The vital trends to watch for in 2020 revolve around efforts to connect smart-component technologies and their resultant data into functional systems, keep those systems secure, and cultivate a thriving workforce for a maturing Industry 4.0. A lot of Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers are going into automation in a more thoughtful, strategic way, using sensors and AI with IoT connectivity.
Edge computing reduces the latency of processing and uses much less bandwidth. It also has the potential to offer significantly better cyber security if it can keep enough private data off the cloud and its vendor-updated security features are good.
The lack of qualified workers has influenced many midsize manufacturers’ embrace of automation and other Industry 4.0 technologies. In fact, automation is creating higher-paying jobs for maintenance technicians. Other factory job wages have increased somewhat, but not as much as the labor shortage would suggest.
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