Smart Machines & Factories
Smart Industry Conference attracts leading experts
Published:  14 November, 2019

Leading experts from across UK industry were lined-up as speakers for the conference: Demystifying the jargon: How to make the digitalisation transition, ( which took place on 20th November 2019 at the MTC in Coventry. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The digitalisation transition has been dominating the manufacturing industry and completely changing the way manufacturers create products over recent years. Buzzwords such as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, Industry IoT and smart factories are now common place in the manufacturing industry, but are still causing significant confusion, as are the more specific technology-based terms such as AI, Big Data, Digital Twin, and Machine Learning.

The conference’s main aim was to provide a practical, jargon-free opportunity to those starting out on the digital transformation process, to experience a complete smart roadmap, highlighting the incremental stages of the 4IR journey covering all aspect of the digital transformation for all manufacturing sectors.

Many manufacturers are increasingly adopting automation and digitalisation technologies that give them a competitive edge, allowing them to produce more efficiently and provide insightful information for decision making. Producers who lag behind will find themselves unable to compete in the smart era. Technologies that used to be optional are now required for plants and factories that want to remain competitive in a rapidly changing, cost-competitive landscape.

The event was a unique opportunity to help both SMEs and Bluechip businesses provide a roadmap to make these automation and digitalisation solutions a reality.

Speakers addressed the vast array of information around 4IR, discussing the practicalities, technologies and issues surrounding transition and implementation of digitalisation in UK manufacturing.

Dr Vimal Dhokia, deputy director advanced design and manufacture, University of Bath, started the conference by demystifying some of the terms related to digitalisation to help set the scene for the day.

Following on from Dr Dhokia’s scene setting presentation, Steve Brambley, GAMBICA chief executive, presented a pragmatic guide to getting started on a smart manufacturing journey by discussing IT, cyber security, cloud computing and Industrial Automation and what it all means for Smart Manufacturing.

Further seminars will be led by other leading figures within Industry such as Andrew Hodgson, strategic lead - digitalisation at Siemens, and vice president of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), who will help demystify the term ‘The Digital Twin’ in the context of UK manufacturing by breaking it down into meaningful concepts as well as giving examples of what it can do for you as the drive towards digitalisation gains momentum.

While Donna Edwards, programme director for North West Pilot (part of Made Smarter), will explore the barriers and challenges North West Manufacturers have experienced around bringing technology into their businesses. She will share steps that manufacturers can take to help them start their digital journey and examples of businesses who have taken their first steps to successfully implement technology.

Barry Maybank, chief digital officer, Technology Strategy, at The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) & Tim Andrews, senior consultant at the MTC will also be highlighting the changing manufacturing landscape, followed by the practical steps that manufacturers can take on the journey to embrace digitalisation using the MTC Digital Discovery process.

In addition, the use of practical case study examples was a key feature of this conference, which was highlighted by a case study by one of the world’s leading sensor manufacturers - SICK - who since the middle of 2018, has been manufacturing sensors in a new digital plant at its Freiburg site featuring autonomous digital production and control processes. Joachim Schultis head of operations at SICK Ag, presented an overview of the company’s transition and implementation to a digital plant.

The British Compressed Air Society concluded the mix of seminar presentations by discussing the importance of compressed air systems within the smart factory.

Ending the day was a panel discussion where delegates and speakers had the opportunity to explore the next steps towards transitioning and implementing a digital future.

All delegates received a recognised CPD certificate of attendance and gained CPD points through our membership and recognition through the CPD Certification Service.

For information please visit: