Smart Machines & Factories
Production managers at BAe’s factory of the future will supervise operations from a digital virtual office
Aircraft project costs could be halved with BAe’s ‘factory of the future’

Advanced manufacturing technologies with the aim of cutting the cost and timescales of aircraft development - potentially up to half - are being brought together in BAe Systems’ ‘factory of the future’.

Cobots can enable manufacturers to effectively meet individual customer requirements with greater product variety in smaller batches
Cobots: Enabling effective bespoke production requirements

With increased competition, often on a global scale, manufacturers need to differentiate themselves by tailoring products more closely to customer demand. This carries with it an implicit reduction in batch sizes and has seen the rise of ‘high-mix, low-volume’ production. Cobots can enable manufacturers to effectively meet individual customer requirements with greater product variety in smaller batches.

A universal digital foundation for new modular safety relay

Industry 4.0 encompasses so much more than simply optimising existing processes. Automation company Pilz has drawn up a universal, digital concept – from ordering through to commissioning with its latest modular safety relay myPNOZ. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

New IIoT data platform launched

With a view to helping UK manufacturers improve the efficiency and output of their production operations, FANUC has unveiled its new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, FIELD (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive) system. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Driving technological innovation in the factory of tomorrow

Smart Machines & Factories caught up with Brendan O’Dowd*, general manager (Industrial Automation), Analog Devices, Inc (ADI), to take a look at how real-time control, safety, and security are driving technological innovation in the factory of tomorrow.

The benefits of investing in smart drive technology

Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at the top five ways to improve ROI on industrial drive technology.

A decentralised approach to digitalisation

The Industry 4.0 vision of a smart factory where every component, every device, every system and every site is digitally connected via the cloud presents an enormous design and engineering challenge. Is there a simple way of achieving the level of standardisation and connectivity required without compromising on design flexibility? Smart Machines & Factories asked Andy Parker-Bates of Festo UK for his view.

The nozzle: the unsung hero of 3D printing

The basic concept of Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printing is simple: three-dimensional shapes are built up layer-by-layer. In some ways, it's much like using an icing bag to pipe a cake. There is, of course, far more to 3D printing, but, essentially, like icing, the detail, style and speed of a print are all at the mercy of the nozzle you choose. Chris Elsworthy, MD and Lead Mechanical Engineer, CEL-UK, reports.

New materials: The 3D print revolution

An open culture has been an essential catalyst for the speed of adoption and development of the 3D printing marketplace, underpinned by collaborative and knowledge sharing. With the Ultimaker Material Alliance Programme, professionals globally have access not only to a vast library of materials but also invaluable knowhow and shared experience. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look at the new 3D printable materials enabling a new generation of applications.

Deep learning in machine vision

Deep learning is growing in popularity in the domain of machine vision. It enables data scientists to carefully craft programs to mimic human decision making in specific, well-defined tasks. Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at how manufacturers can easily benefit from deep learning in their machine vision applications.

Optimising productivity

Harting’s MICA modular industrial edge computer is at the heart of a system for workflow optimisation at warehouse packing stations that offers the benefits of process optimisation for increased productivity as well as integrating incompatible hardware and software and simplifying the jobs of the packing operatives. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Autonomous Mobile Robots maintain competitiveness

As manufacturers embrace a lean approach to operations, executives are evaluating their opportunities to continually optimise productivity. PWE reports.

Rittal celebrates its 40th anniversary in Rotherham

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Rittal Ltd in the UK. The company started its operations in Rotherham in July 1979, providing  distribution, sales and marketing support for its customers.

The relevance of SCADA in an Industry 4.0 environment

Industry 4.0 is not only revolutionising the way manufacturers operate. It is also transforming how Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems work and what we can expect from them.

Manufacturers urged to unlock the value in production data

Manufacturers have been urged to unlock the value in their production data and learn from the historical knowledge embedded in their organisations. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The importance of 5G in industrial automation

A recent demonstration showing 5G Digital Twin technology by Ericsson and Comau at Hannover Messe, underlines the importance of 5G in industrial automation use. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The Smart way to Industry 4.0 with PROFINET based technologies

INCASE (“Industry 4.0 via Networked Control Applications and Sustainable Engineering”), co-organised by PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI UK)and the European Interreg Project, are free-to-attend seminars that will address the key practical issues arising from the use of digital communications technologies in automated manufacturing and process industry applications, with particular attention to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

3D printing - the future of aircraft

Benjamin Stafford, materials science expert at materials search engine Matmatch, explores the future relationship of aviation and additive manufacturing.

Waving the flag for automation

The recent winner of a Gold Edition cobot (collaborative robot) from Universal Robots, Chesham-based B-Loony Ltd, says the new addition will join six existing UR3 cobots on site*, all of which are being used to increase productivity in previously laborious manual tasks and help the company gain vital market share. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Smart instrumentation

equipment. They allow operators and engineers to gain more useful information about the process and the device itself.

Helping engineers become connected

Bosch Rexroth has launched the CPS i4.0 training system as part of its commitment to help engineers prepare for the connected future. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Smart connectivity, step by step

Within just a few years, KNOLL optimised production from A to Z – carefully and deliberately, step by step. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

A 360 degree vision

Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at how Sorion designed, built and supplied test equipment capable of testing and calibrating the Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner.

Smart manufacturing solutions

Most manufacturing companies are constantly balancing the desire to improve production against the return on the investment required to achieve that improvement. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Smart sensor solution for pumps

In partnership with Emile Egger, a Swiss producer of pumps, ABB has now developed its Ability Smart Sensor to remotely monitor pumps. Smart Machines & Factories reports.