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

Improving productivity with collaboration & automation

In an exclusive interview, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete industrial parts supplier, EU Automation talks to Jeremy Hadall, chief technologist of the Robotics and Automation division at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO) with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry.


The road to digitalisation

The vision of Industry 4.0 presents a utopia where all parts of an operation are interlinked and coexist and where efficiencies, cost reductions and productivity increases can be achieved through integrated automation. That sounds good but what does that really mean and how do we start along the road to implementing the goals of Industry 4.0 and the smart factory? Smart Machines & Factories reports.

An Innovation Machine!

Siemens chief executive Juergen Maier is a busy man. But he recently demonstrated his personal commitment to supporting our young potential engineers by inviting in a group from Valley Gardens Middle School in North Tyneside, to interview him about his motivations to become an engineer, and his subsequent career path.

A clear vision

The new All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution – known as APPG 4IR - was launched recently by Havant MP Alan Mak and his guest of honour, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. Smart Machines & Factories attended the launch and reviews some of the main talking points from the event and examines the underlying issues.

Technology Readiness and ERP

With all the hype around the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Nick McGrane, managing director of K3 Syspro, takes us back to basics and takes us through some of the fundamental principles of evaluating where your business is currently at on the Technology Readiness scale.




New opportunities

Technological progress creates constant changes in the labour market; some jobs disappear, while quite different ones occur. The robot industry spurs many new job opportunities - even for jobseekers who have perhaps become redundant in other industries. A new Robot Academy in Denmark helps the robot industry find and retrain talent into a career with companies such as Universal Robots. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Intelligent switchboards of the future

Wunderland Kalkar, a children's theme park in Dusseldorf, Germany attracts over 300,000 people every year. The park has over 40 rides, a hotel and a restaurant on site, so it may come as a surprise that the attraction was once an unused nuclear power plant. Over time places and technologies have to change in order to keep up with user demand, especially in industry. Nick Boughton, sales manager at industrial systems integrator, Boulting Technology discusses how switchboards need to adapt to keep up with increased energy demands.

An intuitive understanding

The work never stops at Laser Alsace Production (LAP) in Rosheim. Jacques Kammerer and his machines understand one another intuitively. The entrepreneur has taken the first steps towards building a digital production network, in partnership with TRUMPF. But forklift trucks still run around the factory. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The robots are coming — but they’re here to help

In 1994, American scientist Marvin Lee Minsky, released a whitepaper which famously asked the question, ‘Will robots inherit the earth?’ While it may still be some time before we replace ourselves with androids, automation is having a significant impact on the way we work. Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, predicts the impact of robotics on the job market.

IT / OT - an Unbridgeable Gap?

In an increasingly competitive sector, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offers oil and gas companies opportunities that would previously been almost unimaginable. By harnessing sensor data, Big Data analytics and machine-to-machine communication (M2M), unprecedented levels of efficiency become possible. The disruptive power of this technology is absolutely enormous. Andy Bailey, Stratus Solutions Architect reports.

Securing a return on investment from IIoT

Suboptimal performance in safety, reliability, production and emissions is causing industrial manufacturers significant operational losses every year. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is being presented as the new frontier of manufacturing, but can it help reduce these losses? Emerson’s Travis Hesketh explains how IIoT applications are already providing measurable operational performance benefits plus a significant return on investment.

Rise of the machines

M2M, or machine-to-machine communication, provides opportunities for even more advanced factory management and, thanks to Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) the number of intelligent machines is on the rise. Should manufacturers fear this new ‘rise of the machines’ or embrace it? Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Time to take the robotic plunge?

Manufacturing is just starting its evolution into the digital world, and robotics is one of the key enabling technologies. But is it the right time to take the plunge? Andrew Armstrong, FANUC’s UK sales and marketing manager reports.

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