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

A digital vision

Aaron Blutstein spoke to Brian Holliday, the managing director of Siemens Digital Factory UK, about the challenges and opportunities of the digitisation of UK manufacturing.


Fighting talk at launch of All-Party Parliamentary Group on 4IR

By Smart Machines & Factories’ Joss Dixon: This week saw a major step forward in the UK’s efforts to establish itself at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the phase of technological advancement that will usher in the age of Industry 4.0.

A dry seat no matter what the weather

The Roll Over Bench is an ingenious invention, which aims to provide a dry seat no matter what the weather. It is the creation of Primary 7 pupil Grace Finlay from Craigrothie Primary School in Fife.

Achieving the promise of IIoT

Once a far-off science fiction fantasy, the connected enterprise has become a very real part of the here and now. Companies from every conceivable sector are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to build better, more efficient facilities and supply chains. By 2020, there could be anywhere between 50 and 200 billion connected devices in operation around the World and many of these will be working in an industrial capacity. From production line equipment to pipeline pumps and monitors, connected devices are already having a big impact – and it’s only going to get bigger. Andy Bailey, Stratus solutions architect, looks at combining OT and IT systems to achieve the promise of IIoT.

An insight into the factories of the future

Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at the forthcoming Industry 4.0 Summit & Factories of the Future Expo, (Manchester Central 4-5th April).


Ransomware: a new threat to automation?

A cyber-threat to industrial control systems is emerging in which attackers demand payments for them not to disrupt a control system or compromise its data. Tony Sacks reports on the phenomenal, and worrying, rise of “ransomware”.

The importance of compliance

Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Roberta Nelson Shea, Universal Robots’ chief technical compliance officer, who gives insights into the challenges and importance of compliance in a robotic company.

Twin robots learn to live and work with each other

A robot cell developed using two Mitsubishi Electric MELFA RV Series robots has used the latest robot control technology to ensure their movements are perfectly synchronised. The production cell in question prints and assembles over three million components per year, changing over seamlessly on-demand to assemble a range of different parts. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

AutomationML: a common language for manufacturer-independent engineering

The world stands on the brink of another potentially transformative and disruptive industrial revolution. Professor Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum, postulates that it will be “a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.” Considering the impact of previous industrial revolutions, that is a bold statement. Steve Sands, head of product management & marketing, Festo GB reports.

Predictions for the future of manufacturing

As manufacturing facilities incorporate greater levels of automation, the demand for new technologies continues to grow. Recent years have seen several trends create a shift in the way the industry operates. Martyn Williams, managing director of industrial software company COPA-DATA UK, examines three of the most prominent automation trends of 2017 and discusses how these trends are changing manufacturing operations.

Cobot boosts machine efficiency

As manufacturers face increasing demands for process efficiency, having the right robot is key to automation success, especially in the era of smart manufacturing. Universal Robots has developed a range of six axis robot arms with highly flexible deployment. Using a UR robot supplied by, X-STK | Applied Automation, HepcoMotion was able to automate a process in the factory and the company is seeing a significant increase in machine efficiency. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Will TSN be a unifying force for automation?

A group of leading automation suppliers have joined forces to back what they believe will become the unifying communication system for linking industrial controls to each other and to the cloud. Tony Sacks reports on their hopes for the technology known as Time Sensitive Networking.

Visualising the future

Robert Golightly, MES, products, AspenTech, takes a look at how predictive analytics maximises operational excellence. Modern manufacturing is an ecosystem of interconnected software and hardware that helps refineries, chemical and petrochemical companies optimise plants and achieve operational excellence. As businesses generate vast amounts of data, efficient decision support solutions are needed to make sense of vital information and ensure operations can adapt quickly to dynamic conditions.

Smart skills for a smart future

Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Brian Holliday, managing director - Digital Factory, Siemens UK & Ireland, who says the UK can play a major role in promoting the adoption of Industry 4.0 digital technology solutions which will underpin the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution and optimise productivity in UK manufacturing. This, in turn, will enable a high wage economy such as the UK to compete within a globalised manufacturing environment. But, realising the enormous potential of a digitised manufacturing future is also dependent on creating a talented workforce with the right digital skills.

Manufacturing in the information age

A unified network fabric based on standard IP with a strong physical infrastructure supports reliable, secure networks that take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things. Amaechi Oduah, marketing solutions manager, EMEA,

High-level connectivity

The fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 is here, transforming the economy and society, resulting in the demand for smart machinery and factories to meet the developments of the Internet of Things. Gavin Stoppel, HARTING Ltd, reports.

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