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

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.

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.

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.

Digitalisation — not just for big business

When mobile phones were first released in the mid-1980s, a handset would set you back £3000 ($4000) — the equivalent of almost £7500 ($10,000) today. Smart Machines & Factories looks at how smaller food manufacturers can take advantage of low-cost digital technology.

Are manufacturers ready for 4IR?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)is set to revolutionise industrial production - are manufacturers ready? Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Secure data handling in the cloud

Lenze has joined forces with IoT specialist ei3 Corporation to offer a combination of remote analysis of machine performance and remote predictive maintenance – enabling them to easily create online data services. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Game changing technology

Smart Machines & Factories looks at how Augmented Reality (AR) and cobots are driving the next wave of automation.

Looking ahead to a ‘smart’ future!

Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Board members of the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) to discuss Industry 4.0 and the smartening process within the compressed air industry.

Smart sensors – the ‘all-seeing eyes’

David Hannaby, SICK’s UK product manager for Presence Detection takes a look at why sensors are the building blocks of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0: dispelling the myths

Traditionally, machines in industrial environments could only provide actuation, but not anymore. As we enter the era of Industry 4.0, Nigel Smith, managing director of industrial robot specialist, TM Robotics, dispels some common misconceptions about implementing smart manufacturing.

The age of the PLC platform is now

Can an automation system be more than just the sum of its parts? Barry Weller of Mitsubishi Electric spoke to Smart Machines & Factories to argue that it can and that the age of the PLC platform is now bringing a host of benefits that extend far beyond ease of programming and simplicity of integration.

Robots continue their relentless rise

The global market for industrial robot systems is already worth more than $40bn, and could almost double again by 2020. As Tony Sacks reports, this growth is being driven by several factors including the emergence of new markets, such as SMEs, and the development of more flexible, easier-to-use technologies.

From talk to action

Stefan Reuther, chief sales officer of industrial software company COPA-DATA, explains the importance of using cutting-edge software in industrial facilities and the risks of using outdated systems.

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