Digitalization and Industrial Process Control

Digitalization and Industrial Process Control

The industrial sector is undergoing a digital transformation. Digitalization is converting data into a digital format and digitizing industrial processes. Human operators rely on automation systems to display the process's overall status and assist them in determining when and why problems are emerging. In its simplest form, automation is the ability of a machine to perform a task more efficiently and reliably than a human. In reality, the automation system presents operators with many process variables, permitting them to interpret them as they see fit. In the event of an issue, operators must act promptly and appropriately to prevent an incident. 

However, a much-preferred system is a system that can indicate the process's status and identify which sensor to focus on, and predict not only when an error occurs but if an error will occur. AI technologies can now specify the primary contributors to unusual situations and pinpoint the sensors indicating the causes. The digitalization process not only provides this accurate pinpointing but predictive analysis as well.

Industrial automation has been rising for decades, leading companies to invest in digital technology to streamline their processes. With so many companies integrating digitalization into their operations, it's no surprise that it has become an industry buzzword. Digitalization applies to any industry, but its application varies depending on what type of product or service the facility offers.

Digitalization Can Help Businesses Become More Productive And Efficient

The benefits of digitalization are manifold and include improved efficiency, more accurate measurements, and better control over production processes. For example, computers can calculate the production process more accurately and thoroughly than without them. Therefore, a computerized system will produce goods with less waste and provide higher quality control.

Digitalization has revolutionized industries such as oil & gas, manufacturing, utilities, and transportation. Implementation is now occurring in process industries such as water utilities and chemical plants. The difficulty of implementing digitalization depends on the maturity and efficiency level of the IT infrastructure and company culture. Mature organizations can leverage their existing systems to process data more efficiently. Younger organizations are more likely to identify system gaps and invest heavily in them before they become bottlenecks.

What Are the Major Concerns for Process Industries in Implementing Digitalization?

The first concern is the high cost of replacement instrumentation, communications systems, and employee training. The second concern is a lack of skilled workers to handle the new technologies. The third concern is the developing and changing communication standards for wireless networks and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) technology. The fourth concern is that process industries need to find legitimate partners with monitoring, control, and analytics products, plus software and the breadth of experience optimized for their industry needs.

What Is the Future for Digitalization in Process Automation and Industrial Manufacturing?

The future of digitalization in process automation and industrial manufacturing depends on developing technologies such as wireless instrumentation, cloud-based computing, IIoT, and AI. With the need to increase efficiency and reduce labor costs, we are seeing a trend in the industry where more and more companies are adopting digitalization in process automation and industrial manufacturing. 

Conversion from an analog to a digital system can be expensive and laborious, but the benefits of connecting devices with other devices safely, efficiently, and reliably are becoming apparent. Digitalization provides lower costs because there is less downtime and less need for complex wiring or regular on-site inspections. However, these benefits include new expenses such as software subscriptions, maintenance plans, and upgrades.

Yokogawa and Process Industry Digitalization

Yokogawa has over 100 years of industrial process experience and vast amounts of accumulated knowledge in process control. Their knowledge crosses all industrial sectors, and they have more than 20 years of deep investment in digitalization. They assist their customers with digital transformation using their pressure, temperature, flow, level, vibration monitoring, and analytical instrumentation expertise. With this expertise and their global experience in using information and control technology, Yokogawa is world renowned for improving the process industries' safety, sustainability, and efficiency.

For more information about Yokogawa process control systems and components in Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, contact Classic Controls. Call +1 863-644-3642 or visit