Research and innovation in industrial automation in the drinks manufacturing sector has declined in the last year, GlobalData says.

The most recent figures show that the number of industrial automation-related patent applications in the industry stood at 19 in the three months ending June – down from 24 over the same period in 2021.

However, figures on the number of patents approved followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 12 in the three months ending June 2021 to 14 in the same period in 2022.

GlobalData, Just Drinks’ parent company, tracks patent filings and approvals from offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into thematic areas and linked to key companies across various industries.

Industrial automation is seen by GlobalData as a disruptive force facing companies in the coming years and is one of the areas companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

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At company level, the data shows PepsiCo filed ten industrial automation-related patents in the three months ending June. That was up from eight over the same period in 2021.