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Advanced automation reaches new heights

Automation is building a better world by bringing the physical and virtual realms together. Freeing people from repetitive, unsafe, or lower-value processes by combining machinery with digital technology.

In this transformation, companies are driving new efficiencies and new levels of sustainability, improving product quality, and bringing costs under control.

It’s a trend taking the industrial world by storm. The International Federation of Robotics estimated that there were around three million industrial robots in operation worldwide in 2021. And automation adoption is only picking up pace.

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Our mission is to provide exceptional sensing and insights so that, together, we can create a cleaner, healthier, and more productive world. That means we don’t only provide sensors – we’ll do whatever it takes to make your automation strategy a success.

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We support every stage of your automation strategy – optimising processes, driving sustainability, and making sure your automated systems have the precise real-time data they need.

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Our team has decades of experience in testing, measurement, and automation – and we’re constantly expanding our people’s expertise and the power of our products.

Orange Industrial Robot Arm at Production Line at Modern Bright Factory. Solar Panels are being Assembled on Conveyor. Automated Manufacturing Facility

Productivity, safety, sustainability: powered by automation

It’s an exciting time for industry. Our ability to develop more advanced products has soared in the last decade – and customers are clamouring to buy them.

But these opportunities also come with new challenges – challenges which have driven the adoption of automation to new heights:

  • Input costs are increasing rapidly and key resources are scarcer, which means a smaller margin for error in the manufacturing process.
  • Skilled labour is harder to find and the existing workforce is spread thin. Projections indicate that, by 2030, 2.1 million jobs in industry will remain unfilled. It’s more important than ever to use people’s time as effectively and efficiently as possible – without overworking them or risking burnout.
  • Speed is essential. Companies must work fast to meet customer expectations and to bring new products to market faster than the competition.
  • Customers and governments are prioritising sustainability, pushing industrial companies to reduce waste and use their resources as efficiently as possible.

Losing waste, finding efficiencies: five core benefits of automation

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Automating key tasks reduces human error and speeds up the manufacturing process, allowing companies to iterate faster without wasting time on lower-value logistical tasks.

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The potent combination of greater efficiency, reduced rework, and lower costs has a major impact on the bottom line.

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Automating simpler processes means skilled workers have more time to spend on high-value tasks. Allowing companies to improve product quality and remain competitive – without increasing the size of their workforce.

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Reducing the risk of human error can significantly reduce wasted time, energy and materials. Improving overall efficiency and speeding up key parts of the manufacturing process also means using fewer resources, contributing to a smaller carbon footprint.

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Reducing the need for workers to perform repetitive, boring, or less skilled work often improves overall job satisfaction. It can also save employees from tasks that put their wellbeing at risk, including 'ergonomically challenging' tasks that cause repetitive strain injuries.

Manufacturing’s automation revolution

Automation is transforming almost every industry – but its influence is truly changing the face of manufacturing.

McKinsey estimates that by 2025 industrial automation products and Internet of Things (IoT) for process and discrete manufacturing will be a $115 billion global market.

In manufacturing, automation is generally used in two applications:

  • Repetitive manual tasks, like tightening wheel nuts on a car production line, or milling in a food processing plant
  • Dangerous tasks, such as those that involve handling hazardous materials that could harm the health of humans
Packaging machinery, with HBK weighing sensors, fill bottles of olive oil in the food industry
A group of engineers on a cobot perform a real-time-sensor test

Better sensors bring humans and robots together

Historically, manufacturing automation has meant relatively simple robots, performing basic repetitive tasks on the production line. These robots were based around limited, rules-based algorithms which made them effective and reliable, but only in very specific applications.

Recent years have seen some significant leaps forward in automation technology. The introduction of more advanced sensors has made manufacturing robots more sensitive and given them access to a continuous stream of accurate, detailed data.

As a result, robots have begun to take on more complex tasks – including those that involve working safely alongside humans as cobots. This could be revolutionary: a recent BCG study suggests that more complex automation could reduce costs by up to 25%.

World Economic Forum (2021) | “Global Lighthouse Network: Reimagining Operations for Growth"

HBK’s offering: enhancing productivity in a connected world

At HBK, we help our customers reach their full automation potential by bringing intelligence to the point of measure.

With better access to more accurate, real-time data, you’ll equip your automated systems with the tools they need to perform effectively. So you can reduce waste, save costs, drive new efficiencies and improve product quality. 

Connecting digital sensors and actuators in the field-level to control level systems
portrait rounded image of Ben Bryson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HBK
Ben Bryson | President, HBK

Solve industry’s greatest challenges with automation