Smart Machines & Factories
Cloud-based applications are enabling optimum use of existing data by providing opportunities for more resilient and flexible network management options
Cloud-based applications opportunities

Alan Cunningham explains that cloud-based applications are enabling optimum use of existing data by providing opportunities for more resilient and flexible network management options.

Nissan has successfully integrated 3D printing into its production process at its Barcelona factory
Nissan production process integrates 3D printing solution

Nissan has successfully integrated 3D printing into its production process at its Barcelona factory, which could see it roll out the technology to create parts and prototypes at other sites, including the UK.

Foundations set for digital operations in upper tier COMAH site

By using an integrated solution, Siemens DI has enabled Kemira to optimise how it makes its polyacrylamide products, which are used for the cleaning of municipal and industrial wastewater, and consequently achieve increased productivity levels at its Bradford plant.

A collaborative digital technology project helps connect entire digital factory

A collaborative digital technology project between Siemens and Hosokawa Micron Limited (HML) has helped its customers improve productivity by 15% and reduce energy costs by 10%. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Collaborative or cooperative - which type of robot suits your application best?

Barry Weller, product manager at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at the key features of collaborative and cooperative robots and how to quickly identify the best system for an intended application.

Middleware that’s far from middling

For many years Turck Banner has used smart solutions using “middleware” to interface directly to customer’s databases and ERP / MES systems. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Unleashing the full potential of additive manufacturing

3D printing /additive manufacturing is enabling manufacturers to overcome many of the limitations of traditional manufacturing processes – from phasing out physical inventories to bringing batch-size-one customisation within reach of a greater number of companies. Yet, with these new opportunities come new threats that must be eliminated if manufacturers are to unleash the full potential of the medium, says Lee-Bath Nelson, Co-Founder and VP Business of LEO Lane.

Fully integrated Smart Connected Assembly solution

Atlas Copco has designed and installed a fully integrated Smart Connected Assembly solution at leading eTruck manufacturer, Tevva Motors, for error-proof battery pack production. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Smart factories find leaks the smart way – wirelessly

The automotive industry is often a technology trendsetter among manufacturing industries as the scale and competitiveness of automotive manufacturing means that optimising production through automation increases output as well as enhancing quality and continuity. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Industry 4.0, 5G and AI: delivering a digital future

The next generation 5G wireless networks and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be crucial elements to enable Industry 4.0 to be wholly implemented. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

AM: opening up opportunities

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is moving into series production, opening up opportunities for suppliers, service providers and end-users. Unfortunately, despite the many advantages of AM, poor surface finish is a major barrier to adoption, particularly in demanding end-use applications, such as the civil aerospace industry.

A digital transformation

A new 250 million-euro Rittal plant in Haiger is embracing the principles of Industry 4.0. It represents the company’s largest-ever single investment, which the company claims will enable them to establish the world’s most advanced manufacturing facility for its new compact and small enclosures. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Rockwell Automation helps simplify integrating safety into machines

Machine designers are required to design safety into more industrial systems than ever. To help them design more easily and meet their other application requirements, Rockwell Automation has seven new safety modules across three I/O platforms. This offers designers both local and distributed safety I/O options and a wide range of performance and connectivity attributes to help improve compliance and machine performance.

Smartening existing processes

Ypsomed and Harting haved collaborated on the development of Industry 4.0 digital control systems for retrofitting to plastic injection moulding machines. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Greater Security in Manufacturing IT

Paresh Kansara, Rittal’s product manager for Industrial & Outdoor Enclosures, looks at some tips to help companies implement fast-deploying and secure IT for production environments.

Smart approaches to the digital revolution

John Browett, general manager of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) Europe, looks at some of the challenges inherent in digital transformation and how to address them.

Compressed air systems show Industry 4.0 in action

If Industry 4.0 has so much to offer manufacturers, why are so few of them rushing to implement it? Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Carl Sharpe, UK & Ireland sales manager of compressed air specialist BOGE who has some practical, real-life examples to show how its benefits can easily be gained right now.

Keep making the tablets

Valuable manufacturing production line downtime in the pharmaceutical industry can be reduced by ensuring Industry 4.0 machine predictive maintenance of tablet making machinery. Smart Machines & Factories takes alook at HARTING’s MICA industrial computing platform.

The future of spare parts warehousing

In line with the digitalisation of manufacturing lines, warehouses too are becoming more advanced. The traditional, manual process can be challenging for warehouse operatives and is prone to error. By adding digital solutions and intuitive User Interfaces, cognitive load can be reduced from staff and an audit trail can be used to track stock’s movement. Tom Blockley, user experience (UX) designer at EU Automation, shares his visions for spare parts warehousing.

Data capture solution

Welland Medical, a British manufacturing company established in 1988, specialising in the design, development and manufacture of stoma care appliances and accessories, recently moved into its new premises, and had upgrades to its network architecture and server. Subsequently after the move, the company’s existing data capture system no longer functioned and the quote they had obtained for a replacement/upgrade was prohibitively expensive. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look.

Lightweight cobots take on heavy-duty jobs

Sure, cobots are lightweight: the largest UR10 robot is under 29 kg/64 lbs, so they’re easy to pick up and move from one process to another. But they’re no lightweights when it comes to heavy-duty processes like welding. In fact, there’s already a range of cobot welding systems to choose from. Surprised? Don’t be. It’s just one more smart application for these flexible, cost-effective, and easy-to-program automation tools. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Minimising the risks of equipment failure

‘Smart Condition Monitoring’ aims to end downtime for the food and beverage Industry. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look at the technology.

Compressor connectivity – from then to now

Stef Lievens, business line manager for compressor technique service operations at Atlas Copco Compressors UK and Ireland, looks at the history and application of Internet connectivity and data science in the compressed air industry and examines how it may influence both the initial design of the equipment and the way it is monitored and managed in working environments.

Robots automate 3D printing factory

By combining collaborative robots with 3D printers, a US company believes that it can produce plastic parts in batches of up to 100,000 at prices that compete with injection-moulding. Contributing editor Tony Sacks looks at the company’s plans.

Evolution and revolution in automation

The globalised markets are placing two key requirements on the manufacturing companies: greater speed in all entrepreneurial processes on the one hand, and a broader range of individual options for the end consumer on the other. Digitalisation offers the necessary key technologies to meet these requirements. Information and communication technologies are merging with classical industrial mechanics to yield cyber-physical systems. Festo has been adapting to this development by creating new organisation units stressing the significance of digitalisation. Smart Machines & Factories reports.