1. Analysis
June 14, 2022updated 13 Jun 2022 8:41am

Industrial automation innovation among tech industry companies has dropped off in the last year

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of industrial automation related applications in the industry over the past year

By Data Journalism Team

Research and innovation in industrial automation in the technology and communications sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of industrial automation related patent applications in the industry stood at 3,662 in the three months ending April – down from 4,765 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to industrial automation followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 3,118 in the three months ending April 2021 to 3,231 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Industrial automation is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Hitachi Ltd was the top industrial automation innovator in the technology and communications sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Japan, filed 314 industrial automation related patents in the three months ending April. That was down from 320 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the South Korea based LG Corp with 200 industrial automation patent applications, Japan based Mitsubishi Electric Corp (185 applications), and Japan based Canon Inc (157 applications).

Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd has recently ramped up R&D in industrial automation. It saw growth of 78.4% in related patent applications in the three months ending April compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the technology and communications sector.