Larry O’Brien discusses industrial interests

Larry O’Brien discusses industrial interests

The vice president of ARC Advisory Group shares his thoughts on sustainability, AI and more with Andy-Clayton Smith

Andy Clayton-Smith |

What are the top priorities for ARC Advisory Group this year, and how will you address them at Hannover Messe 2024? 

We’re planning to spend a lot of time with automation suppliers and solution providers to better understand their plans for industrial artificial intelligence, digital twins, sustainability and energy transition-related initiatives.  

The theme for Hannover Messe is ‘Energising a Sustainable Industry’ and ARC has been tracking the topic of industrial sustainability and energy transition quite closely, so it will be interesting to see what solutions are showcased this year. ARC believes there is a lot of business value in sustainability and the potential for increased energy efficiency, reducing emissions and new production processes like advanced recycling, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage are numerous.   

In this issue, Dominik Wee tells us about the role of generative AI for manufacturers. How does ARC view AI-powered tools like Microsoft Copilot as a driver for new ways of thinking about the manufacturing industry?  

Industrial AI continues to capture more of our attention as a wider range of solutions become available for a spectrum of use cases, from predictive maintenance to augmenting the capabilities of industrial workers and capturing the knowledge of experienced operators and technicians. The breakthroughs in generative AI are real and its impact on the future of software, and how we interact with technology, is already apparent in our everyday lives and experiences with chatbots and copilots.  

Industrial software has been leveraging AI techniques and systems for decades and generative AI adds to a portfolio that will likely expand to new systems for causal, neuro-symbolic and quantum AI as similar breakthroughs occur in those fields of research.  

More broadly, what’s in the pipeline for ARC when looking at the year ahead?  

ARC hosted its Americas Forum in Orlando, Florida, in February 2024, where almost 1,000 attendees heard from leading end-users and suppliers about how new technologies like AI and digital twins are being successfully applied in critical infrastructure. Our European Forum, on 6-8 May in Barcelona, Spain, will expand on these topics. A series of forums will also be held in Asia starting in July, including Tokyo, Bangalore and Singapore.  

Additionally, there is an increasing concern for industrial cybersecurity with looming security regulations like the Network and Information Security Directive, which provides legal measures to boost the overall level of cybersecurity in the European Union, due to be set in motion. Cyberattacks are having an increasing impact on industrial companies that have lost business due to significant unplanned downtime.  

This article was originally published in the Spring 2024 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription. 

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