"the UK's first dedicated journal focusing
on the fourth industrial revolution and
transforming to a smart manufacturing era"

Data and the smart machine revolution

How can manufacturing efficiency be improved? Any significant optimisation of production lines is getting increasingly difficult to achieve. Bringing smarter automation into the workplace offers an innovative solution, but it all starts with data. Lots and lots of data. Smart Machines & factories spoke to Tim Foreman, Omron’s European R&D manager.


UK: A reluctance to invest in robots?

The latest figures for the global adoption of industrial robots show that, while most countries are increasing their use of these machines, the UK has stalled, falling below the global average for the first time. It is the only G7 nation in this position. Contributing editor Tony Sacks examines the numbers.

Intelligent 3D simulation software

FANUC UK has launched the latest, upgraded version of its intelligent 3D simulation software for robot motion control. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Finance 4.0

Brian Foster, head of industry finance at Siemens Financial Services in the UK, takes a look at digitalisation in the plastics industry and the role of asset finance.

Creating a route to Industry 4.0

Festo’s senior consultant, Training & Consulting - Neil Lewin, says the company has identified four key creativity techniques that can help to develop creative thinking and generate new innovative ideas. Smart Machines & Factories reports.




TSN: an idea whose time has come?

Growing numbers of automation suppliers are throwing their weight behind an open technology known as Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), which guarantees deterministic real-time data transmission between products from different suppliers, and promises to cut networking costs. Contributing editor Tony Sacks reports on the latest developments from the SPS IPC Drives show in Germany.

Smart Industry Expo 2018 gears up for the 4IR revolution

The biennial co-located events; Smart Industry Expo, Drives & Controls, Fluid Power & Systems, Plant & Asset Management, and Air-Tech Exhibitions – are once again set to return to Birmingham’s NEC (Halls 8, 9 and 10) from 10th -12th April 2018, alongside MACH 2018.

Seize the moment (in small steps)

Siert Wijnia, co-founder, Ultimaker, explains the way in which organisations can leverage 3D printing to maximise the potential of the light bulb moment.

The Golden Rules for ensuring IoT availability

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the power to revolutionise industrial processes for the better, but there are plenty of pitfalls that will need to be avoided. Safeguards can help us navigate this new landscape. Andy Bailey, Solutions Architect, Stratus reports.

Top tips for implementing Industry 4.0

The term ‘Industry 4.0’ has quickly become the “hot topic” across industry, but is it actually understood, and is it being implemented correctly? Steve Askins, UK engineering director at ERIKS UK & Ireland, offers some practical guidance to help you cut through the hype and get the most from the fourth industrial revolution.

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.

Ten times cheaper

When plate glass got ten times cheaper, it changed the way buildings are designed and built. Here’s the next process to get ten times cheaper. Jon Bruner* and Eduardo Torrealba* reports.

Making Britain’s manufacturing smarter

First came the dawn of mechanical machines, succeeded by the introduction of electricity, quickly followed by the third industrial era, the advent of computers and the internet. Now, as we enter the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 is moving from buzzword to reality. Martyn Williams, managing director of industrial software provider, COPA-DATA UK, examines what is needed to achieve Britain’s goal of becoming an Industry 4.0 leader in 2018.

Electrifying global service strategy

Global energy management firm Schneider Electric is rolling out ServiceMax‘s service management solution to 6000 engineers across the globe as part of its One Schneider customer support strategy in which IoT will also play a key role. Marc Ambasna-Jones caught up with both companies at MaxLive Europe.

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