Research and innovation in industrial automation in the mining industry operations and technologies 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 197 in the three months ending June – down from 234 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to industrial automation followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 182 in the three months ending June 2021 to 145 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track 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.

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By GlobalData

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

Honeywell International Inc was the top industrial automation innovator in the mining industry operations and technologies sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 62 industrial automation related patents in the three months ending June. That was down from 69 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Caterpillar Inc with 47 industrial automation patent applications, Japan based Komatsu Ltd (33 applications), and Germany based ThyssenKrupp AG (18 applications).

Caterpillar Inc has recently ramped up R&D in industrial automation. It saw growth of 23.4% 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 10 quarterly patents in the mining industry operations and technologies sector.