Manufacturing is susceptible to bottlenecks in production, inefficiency, waste and high costs in production. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) is bringing us the factories of the future with the implementation of AI to help optimise and scale operations through predictive maintenance, improved safety amongst others. Digital technologies promise to transform the industry and there’s a huge buss around advanced analytics, augmented reality, additive manufacturing, and other technologies. With AI progressing at such a rapid rate, and applications appearing in industry, it's hard to keep up with the most recent progressions, so we're taking a look at the most recent breakthroughs:

ABB to Invest 100 Million Euros in Industrial Automation Campus in Austria

Swiss engineering group ABB (ABBN.S) will invest 100 million euros (87.06 million pounds) in an innovation and training campus in Austria to develop technologies for its industrial automation unit, it said on Friday. A year ago, ABB bought Austrian industrial automation specialist Bernecker & Rainer (BR), which makes programmable controls for machines, to better challenge German rival Siemens (SIEGn.DE) on the factory floor.

Now it plans to create around 1,000 new jobs at a new campus at the B&R headquarters in Eggelsberg in the province of Upper Austria, ABB said.ABB said a year ago it aimed to increase B&R’s annual sales to above $1 billion from around $600 million. “We are well on track to achieve this goal,” Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer said in a statement. The Austrian acquisition helped ABB consolidate its No. 2 position in the $130 billion processing and industrial sector behind Siemens (SIEGn.DE) but ahead of rivals such as Emerson (EMR.N), Rockwell Automation and General Electric (GE.N).

Industrial Automation Market Drivers and Challenges 2018 to 2025

The Global Industrial Automation Market was valued at USD 182.32 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 344.82 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.58% from 2017 to 2025. Industrial Automation is the control of machinery and processes used in various industries by autonomous systems through the use of technologies like robotics and computer software. There are several benefits of industrial automation such as – reduce production cost, decrease in part cycle-time, reduce waste, better floor space utilization, saves local jobs, improved quality and reliability.

Robots Will Boost Rather than Destroy Jobs

The rapid expansion of industrial robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation will boost — rather than harm — job creation in developing countries in Asia, according to new research by the Asian Development Bank. The development lender is the latest large institution to wade into the heated debate about the impact of new technologies on employment. Economists such as Dani Rodrik of Harvard University have argued that the rise of robots could be especially damaging to developing countries, by eliminating future factory jobs and preventing them from following the manufacturing-led growth model that helped pull hundreds of millions out of poverty in China, South Korea and Taiwan.

The Beauty of Flexible Manufacturing

Mass customization is a phrase that we’re becoming increasingly familiar with in manufacturing, particularly within consumer goods. Connected consumers—with ever-increasing and rapidly changing demands—are dictating a whole new level of flexibility and connectedness from manufacturers. This trend is arguably no more apparent than it is in the beauty industry. In a presentation at the North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES), going on this week outside Chicago, Carlos Ruiz, vice president of operations and head of North American manufacturing for L’Oréal, painted a picture of the flexible production needed for changing demands and individualized products.

Equipping Workforces for a Fourth Industrial Revolution

According to a recent report by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, AI could potentially boost the country’s GDP by up to 35% by the year 2031, as the country aims to become a leading hub for AI by 2030. This is encouraging news indeed – and as with the advent of any innovation, the contemporary workforce is set to see a plethora of changes firsthand because of the ubiquity of automation technologies.

Keen to learn more about how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is powered by AI and will bring us the factories of the future? Join RE•WORK in San Francisco this June 28 - 29 at the AI in Industrial Automation Summit.