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Compressor connectivity – from then to now

26 October, 2017

Stef Lievens, business line manager for compressor technique service operations at Atlas Copco Compressors UK and Ireland, looks at the history and application of Internet connectivity and data science in the compressed air industry and examines how it may influence both the initial design of the equipment and the way it is monitored and managed in working environments.

Robots automate 3D printing factory

06 September, 2017

By combining collaborative robots with 3D printers, a US company believes that it can produce plastic parts in batches of up to 100,000 at prices that compete with injection-moulding. Contributing editor Tony Sacks looks at the company’s plans.

Evolution and revolution in automation

31 August, 2017

The globalised markets are placing two key requirements on the manufacturing companies: greater speed in all entrepreneurial processes on the one hand, and a broader range of individual options for the end consumer on the other. Digitalisation offers the necessary key technologies to meet these requirements. Information and communication technologies are merging with classical industrial mechanics to yield cyber-physical systems. Festo has been adapting to this development by creating new organisation units stressing the significance of digitalisation. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The rise of cobots

29 August, 2017

There’s no doubt the use of robotics will grow significantly in the industrial sphere in a wide variety of applications. There has been growing concern that robots are set to replace tasks humans are currently executing, but the latest technology is allowing automation of repetitive jobs, paving the way for increased efficiencies and providing opportunities for upscaling. Simon Duggleby, technical marketing manager at RS Components, reports.

Rise of the machines

02 June, 2017

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.

How secure is your smart factory?

31 March, 2017

Industry 4.0, IIOT and the ‘connected factory’ offer huge opportunities for manufacturers. But as a smart factory goes online, how secure are communications in and out of the site? Smart Machines & Factories looks at remote access and how companies can protect themselves against cyber threats.

Twin robots learn to live and work with each other

08 March, 2017

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.

Cobot boosts machine efficiency

22 February, 2017

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.

Why does the UK lag in its use of industrial robots?

25 October, 2016

The UK has one of the lowest uptakes of industrial robots in Europe. Why is this so, and is it likely to change? Contributing editor Tony Sacks reports.

Connected compressors

25 October, 2016

Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Stef Lievens, business line manager for Compressor Technique Service Operations at Atlas Copco Compressors UK about his company’s compressor data monitoring solution.

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