Top technologies for 2023 – the benefits for your industry
For many years, the recycling and environmental sectors have lagged behind many other industries in their application of technology. Having now worked in IT for over a quarter of a century I thought it was time to reflect on what the real benefits of technology are, and then predict how different technologies may be adopted in this sector over the coming years. To put it in simple terms, technology (when implemented correctly) brings one of two benefits; it either improves efficiency, or it provides reliable and appropriate information upon which better decisions can be made. I have chosen five technologies that fall into one or both categories, and I would predict that at least four of them will be a hit during 2023.
What do you think, hit or miss?
The Industrial Metaverse is in it’s infancy but does include some technologies that have been commonplace for some time in the recycling sector, for example the Internet of Things has given us digital bin sensors, integration to plant data and access with digital weighing/measuring sensors. However, using Metaverse technologies on a larger scale can help de-risk and optimise multi-million pound investments.
Many years ago, I visited a new EfW plant – it was quite impressive and, you could say, ambitious. Unfortunately, it did not perform to expectations. On reflection, the investors realised they have built the plan the wrong way around – it was all to do with wind direction and thermal impacts, and beyond my understanding to be honest. But essentially, if they could have turned the whole site around by 180 degrees, it would have been a really good investment.
Manufacturers are already building major production facilities in advance digitally, to see how they work, optimise the design and plan correctly. Building these facilities digitally, and seeing how they perform, before even breaking ground on a new real plant can avoid some very expensive mistakes. If the EfW had been built digitally, the rotation issue may have been resolved before it was too late.
Humans are good at certain tasks, but not good at repetitive tasks. Business process automation (BPA) is likely to have a significant impact on the recycling industry, particularly in terms of efficiency and cost savings. Some of the key ways in which BPA may impact the recycling industry include:
- Improving tracking and reporting: BPA can be used to track and report on the flow of recyclable materials, providing valuable data on the effectiveness of recycling efforts.
- Reducing errors and improving accuracy: BPA can automate the process of identifying and correcting data error, reducing the risk and increasing accuracy.
- Enhancing communication and collaboration: BPA can be used to improve communication and collaboration between different stakeholders in the recycling industry, such as collection companies, processors, and manufacturers. In this data-intensive and quite regulated world, information flow improvements will enhance many businesses.
- Reducing costs: BPA can help to reduce costs associated with manual labour and the management of transactional processes, leading to increased profitability for companies in the recycling industry.
Overall, BPA can help to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of recycling processes, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and profitable recycling industry. Using cost effective technologies such as Microsoft’s Power Platform implemented with TegosSuite can create a foundation for a highly automated business.
Cyber security is becoming increasingly important in the recycling sector as the industry becomes more digital and reliant on technology. Some of the key ways in which cyber security can impact the recycling sector include:
- Protecting sensitive data: Cyber security measures can be used to protect sensitive data such as financial information and customer data from cyber-attacks.
- Securing networks and systems: Cyber security measures can be used to secure networks and systems used in the recycling sector, such as those used for tracking and reporting on recyclable materials.
- Preventing unauthorized access: Cyber security measures can be used to prevent unauthorized access to systems and data, helping to protect against cyber-attacks and data breaches.
- Monitoring for suspicious activity: Cyber security measures can be used to monitor for suspicious activity and alert organizations to potential threats.
- Ensuring compliance with regulations: The recycling sector is subject to several regulations regarding data protection and security. Cyber security measures can help organizations comply with these regulations and avoid penalties.
Overall, cyber security is crucial for protecting the sensitive data and systems used in the recycling sector. Without proper security measures in place, organizations in the recycling sector may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches, which can lead to significant financial and reputational damage.
Data Science & AI
The use of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in the recycling industry is becoming increasingly important as the industry seeks to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize recycling processes. Some of the key ways in which data science and AI can be used in the recycling industry include:
- Predictive modelling: Data science and AI can be used to create predictive models that can identify patterns and trends in recycling data, both volumes and – importantly – prices, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of recycling efforts.
- Image recognition: AI-powered image recognition can be used to automate the process of identifying and sorting different types of recyclable materials, reducing the risk of errors and improving accuracy.
- Predictive maintenance: Data science and AI can be used to predict when equipment in the recycling sector will need maintenance, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.
- Automated decision-making: Data science and AI can be used to automate decision-making in the recycling sector, such as identifying the best recycling options for different materials.
Essentially, data science and AI can be used to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize recycling processes in the recycling industry. This can lead to a more sustainable and profitable recycling industry overall.
Not a new one, but there is still a great deal of computing power that can be moved into the cloud. Cloud computing is becoming increasingly important in the recycling industry as it allows organisations to access and store data and applications remotely, improving efficiency and reducing costs. Some of the key ways in which cloud computing can be used in the recycling industry include:
- Data storage and management: Cloud computing can be used to store and manage large amounts of data generated by recycling processes, such as tracking and reporting on recyclable materials. This can improve efficiency and reduce costs associated with data storage and management.
- Remote monitoring and control: Cloud computing can be used to remotely monitor and control recycling processes, such as the sorting and processing of recyclable materials. This can improve efficiency and reduce the need for manual labour.
- More than 50% of material movements involve three or more parties. Cloud computing can be used to improve collaboration and communication between different stakeholders in the recycling industry, such as collection companies, processors, and manufacturers.
- Real-time data analysis: Cloud computing can be used to collect and analyse data from recycling processes in real-time, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of recycling efforts.
Like Data Science & AI, cloud computing can be used to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize recycling processes in the recycling industry. This can lead to a more sustainable and profitable recycling industry overall.
Most of the technologies above are easily accessible when the right IT platform is chosen. All represent very exciting opportunities to make significant change to individual businesses, the industry as a whole, and the environment. For more detail, contact us and #letsdothingsdifferently together: firstname.lastname@example.org