Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

We need more robots, not fewer

In an important – but, perhaps, under-publicised – new report, a committee of MPs has addressed the future of automation in the UK, and its vital importance to the economy. Contributing editor Tony Sacks has been looking through the report.

Industry 4.0, 5G and AI: delivering a digital future

The next generation 5G wireless networks and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be crucial elements to enable Industry 4.0 to be wholly implemented. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Smart Industry Conference attracts leading experts

Leading experts from across UK industry were lined-up as speakers for the conference: Demystifying the jargon: How to make the digitalisation transition, ( which took place on 20th November 2019 at the MTC in Coventry. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

New generation of swarming robots

A new generation of swarming robots which can independently learn and evolve new behaviours in the wild is one step closer, thanks to research from the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE).

Smart factories set to boost global economy by $1.5 trillion by 2023

A new study from the Capgemini Research Institute has found that smart factories could add at least $1.5 trillion to the global economy through productivity gains, improvements in quality and market share, along with customer services. However, two-thirds of this overall value is still to be realised: efficiency by design and operational excellence through closed- loop operations will make equal contributions. According to the new research, China, Germany and Japan are the top three countries in smart factory adoption, closely followed by South Korea, United States and France.

Smart Technology Zone

Siemens acquires Atlas 3D

Siemens has signed an agreement to acquire Atlas 3D, Inc., a Plymouth, Indiana-based developer of software that works with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) printers to automatically provide design engineers with the optimal print orientation and requisite support structures for additive parts in near real-time.

New materials: The 3D print revolution

An open culture has been an essential catalyst for the speed of adoption and development of the 3D printing marketplace, underpinned by collaborative and knowledge sharing. With the Ultimaker Material Alliance Programme, professionals globally have access not only to a vast library of materials but also invaluable knowhow and shared experience. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look at the new 3D printable materials enabling a new generation of applications.

Operational data – the new gold!

As the manufacturing sector continues to expand its reliance on digital technology, data has become a valuable form of currency to potential hackers. Last year, the Chinese government was accused of repeatedly hacking a company to try to steal and replicate the design of a turbofan engine for commercial jetliners, highlighting the value often lurking in plant environments. Lee Carter, Industrial Network and Cyber Security product manager at SolutionsPT, looks at how early threat detection is crucial to prevent prolonged access to sensitive data and to protect valuable assets.

Encouraging the next generation of engineers

What do Facebook, Gatwick Airport and Network Rail have to do with machines and factories? A lot, according to Primary Engineer CEO Dr. Susan Scurlock, MBE, who is changing the way that careers in professional engineering are seen by pupils, parents, teachers and engineers themselves.

Building a solid business case for the digital transition

Industry 4.0 promises to deliver a broad range of business benefits, but the majority of industrial companies are still at the digital starting gates and few can claim to have created real business value. But, by adopting robust, scalable and flexible IoT platforms, manufacturing enterprises can build a solid business case for the digital transition and secure the vital first breakthroughs on a journey to the digital world. Dave Pickles, managing director, Capula Ltd, reports.

How manufacturers can prepare for 5G

Heiko Noll, product manager devices at industrial communication solutions provider INSYS icom, explores what manufacturers should do to prepare their machines and plants for the 5G roll out.

Digital twins revolutionise time to market

All across the world's markets and industries, products are moving from conceptual design to market release in a shorter and shorter amount of time. How long it takes to develop a machine's hardware and program its software can be a decisive factor in its success or failure against the competition. So, naturally the faster, the better. Digital twins can play an important role in rapid development and testing of a machine's hardware and software. Smart Machines & Factories caught up with Kurt Zehetleitner, head of development - Simulation and Digital Twin, B&R.

GAMBICA: A practical journey to a digital future

In December 2018 eight GAMBICA Industrial Automation members gathered around a table in Leicester to discuss IT, cyber security, cloud computing and of course automation and what it all means for Smart Manufacturing. The aim of the that conversation was to cut through the marketing hype and buzzwords that surround the subject and, in this special three-part serialisation in Smart Machines & Factories create an unbiased and pragmatic guide to getting started on your smart manufacturing journey. Victoria Montag – sector head for Industrial Automation, GAMBICA, continues the special three-part GAMBICA serialisation with the final part of the King Power Stadium discussions on digitisation.

Deep learning in machine vision

Deep learning is growing in popularity in the domain of machine vision. It enables data scientists to carefully craft programs to mimic human decision making in specific, well-defined tasks. Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at how manufacturers can easily benefit from deep learning in their machine vision applications.

The need to Identify engineers in the making

It’s 2019 and we need more engineers - that’s a fact. To be more precise we need 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills and personnel to satisfy the 79,000 new roles created in engineering per year. That’s 203,000 people with Level 3+ engineering skills per year to meet demand through to 2024. But where will we get them from? What we need is engineers in the making.

A digital transformation

A new 250 million-euro Rittal plant in Haiger is embracing the principles of Industry 4.0. It represents the company’s largest-ever single investment, which the company claims will enable them to establish the world’s most advanced manufacturing facility for its new compact and small enclosures. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Optimising productivity

Harting’s MICA modular industrial edge computer is at the heart of a system for workflow optimisation at warehouse packing stations that offers the benefits of process optimisation for increased productivity as well as integrating incompatible hardware and software and simplifying the jobs of the packing operatives. Smart Machines & Factories reports.



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