Sponsored Connecting People, Things & Machines: Interactive applications as a key enabler for Industry 4.0

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Highlights and key takeaways from our free-to-view webinar with Elo Touch Solutions on how to make Industry 4.0 a reality in industrial operations…

With industries under constant pressure to improve equipment maintenance, simplify processes, increase efficiencies and cut downtime, a growing number of businesses are transforming to take advantage of Industry 4.0.

But in order to do so, a new set of connected, interactive devices are needed to enable multi-functional, intuitive interfaces. Fortunately, Elo Touch Solution’s touchscreen and compute product portfolio – and particularly its approach to Android – is a key enabler for Industry 4.0, helping to unlock data barriers and position manufacturers as forward-thinking technology leaders who value a data-driven culture where employees feel empowered to make intelligent decisions.

In this hour-long session, which took place on 15 December 2020, Elo’s director of sales Brian Atwood, regional sales manager Jim Foster and director of product management Paul Futter explained how the company’s ecosystem of purpose-built devices work together and streamline the communication of controls deployed across leading industrial organisations such as ABB, Boeing, Hitachi and Siemens.

Brian Atwood began by offering an overview of the company, which has provided industry-leading touch solutions for almost 50 years – having in fact invented the touchscreen in 1971. After sharing an image of the original patent for the touchscreen, Atwood explained how Elo’s unified architecture supports digital transformation and smart factories in a range of industries, including intelligent retail, service automation, healthcare, banking and payments, as well as industrial automation.

Jim Foster then discussed Elo’s diverse portfolio of interactive technology for industrial applications – the widest in the marketplace. He explained that Elo products can range from very large format 65-inch signage down to seven-inch customised touchscreen components. Foster covered how Elo’s interactive applications can accelerate the growth of fully automated processes in industries varying from commercial kitchens to car factories and added that Elo’s touchscreen devices can even feature saltwater protection for marine applications.

The webinar also provided insight into the industrial IIoT market, with Foster citing figures from the Markets and Markets, IoT Solutions and Service Market, Global Forecast to 2024 report to explain exactly why Elo is so excited about operating in this space.

“It’s a growing market that’s forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16%,” said Foster, before adding how smart manufacturing represents the biggest sub-vertical with a 25% share of a US$5.74bn global market. “It’s a huge market that’s growing faster than the traditional markets we operate in, such as retail and banking.”

He then shared figures from Microsoft 365’s 2019 Manufacturing Trends Report, which forecasts that the global collaborative robot (cobot) market is set to increase from 150,000 units in 2020 to 694,000 units in 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of 36%.

And it’s this intersection, where Elo’s touch solutions meet cobots within smart manufacturing in the overall industrial IIoT marketplace, where the future of the company possibly lays.

To cover Elo’s unified architecture in smart factories, Foster handed over to Paul Futter, who provided a glimpse of the wider picture of software architecture. Futter discussed why the Android operating system is such a big player for the company now – with particular success in the intelligent retail space – and why it will be especially so in the future.

Viewers were then taken through a model of a smart factory and were shown how Elo smart touchscreens unlock data barriers. Futter provided an overview of the company’s Android solutions for industrial applications, including the purpose-built Elo handheld mobile computer, I-Series Android Compute and touch screen monitors with Android compute engine.

The Elo team also shared three industrial use cases. The first was for a warehouse cart system for US fulfilment solutions provider 6 River Systems, the second was for French automotive OEM Renault and the third for US manufacturer Magnum Piering. Each case study included video footage of Elo’s technology in action.

To conclude, Atwood reinforced that Elo is “super excited to be enabling the digital transformation for a lot of these companies” in an industrial factory environment, and added that, “between the touch solutions and the unified architecture, [Elo] is helping to transform these spaces for the digital age”.

As all Robotics & Innovation webinars are interactive, viewers were given the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers, including:

■ How rugged are Elo’s touch devices in industrial environments?

■ Why is Android the preferred architecture for the factory floor?

■ How do touchscreens fit into a post-Covid workplace where contactless applications are growing in popularity?

The answers to these and more can be discovered by viewing the on-demand webinar now!

Contact ELO Touch Solutions:
Jim Foster
Regional Sales Manager
Sales
M: +447365224918
E: jim.foster@elotouch.com

w: EloTouch.eu

This article originally appeared in the January 2021 issue of Robotics & Innovation

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