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The Future of Automation and Controls: 10 Trends to Watch

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​Automation and controls have become integral to various industries, driving efficiency, productivity, and innovation. As technology continues to advance, the future of automation and controls holds exciting possibilities.

This blog explores 10 key trends that are shaping the industry and already having a significant impact on automation recruitment. From artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to the Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber security, these trends will transform the way organisations approach automation and controls recruitment (if they haven’t already!), ensuring they have the right talent to navigate the evolving landscape.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Automation:

Artificial intelligence is revolutionising automation and controls, offering intelligent solutions that enhance productivity, decision-making, and operational efficiency. In automation recruitment, the demand for professionals with AI skills will soar. Companies will seek individuals who can develop AI algorithms, machine learning models, and predictive analytics systems to optimise processes, enable autonomous decision-making, and improve overall system performance.

2. Advanced Robotics and Collaborative Automation:

The future of automation will witness the rise of advanced robotics and collaborative automation. These technologies enable human-robot collaboration, enhancing efficiency, safety, and flexibility. In recruitment, organisations will seek professionals who can design, program, and maintain robotic systems. Additionally, skills related to human-robot interaction, such as programming robot behaviours and ensuring safe collaboration, will be in high demand.

3. IoT and Industry 4.0:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a game-changer for automation and controls, connecting devices, sensors, and systems to enable real-time data sharing and decision-making. In automation recruitment, expertise in IoT integration and data analysis will be crucial. Companies will require professionals who can leverage IoT technologies to optimise processes, improve maintenance strategies, and enable predictive analytics.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) for Training and Maintenance:

Augmented reality (AR) has immense potential in automation training and maintenance. AR can provide real-time instructions, overlay digital information on physical systems, and facilitate remote support. In automation recruitment, individuals skilled in developing AR applications and implementing AR-assisted training and maintenance solutions will be highly sought after.

5. Cyber security and Automation:

With increased connectivity and automation, ensuring robust cyber security measures is critical. Protecting automated systems, sensitive data, and intellectual property will be paramount. Organisations will seek automation professionals with expertise in cyber security to safeguard critical infrastructure and prevent potential vulnerabilities and attacks.

6. Automation in Service Industries:

Automation is not limited to the manufacturing sector. The future will witness increased automation in service industries, such as healthcare, finance, and customer service. Automation recruitment will focus on individuals who can integrate automation technologies into service processes, improve customer experiences through chatbots and virtual assistants, and enhance operational efficiency.

7. Continued Growth of 3D Printing:

3D printing has revolutionised manufacturing, enabling rapid prototyping and customised production. In automation recruitment, professionals with expertise in additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies will be sought after. They will play a vital role in leveraging 3D printing for efficient production, spare parts management, and rapid product development.

8. Cloud Computing and Automation:

Cloud computing offers scalability, flexibility, and accessibility, making it an essential component of automation systems. Recruitment in automation will require individuals with expertise in cloud computing, enabling seamless data storage, real-time analytics, and collaboration across locations and devices.

9. Embracing Blockchain for Supply Chain Automation:

Blockchain technology provides secure and transparent supply chain management. Automation recruitment will focus on professionals who can integrate blockchain into automation systems, enabling reliable traceability, provenance, and trust in supply chains. Skills in blockchain development and implementation will be in high demand.

10. Edge Computing for Real-Time Decision Making:

Edge computing involves processing and analysing data closer to the source, reducing latency and enabling real-time decision-making. In automation and controls, edge computing will become increasingly important, particularly in applications where immediate responses are critical, such as autonomous vehicles and industrial control systems. This trend will drive the need for professionals with expertise in edge computing architectures, edge analytics, and data management. Organisations will seek individuals who can design and implement edge computing solutions to optimise performance, reduce network dependencies, and ensure efficient real-time control and decision-making in automation systems.

The future of Automation and Controls

The future of automation and controls promises remarkable advancements, presenting numerous opportunities and challenges. To leverage these trends and drive successful automation initiatives, organisations must invest in recruiting and developing professionals with expertise in AI, robotics, IoT, AR, cybersecurity, service automation, 3D printing, cloud computing, and blockchain.

Embracing these trends and acquiring the right talent will position organisations at the forefront of automation innovation, ensuring they remain competitive and adaptable in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

How we can help with your Automation & Controls recruitment needs

The first choice for clients and candidates, our Automation and Controls recruitment division provides clients with a unique level of expertise in contract, interim and permanent recruitment. For over 45 years we have provided solutions across three dedicated areas: product development, manufacturing and commercial over the complete product lifecycle supporting industries that include:

Special Purpose Machines – Automated Warehousing and Logistics –  Controls – Research and Development

To find out more about our automation and controls recruitment service click here or contact me on 01384 446105 /

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