IIoT and the rise of industrial automation have changed the business landscape, leading machine builders to aggressively look for new ways to improve. In fact, the entire machine building supply chain has been forced to reinvent and renovate traditional design perspectives and methods. For years, machine builders, OEMs, systems integrators and their distributors have relied on manufacturers, like Belden, to provide them with the products to succeed – from connecting their smart factories to securing their networks.
But, as relationships between machine builders and the manufacturers they support continue to grow, so too grows the need for machine builders to generate new designs to meet the growing need of customers to be competitive. Which is rightly so, as the pressure is always on to stay ahead of the competition.
And as the needs of machine builders and distributors adapt, so too must the providers of products and technology to meet and exceed these needs.
As one of the many industrial cable suppliers for machine builders, it’s our job to keep a sharp eye on market trends changing within industrial automation and to listen closely to the needs of end users. One of the most popular trends we consistently discuss is the effort to increase factory efficiency by reducing the overall footprint of facilities, also known as miniaturization. These efficiencies are achieved by primarily focusing on one thing – the overall size of the machines being used.
The need for smaller machines has been driven by several factors:
More of today’s machines are smaller and require applications in harsh, high-temperature environments. The cabling that supports these machines must follow suit. The result? Smaller, stronger, more flexible cable.
However, there is one important factor we’ve missed thus far. As machine builders scale down the size of machines, consideration must be given to the size of everything that plugs into these machines. This makes advances in smaller, more flexible cable the foundation of this industry trend towards saving (or better utilizing) shop floor space.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Benefits of Smaller Cabling
I’m guessing you’re already onboard with the benefits of shrinking machine size in your facilities. But the benefits of using smaller cables to connect these machines might be less apparent.
To help make smaller machines a reality, the rest of the networking and communications components will have to shrink in size too. Here are some of the benefits you’ll find in today’s smaller, more efficient industrial cables:
A small food packaging machine takes advantage of smaller, more flexible cable to allow for a simpler installation. The benefits include more room for maintenance and easier future expansion.
3 Future Trends in Industrial Cabling
It’s easy to see how smaller cabling has critical implications for the introduction of smaller machines into automation settings, but the benefits of this smaller, space-saving cabling extends far beyond this one application.
Here are three areas you can expect to be impacted by smaller cabling in the near future:
Without a doubt, more and more players in the automation industry will continue to look ahead at improving their facilities with bigger (or smaller!) and better technology. While this takes place, however, you can be certain that advancements will also continue behind the scenes, just as they have with the introduction of smaller cabling to support smaller machines.
Is your production line burdened by miles of cumbersome cable? How could your facility benefit from smaller cabling? Follow this link to learn more about our space-saving cable line and to request a free sample!