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Top three automation trends in 2022

05 January 2022

AUTOMATION HAS always been characterised by rapid growth, constant innovation and new work patterns. However, the events of the past two years have amplified the need of businesses across every industry for automation technologies to help them respond to global trends and stay competitive. Neil Ballinger explains what trends will impact automation in 2022.

If automation had to be summarised in one word, that would be agility. The field’s speed in introducing disruptive ideas, innovative technologies and new concepts is surprising, but can also be hard for manufacturers to keep up with. While it might be difficult to know what technologies are worth investing in 2022, here are the top three trends that are most likely to change the face of automation.

Cloud native

In 2022, cloud native is predicted to become the most popular application of cloud. Cloud native technologies are a new approach to designing and operating workloads that are built into the cloud. Their main role is to decompress software into more manageable pieces and scale up small areas of a complex infrastructure when needed, without full redeployment.

According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, these technologies, when coupled with robust automation, allow engineers to “make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil”.

Cloud native can increase operational efficiency while shortening time to the market for new services because the software is more decoupled from the main hardware and decompressed in smaller pieces, which allows for faster automated updates.

Low-code platforms

Low-code automation platforms allow users with little coding knowledge to automate processes using graphical interfaces instead of traditional computer programming. They also allows teams of engineers and IT professionals to reduce manual labour and instead focus on core strategies to promote business growth. This trend has seen a steady increase and is predicted to make up more than 65 per cent of all app development functions by 2024, according to Gartner. Similarly, around 66% of big companies will use at least four low code platforms.

Some of the benefits of using low-code automation platforms include increased agility by cutting on app development time, reduced costs from hiring talented developers and more compatibility with other third-party modules and application programming interfaces.

Digital twins

It is no surprise by now that technologies that facilitate remote working and maintenance will be best received by manufacturers and automation professionals. Digital twins will be widely adopted, with more than 70 per cent of manufacturers predicted to implement them by the end of 2022 to perform scenario evaluations and process simulations.

According to simulation solutions pioneers CADFEM, digital twins can lower maintenance costs by 30 per cent, reduce technical defects by 75 per cent and bring about 45 per cent less downtime. 

This technology is pushing augmented reality and virtual reality to a new level by allowing manufacturers to monitor their operations in real time and take action to prevent downtime. A digital twin can be connected to a machine’s sensors to indicate its parameters throughout its lifecycle and signal faults.

On top of this, digital twins can be used to simulate programmes for new processes and equipment before investing resources in implementing them. This saves on costs and time, and also reduces material waste to help develop smart, sustainable factories.

In 2022, technologies that tap into the industry’s need for digitalisation, remote working and faster implementation will see a significant growth. At EU Automation, we strive to play an essential role in the development of automation technologies by delivering automation parts for companies’ ecosystems as fast as possible, as well as educating professionals in their automation journey.

To keep up to date with automation news, innovative technologies and market predictions, visit EU Automation's Knowledge Hub.

Neil Ballinger is head of EMEA at EU Automation