Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

How to address the “new normal” of factory automation in food manufacturing

Food and beverage companies can now set the course for the time after the Covid-19 pandemic using automation to boost competitiveness and productivity. Manufacturers should focus their resources on four market driven perspectives: workforce, product quality, flexibility and sustainability. Smart Machines & Factories reports.


86% of businesses expect cyber attacks to increase in next 12 months

In a survey of UK cyber security, IT and business professionals, 86% of businesses expect cyber threats to increase over the next 12 months. The survey, commissioned by WatchGuard Technologies, also reveals that 44% of organisations have experienced a cyber attack over the last year – and alarmingly, another 11% either didn’t know, or were unsure whether they had been targeted.

MTC partnership to help workplace social distancing

The Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre has partnered with advanced robotics manufacturer Tharsus to support the roll-out of cutting-edge wearable technology which will help social distancing in the workplace.

Inaugural Talking Industry digital broadcast tackles key manufacturing issues

Talking Industry, a series of digitally broadcast panel discussions, featuring leading experts from the automation and manufacturing industries, has been launched by DFA Media - the publisher of Plant & Works Engineering, Smart Machines and Factories, Drives & Controls and Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazines, took place of July 14th. Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at one of the key discussions during the inaugural event.

Smart Industry Expo and co-location of events gets green light from the Government to go ahead

The UK Government has confirmed it has given the green light for trade exhibitions to go ahead from October this year.




Smart Technology Zone

Reset 2020: Building resilience in manufacturing

As the world is uniting to bounce back from the setback, global industries are also crafting strategies to emerge stronger after the economic slowdown. The current developments are affecting companies across the globe and shaping the future of innovation. In these challenging times, there is an urgent need to develop growth strategies. Coping with uncertainty is the new normal, and now is the right time for a change of perspective.

Apprentices and young engineers used talent and digital tools to make history

Young engineers at Siemens have become part of manufacturing history after playing a major role in the record-breaking ventilator challenge.

Warehouse optimisation – a timely approach to automation

Steve Richmond, director logistics systems at Jungheinrich explains that the key to successful automation is typically a staggered approach, instead of completely overhauling your current setup, it should be about deploying the right technology and processes in collaboration with the right people, at the right time.

Cyber-security in the emerging digital world

It seems a long time ago now since various malware attacks on the operational layer changed the security landscape and highlighted vulnerabilities in the de-facto automation architecture. However, as we move along the road towards Smart Manufacturing with a view to improving efficiency, productivity and reliability of supply using the principles of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the subject of cyber-security is becoming arguably even more important. Chris Evans, marketing & operations group manager at Mitsubishi Electric

Data & Diversity: 5 things manufacturers need to seriously consider in 2019

John Roberts, director of Idhammar Systems, addresses 5 developments manufacturers need to seriously consider this year, and shares his predictions for the manufacturing industry in 2019.

Data Security - the battle of GAIA

Smart Machines & Factories investigates a new European initiative aimed at challenging the dominance of a few large American and Chinese data handline companies.

MTC provides free online courses to help businesses in new ways of working

The Manufacturing Technology Centre Training has made a range of online courses available free of charge to SMEs in the Liverpool City Region during the COVID-19 crisis. The virtual resources will support the development of organisations’ workforces during the pandemic as employees in the region adjust to new ways of working.

3D printing - the future of aircraft

Benjamin Stafford, materials science expert at materials search engine Matmatch, explores the future relationship of aviation and additive manufacturing.

COVID-19 – how business is adapting in the face of adversity

Alistair Binks* explains to Smart Machines & Factories how the COVID-19 pandemic has driven businesses to focus inwards, looking with a critical eye at their more “fragile” business areas, or those markets which they may have relied upon too heavily so far.

The Smart way to Industry 4.0 with PROFINET based technologies

INCASE (“Industry 4.0 via Networked Control Applications and Sustainable Engineering”), co-organised by PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI UK)and the European Interreg Project, are free-to-attend seminars that will address the key practical issues arising from the use of digital communications technologies in automated manufacturing and process industry applications, with particular attention to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

New IIoT data platform launched

With a view to helping UK manufacturers improve the efficiency and output of their production operations, FANUC has unveiled its new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, FIELD (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive) system. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Data interconnection

The Fourth Industrial Revolution drives digital manufacturing forward by implementing new scenarios into the production process. These scenarios rely on fundamental design principles that include device interconnection, information transparency, technical assistance, and decentralised decisions.

External driving forces pushing Smart Factory adoption

Part one of the Stratus Technologies Smart Factory series delved into what’s driving the adoption of digital technology, what’s holding it back and what the most sought-after benefits are from the factory floor. The results showed that manufacturers are under constant pressure to be more efficient and profitable which is leading them to new technologies. But what about outside of the organisation? Are customers with more information and specific needs driving the need for digitalisation? Greg Hookings, head of business development – digitalisation, Stratus Technologies, explains further.

Adding value in the digital dimension: Sculpting with sensor data

Neil Sandhu, SICK UK product manager for Imaging, Measurement and Ranging, takes a look at why in a digitised world no sensor is an island, and that it must connect and interact with other devices and feed its data into software and digital services.

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