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Industrial automation innovation has dropped off in the last three months

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of industrial automation-related applications in the industry over the past three months, compared to last year.

Research and innovation in industrial automation in the railway equipment supply, product, and services 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 47 in the three months ending June – down from 53 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to industrial automation followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 39 in the three months ending June 2021 to 23 in the same period in 2022.

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The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which 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.

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies was the top industrial automation innovator in the railway equipment supply, product and services sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the US, filed 25 industrial automation related patents in the three months ending June. That was up from 19 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the South Korea-based Samsung Heavy Industries with six industrial automation patent applications, the US-based United Parcel Service (five applications), and South Korea-based Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (five applications).

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies has recently ramped up R&D in industrial automation. It saw growth of 24% in related patent applications in the three months ending June compared to the same period in 2021 – the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than ten quarterly patents in the railway equipment supply, product and services sector.