In this article we have selected 5 of the main motion control trends to watch in 2021. Namely:
- Edge computing
- Predictive maintenance
- Augmented reality
We have talked about the benefits of edge computing for the new smart industry and how it can be one of the most effective solutions for digitization. The same can be said about motion control.
Cloud computing and IIoT offer great advantages, but they also come with a few limitations. First of all, risks related to the huge volume of data generated in a production system. Such as:
- Network overload, due to the large bandwidth required.
- Cyber-attacks on the system.
- Latency, a threat to the performance of high-speed production lines.
Edge computing, on the other hand, maintains data and process management within the corporate network and consequently drastically reduces these risks. This is an advantage, especially in applications that involve large amounts of data and are time sensitive.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly amplified the already growing demand for predictive maintenance and remote monitoring. These solutions allow to identify problems before they become critical and cause a malfunction. This way, they help prevent unscheduled downtime, as well as cut operating costs.
In the next months we will need technologies capable of facilitating social distancing and reducing risks of contagion in the workplace and, at the same time, maximizing productivity.
One of the motion control trends in 2021 is a greater use of augmented reality. AR solutions enrich human sensory perception with digital data. Information that was once only found in manuals and that required years of experience becomes instantly accessible.
Therefore, augmented reality in motion control is a very useful and effective tool to speed up and facilitate the process of staff training and acquisition of off-site skills. For example, an operator can view information, parameters, animations and instructions relating to a machine or a procedure on an augmented reality display.
5G will be a turning point especially in the industrial sector. In Industry 4.0 and IIoT, a technology capable of supporting immense parallel data exchanges between machines with maximum reliability and minimum latency is essential.
Earlier in the design and development of motion control applications, a prototype phase was required to verify any problems. This was expensive and time-consuming.
Today, it is possible to replace this step with detailed simulations that enables virtual prototyping. Furthermore, simulation also provides a virtual reality experience to staff who can thus experiment with new machinery, techniques and activities.