Trend #1 Value for moneyThere is no escaping the fact that inflation will cause the cost of equipment and components to increase in 2023. Therefore, automation providers will need to focus on providing solutions that neutralise these cost increases by generating value for users. As an example, at OMRON, we always offer a complete and connected solution, not just products. This is encapsulated in OMRON’s innovative-Automation approach - which is how we generate value through our solutions. All our innovation is underpinned by the three ‘i’ pillars: integration (control evolution), intelligence (developing intelligence through ICT) and interaction (human-machine collaboration).
Trend #2 OpEx rather than CapEx investmentsAt the same time, many businesses are halting CapEx spending due to the economic climate - inflation is always accompanied by a rise in interest rates, which means it will take longer for projects to yield a return on investment. However, businesses are aware that they still need to invest in automation to stay on top of their game, keep growing and drive efficiencies, which is contributing to a shift towards CapEx investment models. OMRON predicts that we will see this trend gather pace in 2023 and leasing options that ease the capital investment burden will gain popularity for automation projects. To assist companies who are considering investing in collaborative or mobile robots gain a quick and easy overview of return on investment based on actual data, OMRON has launched a ROI Calculator with both OpEx and CapEx options, and also offers financing solutions such as leasing options.
Trend #3 Harmonised automation
Trend #4 Adapting to autonomous manufacturingOMRON predicts that the next few years will see the transition from an ‘optimisation’ society, in which consumption is the main driver and quantity is valued more than quality, to an ‘autonomous’ society, which prioritises quality, sustainability and the development and wellbeing of the individual. This trend will play out in the manufacturing space as we move to ‘autonomous’ manufacturing. A decade ago, China was the factory of the world, mass consumption was the main driver for production and very little consideration was given to raw materials usage and the environment. Today, companies are transitioning away from this mindset towards an approach that prioritises sustainability, the development and wellbeing of the individual, and quality over quantity. Automation solutions will evolve to reflect this trend, helping manufacturers to achieve carbon neutrality, digitalisation and improved quality of life for staff.
Trend #5 Insulation against supply chain instability
In 2022, the automation industry was caught out by a number of supply shocks, most notably the chip outage, and has been working hard to insulate against future supply chain disruption. At OMRON, for example, the company has redesigned over 1,000 products to make them universally compatible in terms of components. This has been a huge undertaking but will make it easier to substitute components in the event of shortages. OMRON has built more flexibility into its production processes and adapted the company’s capacity to component scarcity cycles. OMRON has duplicated production lines across the world so that when there are shortages in one region it can produce in another. The net result of these initiatives should be that users of automation are better protected against supply uncertainties going into 2023.
As a business, we have always held the belief that social challenges drive technological development and vice versa. This has never been more applicable than today, when we face a myriad of challenges, from climate change to an aging population and the rising cost of living. In 2023, OMRON will be harnessing technology to help various industries to ease labour shortages, enhance productivity and achieve carbon neutrality. Ultimately, our aim is to build an efficient production floor where both harmony with the environment and worker satisfaction are achieved.Contact us for more information
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Fernando ColásCEO of OMRON's Industrial Automation Business Unit (IAB) Europe