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Survey: Most of Process Industry to Fully Automate by 2030

64% of respondents said they intend to completely automate their primary operations within the next decade.

A recent survey conducted by Yokogawa Electric Corporation found that two-thirds (64%) of respondents from process industry companies said their primary operations will be fully automated by 2030.

The results of company’s global end-user survey addressing views on industrial autonomy were announced on Wednesday. The majority (89%) of survey participants from process industry – including petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and oil and gas – said they plan to boost the amount of automation in their operations.

While the next decade could witness a major shift toward full automation in process plants, many companies are currently working to integrate the technologies into their operations. More than half (64%) of process industry companies said they are piloting or conducting semi-autonomous or autonomous operations now. 67% of companies aid most decision-making processes related to plant operations will be automated by 2023.

“COVID-19 has arguably presented a great impetus for industrial autonomy moving forward. A higher priority is now being placed on the ability to continue running operations without workers needing to be present,” Yokogawa said in a release on the survey results. “A majority of respondents are expecting to increase their investment in autonomous operations as a direct result of COVID-19.”

In response to challenges presented during the pandemic, process industry firms are looking to deploy automation to enable remote operations and remote servicing, according to the results. The top three investment priorities for companies over the next three years are cyber security (51% of respondents), cloud, analytics and big data (47%) and artificial intelligence (42%).

“From this research study, we have confirmed our perception that the shift from industrial automation to industrial autonomy, which we call IA2IA, is going to gain momentum over the next decade,” Tsuyoshi Abe, senior vice president and head of the Marketing Headquarters at Yokogawa, said in a statement.

To view more information on the survey, click here.

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