Moore’s Law tells us to expect the capability of technology to increase every two years while costs drop. This explains the acceleration of technological developments, and indeed, we see development in all areas constantly. Most of us see these developments in the home and in business, but technological developments are enhancing all areas of life, even when we’re less aware of them. One area which has been significantly advanced by these developments is the industrial sector, where technology has revolutionized both approach and efficiency. Computer software, drone use, virtual reality, and big data are not only relevant where we can see them: they’re influencing industry too.
Often associated with photography, recreational use, and surveillance, drones have had a huge impact on industry. In the medical setting, drone use is becoming more common to transfer supplies between hospital floors and deliver aid to remote locations. Mining companies use drones for operation surveillance, and construction firms use them to monitor progress and gauge topography. In agriculture, drones are used to detect diseased crops and locate pests, and Amazon’s ongoing development of delivery drones highlights their use in commerce. And also, in the gas and oil industry, the power of drones is being harnessed to monitor environmental impact, an issue that’s becoming increasingly more pressing. In these environments, industrial controls allow all technologies to be integrated to build a big picture and ensure that burner systems, pollution control equipment, and pump controls are highly regulated.
Most commonly associated with business and marketing, big data has also had a huge impact on the industry. Our increasing demand for natural resources has led to an increase in data, and that data can be harnessed by industry. Big data enables efficient decision making through predictive modeling, and gathers information from graphical data, geospatial data, and temporal data. This has been particularly beneficial to reservoir analysis and seismic interpretation. In the manufacturing industry, big data gives companies a competitive advantage and improves efficiency in the supply chain.
Big data has also revolutionized the research process, and this has had an impact on all industries. Large amounts of data can be searched in seconds, identifying patterns and enabling companies to make predictions. This can be applied in any industry, improving efficiency, minimizing waste, and advancing development.
Still widely regarded as an entertainment tool, virtual reality (VR) has also transformed industry. VR software allows engineers to develop and test equipment and machinery, obtaining critical data at an early stage. This can prevent design flaws before costly errors are made, saving vast amounts of money in industrial processes that may have turned out to be dysfunctional. The immersive nature of the technology allows for features like vibrational movement and crushing actions to be tested thoroughly before designs are produced.
Developments in technology are accelerating, and this is benefiting all industries. While the focus tends to land on big business and commerce, the industrial sector has also benefited hugely from technology and is set for this to continue into the future.
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