Industrial automation systems are not just crucial for increasing productivity (since they can operate 24 hours a day) but are much needed to improve quality and flexibility in industrial processes.
Companies developing industrial automation systems today, are now deploying artificial intelligence and relying on IoT in order to automate the most complex of industrial processes that requires human intervention.
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From the automatic flour mill developed by Oliver Evans in 1785 to IoT and AI-powered industrial robots, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, we’ve come a long way in automating industrial processes.
When you think of industrial automation, you think of Factory Automation (dealing with manufacturing and quality control processes), and Logistics Automation (which involves long and short-distance material handling processes).
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There are many ground-breaking innovations in industrial automation, and here are the companies leading the way:
1. Siemens AG
Siemens is an engineering and electronics company that specializes in the fields of industry, energy, infrastructure, transportation, and healthcare. It is the largest manufacturing company in Europe.
The company has a wide range of automation technologies which include; identification and locating systems, industrial control systems, operator control and monitoring systems, process control systems, PC-based automation, industrial automation systems (SIMATIC), and motion control system (SIMOTION) among many others.
ABB is engaged in power and automation technologies. The company provides a range of products, systems, solutions, and services.
Its power businesses focus on power transmission, distribution, and power-plant automation and serve electric, gas, and water utilities, as well as industrial and commercial customers.
Its automation businesses serve a range of industries with measurement, control, protection, and process optimization applications.
It operates in approximately 100 countries across four regions: Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East, and Africa (MEA).
Honeywell International is a technology and manufacturing company that offers energy, safety, and security solutions and technologies.
It offers aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; specialty chemicals; electronic and advanced materials; process technology for refining and petrochemicals; and energy-efficient products and solutions.
The company offers energy efficiency benefits across four industry sectors: transportation, commercial buildings, industrial, and residential. Its safety technologies focus on emergency management, flights, and the workplace. It offers security and control technologies for industrial, defense, and residential purposes.
Honeywell International’s offerings are categorized as consumer and home; aerospace and defense; safety and security; buildings, construction, and maintenance; scanning and mobile productivity; industrial process control; efficiency, energy, and utilities; automotive and transportation; oil and gas, refining, petrochemicals, and biofuels; healthcare and medical; chemicals, specialty materials, and fertilizers; manufacturing; and fire protection and first responder.
Honeywell International was founded in 1906 and is based in Morristown, New Jersey.
4. Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is an electric company that creates and develops products that help people conserve energy. Schneider Electric is leading the digital transformation of energy management and automation in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries.
With a global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage, and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. They provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation, and software.
5. Emerson Process Management
EMERSON PROCESS MANAGEMENT (SHANGHAI) CO.LTD. is an industrial automation company based in China.
6. Rockwell automation
Rockwell Automation specializes in industrial automation and information, making its customers more productive.
Rockwell Automation is dedicated to industrial automation and information, making its customers more productive and the world more sustainable.
Throughout the world, their flagship Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software product brands are recognized for innovation and excellence.
Vanderlande is the global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports, and in the parcel market.
The company is also a leading supplier of process automation solutions for warehouses.
Vanderlande’s baggage handling systems move 3.2 billion pieces of luggage around the world per year, in other words, 8.8 million per day.
Its systems are active in 600 airports including 14 of the world’s top 20. More than 20 million parcels (300 packages per second) are sorted by its systems every day, which have been installed for a variety of leading parcel companies.
In addition, 12 of Europe’s top 20 e-commerce businesses and many distribution firms have confidence in Vanderlande’s efficient and reliable solutions.
The company focuses on the optimization of its customers’ business processes and competitive positions. Through close cooperation, it strives for the improvement of its operational activities and the expansion of its logistical achievements. Vanderlande’s extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software, and life-cycle services – results in the realization of fast, reliable, and efficient automation technology.
8. Kion Group
The KION Group sells forklift trucks, warehouse technology, and associated services from its seven brand companies around the world. It is the European market leader, number two in the world, and a leading international supplier in China.
The companies brands include:
Dematic: A global leader in innovative, integrated supply chain automation technologies, software, and services. It is the second-largest materials handling systems supplier.
Linde — one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forklifts and warehouse trucks. A technology pioneer, it offers a wide range of industrial trucks, driver assistance systems, fleet management, and comprehensive service options.
STILL — a manufacturer of forklift trucks, warehouse trucks, and intralogistics systems, has been a leading innovator for decades and has a focus on the European and Brazilian markets.
Baoli — a global brand for forklift trucks in the value segment.
Fenwick — part of Linde Material Handling, it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forklifts and warehouse trucks. A technology pioneer, it offers a wide range of industrial trucks, driver assistance systems, fleet management, and comprehensive service options.
OM — combines the strengths of the Indian forklift truck brand ‘Voltas’ and the long-established Italian brand ‘OM’. In the Indian market, OM Voltas is the leading supplier of industrial trucks.
9. Daifuku Co., Ltd. (11.31b)
Since 1937, Daifuku has focused on material handling – the movement of finished goods and work in progress. Their world-class systems lead the industry by combining conveying, storage, sorting, picking, and controls.
Their products serve customers in a range of industries and countries. They have refined their expertise not only as a manufacturer but also as a system integrator so that they can provide precise solutions to the challenges faced by customers across a variety of industries.
Daifuku has also established a consistent support system ranging from consulting to after-sales service. Their System Support Center offers 24-hour telephone support, remote monitoring of equipment operation, and preventive maintenance service.
10. Mitsubishi electric
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation manufactures and sells electric and electronic equipment used in energy and electric systems, industrial automation, information and communication systems, electronic devices, and home appliances. It serves customers in Japan and internationally.
The company’s Energy and Electric Systems segment offers turbine and hydraulic turbine generators, nuclear power plant equipment, motors, transformers, power electronics equipment, circuit breakers, gas-insulated switches, switch control devices, surveillance system controls, security systems, large display devices, and electrical equipment for locomotives.
Its Industrial Automation Systems segment provides programmable logic controllers, inverters, servomotors, motors, hoists, magnetic switches, time and power meters, industrial sewing machines, computerized numerical controllers, electrical-discharge, and laser processing machines, industrial robots, clutches, automotive electrical equipment, and car multimedia products.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
11. KNAPP AG
The KNAPP Group is a global provider of intelligent automation solutions for intralogistics and manufacturing, specializing in the sectors of healthcare, fashion/apparel, general retail, food retail, industry, and service.
KNAPP Group has more than 5,000 employees in 53 locations worldwide, shaping the future-oriented industry of intralogistics.
Founded in 1952 as a two-man business, KNAPP has developed into one of the strongest and most innovative partners for integrated logistics solutions.
12. Swisslog Holding AG
Swisslog designs, develops, and delivers best-in-class automation solutions for forward-thinking health systems, warehouses, and distribution centers.
Swisslog is a global organization with 2,500 talented employees in more than 20 countries on four continents and customers in more than 50 countries.
Headquartered in Buchs/Aarau, Switzerland, the Swisslog group is organized into two business units, Healthcare and Warehouse & Distribution Solutions (WDS).
Swisslog delivers best-in-class automation solutions that increase efficiency and enhance the patient experience in forward-thinking health systems.
Swisslog drives customer value by improving workflows and reducing the time clinicians spend doing routine and repetitive tasks – giving them more time to care for their patients.
Their automation solutions reduce the labor necessary to manage and move materials within healthcare systems and eliminate opportunities for errors in medication management.
13. Kuka Robotics
KUKA Robotics is a manufacturer of robotic systems, offering a wide range of industrial robots and robot systems, covering all common payload categories and robot types.
KUKA Robotics provides automation solutions tailored to its customers’ applications and industries and develops robotic systems for individual needs.
It offers a comprehensive range of services, including collaborative planning and more to help its customers realize the full potential of its products.
Founded in 1898, KUKA Robotics is based in Berlin, Germany.
14. TGW Logistics Group GmbH
TGW Logistics Group is a leading systems provider of highly automated, flexible solutions supporting distribution and fulfillment for leading retailers and global brands in eCommerce, apparel, general merchandise, and grocery.
Since 1969 TGW has been implementing innovative solutions from small material handling applications to complex fulfillment centers.
15. SSI Schaefer AG
SSI Schaefer is one of the world’s leading providers of modular warehousing and logistics solutions for innovative industry-specific answers to its customers’ unique challenges.
16. Omron automation
OMRON Corporation is an automation company that develops a wide range of businesses such as factory automation control equipment, electronic parts, social systems such as automatic ticket gates at stations, and power conditioners for solar power generation, and healthcare.
17. Mecalux, S.A.
Mecalux is one of the leading companies in the storage systems market. It is specialized in the design, manufacturing, sale, and services of metal racking, automated warehouses, and other storage solutions.
Mecalux is the leading storage company in Spain and ranks third in the world in its field, selling to more than 70 countries.
The prime position of the company is based on its application of the most advanced technology in the industry, and on its extensive distribution network in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Belgium, UK, Poland, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and the USA.
Mecalux’s range of warehouse storage solutions includes pallet racking, picking, cantilever racking, automated warehouses for pallets, and automated warehouses for boxes.
18. BEUMER Group
BEUMER Group is an international manufacturing leader in intralogistics in the fields of conveying, loading, palletizing, packaging, sortation, and distribution technology.
19. Jungheinrich AG
Jungheinrich is a mechanical engineering company that manufactures a full range of products and services for the internal material flow.
Jungheinrich inspires, influences, and shapes the world of intralogistics, and has been for more than 60 years.
20. WiseTech Global Limited
WiseTech Global is an innovative, multi-award-winning global developer of cloud-based software solutions for the international and domestic logistics industries.
Their major product, CargoWise One, provides end-to-end logistics solution in the world and forms an integral link in the global supply chain.
WiseTech Global was founded in 1994 in Sydney, Australia, with a mission to lead the international logistics industry in technology innovation. The company now operates worldwide with offices in Australia, China, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
21. System Logistics Spa
System Logistics provides innovative intralogistics and material handling solutions for the optimization of warehouse supply chains, distribution centers, and production centers all over the world.
Specializing in the Food & Beverage industry, System Logistics develops tailor-made solutions for storage and automated picking, including stacker cranes, high-rotation warehouses, high-speed shuttles, AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles), software, and services.
The majority of the technologies provided are entirely designed, engineered, produced, and installed by System Logistics. This ensures complete control of the process.
22. FALCON AUTOTECH
Falcon Autotech is one of the leading Industrial Automation Solutions Providers in India having delivered hundreds of turnkey automation solutions such as Online Weighing, Online Dimensioning, Parcel Sorters, Assembly Lines, Robotic Automation Solutions, and a wide range of Inspection Solutions for FMCG, Food, Pharma, Cosmetics, Bakery, Automobile, E-Commerce, and Logistics Industries.
Falcon provides complete online weighing solutions with customized inspection systems such as vision based inspection, auto bar code reading, Carton Identification by Volume Measurement system etc.
It is set to revolutionize the online weighing industry by building futuristic applications with the mission to provide ‘tomorrow’s technology today.
23. SI Systems, LLC
SI Systems provides industry-leading automated material handling solutions to numerous distribution centers, warehousing, and product assembly facilities.
SI Systems collaborates with clients to design and implement automated systems to increase productivity and reduce operational costs for:
- Direct-to-Consumer e-commerce retailing. SI Systems A-Frames and Pick-to-Light technologies remain critical and central solutions for piece-picking order fulfillment in countless CPG distribution centers such as OTC pharmaceuticals, beauty, personal care, packaged meals, stationery and more.
- Warehousing/Manufacturing in-house transportation. SI Systems SIMON2500 AGVs are designed to move cases and pallets along configurable guide paths within warehouses and manufacturing facilities. They can provide 24/7 operation with little to no manual intervention throughout receiving, workstation, production, and storage.
- Manufacturing & Product Assembly. SI Systems classic Lo-TowR towline and SideFingerLine conveyors are designed to provide synchronous and asynchronous transportation for assembly operations of heavy machinery and in warehouses for finished products between receiving and shipping.
24.ULMA Handling Systems
ULMA Handling Systems develops Integrated Engineering in Material Handling Systems through an extensive range of integrated logistics solutions targeted at the Distribution sector and Automatic Manufacturing as well as Supply Chain Software solutions.
FRAMOS enables machines to see. Imaging and embedded vision technologies are our passion, we play a key role in automation, robotics and the IoT-connected factory are key drivers in cognitive systems, the smart home, intelligent mobiles, and autonomous vehicles.
FRAMOS is a leading global supplier of imaging products, embedded vision technologies, custom solutions, and OEM services and supports customers as a technical consultant, development partner, and external supplier.