To say that AI took center stage at Automate 2024 is just a tad reductive.

Advancements in machine learning were always going to be the star of the 2024 show. It made waves and captivated audiences, wooing jaded industry insiders with new ways of carrying out complex tasks in an eerily, almost human manner.

It was all about pushing the boundaries of what was possible in automation technology at Automate, of showcasing the best and brightest solutions from machine automation vendors who had defied expectations.

Perhaps one of the most notable innovations is pushing AI programs to the edge. AI processing typically requires high computing power and energy, something that is odds with edge systems, which typically are efficient, low-power devices.

What was production-level edge computing?

In layman terms, edge computing processes data locally, close to or within a device. It has become a practical way of handling data ever since low-power microprocessors became available in tiny packages.

The technology reduces the load on central servers by distributing data among device nodes. For automated production facilities and smart factories, edge computing introduces features like self-regulated data analysis, modular system controllers and computer architectures focusing on streamlined, onsite factory floor workflows.

AI-powered edge computing further enhances these 5G networked connected devices, adding machine-learned analysis and low-latency responses to data throughput in the form of supercharged decision-making machines that handle production anomalies with a flourish of self-regulated control.

Making industries edge-smart at Automate 2024

For the 2024 event, AI-imbued edge computing solutions were available, proving yet again that artificial intelligence wasn’t just a trend; it was a seismic shift in how automation vendors reshape the future of a self-regulating, machine-managed environment.

Just as a quick recap, new 5G cellular systems designed to partner with IoT (Internet of Things) modules had radically transformed complex industrial and commercial operations. Expecting companies like Cincoze Co., experts in embedded computing, to accelerate the transformation towards an AI ruled smart production setting by introducing their complete line of rugged edge computing solutions. Scalable in the extreme, they incorporated a comprehensive range of industry-capable modules.

The GOLD product line was particularly interesting to AI developers and engineers looking to optimize their factory operations, with its GPU-assisted GM-1000 and GP-3100 series built to crunch the billions of calculations handled by specially programmed AI algorithms. Companies like Nvidia were on hand to provide the software infrastructure that would run on these high-powered edge solutions.

Detour-worthy edge solutions at the trade show

A fast walk over to booth #3150, still in the south building, took curious industry automaters to the Neousys Technology display, where all things industrially automated were being promoted. GPU powered edge computing systems were heavily in evidence, delivering next-level performance in the shape of Nvidia’s Jetson architecture.

Over at booth #5055 Eurotech stood out as a pioneer in embedded edge computing systems. Their product line was being demoed under the guise of the ReliaCOR 44-11 Edge AI server label. Designed for complex industrial applications, jobs that required machine vision and fine-tuned movement, a powerful nVidia A2 GPU partnered with an Intel i7 processor, yet it was still compact enough to fit inside the densest operational environments.

The Cervoz exhibit, found at booth #1777 featured a similarly AI-focused setup, showcasing its IoT efforts in the form of the T245 series. The tiny industrial embedded modules are built to resist factory shock while meeting the needs of the most demanding production workloads. The latest generation of products even featured DDR5 memory buses, really doubling-down on the data-heavy requirements of high-performance AI information throughput.

As a final sneak peak at the future of factory automation, Arbor Technology arrived at Automate 2024 with a full inventory of industrial embedded gear. For those who enjoyed the interactivity of live demonstrations, the Arbor team would be exhibiting AI powerhouse modules with adaptive learning capabilities, perfect for systems that needed to adapt to unpredictable system workloads. Attend the booth #1889 display to see this demo in action.


Now for the cursory closing section. Curious trade show attendees would need to hustle down to McCormick Place, Chicago, to see the trade show in all of its game-changing glory.

The future of automation was intelligent, connected, brimming with potential, but it wasn’t just about technology. If people wanted to tap the developers' brains, they’d be nearby, keen to provide insights into their systems.

Other than that networking opportunity, Automate 2024 was going to tout a treasure trove of AI-powered edge computing solutions, each one a stepping stone towards a more streamlined and productive factory.

For manufacturers seeking a competitive edge, this wasn’t simply a trade show; it really was a springboard into the future. By strategically integrating these new technologies - from ruggedized edge devices to machine learning-optimized computer architectures, canny manufacturers could unlock real-world benefits.

Besides, Chicago is beautiful in early May; it's a real sight to see. Just didn't be distracted by pizza or hot dogs, or you'll miss out on theopportunity to be at the forefront of manufacturing technology.