Industrial automation research and innovation in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector has declined over the past year.
The most recent figures show that the number of industrial automation patent applications in the industry stood at 609 in the three months ending October, up from 1,193 in the same period last year.
Industrial automation-related patent grant numbers have followed a different pattern from filings – dropping from 1,020 in the three months ending October of last year to 1,078 this year.
The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, along with official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas and linked to key companies from various industries.
Industrial automation is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as a key disruptive force for businesses in the years to come, and it is one of the areas where companies investing resources are now expected to reap rewards.
The numbers also provide a snapshot of the industry’s top innovators.
Toyota Motor Corp was the leading innovator in industrial automation in the automotive manufacturing and supply industry during the past quarter. The company, which is headquartered in Japan, filed 141 industrial automation-related patents in the three months ending in October. This was down from 279 during the same period last year.
It was followed by the American company Ford Motor Co with 47 industrial automation patent applications, the French company Valeo SA (47 applications) and the German company Continental AG (45 applications).
Tata Motors Ltd recently stepped up R&D in industrial automation. It saw a 41.7% growth in related patent applications in the three months ending October compared to the same period last year – the highest growth percentage of any company tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the automotive manufacturing and supply sector.