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

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.


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.

4IR - time to fully commit

11 April, 2017

With the recent launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), there is a growing high-profile consensus of the importance of the digitisation of industry - most notable by the presence of the Chancellor at the launch of the APPG.

Connected automation

23 March, 2017

The term Industry 4.0 is being used more and more widely across the manufacturing sector. While it has been a theoretical possibility for most companies, the last year or two in particular have seen its adoption now become truly practical and achievable for the majority of companies. Andy Minturn of Bosch Rexroth examines exactly where the sector is at - and some of the latest developments driving Industry 4.0 adoption.

Achieving the promise of IIoT

17 March, 2017

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

17 March, 2017

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

Predictions for the future of manufacturing

28 February, 2017

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.

Smart skills for a smart future

15 February, 2017

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

09 February, 2017

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,

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