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

Should robots pay taxes?

31 May, 2018

Robot tax? A tax on robotics is as absurd an idea as a tax on pencils. As Britain’s political parties discuss a potential tax on automation and robotics, Nigel Smith, managing director of Toshiba Machine partner, TM Robotics, explains why slowing down the machine economy would lead to a productivity disaster.

Robots, AI and the collaborative workplace

25 May, 2018

How can artificial intelligence be applied to accelerate the transition to more connected factories, where human and machine work collaboratively? What technological advances are being made – and how can we encourage robots (and humans) to learn? Steve Sands, head of product management at Festo, explains what the future workplace might look like.

Bosch plans Industry 4.0 ‘evolution’ at Glenrothes

19 April, 2018

The decision by Bosch Rexroth to introduce Industry 4.0 into its Glenrothes facility in Fife, Scotland, is evolution, rather than revolution.

Creating a route to Industry 4.0

23 March, 2018

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.

Seize the moment (in small steps)

01 February, 2018

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

Ten times cheaper

01 February, 2018

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

01 February, 2018

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.

Smart sensors – the ‘all-seeing eyes’

13 December, 2017

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

Robotics: A help not a hindrance

13 December, 2017

Martin Walder, VP Industry at Schneider Electric, looks at how the growth of robotics will generate better ROI and productivity.

Industry 4.0: dispelling the myths

13 December, 2017

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.

Gigabit Industrial Ethernet adoption - the key to greater interconnectivity?

20 October, 2017

Is Gigabit Industrial Ethernet adoption the key to achieving Industry 4.0 goals? Smart Machines & Factories spoke to John Browett, CLPA Europe general manager, who outlines the network requirements that will enable Industry 4.0.

Augmented humans: the future of robotic exoskeletons

20 October, 2017

Chris Johnson, managing director of specialist bearing supplier SMB Bearings, explains the importance of choosing specialised bearings and lubrication in robotic exoskeletons as the development into this technology advances in real life.

SCADA vs IoT

20 October, 2017

We are all witnesses to the sustained rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the demand to ‘digitise’ within Industry 4.0. Yet legitimate SCADA-based questions, specifically in relation to IoT appear ignored, or at least unanswered. So we ask: “will IoT replace SCADA?” and “can the two concepts be integrated?” SCADA and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) are clearly prevalent automation standards, but as a new tidal wave of data from the IoT surfaces, what role will they play in the factory of the future? Samuel Walton at iconics UK reports.

Building Industry 4.0 into a business

20 October, 2017

Thorsten Meier, managing director of BOGE, explains how his company is putting industry 4.0 technologies at the heart of its business model - and into factories.

Wake up to automation

20 October, 2017

Will Bourn of Güdel UK, looks at the UK’s past record of investment in robotics and automation, and the positive impact that future investment in automation and robotics can have on UK competitiveness.

The smart manufacturing transformation

27 September, 2017

Digital technologies are helping SKF change the speed and flexibility of its production operations. For customers, that means shorter lead-times, smaller inventories and lower costs. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Harnessing the true power of automation

24 August, 2017

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, operators up and down the hydrocarbon supply chain know that they need to fight for every penny of revenue. Industrial automation has emerged as a vital weapon in this fight, whether for refiners, producers, or pipeline owners. Where this industry is only now starting to see the benefits of automation, countless others have already gone much further along the path. What lessons can we learn from operators that have already faced up to the challenges that automation inevitably brings with it? Stratus Solutions Architect, Andy Bailey, reports.

The road to digitalisation

17 August, 2017

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.

Improving productivity with collaboration & automation

17 August, 2017

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.

A clear vision

06 July, 2017

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.

4IR arrives in Manchester

08 June, 2017

April opened with a major 4IR event making its debut in Manchester - the city that proudly lays claim to having the world’s first factories and first industrial estate. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

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

08 June, 2017

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.

Securing a return on investment from IIoT

02 June, 2017

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.

Time to take the robotic plunge?

02 June, 2017

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.

Demystifying IIOT & I4.0

16 May, 2017

Sam Walton, ICONICS UK, takes a look at demystifying the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.

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