Research and innovation in industrial automation in the railway equipment supply, product and services sector is on the rise.

The most recent figures show that the number of industrial automation related patent applications in the industry stood at 40 in the three months ending April – up from 27 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to industrial automation followed a different pattern to filings – shrinking from 26 in the three months ending April 2021 to 23 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.

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp 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 United States, filed 17 industrial automation related patents in the three months ending April. That was up from seven over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based FedEx Corp with six industrial automation patent applications, the United States based United Parcel Service Inc (5 applications), and South Korea based Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd (5 applications).

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp has recently ramped up R&D in industrial automation. It saw growth of 58.8% 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 railway equipment supply, product and services sector.