI-powered systems can optimize manufacturing processes by adjusting parameters in real-time to maximize efficiency and product quality. This is particularly valuable in industries with complex and variable processes.
Rockwell also has machine learning algorithms that can be used to analyze data from sensors and cameras to detect defects and anomalies in manufacturing processes, ensuring consistent product quality, and reducing waste.
- The adoption of cloud solutions and enhancing cybersecurity safeguards are critical in today’s industrial landscape. Could you provide insights into how Rockwell Automation is helping businesses minimise disruptions to their workforce? Rockwell Automation has recently acquired Verve Industrial Protection, a cybersecurity software and services company that specializes in industrial environments. A recent Rockwell Automation report found that operational technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS) attacks are on the rise, with 60% of the incidents resulting in operational disruption.
5. As companies add hardware and software alongside legacy equipment, many organisations struggle to manage and protect these assets across an expanded attack surface, increasing the potential for cyberattacks. This strategic acquisition will significantly expand Rockwell Automation’s industry-leading asset inventory system and vulnerability management solution.
Rockwell Automation recognises the critical role that cloud solutions and cybersecurity play in modern manufacturing. Our products and services are aimed at enhancing cybersecurity, enabling remote operations, and minimising disruptions to the workforce and operations. These measures are designed to ensure the reliability and continuity of manufacturing processes, even in the face of evolving cybersecurity threats and changing work environments.
Also, Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk Hub cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) has the potential to transform businesses. The cloud enables on-demand scaling, making it easier to add or remove users and compute power.
With the SaaS, employees get automatic access to the latest software versions, with no or little IT installation or maintenance needed. Scaling in the cloud can also cut hardware and software costs.
We understand that innovation is critical for meeting customer needs. Our SaaS offers a digital lab for testing and addressing production challenges with reduced risks and costs. Cloud facilitates remote system management for swift configuration and equipment connections.
- How is Rockwell Automation utilising machine learning and AI to address industry challenges?
Rockwell Automation provides solutions, including AI-driven systems capable of real-time parameter adjustments to enhance efficiency and product quality in manufacturing processes. This is especially beneficial for industries characterised by intricate and fluctuating processes.
Additionally, Rockwell offers machine learning algorithms for scrutinizing data from sensors and cameras, enabling the identification of defects and anomalies in manufacturing procedures to maintain product quality and minimize wastage consistently.
Recently, in collaboration with Microsoft, we expanded the partnership to incorporate generative AI (Azure OpenAI Service) into industrial automation. This integration automates routine tasks, improving engineering efficiency, addressing labor shortages, and accelerating time-to-market. The collaboration also explores extending this technology to Quality Management, Failure Mode Analysis, and training frontline workers.
- How does Rockwell Automation see the impact of data analytics and IoT technologies on improving efficiency and decision-making for businesses?
Rockwell Automation views data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies as transformative tools with a significant impact on improving efficiency and decision-making for businesses. To enhance efficiency, IoT sensors and devices collect real-time data from various operations and processes, enabling businesses to optimise and streamline their workflows. This leads to increased operational efficiency, reduced downtime, and improved resource utilisation.
By monitoring resource usage, businesses can identify areas where they can reduce waste, lower operating costs, and improve resource efficiency and with better inventory control through data analytics and IoT, you can reduce carrying costs and eliminate overstock and stockouts, leading to cost savings.