Automation, robotics and IoT are technologies being developing at a very rapid pace, but can Australian businesses take advantage of these now? Do they provide attractive investment returns? For those that are interested, let’s call a spade a spade and break it down a bit further;

IoT; “Smart Building” is a buzz word being used a lot, but what does it mean? Really it’s just the next progression from having a building management system.  A “Smart Building” introduces the concept of a building that is better connected with its environment (much like your smart phone knows your location, what the weather is doing and if those shares are about to crash) so really it’s another level of intelligence.

Using this intelligence, smart buildings will be able to operate at much lower cost. For example, using real time metering, weather forecasting, occupancy or production data, a building will be able to predict its energy needs. The building may also be linked to the whole electricity market and make informed decisions about energy use for that day. The building may choose to use its own energy storage and generation to sell into the whole energy market or curtail load to an alternative time period. All pretty interesting, right?
 
Automation and robotics; Simply put, these technologies will (and do) replace labour. Particularly to do jobs that are highly repetitive, dangerous or high cost. Take a meat processing line for example, due to the high cost of labour we can’t be competitive with other countries without introducing some level of automation.

Automation and robotic projects are typically capital intensive and implemented over multiple phases, however if all business benefits are realised in the cost-benefit analysis, returns can be very attractive.

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