Industrial workplace 

Trends and innovations
The manufacturing industry sector is transitioning to implement industry 4.0 concepts, with a focus on industrial automation. Early adopters are already reaping the benefits of smart manufacturing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is significantly accelerating the pace of growth towards automation. Industrial companies and factories are exploring the use of connectivity technologies such as the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and 5G, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, and robotics.
    These technologies improve factory and plant productivity and operations efficiency. Moreover, they help companies and brands capture the market share with improved speed to market. The increasing necessity for ensuring worker safety and factory hygiene faces companies resuming operations. 

Impact Of Industrial Workplace Trends
    Artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data analytics play a prominent role in the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector, with data emerging as the most valuable asset. Improved network and cloud connectivity enables the flow of data and enables accurate remote monitoring and managing of processes, and also helps optimise manufacturing processes.
    Collaborative robots and industrial mobile robots further ensure the continuity of operations and automate material delivery on the factory floor. Industrial safety is becoming paramount and the adoption of augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) and wearable technology creates a safe and connected workforce. Also working on solutions to help factories maintain clean, sanitised, and socially distanced workplace protocols.

Artificial Intelligence
    Utilising AI to build predictive algorithms helps factories fulfill their dynamic demand and supply requirements. Predictive maintenance eliminates unplanned downtime using machine learning (ML) and deep neural networks to predict asset breakdown. AI and ML also facilitate the rapid analysis of complex data sets and bridge the gap between people and machines on the factory floor. AI-based tools further help industries to implement and comply with safety protocols at the workplace. Integrating AI with wearable devices and other IoT sensors to create solutions that help factories reduce costs and increase productivity.
    A full-stack AIbased predictive maintenance solution that predicts machine failures. The software Avanseus audits the condition and performance of machinery in real-time to track the signals that suggest a deterioration and estimate timelines for equipment failure. The prognostic system helps reduce maintenance costs, minimise downtime, and prevent equipment degradation for industrial operations and assets.

Internet of Things
    Industrial IoT (IIoT) is a disruptive industrial workplace trend and plays a vital role in the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry. Looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, industries are adopting solutions to continue operations while safeguarding the health of the workers. Industrial workplaces are leveraging IoT to expand their remote monitoring and operations options and maintain safer factories. Manufacturing companies keep track of the condition and health of operations on the factory floor through IoT sensors and devices, then helping them improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
    A wide range of sensor solutions including temperature sensors, vibration sensors, and pressure sensors. The sensors replace the manual monitoring of vibration or temperature measurements for machinery, which is typically an unreliable and tedious process. Nerospec offers customisable solutions suitable for all types of industrial and enterprise customers.

    Industrial workplaces are seeing a global wave of robotics and automation enter factory environments, creating value for brands and manufacturers. Robotics and industrial automation include deploying driverless, automated guided vehicle (AGVs) as well as collaborative robots, known also as cobots, that work alongside humans on the factory floor. Robotics-as-a-Service solutions are also gaining traction in manufacturing and logistics workplaces. Further, mobile robots ensure the safe transport of materials in the factory, requiring minimum human intervention, worker movement, and interaction.
    MAG, an autonomous mobile robot to automate the point-to-point material movement for the manufacturing and logistics industries. Botsync’s mobile robots are designed to work in collaboration with humans to lift pallets or integrate with existing conveyor lines. MAG offers a typical runtime of 8 hours and carries a payload up to 500 kgs at a speed of 1.5m/s.

5G Networks & Cybersecurity
    The rollout of 5G networks is expected to grow at scale over the next few years, allowing manufacturers to improve network latency and enable real-time communication on higher bandwidths. 5G technology boosts the exchange of large amounts of data and enhances the use of sensors. It also enables cloud computing and track & trace capabilities for industrial facilities. To protect against cyber hacking, data breaches, and sensitive information on the cloud, manufacturers seek smart factory solutions to strengthen their industrial cybersecurity strategies.
    Empowering the industrial digital transformation with its end-to-end industrial cybersecurity platform. The platform delivers control systems to allow continuous management, automated analysis of cyber threats, and remediation of cyber risks. Otorio’s risk assessment, monitoring, and management solutions also create reliable, safe, and efficient digital production processes.

Industrial Worker Safety
    Improving worker safety standards and the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) is rapidly gaining importance in the industrial workplace. Post-pandemic, workers require employers to make workplaces safe and to this end, developing IoT- and wearables-based solutions to reduce industrial workplace hazards and promote safety throughout the production line.    For example, in large warehouses wearable devices alert workers when they get close to AGVs or other vehicles.
    Newton’s Meter deploys an AI-powered wearable safety system for industrial workforces. In the event of an accident or emergency, the device automatically sends an SOS alert and the GPS location of the employee. They utilises nanomicroprocessors to detect injuries from a fall or slip. The wearable device also allows for manual operations, enabling workers to send alerts with the click of a button.

Big Data & Analytics
    The increase in connectivity technologies results in IoT devices collecting a lot of data from machines. Big data & analytics make it possible to extract actionable insights from the data and improve factory processes. Data analytics is the driving force that helps the manufacturers in better decision-making to maximise the efficient use of resources. It is also the key to profitability and productivity as organisations are able to better understand their machine and resource utilisation.
    UNLSH, a data analytics platform that helps companies to make sense of the data generated from information technology (IT), operating technology (OT), and IoT assets. The platform solves the bottleneck of blending and structuring fragmented data for conducting analytics and generating reports. UNLSH also features end-to-end capabilities to ingest, structure, and contextualise data. The platform then provides data visualisation to deliver essential insights for driving digital transformation in large manufacturing operations.

Cloud Technology
    The manufacturing sector is increasingly adopting hybrid cloud technologies. Cloud environments allow industrial organisations to have an on-premises and private IT infrastructure that addresses data sovereignty issues. Further, edge computing enables IoT devices to run advanced deep learning algorithms with low power consumption, overall footprint, and cost. Cloud computing eliminates the latency of a cloudbased network as the processing is done right at the edge without the need to transfer data to the cloud. In smart and connected factories, cloud computing eases the communication between machines and between machines and humans, which are essential for reaping the full benefits of migrating to the cloud.
    Cloud Backend provides application-ready environment and customised services to help system integrators deploy edge computing applications close to the source of data. Edge database platformas-a-service (PaaS) model offers low-latency cloud capacities for industrial applications. Edge applications include the collection and analysis of machine data as well as improving production line connectivity.

Augmented Reality
    The COVID-19 pandemic highlights several critical challenges facing industrial facilities, mainly owing to reduced worker availability. Industrial organisations adopt connected worker technologies and remote assistance tools to connect with field engineers to carry out tasks. Solutions based on augmented reality provide remote support to keep businesses operating and workers safe on the factory floors. AR and VR solutions also help industrial companies efficiently train their employees with hands-on training and remote assistance.
    Developing an AI-powered connected workers platform for manufacturing companies. Augmentir leverages AR technology, the platform guides and remotely supports workers to perform their tasks with augmented instructions. As a result, the platform helps improve workers’ safety, quality of work, and productivity while working on routine equipment maintenance and repair processes.

    As factories around the world re-open after the pandemic, the focus will be on workforce safety, hygiene, cleanliness, and sanitisation. Moreover, investment in disinfection robots, sanitisation systems, and personal protective equipment is set to grow as we continue to live with this virus, and potentially others to follow. In addition to disinfection, industrial firms need to regularly sanitise their machines and equipment to prevent the spread of infections.
    Manufacture drones for performing disinfection and cleaning tasks. D1, a disinfecting drone, features electrostatic spray nozzles for efficient liquid distribution and optimal sanitisation applications. Lucid Drone Technologies D1 comes with a 2.5-gallon onboard tank capacity that carries disinfectant liquid solution and covers 200,000 square feet per hour.

Gadget Integration
    Wearable devices are emerging as essential tools to increase the productivity and efficiency of workers in industrial settings. Exoskeletons safeguard and support industrial workers in performing the manual and repeating tasks, in turn increasing overall efficiency. Wearables, equipped with sensors, report temperatures or identify high traffic hotspots on the shop floor. This further ensures industrial companies guarantee the safety of their workers during the pandemic. Gadget integration spans several technologies and is slowly gaining traction as one of the emerging industrial workplace trends.
    HMT-1, a hands-free wearable computer for industrial workers. The head-mounted device works with voice commands and finds applications in remote assistance, video calling, document navigation, and guided workflows. The hands-free remote inspection solution enables users to provide assistance by remotely telecasting issues, even in significantly noisy industrial environments.