Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

Bringing together AI and vision technology to provide an effective, anonymised human and animal detection system

Agri-tech company Agribot AI has  announced it has won the Agri-EPI and Hands Free Farm (HFF) hackathon tackling safety and security concerns around autonomous agricultural vehicles.

Smart home innovations are a game changer for sustainable living

Schneider Electric, has unveiled a suite of connected living products, making homes both smart and sustainable.

How connected tech is transforming our energy reuse remit

Businesses and organisations across the UK are under pressure to implement commitments and actions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But, to truly commit to a carbon-neutral (or even a carbon-negative) future, cutting down on emissions is not enough. That’s why technologies for energy reuse are beginning to receive a lot of attention from governments and other stakeholders.

Driving the transition to Agriculture 4.0

Martin Leahy discusses some of the major challenges facing modern agriculture and explores how advancement in technologies can help resolve them.

Biomass pellets - a carbon-neutral alternative to coal

The European ambitions to limit CO2 emissions have a significant impact on the operation of coal-fired power plants and on the required balancing power to support the grid supplementary to solar and wind energy.

Smart Technology Zone

Is anaerobic digestion being dangerously overlooked?

Matt Hale, International Sales & Marketing Director, HRS Heat Exchangers argues that it is disappointing that the deployment of anaerobic digestion (AD) of methane around the world falls far short of capacity.

Laser profile sensors offer larger measuring fields

Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has announced it has extended its scanCONTROL 30xx range of laser profile sensors (laser scanners) with two larger measuring fields now available. In addition to the existing 25 mm and 50 mm models, there are now 100 mm and 200 mm versions available offering measuring fields of up to 170 mm x 131 mm and 300 mm x

The Six Phases of Force Sensor Integration

If you have considered thin, flexible force sensors for device design, the FlexiForce sensors from Tekscan are an option.

The low-code digital transformation guide

The world is changing and the way you develop software needs to change with it. The success rate of an enterprise-scale digital project is very slim, with 70% of projects either facing serious challenges or failing altogether. The key? Start breaking down walls within your entire organisation to clear space for your new innovation factory. When Siemens began its journey, the aim was to solve a problem that countless businesses face every single day: delivering software with traditional tools and techniques.

A ratification of IoT.1 Firmware Specification for Smart IoT connected Sensors and Effecters

PICMG, a leading consortium for the development of open embedded computing specifications, announces the ratification of IoT.1 specification defining a communication standard between sensors/effectors and local IoT controllers such as micro Sensor Adapter Modules (microSAM) already specified by PICMGs IoT.0 specification.

A wave of energy transformation in the commercial property sector

Property leasing has long had gestated issues around general negligence from landlords, but now change is afoot: carbon legacies need to be accounted for, and carbon is to be taxed. Put simply, it pays to know what is going with your properties—energy needs to be monitored, understood and improved upon to ensure environmental and financial benefit.

Hands Free Farm - kick-starting safe autonomous agricultural vehicles

Hands Free Farm’s 35 hectare plot uses automated machines to grow, tend & harvest crops autonomously, without operators in the driving seats or agronomists on the ground. But what of safety and security?

Getting connected essential, but challenging

Connected IoT devices and smart solutions have expanded into all aspects of our lives powering everything from smart meters to connected cars to intelligent healthcare applications. Connecting devices, equipment and operations means that real-time data and analytics can improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.

From storage to production supply, a high-bay warehouse is automated

Jungheinrich has optimised the existing high-bay warehouse of the global technology group and automotive supplier ZF in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Is MRP/ERP an answer to the UK's high tech supply chain challenges?

The UK has great strength in high-tech manufacturing, but its SMEs are facing chronic global supply chain challenges, some of which are sector-specific, favouring the reshoring of at least some high-tech manufacture. Sara Duff, UK Business Development Manager at, explains how an affordable, entry-level cloud-based, user-friendly MRP/ERP system can assist.

Intelligent battery management system (BMS) improves performance, lifetime and safety

Brill Power has launched a new category of ‘intelligent’ battery management systems (BMS) that claims to break through existing compromises.

Inmarsat research: IoT adoption in the agriculture industry accelerates in response to Covid-19

New research commissioned by Inmarsat, the global mobile satellite communications provider, has found a rapid increase in the adoption of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) in the agriculture industry during the last year in response to Covid-19.

Collaboration app brings knowledge sharing to the connected worker

Cutting edge collaboration app AVEVA Teamwork, available from SolutionsPT, brings knowledge sharing and collaboration capability to a digitally transformed workforce.

Futuristic smart cities and the technologies to support them

A futuristic new study from MIT finds that the number of visitors to any location decreases as the inverse square of travel distance. IDTechEx looks as some of the implications.

Pilot plant - a three-way joint of cultured meat

Three companies, Givaudan, Bühler, and Migros, have formed a new entity, The Cultured Food Innovation Hub, in Kemptthal near Zurich, to accelerate the development and market penetration of cellular agriculture products. The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will go live in 2022.

Robotics and automation making a difference to North West manufacturing sector

Agricultural machine manufacturer Storth, based in Cumbria, is using robotics to navigate staff shortages during the pandemic and overcome the problem of skilled welders being tied up with repetitive tasks.

Smart checkweighers keep food manufacturing losses under control

All-in-one servos solve ventilator challenges

Teknic’s ClearPath All-in-one Servos were used to solve several technical challenges in a low-cost ventilator alternative developed by Boston Scientific, the University of Minnesota Medical School and others.

All-in-one integrated edge technology accelerates Industry 4.0

Designed for asset-intensive industries such as manufacturing, energy, and transportation, the new Nokia MX Industrial Edge combines compute, storage, wired/wireless networking in a unified, on-premise OT digital platform.

NMIS and Boeing officially open new R&D facility

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and aerospace company Boeing have officially opened a new research and development (R&D) facility in Westway Park in Renfrew within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland.

Smart transformation project for UK factory

Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, and AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, have announced they have digitally upgraded their factory in Flint, Wales.

Combining productivity with energy savings

Coval´s new LEMAX IO series of mini vacuum pumps with IO LINK communication integrate all the required functions for optimized vacuum management in a compact package. Via their IO-Link communications interface, the mini vacuum pumps communicate permanently with the environment and thanks to ASC (Air Saving Control) technology, combine productivity with energy savings, adapting to a multitude of applications in packaging, robotics or plastics processing. Without needing extra peripherals, these all-in-one mini pumps are fully compatible with Industry 4.0 automation.

Faster Optimization with Integrated Simulation and Analysis Portfolio

Altair, the global leader converging simulation, HPC, and AI, announced significant enhancements to its integrated portfolio of simulation and design tools.

New roller e-chain for maximum lifetime on cranes

igus develops P4HD roller e-chain with wear-resistant materials, and smart monitoring.Next generation cranes need higher power supplies. Energy chains – the protective chains that transport power and control cables in linear motion – must meet these requirements for longer travels, higher accelerations and operational uncertainties, as well as high reliability.

Position Paper on EC proposal for a Regulation on Artificial Intelligence

Euralarm recently released a Position Paper on the European Commission proposal for a Regulation on Artificial Intelligence. The Position Paper follows some informal discussions with DG CONNECT and contains proposals on several articles in the Regulation on Artificial Intelligence. Following the release of the Position Paper Euralarm spoke to Gabriele Mazzini, lawyer of DG Connect and in the lead for the proposal.

Discussions on industrial automation, education and government

FANUC UK has revealed an exciting range of speakers from across the fields of industrial automation, education and government for its upcoming ‘Future of Automation’ Open House.

On-demand 3D printing

Replique, a provider of a secure 3D printing platform that can make spare part management more efficient and sustainable, has announced it will be at Formnext (Hall 12.1, Booth B88) to showcase how OEMs can provide parts on-demand through a global and decentralised 3D printing network.

New autonomous logistic robot system

One of the top three automotive manufacturers has placed a pilot order for FlexQubes new autonomous logistic robot system, called eQart Navigator.

Compact, rugged, secure wireless routers for demanding applications

Westermo has announced it has launched a new range of industrial cellular wireless products designed to provide resilient data communications for remote sites.

The Intelligent Valve

The Intelligent Valve from Siemens Smart Infrastructure, a self-optimising, dynamic valve with cloud connection, now has an Adaptive Flow Optimiser, which is said to be unique on the market.

The smart way to save lives

How connected technology can ensure defibrillator technology is fit for purpose.

Complacent about digital transformation

New research has revealed that the manufacturing industry is dangerously underestimating the role that technology will play in building a sustainable operation that can thrive in the face of future pandemics, the climate crisis, and economic and political instability.

Smarter drainage solutions

UK water company Wessex Water has announced it is joining forces with award-winning artificial intelligence company StormHarvester in a world first to expand the use of AI to detect blockages across its entire wastewater network.

Robots on the health front line

An inspirational award-winning young British engineer, dubbed the ‘Raducanu of Engineering’, has been praised for her role developing a robotic pharmaceutical testing system now on the health frontline.

The future of edge computing

Martin Thunman, co-founder and CEO of edge analytics platform developer Crosser, shares his expert insight into the advantages, obstacles and future outlook of edge computing.

Smartest university campus in the world

The University of Birmingham, in partnership with Siemens, is combining digital sensor and analytics technologies, artificial intelligence, decentralised energy generation and storage, renewable energy and concepts that help change users’ behaviour to transform the university’s Edgbaston and Dubai campuses into the world’s smartest global campus, creating a ‘Living Lab’ where research, teaching and learning all benefit from access to new data and connectivity.

Showcasing engineering and design capabilities

Danfoss Power Solutions has announced it will reveal its latest industrial solutions for the metal forming market and update attendees on the recent acquisition of Eaton’s hydraulics business at EMO MILANO—a leading trade show for the manufacturing industry taking place in Milan, Italy, from 4 to 9 October.

Improved 3D image processing

Using newly developed and recently patented technology, Cognex says it has eliminated the speckle effect of laser lines, optimising triangulation-based 3D imaging.

How robots help to qualify for the workplace of the future

A push to automate is changing the way humans and machines work together. The number of industrial robots installed in factories reached about 3 million units worldwide in 2020 – more than doubling in ten years. The IFR has researched how robotics training shapes current and future workforce education, enhancing skills development for employees.

Optimising industrial operations

Rockwell Automation and Ansys  have announced that the enhanced Studio 5000 Simulation Interface now connects with Ansys digital twins. This will give automation and process engineers new ways to use simulation to improve the design, deployment, and performance of industrial operations.

Showcasing the key role of high-speed communications

The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) has announced it will showcase the key role of high-speed communications for the successful digitalisation of businesses at Industrial Transformation MEXICO (ITM).

New RF mmWave 5G25 Connector Series to meet demanding 5G mmWave applications.

Molex has introduced the Molex Flex-to-Board RF mmWave Connector 5G25 series to meet demanding 5G mmWave applications requiring stringent signal integrity at higher frequencies up to 25GHz. This micro connector enables manufacturers of RF antenna modules as well as designers of mobile devices to optimize high-speed 5G components while alleviating space constraints on extremely small yet increasingly crowded printed circuit boards.

Improving machine tool efficiency

Global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler will be showcasing its latest innovations for the machine tool manufacturing industry at EMO 2021, in Milan frm 4 to 9 October.

Consistent linear motion

The RARUK Automation linear axis system chosen by Somerset-based dairy company, Yeo Valley, to carry inkjet print heads across a conveyor-width of yoghurt pots has brought notable operational benefits.

Collaboration to enhance construction safety

Zyter, Inc., a leading digital health and IoT-enablement platform, has announced it is collaborating with Zurich North America (Zurich), Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., (Everguard) and Rudolph Libbe Group (RLG) to advance the use of AI-based Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to enhance construction safety.

Survey: investment in digital transformation set to increase

A survey from AVEVA has revealed that 85% of businesses plan to increase their investment in digital transformation over the next three years in order to tackle climate change, embrace automation and unlock the performance benefits of advanced technologies.

Additive software innovation showcase

Photocentric, an inventor of LCD 3D printing, is to preview its new Photocentric Additive software at TCT 3SIXTY, at the NEC in Birmingham, 28 to 30 September. Created in production with partner and software leader CoreTechnologie, Photocentric Additive is an innovative, powerful and feature-rich additive manufacturing software package, allowing users to upload and apply custom logos, textures (or choose from 5,000 pre-defined textures) and customer-ready finishes at speed. Photocentric Additive will also orient, add print supports and slice all common CAD formats and STL models with ease. 

How robotics and automation are creating jobs in manufacturing

SME manufacturers adopting robotics and automation, with the support of Made Smarter, are creating hundreds of new and upskilled jobs.

Getting started with industrial data

Key to making the shift towards more modern technologies to improve process efficiencies, operational effectiveness and product quality, is proper industrial data collection and management is integral to realising these goals.

Robotics to play a key part towards achieving Net Zero

Accelerating the development of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) will be a significant enabler to reaching Net Zero, according to new research from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

Bringing production performance to a new level

Cycloidal gears from Nabtesco bring production performance to a new level.

New cobot leasing scheme

Universal Robots, a supplier of collaborative robots, has announced it is launching a new financial leasing scheme with the aim of reducing the costs of introducing automation into the UK and Ireland’s SME manufacturing markets, as part of SME Automation Month in October.

Robots can improve safety in the workplace

Over the course of the last year, robots have helped manufacturers protect human operators by achieving social distancing whilst maintaining high throughput in the manufacturing process. However, robots and automated applications can do much more to create a highly efficient industrial environment where the health, safety and wellbeing of employees are prioritised.

Announcement of the First Industrial-Grade PCIe 4.0 SSDs turbocharging 5G and AIoT

5G and AIoT need more speed and more capacity, and PCIe 4.0 delivers, doubling the speed of PCIe 3.0
and providing the much-needed performance boost to keep pace with innovation and industry trends

Shorter delivery times for ecommerce with fast, flexible, efficient order handling

ABB has announced it is responding to the growing consumer demand for choice and fast delivery with the launch of its FlexBuffer application cell.

Building a digital twin

IOTICS has announced it is creating a digital twin of Portsmouth International Port as part of an ambitious £1.5m project to demonstrate an achievable modular green hydrogen generation system within the Port.

Safe planning of electrical systems

Wieland Electric's podis 5G6 energy bus system supports easy acceptance of electrical systems thanks to UL system approval.

A strategic partnership to help customers in the automotive, aerospace and medical industries

Laser Lines, the UK’s most established reseller of 3D printers and materials, has formed a strategic partnership with the Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC) in Silverstone, which will see Laser Lines install Stratasys Additive Manufacturing (AM) machines in the DMC’s live production environment. The DMC is a sector agnostic digital production facility with a focus on engineering-led solutions and the first machine to be installed as part of the partnership is the Stratasys F770 - the first installation of the printer in the UK.

Expanding role of smart robots in retail

A recent Gartner report details that “Retailers are scaling up smart robots to support flexibility and labor optimization in physical stores for unified commerce execution.” GreyOrange, a leading provider of modern software and systems for modern fulfillment, is featured in the report for its variety of smart robots that help retailers improve how they get products to buyers, whether through stores, distribution centers or emerging options such as localized micro fulfillment centers.   

3D printing technologies providing a valuable solution for businesses

For anyone that works in engineering or manufacturing, there has probably been at least one time (probably more) when they have come across a headline about 3D printing, or maybe even seen a specific application that everyone is making a fuss about, and the first reaction is, ‘So what? That is irrelevant to me.’

F&B industry digitalisation

The UK Food and Beverage industry, which had a turnover of more than £104.4bn in 2020 and represents almost 20% of total UK manufacturing, is reportedly ripe for adoption of cutting-edge solutions that will boost productivity and improve energy efficiency to help combat climate change.

New Offering Addresses Common Pain Point Affecting Public Cloud Users

Rackspace Technology(NASDAQ: RXT), a leading end-to-end multicloud technology solutions company, announced the launch of Rackspace Data Freedom, a new platform that allows customers to disaggregate storage from public cloud compute, freeing an organization’s data from being subject to often unpredictable and overwhelming public cloud data egress charges.

Smart ship and autonomous ship control solutions

To provide customers with complete automation solutions from a single trusted source, Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines Robotics have announced a new collaboration that will deliver comprehensive remote command, autonomous control and intelligent crew support systems to the marine market and complement Rolls-Royce’s mtu NautIQ marine automation portfolio.

IoT adoption in the transport/logistics industry

New research by Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications, has reveaeds a rapid increase in the maturity level of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) across the transport and logistics sector since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Respondents from the sector reported that Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of IoT to their businesses, with many accelerating IoT deployments in response to the pandemic.

New lightweight cobot

FANUC has announced it will will mark its return to Interplas (28-30 September 2021) by giving a UK tradeshow debut to its newest lightweight collaborative robot and celebrating the 25th anniversary of strategic partner and systems integrator, Hi-Tech Automation.

Partnership announced

GrAI Matter Labs (GML), a pioneer of brain-inspired ultra-low latency computing, and ADLINK Technology Inc., a global leader in edge computing, have announced the companies' partnership to create a Life-Ready AI SMARC platform based on ADLINK’s SMARC I-Pi Development kits and GML's Life-Ready GrAI VIP (Vision Inference Processor).

Regionalisation and reshoring are key trends

The beginning of 2020 revealed the pain points of global supply chains. The problems posed by a lack of visibility across different nodes and overreliance on a single region were evident when the supply of mission-critical items started to dwindle. In light of that, how are manufacturers restructuring their supply chains? Neil Ballinger discusses current trends.

Expanding research into new manufacturing technologies for quantum devices.

Ionoptika and the University of Surrey have announced they have been awarded project grants worth a total of £425,000.00 from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to expand their research into new manufacturing technologies for quantum devices.

The return of the Cobots

Universal Robots has announced the return of its popular productivity roadshows, helping SME manufacturers to address labour shortages, improve output and make their operations more competitive.

Using subsea robotics in offshore wind

Aberdeen technology developer HonuWorx and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have announced they are set to demonstrate a concept for a submersible mothership that will make subsea robotics a sustainable and cost-effective solution for offshore wind farms.

An innovative filtration technology to boost metal additive manufacturing productivity

BOFA International has developed a world first innovation in fume extraction to make the exchange of filters in metal additive manufacturing processes safer, faster and better for productivity.

A solution that brings intelligent workflows to industrial organizations

Pioneer in edge analytics for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Crosser, has expanded the capabilities of its Crosser Platform with a new edition called Crosser IPA (Intelligent Process Automation). As the first true hybrid hyperautomation platform to target industrial and asset rich organizations, Crosser IPA will empower businesses to integrate and automate everything, from the shop floor to the top floor.

New pressure sensor with IO-Link functionality

Parker Hannifin, a leader in motion and control technologies, has announced it has launched the SCPSi pressure sensor with IO-Link functionality to meet customer demand in more and more smart industrial environments.

Revolutionising offshore asset inspections

The power of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been harnessed in a new real-time inspection solution, capable of autonomously detecting and categorising equipment anomalies.

Fully automated and high-throughput formulation system

Mitsubishi Electric has announced it has helped Labman Automation in the development of a compact, fully automated and high-throughput formulation system in under seven months.

Bringing engineering creativity to the world of TV, new media, the gaming and entertainment sectors

When it comes to creating a wow factor in the manufacturing sector and engaging the masses; few names stand out like Robo Challenge. As a creative company that brings ideas to life, Birmingham based Robo Challenge are the innovators and manufacturers behind TV shows like Robot Wars and are famed for their work on prestigious TV shows like Blue Peter, Guy Martin’s shows, The Gadget Show and much more.

Aircraft project costs could be halved with BAe’s ‘factory of the future’

Advanced manufacturing technologies with the aim of cutting the cost and timescales of aircraft development - potentially up to half - are being brought together in BAe Systems’ ‘factory of the future’.

Insight into the five most popular analytics modules

Following recent analysis of how its customers are using its visual drag and drop Flow Studio, Goran Appelquist, CTO at edge analytics software company Crosser, provides insight into the five most popular analytics modules being used to create data flows in its platform.

€2.5 million to put robots in the hands of operators

The Franco-American start-up Fuzzy Logic announces a €2.5 million seed round of financing from two
European DeepTech funds: 42CAP, an industry-specialized German fund based in Munich, and Karista (via
the Paris Region Venture Fund), an early-stage VC firm based in Paris.

Next-generation SQRAM DDR5 4800 Memory for High Performance Computing at the Edge

Taipei, Taiwan, 07th September 2021 Advantech (2395.TW), a global leader in embedded computing, is pleased to announce the release of SQRAM DDR5 4800 series industrial-grade DDR5 memory. This series comes in diverse form factors, and leverages early-access, next-generation DRAM technology to deliver excellent performance, compatibility, and efficient power management.

A major milestone with the installation of 1,500 tonnes of structural steel.

Construction at the flagship National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland in Renfrewshire has reached a major milestone with the installation of 1,500 tonnes of structural steel now complete and the building on schedule to open in Autumn 2022.

Monitoring of energy networks – How to make it easy and secure

Cloud and cyber security in critical energy applications - Digitalization and IoT (Internet of Things) is a clear trend within power plants and substations, just as it is in industrial automation.

Defence sector innovation to play key role in maximising success of UK economy

Channelling the innovation of the defence sector across UK manufacturing, would help maximise the benefits and future technological opportunities for the rest of the economy,according to a major report published today. PWE reports.

AI and visual inference solutions

IOTech, an edge software company,has announced its partnership with Lotus Labs, machine learning experts, to deliver AI and visual inference solutions at the IoT edge. The partnership enables IOTech to integrate Lotus Labs’ computer vision technology into its edge software solutions.

Technologies of the future

Ultimo has announced it has been chosen to showcase how its Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) technology helps realise the factory of the future at the Digital Manufacturing Accelerator (DMA).

3D printing SME showcased in Best of British Awards

3DPRINTUK has been included in the Business Reporter Best of British Business Award hosted on

Cobots increase productivity

Specialist electric vehicle battery manufacturer, Danecca, has invested in two FANUC collaborative robots to improve the accuracy and repeatability of its heat staking applications following a major customer order.

Digital partners

Kongsberg Digital has announced it has partnered with Data Gumbo to improve supply chain efficiencies by integrating and making blockchain smart contracts available inside Kognitwin.

Intelligent board management controller

Advantech, a leading industrial computing platform provider, has announced it has introduced its new out-of-band management solution - an intelligent board management controller known as an iBMC.

Valve island range extended

Camozzi Automation has announced it has extended its popular range of Industry 4.0 ready Series D valve islands, with the introduction of 2 new sizes; Size 2 (16mm) and Size 5 (10.5mm & 16mm).

Advancing safety in transport through automation

The need for a road crash investigations branch is one of the recommendations in a new report from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) that explores the expected impact automation will have on the transport sector.

Safe, secure and efficient maritime future

NAVTOR, a leader in maritime e-Navigation and performance optimisation, has announced it has been selected to join a European-funded, Philips-led consortium focused on exploiting the potential, and ensuring the integrity, of cyber-physical systems (CPS).

Artificial intelligence (AI) has tremendous potential to accelerate and support the global energy transition

The World Economic Forum has published a new study on how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to accelerate a more equitable energy transition and build trust for the technology throughout the industry.

£1.6m secured for green robotics start-up

The cost of maintaining wind turbines could be significantly reduced after a green robotics start-up company secured £1.6million in its latest funding round.

Partnership announced to deliver 3D printing services

RS Components (RS) has partnered with digital manufacturer Protolabs, to deliver support for rapid prototyping and low-volume production parts. The service will focus on Protolabs’ industrial 3D printing capabilities but will also include their CNC machining and injection moulding services.

BCN3D acquires 3D printing cloud platform

BCN3D has acquired AstroPrint, a 3D printing software company known for its sophisticated cloud solutions that allow users to manage printers with ease and efficiency. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Digital retrofitting: The future for pharmaceuticals

Alexandra Hughes, explains how technology can be used to improve equipment agility in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Acquisition of cloud-native smart manufacturing platform

Rockwell Automation has completed the acquisition of Plex Systems, the cloud-native smart manufacturing platform.

European start-up 3D printing manufacturing joins MTC

The latest member of the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, is a European start-up in metal additive manufacturing systems.

All-in-one AIoT cloud-to-edge solution

Innodisk, a provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage says it is assembling the complex underlying hardware and software technologies needed for an all-in-one AIoT cloud-to-edge solution that will streamline compatibility and shorten application implementation time.

Smart monitoring crucial for effective long-term solutions

LYTT, a provider of real-time operational insights to oil and energy operators through a fiber optic sensor and analytics platform, and SINTEF, an independent institute for applied research that creates innovative energy solutions, have announced they are collaborating to demonstrate the effectiveness of novel technology to monitor CO2 transport and migration in storage reservoirs.

Next-generation tool

MODS has announced the latest release of MODS Reality, one of the newest offerings to be launched in 2021, upgraded with additional offering due to positive market feedback. MODS Reality 2.0 is a next-generation tool for managing Energy Sector assets' visualisation data.

Digitalisation to help boost North West’s chemical industry

Made Smarter, the government backed tech adoption programme, is helping the North West chemical sector to digitalise and grow.

Optimising data-driven maintenance

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software provider Ultimo and IT Solution Provider Axians have announced they have extended their partnership to allow customers to leverage operational data to enhance their maintenance strategies.

Smart city development

Research by video management solution provider, Milestone Systems, has revealed how the British public feels about smart city development and what local and government authorities need to do to allow smart city technology to reach its full potential in making urban centres safer, more secure and more appealing to the public as the UK recovers from the pandemic.

Interactive training in the digital age

Rockwell Automation has announced the launch of a new digital training experience called TechEd Tuesdays, as an extension of its  TechEd EMEA event.

COVID-19 shifts UK attitudes towards robots

Interest in the potential of robotic automation by UK manufacturers has seen an increase as a consequence of the need to help address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect against future workforce shortages.

Future-proof and fully-digitalised mining operation

Nordic Iron Ore has announced it has appointed ABB to scope process control and management systems for a future-proof and fully-digitalised mining operation at the Blötberget iron ore mine.

Sponsored survey finds cyber threats continue to rise

Nozomi Networks a leader in OT and IoT security, recently announced that the SANS 2021 OT/ICS Cybersecurity Report finds ICS cybersecurity threats remain high and are growing in severity.

Shaping the future of the manufacturing and processing industries

A Leading Process Analytical Technology (PAT) specialist Optimal Industrial Technologies will sponsor this year’s virtual IFPAC Summit. From 1st-2nd September, the company will invite attendees to join technical presentations and visit its virtual stand to learn how data-driven PAT strategies ared

Automating production processes with robots

Anyone planning to move towards a smart factory needs to choose carefully when considering possible robotic solutions. Should it be an industrial robot or a collaborative robot (cobot)? The answer will depend on your specific needs.

Robotic Process Automation

Five promising use cases for Robotic Process Automation by Mohan Naidu, FPT UK managing director

Optimum motor control

Food production safety detection and rejection systems demand accuracy and control sufficient to ensure not just an effective system, but one that maintains throughput and uptime. This combines a need for optimum motor control that can integrate with an automated system with real time data sharing to guarantee that standards are met.

Facilitating increased accessibility to data

Large-scale London property development and investment company, Almacantar, has announced it has appointed digital transformation specialist Nexer to oversee the total replacement of its CRM system, in order to facilitate increased accessibility to data and ensure the consistently high level of service expected by its clientele.

Paving the way for the factory of the future

At this year’s PPMA Show on stand D72, digital coding innovator Clearmark says it will celebrate its 20th anniversary by making its foray into the logistics labelling space with the launch of the innovative ICE Vector Pallet Labelling System.

Next-generation airport experience

Siemens and SITA have announced they are providing the Kansas City Aviation Department with future-proof, scalable technologies for the Kansas City International (MCI) Airport’s New Terminal project, dubbed Build KCI.

Call to harness power of AI

The lack of analytic capability to process the immense amount of data being generated in factories means that, on average, 98%* of it is currently going to waste, costing UK manufacturers millions of pounds in avoidable downtime and maintenance expenses.

Flexible 3D printing solution

Phone Scope, a digiscoping leader, has announced it has adopted a Photocentric additive manufacturing solution to create its custom-moulded digiscoping adaptors.

Indoor mobility automation

Musashi AI, a group company of Japanese Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., Ltd., has announced it has successfully completed a POC for Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) at Suzuyo & Co. Ltd, a leading Japanese 3PL company, in partnership with Israeli 634AI, a Musashi Group affiliated company and the developer of MAESTRO, an industrial automation and mobility management software.

Expansion of ultrapure water system for healthcare diagnostics

The pharmaceutical industry is embracing new technology that can reduce costs and simplify installation.

Precise regulation of compressed air and gases

Filling containers with compressed air or other gases such as nitrogen can reportedly be achieved more profitably and economically with the new Flow Control Motion App from Festo, developed for use with its VTEM Motion Terminal.

Benefits of remote CHP monitoring

With the pandemic accelerating the trend of remote working and companies looking for new ways of keeping their workforce safe, remote CHP monitoring systems have grown in popularity at power generation sites across the UK.

AI-based predictive maintenance solutions

With the growing focus towards enhancing and monitoring the operational performance of rotating electrical machines, Quartzelec, a leading independent engineering group, has signed a partnership agreement with Canada headquartered automated AI-based predictive maintenance solutions specialists NanoPrecise.

Robotics masterclasses from your own home

ABB has announced it is continuing its online versions of its popular classroom-based robot training courses, helping organisations ensure that staff still get training on robots

Working alongside cobots

Barry Weller, robot product manager at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at five reasons why businesses should consider installing cobots.

Optimise the bearing supply chain with IoT

Chris Johnson looks at how the Internet of Things (IoT) can enable a stronger, more resilient bearing supply chain.

A major showcase of advanced manufacturing technologies

EMO Milano 2021 will host a major showcase of advanced manufacturing technologies from FANUC, including several products making their European debut

Fragmented approach to Industry 4.0

While UK manufacturers are investing in trials of Industry 4.0 technologies, few have yet completed their integration and in many cases digital transformation programmes have only reached an ‘initial stage’, according to joint research carried out by Cranfield University and management consultancy, Vendigital.

Small steps are key for digital success

Making incremental change is the key to long-term digital success explains Johan Jonzon.

Connectivity challenge: Bringing data sources together

George Walker explains how engineers can bridge the gap between local process data and external data sources.

A reliable connection between sensors and IT

Sensor specialist ifm electronics has announced it will be showcasing the edgeGateway - a reliable connection between sensors and IT - at this year’s PPMA Show.

Automation partnership

The automation division of a multi-disciplinary engineering firm has been chosen among a select few to partner with technology giant Siemens.

Cobots: Enabling effective bespoke production requirements

With increased competition, often on a global scale, manufacturers need to differentiate themselves by tailoring products more closely to customer demand. This carries with it an implicit reduction in batch sizes and has seen the rise of ‘high-mix, low-volume’ production. Cobots can enable manufacturers to effectively meet individual customer requirements with greater product variety in smaller batches.

Upgrade to water supply

Schneider Electric, a leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has announced it has worked with Thames Water to upgrade and unify the complex computer system controlling London’s water supply.

Boost to Industry 4.0

RS Components (RS), a trading brand of Electrocomponents (LSE: ECM), a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions,has announced it is offering exclusive access to a hands-on workshop entitled ‘Edge Computing and Data Collection for Industrial IoT’.

Rescue robot developed

A remotely-operated rescue robot built to help with disaster recovery in hazardous industrial environments has been developed by Forth, for the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria.

Rise in major cyber security incidents

As the sophistication and severity of cyber-attacks/breaches continues to intensify, cyber security has now rightfully become a major issue at the forefront of the public eye.

60 Digital Leaders created

60 digital leaders now have the vision and the skills to pursue smarter manufacturing through Made Smarter’s innovative Leadership Programme.

What do the latest industrial cyber security measures mean for manufacturers?

With 203,000 new strains of malware created every day according to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA)’s 2020 threat landscape report, Cyber security is a pressing concern for manufacturers. Industry and academia must work together to solve this issue. The Christian Doppler Laboratory on Security and Quality Improvement in the Production Systems Life Cycle (CDL SQI) in Vienna, Austria, is helping to achieve this. Reinhard Mayr reports.

Trialling AI technology to keep city streets safe and clean

Nokia and the City of Melbourne have conducted a trial using Nokia Scene Analytics artificial intelligence (AI) technology to develop a deeper understanding of waste disposal behaviour.

Dimensional accuracy

Ultimaker, a leader in professional 3D printing, has announced that Hänssler Group, German experts in sealing technology, plastics technology and additive manufacturing, uses the Ultimaker S5 and Kimya’s ABS-ESD to cost-effectively produce 300 highly accurate sealant parts annually with anti-electrostatic properties.

Multi-million Pound funding for Northern Irish nano-tech and manufacturing project

Smart Nano NI - a Northern Ireland nano technology consortium to develop new technology for medical devices, communication and data storage, has been awarded £42.4 million.

Factory of the Future

A new  fully connected factory is applying game-changing technologies - including MiR Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) supplied by RARUK Automation - to help advance the manufacture of the UK's next-generation combat aircraft system, Tempest.

Bringing digitalisation to ‘a new level’

IT solutions from CSB-System have brought digitalisation to ‘a new level’ at the Spanish ham factories of international Swiss food company Bell Food Group.

Hazardous area temperature measurement applications

Power management company Eaton has announced a valuable new addition to its proven MTL830 range of multiplexers for Zone 0 hazardous area temperature measurement applications.

Automation firm establishes Irish operation

FANUC hasannounced it has hired two new sales managers as its first on-the-ground employees in Ireland.

Transforming the factory floor

We’ve seen a gradual increased presence of robots on manufacturing factory floors, and industries that have embraced automation have seen an increase in efficiency and productivity.

Committee expanded to include robotics and automation

Global standards organisation ASTM International has announced a broadened scope of its robotics, automation, and autonomous systems committee (F45). The committee was previously known as the driverless automatic guided industrial vehicles committee.

AI-based clinical decision support software

Siemens Healthineers  has presented its second pathway for its AI-Pathway Companion at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Global Health Conference 2021 (HIMSS 21).

MTC launches online courses to de-mystify digitalisation

A range of online courses to help manufacturing SMEs join the digital revolution sweeping through industry have been launched by The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

Acceleration of digitalisation for modern production lines

COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalisation of modern production lines says Eddie Storan, who examines the resultant, permanent change in mindset it has brought about.

New composites industry competitiveness and opportunities study released

A new study of the UK market for fibre reinforced polymer composites (FRPs), has been produced by BEIS, Innovate UK, High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). The report will be used by BEIS to inform future policymaking, and also by industrial companies and representative sector bodies to inform their wider communities.

Expansion to help IIoT offering to manufacturing and engineering businesses

Asset tracking and industrial IoT (IIoT) specialist, Pathfindr has expanded its sales and marketing team with the appointment of three senior hires to support its growth goals.

Help with the fight against hackers

A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has designed and commissioned the production of a computer chip that reportedly implements post-quantum cryptography very efficiently.

Innovative software control system

Inspec Solutions, an innovative control and software systems integrator based in Sheffield, has announced it has implemented a cutting edge Industry 4.0 digital production and plant level data gathering and analytic system for Pandrol a leading global rail fastening manufacturer.

Targeting the most demanding IoT gateway and edge computing applications

congatec – a leading vendor of embedded and edge computing technology – has announced it has introduced 20 new Computer-on-Modules following the launch of Intel’s 11th generation Core processor for IoT.

Intelligent, remote, powered devices

Sunil Kedia, core market new product  development manager at Portescap, looks at the basic relationship between speed, voltage, torque and current when using a brushed DC motor as a generator.

Acceleration of automation due to impact of Covid-19

Guidance Automation, an expert in guidance, navigation and control technologies, has announced the findings of its latest research regarding the growth of the intralogistics automation sector.

Non-contact laser distance sensors

Precision sensor supplier Micro-Epsilon has announced it has extended its optoNCDT ILR2250-100 range of non-contact laser distance sensors to include a version with IO-Link, a widely used industrial communications networking standard (IEC61131-9) for connecting digital sensors and actuators to industrial fieldbus or Ethernet networks.

The benefits of leveraging the edge

Martin Thunman, co-founder and CEO of edge analytics platform Crosser, looks at the benefits of processing data at the edge rather than the cloud and how this data can be used to optimise production in manufacturing.

Cloud-based applications opportunities

Alan Cunningham explains that cloud-based applications are enabling optimum use of existing data by providing opportunities for more resilient and flexible network management options.

Dr Robert Elliott Smith joins Digital Catapult

Dr Robert Elliott Smith has been appointed as Digital Catapult’s new head of Artificial Intelligence.

Reliable, robust, ready for work

Ultimaker launched its new print core CC with a wear-resistant hardened steel nozzle for its S-line 3D printers on July 22nd.

Performance-demanding applications in embedded and industrial conditions

ADLINK Technology, a  leader in edge computing, has introduced its new Express-TL COM Express Type 6 module with Intel Core, Xeon W and Celeron 6000 processors and octa-core (8-core) performance.

Selecting appropriate product data

Selecting appropriate product data in engineering is often time consuming. However,  EPLAN says its new Data Portal, with a new user interface and improved search algorithms, makes it easier and faster than ever before.

Industrial automation solutions

Baking the perfect loaf, and in large enough quantities, demands furnaces that accurately control the process from beginning to end. This was precisely the task faced by Mechatronics, a system integrator and official distributor of Delta Motion, Drive, Control, and Robotics products based in Bulgaria.

Highly-reliable inline machine vision inspections

SICK has announced it has launched an ultra-compact and ultra-powerful all-in-one 2D vision sensor, the InspectorP611, which can be set up rapidly to conduct even in the tightest of machine spaces, or when mounted on robot arms.

Multi-Speed Mega PoE Injector

Advantech, a leading supplier of industrial communication solutions, has announced it has released the EKI-2701MPI-5G PoE injector.

Scalable IIoT solutions

Moxa Europe and Robotron Datenbank-Software have announced their collaboration in the configuration and provision of IIoT platforms.

Solving workforce challenges

Responding to manufacturers’ end-of-line labour challenges including staff shortages, social distancing measures and self-isolation, OMRON UK  has announced it will debut its game changing cobot palletiser, the RB1200, at PPMA Show 2021.

'Smart Performance' and 'Smart Storage'

Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), has announced it has added two new model variants of the KBox B-202-CFL industrial PC.

What do sports and Industry 4.0 have in common ?

Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at automation parts supplier EU Automation, discusses what manufacturers can learn from the cutting edge technologies used in the venues of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, such as robotics, autonomous vehicles (AV), facial recognition systems and more.

Service enables customers to effectively share responsibility for the management and maintenance of their Geo SCADA estate

Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has announced the launch of Geo SCADA as a Managed Service. A reported industry first, the OT orientated service will enable customers to share the responsibility of managing and maintaining their telemetry system with Schneider Electric.

Industrial computers industry

According to a research report released by TrendForce in July, in the first half of 2021, DFI, specialising in smart manufacturing, smart healthcare, and intelligent transportation systems/infrastructures, ranked third in Taiwan’s Industrial Computers with a revenue of NT$5.28 billion (equivalent to 186.7 million U.S. dollars).

Accelerating the path to industry 4.0

Molex, a global electronics leader and connectivity innovator, has announced continued development in driving major advances across its Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing initiatives.

Funding for UK manufacturers to boost competitiveness

Five brand new digital manufacturing research centres and projects to help supply chains become more productive are among recipients of £53 million of new government funding to drive the development of the latest digital manufacturing technologies, Investment Minister Lord Grimstone recently announced.

Connecting IO-Link sensors to a PC

ifm electronic says its new ZZ1060 IO-Link master kit makes it easy to connect IO-Link sensors to a PC for parameterisation and data retrieval.

Battery solutions for the future

Disruptive Technologies has announced it is the manufacturer of the world's smallest wireless sensors. These IoT sensors are tiny, robust, low cost and scalable with a long battery lifetime. VARTA supplies the primary lithium coin cell CR1216, which enables the small size of the sensor through special battery assembly and low weight.

How collaborative robots are redefining industries and businesses?

A collaborative robot or cobot is an automatic technology designed in a way that it can interact, assist, and work with and around humans. Safe collaboration with humans is the main property of these cobots that sets them apart from autonomous robots. Unlike autonomous robots, collaborative robots are capable of functioning in interactive ways with their human counterparts.

Start-up real-world manufacturing solutions help industrial giants

Four cutting-edge UK technology startups will now have the opportunity to develop minimum viable products (MVPs) to help industry titans digitise and improve their manufacturing processes, after being selected to go through to the final stage of Digital Catapult’s Made Smarter Technology Accelerator Programme.

£20 million charge to fortify global manufacturing supply chains

In the wake of the pandemic, a new £20 million UK-wide initiative has been launched to tackle challenges faced by the UK’s manufacturing supply chains.

Industry survey highlights key challenges re technology and power

The continued confidence in future demand levels in the datacentre sector could be hampered by the challenges around the availability of power according to the latest independent industry survey, which captures the views of over 3000 senior datacentre professionals across Europe, including owners, operators, developers, consultants and end users.

Expanding renewable energy generation options

Moxa has announced it is helping to expand renewable energy generation options with IIoT connectivity solution for floating solar plants.

Multi-component software combines digital measurement data management and SCADA

The topic of measurement, secure access to measurement data, secure storage of measurement data as well as the visualisation and analysis of such data poses ever-increasing challenges.

Robot enhanced with new protection for harsh applications

ABB has announced its 6-axis IRB 1300 industrial robot includes new protection elements that enable it to be used in tough industrial applications and contamination-free production processes, opening new opportunities for increased productivity, improved product quality and reduced cycle times in a variety of industries including electronics assembly, automotive and metals fabrication, amongst others.

How to achieve the golden batch

The golden batch describes the perfect production batch, against which all others are benchmarked. With efficiency and productivity front of mind for most manufacturers currently, how can industry get closer to achieving golden batches? George Walker explains how operations management systems can help.

Combining technological expertise

Connectivity across the entire production workflow is a major goal of industrial digitalisation. However according to WFL  Millturn Technologies,  the greatest challenge lies in combining technological expertise from two different disciplines: IT and industrial production.

Simplicity is key to eliminating IT bottlenecks

Johan Jonzon looks at how low code platforms can alleviate the IT bottleneck.

Automation solutions increases reliability

A machine builder specialist in the packaging and converting industries, Optimation, has been supported by Mitsubishi Electric in an automated till roll packing system upgrade project.

Solution provider programme launched

The launch of technology manufacturer Beckhoff Automation’s Solution Provider programme aims to couple end users with trusted, competent partners. The programme will help to deliver best-in-class solutions by combining innovative and creative products and knowledge.

Cloud-based industrial traceability solutions

Rockwell Automation, a leading company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, has announced a partnership with Kezzler, a cloud-based product digitisation and traceability platform, to help manufacturers capture the journey of their products from raw material sources to point-of-sale or beyond using cloud-based supply chain solutions that focus on product traceability.

Automation or hyperautomation?

Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at automation parts supplier EU Automation, explains the fundamentals of hyperautomation.

Driving the next generation of flexible automation

ABB has announced it will acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics Group (ASTI), a leading global autonomous mobile robot (AMR) manufacturer with a broad portfolio across all major applications enabled by the company’s software suite.

Productivity guide provides five steps to using “kaizen”

The new Tork productivity guide provides five steps to using “kaizen” for a sustainable competitive advantage

Software for PAT-driven manufacturing

Optimal Industrial Technologies, a leader in Process Analytical Technology (PAT), has announced it has released version 5.5 of synTQ, its total quality management solution.

System integrators and automation equipment suppliers – what is the perfect partnership?

As industrial automation systems become increasingly technical and data-driven, the need for automation equipment suppliers and system integrators to work more closely together has increased exponentially.

Critical manufacturing vulnerabilities spiked 148% in the first half of 2021

A new report from Nozomi Networks Labs finds cyber threats growing at an alarming rate in the first half of 2021.

Smart grid technologies can ensure energy across borders

Etienne Hilgen explains why the right choice of telemetry unit, software, SCADA and simulation systems will be crucial to maintaining this infrastructure.

Open House for 2021

Building on the success of its first ever open house in 2019 and its debut virtual offering in 2020, FANUC UK has announced it will host an automation event in November this year.

Key benefits of cloud-based asset management systems

Steve Richmond* explains some of the key advantages of using a cloud-based system versus an on-premise system to help you in finding an efficient and reliable EAM solution.

Leveraging data to increase productivity

By Dan Rossek, regional marketing manager at Omron: Data can elevate the maintenance function from being a quick fix to keep production lines running, to being a vital tool for enterprise success. Omron explains how to raise your maintenance strategy to this level by accessing and repurposing data that already exists.

Multi-cloud environments pose greater security challenges

Tripwire, a leading global provider of security and compliance solutions for enterprises and industrial organisations, has announced the results of a new research report that evaluated cloud security practices across enterprise environments in 2021.

How the foundations of the UK will be defined by smart buildings’

Building decision-makers list budget constraints and buy-in from senior leadership as the two biggest barriers to their adoption of smart technologies, according to a new research report from Johnson Controls.

Standalone, high-efficiency, AI framework

Fraunhofer IMS and Arduino have announced the release of AIfES, a standalone, high-efficiency, AI framework completely programmed in C, which allows innovators to train and run machine learning algorithms even on the smallest microcontrollers.

Industry study finds manufacturers’ feel they are being left behind in the IoT race

Research from Ubisense finds 40% of global manufacturers don’t know how to get started with IoT, a 9% rise on 2020 levels

Machine learning package for additive manufacturing

Deep learning software specialist Intellegens has announced it has enhanced its solution for Additive Manufacturing (AM) with the launch of a new Alchemite AM Package.

New virtual assistance support service

Getting to grips with robotic automation is now said to be even easier with the launch of ABB’s Virtual Assistance support service. The service uses a virtual platform to provide fast access to expert support to help solve technical queries and issues face to face, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.

Expanding the IIoT gateway for Industry 4.0 integration

smartLink HW-DP from Softing Industrial Automation provides controller-independent access to PROFIBUS DP networks. Besides HART IP and FDT, data for optimising processes can now also be made available via an OPC UA interface. In addition, the new smartLink DTM enables FDT/DTM parameter setting for HART devices.

Robot-based automation: experts explain "Intelligent Pick & Place"

The demand for robot-based automation of pick-and-place applications in logistics, warehousing, commissioning or packaging is high. If the objects to be processed vary greatly in shape, size, colour or position, either complex teach-in procedures are required – or the challenge is solved with intelligent image processing software.

Small cell development

45 Million of 5G Small Cells Will be Installed by 2031 forecasts IDTechEx

iCoupler digital isolators

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has announced it has introduced the first in a new series of iCoupler digital isolators that offer a total bandwidth of 10 Gigabits per second.

Contaminant detection data tools

Following a year of pandemic disruption, the focus on AI and Industry 4.0 has resumed, accelerating the race to shorten production times, reduce costs and improve quality. With European food factories seeking practical data technologies and machines to facilitate smarter decision making and increase efficiency, Fortress Technology has launched its new suite of connectivity software to streamline data collection procedures.

Global Survey on ‘State of Industry 4.0

Molex, a global electronics leader and connectivity innovator, has announced the results of a global survey of Industry 4.0 manufacturing stakeholders driving advancements in robotics, complex machines and device or control systems.

Online robotic technologies events

Smart Hub Lanarkshire – a state-of-the-art new centre that can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector to grow and prepare for the future – has announced a programme of free summer online events to help SMEs learn about the benefits of robotic technologies.

Strategic network and systems integration partner announced

FANUC UK has announced Polestar Interactive as the first strategic network and systems integration partner for its Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, FIELD (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive) system.

New and easy to use robot programming

Comau is pleased to announce that it has successfully released its Comau Next Generation Programming Platform, a protocol that implements the Uniform Robotics Data Interface (URDI) communications standard to simplify robot programming.

Digital twin technology can reduce materials by up to 30 percent

Akselos and Lamprell have announced the results of an EU-backed wind foundation design project, proving that predictive digital twin technology can reduce the steel weight and associated costs of offshore wind jacket foundations by up to 30 per cent.

3D laser beams innovation set to transform UK manufacturing

The National Robotarium is to develop made-to-measure 3D laser beams which has the potential to transform the capabilities of UK manufacturing.

Machine learning - the heart of future autonomous and intelligent systems

There’s still a lot of deep learning and artificial neural networking to undertake before the latest generation of injection moulding machines can fully predict and react autonomously to a given production situation.

The benefits of OT to IT convergence

Matt Lundberg* takes a look at how to reduce overheads and downtime with OT to IT convergence.

Time-Sensitive Networking

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is preparing industrial Ethernet to support tomorrow’s industrial communications needs by providing innovative, highly beneficial features. Companies are well aware of this potential, and a lot is happening to fully realise the TSN-driven Connected Industries of the Future.

Transition to the smart grid

Siemens has collaborated with Oracle, a global strategic cloud provider, on a high-performance processing solution that will help energy suppliers to better manage the substantial data processing demands that will come with market wide Half Hourly Settlement (HHS).

New omnidirectional AGV

The Automated Guided Vehicle OL1200S from Grenzebach allows easier, quicker, and safer transportation of long goods carriers thanks to its omnidirectional drive and smart sensors.

Certification of multi-service IoT edge gateway delivers standards-based compliance

Eurotech, a leading supplier of hardware and software components to develop and deploy edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, has announced its Multi-service IoT Edge Gateway, ReliaGATE 10-14 and Everyware Software Framework have been PSA Certified Level 1. This independent IoT security certification offers customers and partners standards-based compliance and will help organizations overcome barriers to global IoT adoption.

Supporting students with automotive vision

3DPRINTUK works with a wide range of industrial companies across many sectors. This includes automotive companies, where the company’s expertise with polymer powder bed fusion (PBF) 3D printing is often focused on functional prototypes of complex parts, as well as for final production parts.

Digital twin toolkit described in online catalogue

Festo has developed an award-winning online catalogue that provides designers with a time-saving tool kit and prepares the way for the creation of an Asset Administration Shell, or Digital Twin, for their machines.

Preventing cyber-attacks against your OT systems

The demand for comprehensive security measures to protect OT networks is growing as smart Manufacturing continues to merge the worlds of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). David Bean* looks at the fundamental aspects that need to be considered, including suitable system level design, risk management, system intrusion detection and automation platform vulnerability management.

Midlands manufacturer reap the benefits of smart factory innovation

Coventry-based precision engineering business, Harris RCS, has taken delivery of its first two industrial robots to reap the benefits of factory automation. The Automata Eva machines will drive the manufacturer’s digital transformation, automating more mundane tasks which will allow staff to develop new skillsets to support the company’s future growth.

First UK winner of Solve Tomorrow competition

Project Dignity is the first UK winner of Samsung Electronics’ Solve for Tomorrow competition, a global initiative delivered in partnership with Digital Catapult that challenges young people to use technology in creative ways to help improve their community and positively impact their surroundings.

IIOT: The potential for telematics in gensets

Becky Wallis, Finsight Supervisor at energy and transportation expert Finning UK & Ireland, discusses the potential for telematics in gensets to help generator operators improve fleet performance and avoid downtime by receiving near real-time information on their machinery.

Overcoming 3G shut off with the help of industrial routers

AT & T turned off its 2G network in 2017 which caused San Francisco’s buses and trains to disappear from its NextMuni system map, which passengers use to check the location of vehicles and arrival times. This resulted in fierce pressure from the public to upgrade its monitoring devices. Andy Conway explains why industrial businesses could soon face a similar issue.

Warehouse operators and e-commerce retailers turn to automated intralogistics technologies to meet delivery times

Because of meeting delivery promises for online shoppers, an increasing number of SME warehouse operators and e-commerce retailers are using automated intralogistics technology. Paul Freeman* reports.

Highly manoeuvrable miniature robots controlled by magnetic fields

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University have developed millimetre-sized robots that can be controlled using magnetic fields to perform highly manoeuvrable and dexterous manipulations. This could pave the way to possible future applications in biomedicine and manufacturing

How have small UK businesses responded to pandemic guidance?

Researchers at Newcastle University Business School are to look at how small businesses have understood and complied with government regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Daily-use deep UV light source for sterilization and disinfection

This new solid state second-harmonic generation (SHG) device converts infrared radiation into blue light. This work may lead to a practical daily-use deep ultraviolet light source for sterilization and disinfection, while being safe and practical.

Autonomous delivery robot created using 3D printing methods

Ultimaker, a leader in professional 3D printing, has announced that Final Aim, a hands-on technology firm in Japan has utilised the Ultimaker S3 to rapidly design the first autonomous delivery robot in use for Singapore.

Ultra wideband (UHB) wireless connectivity platform delivers secure, centimetre-level accuracy

CEVA, a leading licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, has unveiled RivieraWaves UWB, a power-efficient ultra-wideband (UWB) turnkey MAC and PHY platform intellectual property (IP) compliant with the IEEE 802.15.4z standard and in accordance with the FiRa consortium specifications.

Hannover Messe 2022 focuses on digitalisation and decarbonisation

Hannover Messe will return in 2022 between the 25th – 29th April as a physical event, following a two year absence. It will run in parallel with a range of digital services for exhibitors and visitors. Digitalisation and decarbonisation of industry will be the key themes at next year’s show.

Digital twin technology in the energy fast lane

FutureOn, a global software company and digital twin pioneer, has announced it has partnered with the cloud-based well planning company, Oliasoft, to launch a new software offering designed to disrupt business as usual across the oil and gas industry, and revolutionise subsea planning.

Digital Innovators Honored in 2021 Transformational Leadership Awards

Individuals and enterprises are recognized for successfully envisioning, planning, and executing the digital transformation of their offerings and organizations.

Bringing crushing and screening into Industry 4.0

Edge analytics software is increasingly popular with manufacturers and makes equipment data more accessible to decision makers. But could it help manufacturers seize Industry 4.0's promise of revolutionizing industry? Rubble Master, a mobile crushing and screening equipment manufacturer, put this question to the test when it sought to do more with its equipment data. It turned to edge analytics expert Crosser to help bring its crushing and screening into the digital realm.

The important role of edge analytics in Industry 4.0

How can Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) edge analytics improve manufacturing efficiency? Johan Jonzon explains the important role of edge analytics in Industry 4.0.

Joint research and innovation projects into smart cities announced

Following the G7 summit hosted in Cornwall and the new Spaceport being built, the South West Business Council, including Lord Robin Teverson and the Earl of Devon, are promoting the South West as an innovation powerhouse.

Drive technology makes pump systems Industry 4.0 ready

For future pump applications, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS says it can supply a wide selection of decentralised drive technology that can be individually adapted to any required application and can be flexibly integrated into the system environment.

Creating a smart workforce for tomorrow

With companies focusing on semi rather than fully automated intralogistics models, it is important to consider the role of the workforce in this new, collaborative environment. From skills to safety, Jon Divers considers the creation of a smart workforce and the evolving skillset for the material handling and logistics engineers of tomorrow.

Modular data processing software suite adaptable to individual tasks.

Digitalisation, films made of recycled material and the increasing use of robots - mechanical engineering companies in the packaging sector have to face continuous changes. BEUMER expert Jörg Spiekermann reports.

Strategic alliance accelerates digital transformation of power, energy, chemicals and mining industries

AVEVA, has formed a new alliance with Wood, a consulting and engineering company, to accelerate digital transformation of industries such as power, energy, chemicals and mining with the launch of Connected Build, a key part of Wood’s Digital Twin offering. AVEVA Enterprise Resource Management is a key component of Connected Build.

Electronics component supplier evolves into systems provider over 40 years

In the past 40 years, technology has greatly changed the way we live and do business. Especially in the latter half of that period, the Internet and the Internet of Smart Things have completely changed the appearance of global industries.

Getting started with digitalising food production

Stephen Hayes, managing director of Beckhoff UK, explains how food engineers can get started with digitalisation.

Making the 3D manufacturing process safer

Additive Manufacturing and industrial 3D printing processes are booming, changing the way manufacturers work and invent. Rapid changes on the manufacturing side, means rapid changes in the work environment, and businesses must work to keep up and ensure the work environment related to new technologies like Selective Laser Sintering is safe.

Automation manufacturer produces 750,000th robot

The 750,000th industrial robot has been produced by automation technology manufacturer Fanuc. At present, the company produces around 8000 industrial robots every month at its factories in Japan, although monthly capacity is available up to 11,000 units. The company will deliver its 750,000th robot to a European customer.

More power, fewer cables: Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) enhances digital manufacturing

Thomas Burke, global strategic advisor at CLPA, looks at the most promising network technologies and innovations as well as how they are revolutionising industrial communications.

Smart Sensors provide remote condition monitoring on critical motors

Smart sensor technology from ABB is providing remote condition monitoring on critical motors at a new carbon capture plant in the UK, thereby reducing the number of man-hours required on site.

Transition to automated palletising made simple and quick

Palletising is a simple, repetitive task that lends itself perfectly to robotic automation and a new kit from RARUK Automation is said to make the transition both simple and quick.

Nissan integrates 3D printing into automotive production line

Nissan has successfully integrated 3D printing into its production process at its Barcelona factory, which could see it roll out the technology to create parts and prototypes at other sites, including the UK.

Companies join forces to create new generation of smart hearing protectors

Swedish-based hearing protection pioneers, Sordin, has announced a new partnership with a global player in critical communications technology, Cardo Crew, in a move that will combine high-end hearing protectors with cutting edge communications.

industrial consortium commences field trials for low-cost, sustainable inspection in hazardous environments

Electrocomponents' Project Nautilus has entered the validation phase of its highly innovative inspection robotic platform developed for non-destructive testing (NDT) on storage tanks used in the petrochemical industry.

Long-reach Ethernet connectivity solutions to help connectivity from the edge to the cloud

A wider range of solutions that bring long-reach Ethernet connectivity from the edge to the cloud and enable real-time configurability, lower energy consumption, and increased asset use have been launched by Analog Devices through the expansion of its ADI Chronous Industrial Ethernet portfolio. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Secure remote access platform enables rapid response to security breaches

Red Lion’s Secure Remote Access Platform, in partnership with MB connect line, is now available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and France.

Industrial organisations are embracing 5G

According to “Accelerating the 5G Industrial Revolution: State of 5G and edge in industrial operations” report released recently by the Capgemini Research Institute, industrial 5G adoption is still at the ideation and planning stages, with only 30% of industrial organisations having moved to the pilot stage or beyond. This means there is a huge window of opportunity for telcos and those industrial organisations that are yet to make a move.

Steer-by-wire reaches the motorsport sector

Leading automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler is the official “Series and Innovation Partner” to the racing series and will bring the steer-by-wire technology, Space Drive, to the starting grid in three DTM cars from different German car makers: in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 driven by Schaeffler brand ambassador Sophia Flörsch, in Gary Paffett’s Mercedes-AMG and in Timo Glock’s BMW M6 GT3.

Factors to consider when investing in new measurement equipment

Manufacturers purchase new metrology equipment for a variety of reasons — to improve product quality, increase throughput or reduce operator intervention. Often it is because they believe new machines are necessary to remain competitive. However, simply installing new equipment is not enough. Here Mike John, managing director of industrial metrology specialist The Sempre Group, argues why the industry should shift its focus from equipment to the intended outcome.

Effective high-mix, low-volume production

With increased competition, often on a global scale, manufacturers may need to differentiate themselves by tailoring products more closely to customer demand. This carries with it an implicit reduction in batch sizes and has seen the rise of ‘high-mix, low-volume’ production. Cobots can enable manufacturers to effectively meet individual customer requirements with greater product variety in smaller batches.

A partnership for process optimisation in 3D printing

The software company CoreTechnologie and the 3D printer manufacturer Photocentric have entered into a partnership for process optimisation in 3D printing.

Smart thinking in Smart Meters

Since the government pledged four years ago that all homes would possess a smart meter, the national rollout scheme, troubled with issues since the very beginning, has roundly failed.

New security capabilities to close OT remediation gap

Skybox Security, a leader in security posture management, has announced new vulnerability prioritisation capabilities with prescriptive remediation analysis.

Metrology’s place in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Is Industry 4.0 being driven by metrology or metrology developments being driven by Industry 4.0? Dr Peter J. de Groot and Michael Schmidt take a look at metrology’s place in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Drive to increase women in engineering

Siemens is planning to increase the number of women in engineering with the aim of achieving gender parity in its Early Careers recruitment.

Are lights-out factories a realistic aspiration?

Is it a realistic goal for manufacturers to aspire to a ‘lights out factory’ which essentially means manufacturing without humans? Dan Rossek comments.

Smart versatility with next-generation light grids

SICK has announced it has developed its next-generation SLG-2 light grids to combine higher levels of optical performance with smart sensor capability in an ultra-slim housing.

Cotton swabs automatic inspection and packaging solution

Smart Manufacturing Integrates Machine Vision and Industrial Robots
Many people cannot imagine a day without using cotton swabs. Behind such a small product, there is
extensive know-how from production to packaging. Since the unit price is relatively low, the investment in
time and resources is highly sensitive. To optimize results, the cotton swabs must be quickly placed into a
package in order. This is a challenge for traditional manufacturers that mainly rely on manual labor.
Yet another challenge, is that there is an ever increasing shortage of manpower in the manufacturing
industry. To enhance productivity and maintain a consistent product quality, many manufacturers adopt
automated equipment and processes. On top of that, smart manufacturing is becoming an unstoppable
trend. To prepare for this new era, building highly automated production lines has become a necessary move
for the future.

Cost-effective technologies to boost productivity and efficiency.

Automation has always been considered as a key element for profitable, sustainable and cost-effective manufacturing, but there is a misconception that only big manufacturers may have the financial and technical resources to implement it. At the same time, those who do implement it often find themselves stuck in a transition phase where they see no substantial benefits. Here Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at automation parts supplier EU Automation, offers some tips for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) on the most cost-effective technologies to boost their productivity and efficiency.

Diversity in engineering webinars initiative to be hosted by MTC

Encouraging diversity, inclusion and family balance in STEM and the engineering community, is the aim of the MTC’s Tilly Shilling Initiative series of seven webinars, run in conjunction with Oxfordshire Advanced Skills.

Collaborative robots address trend towards high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) production

Cobots can enable effective high-mix, low-volume production for manufacturers who need to differentiate themselves by tailoring products more closely to customer demand. With increased competition, manufacturers need to effectively meet individual customer requirements with greater product variety in smaller batches. Chris Evans reports.

3D software platform features improved data sharing tools

Creaform, a leader in automated and portable 3D measurement solutions and engineering services, has announced  the release of the latest version of its VXelements platform. Several new features as well as existing features enhancements were developed to provide significative improvements.  The company says whether in VXscan, VXinspect, VXmodel, or VXscan-R, experts and beginners alike will discover exciting, new, and improved tools that will make their work much easier, faster, and profitable.

Melt shop digitalisation project

ABB has announced it has built on a long-term relationship with JSW Steel, a leading Indian steel company, by integrating its digital solution ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop into a wider expansion at Dolvi Works plant in Maharashtra state.

Collaboration to expand global vaccine production

Siemens and BioNTech intend to expand their strategic cooperation in order to intensify collaboration for the rapid expansion and creation of production capacity for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Digital Catapult joins forces with Ofcom to launch new high-tech 5G lab

A new high-tech lab to speed up the development of 5G communication kit has been launched by Digital Catapult who has joined forces with Ofcom to help boost network security and resilience.

Smart monitoring system to optimise pump efficiency

Samotics, a leading provider of AI-driven industrial analytics for asset performance management, has announced it has been selected for a 12-month trial by United Utilities Group PLC, one of the UK’s largest water and wastewater companies, to improve the reliability and efficiency of its operations.

Funding secured to address lack of security and trustworthiness of AI

A team at the University of Wolverhampton is creating an innovative new platform to help financial organisations and banks to add security, trust and explainability to their Artificial Intelligence (AI) based decisions.

Module supports hot-swap upgrades of demanding mission-critical applications

ADLINK Technology, a leader in edge computing, has announced it has launched the cPCI-A3525 series CompactPCI Serial processor blade in single-slot (4HP) form factor.

Partnership to provide holistic solution for asset management needs

EAM provider Ultimo is joining forces with physical asset management company Optimal, in a move that the companies say will help customers in asset-intensive industries benefit from stronger maintenance strategies

Materials matter: Super duplex in 3D printing explained

Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Nikhil Dixit* to explore the potential benefits of using super-duplex stainless steel in additive manufacturing (AM).

High-speed Racer-5 COBOT combines flexibility and collaborative safety

Comau exhibited its smart manufacturing porfolio at the Automatica Sprint digital trade event, held online from 22 to 24 June.

Royal Society & Primary Engineer’s STATWARS partnership to help pupils investigate climate change

In the lead up to UN climate summit COP26, The Royal Society is partnering with not-for-profit organisation Primary Engineer- and their new project STATWARS - to help primary and secondary pupils across the UK develop their data skills and investigate climate change.

Accelerating satellite manufacturing

For manufacturing companies looking to revolutionise their responsiveness to customer spare parts demand, 3D printing opens up compelling opportunities.

Harnessing the power of robotic process automation

BCA reports it is harnessing the power of robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline back office activity, drive quality and improve customer service.

More safety in harsh environments

3D safety systems are a good option for reliably monitoring danger zones. They present a safe alternative, even in harsh environments where e.g. sparks, dirt and dust occur. They are therefore also a solution for applications where previously optical sensors were unable to provide a reliable answer 

Smart Sensor ruggedised thermal cameras

The FLIR A500f and A700f Advanced Smart Sensor ruggedised thermal cameras feature high-temperature detection for extreme environments paired with on-camera analytics and alarm capabilities – said to be ideal for industrial early fire detection or outdoor condition monitoring applications.

Partnership to 3D print exclusive accessories

Replique, a Mannheim based venture of the BASF business incubator Chemovator, announces a partnership with Miele, a German premium home appliance manufacturer. Under the terms of the partnership, Replique receives the exclusive right to produce and ship high-quality 3D printed accessories from Miele using its decentralized production network. Miele can now launch new products with Replique's 3D printing platform. Thanks to the capability for digital storage and on-demand production, Miele is granted the flexibility to provide customers new accessories quickly and cost-efficiently from a batch size of just one. With Replique’s end-to-end solution, Miele benefits from an easy process integration that connects existing ordering and e-commerce solutions, automatic order processing and expert knowledge in industrial grade 3D printing.

Controlling air conditioning unit from Modbus or BACnet-based automation systems via IR

HMS Networks has announced it has launched a new IR-based Intesis AC interface that enables integration of any Air Conditioning unit, regardless of brand, into Modbus or BACnet Building Automation Systems.

Made Smarter surpasses milestone of 200 funded technology projects

Made Smarter has surpassed a major milestone of funding 200 technology projects to help manufacturers boost productivity and growth using digital tools.

Expansion of robotics research

Using robots to make offshore infrastructure inspection and repair safer is moving a step closer following the injection of £2.5 million of further funding from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).

Partnership to study new application areas for wearable robotics

Comau partnerss with Heidelberg University to study new application areas for wearable robotics within industrial environmemnts.

Simplifying analysis of the power market

The energy markets are now much more than an obscure and speculative playground for a few specialised traders. The European legal framework is developing towards more free trade and the attitude of professionals and consumers towards markets is also changing.

Moving Industry 4.0 data centre capability to the factory floor

Stratus Technologies, a leader in simplified, protected, autonomous Edge Computing platforms, has announced that Schneider Electric has released EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre architectures standardised on Stratus Edge Computing platforms to accelerate the move of traditional data centre capabilities to the factory floor.

Four opportunities for machine-builders to increase revenues

Leading machine builders estimate that 20% of their revenue will come from digital services in 5 years. What’s your vision and plan?

Award for innovation and entrepreneurship

The 2021 “Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics & Automation” (IERA) has been awrded to PixelPaint technology of ABB. Two high-precision robots make car painting faster, more sustainable and flexible – helping manufacturers to efficiently respond to individual demands. Two-tone and customised designs are applied in one pass. The technology eliminates overspray benefitting the environment.

Smart switch achieves network interoperability

Moxa has announced it has added the SDS-3016 Series to its Red Dot award-winning product family. The new addition includes Gigabit uplink, eight additional ports, and an easy-to-configure Industrial Automation (IA)-profile that allows automation engineers to quickly process the increasing amounts of data within the smart manufacturing industry.

Powerful, high precision micromotors provide speed and accuracy in automated systems

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has set up the Global Lighthouse Network — a group of 69 factories that form a shining example of superior technology integration and optimised processes.  With the fourth industrial revolution well underway, facilities other than Lighthouse factories must also invest in equipment that can bring them up to speed. Here, Stewart Goulding, managing director at precision drive system supplier, Electro Mechanical Systems Ltd, explores how powerful and high precision micromotors can advance automated equipment.

Technology is a gamechanger

Christian Bergdahl, product marketing manager at HMS Industrial Networks, a member of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), explains why the technology is a gamechanger and how the company is getting ready to launch its first TSN compatible products.

Achieving intelligent automation

Neil Bellinger, head of EMEA at automation parts supplier EU Automation explains how to achieve intelligent automation by combining process automation with artificial intelligence.

Siemens makes first industrial 5G router available

The Scalance MUM856-1 – the first industrial 5G router from Siemens – is available now. The device connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks. The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, control elements, and other industrial devices via a public 5G network – flexibly and with high data rates. Demand for this type of solution is growing in industry. In addition, the device can be integrated into private 5G networks. The Scalance MUM856-1 therefore supports future-oriented applications such as mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians. Thanks to a robust IP65 housing, the router can also be used outside the control cabinet, for example under harsh conditions in production or in outdoor facilities in the water industry.

Data analysis is key to gaining momentum in the production environment

Whenever "Big Data" is mentioned, most people think of social media or the analysis of customer behaviour in online commerce. However, strategic data analysis is also gaining momentum in the production environment.

New report on the warehouse automation service market

 In a new report on the warehouse automation service market, research company Interact Analysis has revealed that soaring growth in the warehouse automation equipment market is causing parallel growth in the market for service contracts – worth $4.3bn in 2020 and projected to grow to $8.7bn by 2025.

Digitalisation - access to data is just the start

Big data is transforming a variety of sectors, ushering them into the era of Industry 4.0. However, having access to raw data and knowing what to do with it are at completely different ends of the digitalisation spectrum.

Diversification offers a serious competitive advantage

Companies who have had the ability to diversify their product offerings over the last twelve months have reaped the benefits by having a serious competiive advantage, but why are so many manufacturers struggling to adapt? Martyn Williams explains.

Successful component integration

Greg Wainhouse, field segment manager for Water at Bürkert explains how to optimise process control integration.

Industrial or collaborative robot?

Barry Weller, Solutions Marketing Manager – OEM at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at how to identify what type of robot best suits your application and how to integrate it.

Creating a safe and smart workforce

Jon Divers, customer service director, Jungheinrich UK considers the creation of a smart workforce and the evolving skillset for the material handling and logistics engineers of tomorrow.

System to assemble blood collection tubes

Optima Automation has announcd it has recently completed a comprehensive system to assemble blood collection tubes, including the dosing of additives.

Condition monitoring digital service for predictive maintenance of conveyor belts

ABB has announced it has launched a new condition monitoring digital service and says it is tailor-made for predictive maintenance of conveyor belts

Investment in robotics research

As the economies reopen from the pandemic, Asia, Europe and America adjust their robotics research funding programs (R&D). What are the targets of the officially driven government programs today? This has been researched by the International Federations of Robotics and published in the 2021 update paper of “World Robotics R&D Programs”.

Increased security and a more detailed overview of industrial networks

Paessler AG, an IT monitoring specialist, has announced a partnership with Rhebo to provide joint customers with all-round monitoring of their IT and OT environments.

Drive to up-skill over 1800 workers to create the teams of tomorrow

SME manufacturers, supported by Made Smarter in their drive to digitalise, are up-skilling over 1800 workers to create the teams of tomorrow.Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Welcome to the future

Innovative automation projects for manufacturers 

Robot shuttles for smart cities

Robot Shuttles are not Robotaxis, Explains IDTechEx

E-CAD integration reduces time to market

The time to market for automation system design and development has reportedly decreased by up to 80% for a control technology specialist following the introduction of a comprehensive electrical system design package.

Succeed with preventive maintenance

Tork, an Essity brand, is launching a new guide to “kaizen” that aims to help businesses implement a culture of continuous improvement. Kaizen is the Japanese management theory which advocates that all employees be engaged in the improvement of a business. It offers important learnings for industries looking to increase productivity and is further supported by a new study among machine operators.

Welding process management as a competitive advantage

Everyone’s talking about Industry 4.0 nowadays. It’s a hot topic for society, politics and the economy. But what about digitisation in metal-working companies? What does it mean for joining technology with its various welding processes? What is the impact of digital networking on systems and components and how do companies stand to benefit? The focus here is on cost effectiveness and competitiveness.

Reclaiming manufacturing “real estate”

New servo drive technology completes Beckhoff portfolio supporting smaller, modular plant designs 

Advanced Engineering is back for 2021, providing a platform for the reunion of the supply chain and a launchpad for the future of manufacturing and engineering.

The UK’s leading manufacturing and engineering event returns for its 12th year, reuniting the supply chain to learn, network, discover and innovate, forging the future across multiple sectors.

Supporting safe energy operations in the Industry 4.0 era

Supporting safe and sustainable energy operations through increasing predictability in safety, production time and quality, are at the forefront of a new collaborative agreement, announced recently by global engineering and technology consultancy, Vysus Group.

Automation projects for manufacturers

Some of the world’s biggest companies are coming up with cutting-edge technology such as automated warehousing solutions to streamline all sorts of tasks, from picking and packing to greeting visitors. In this article, Neil Balligner, head of EMEA at automation parts supplier EU Automation, showcases three examples of futuristic, highly automated projects that could inspire the manufacturers of today.

HMI/SCADA software trial offers boosted efficiency

Automation specialist calls on UK manufacturers to strengthen efficiency in their operations 

Arrow Electronics adds professional software support services to accelerate adoption of highly advanced applications

Arrow’s new services accelerate time-to-production for complex designs with large software element

Simplifying incubator monitoring

Vaisala, a  leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, has announced it has introduced an easy-to-install wireless carbon dioxide measurement solution to simplify incubator monitoring and enable cost savings for customers.

Manufacturers actively looking to invest in digital transformation initiatives post pandemic

Half of manufacturers now have their sights set on digital transformation initiatives to enhance their operational performance as business begin to rebound from COVID-19, according to research from InfinityQS.

Advanced servo capabilities

IQ Motion Control designs and delivers high performance motor modules for robotic and industrial applications. The company says its proprietary technology was born out of the University of Pennsylvania’s robotics lab and combines unique hardware designs with innovative calibration and control software to achieve high end motor performance at an affordable cost.

5G Modem IP for Broadband IoT Platform

CEVA, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEVA), a leading licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, has announced that Sequans Communications, a leading provider of 5G/4G chips and modules for IoT, has licensed the PentaG 5G New Radio (NR) IP to power its upcoming 5G platform.

Smart city project

Sony Europe has announced its IMX500 image sensors with AI processing functionality are at the core of three smart city trials being run by Envision in the municipality of Rome. These are intended to cut the city’s transport-related pollution and accidents at pedestrian crossings.

Keeping car plant robots working with condition-based maintenance

The need to keep automotive production lines running at their optimum performance requires that the machinery and equipment used in those lines should be doing the same. Smart Machines & Factories looks at at how condition-based maintenance can help make sure that those robots most in need of attention on a factory floor receive the care they need to keep them in good working order.

Don’t leave it too late to automate

Unlike many of our European counterparts, the UK has been slow to automate. But a perfect storm of Brexit and Covid-19 is set to fast-track our robotics revolution. Here, David Jahn, director of Brillopak, explains how 2021 is poised to become the year that robotic arms finally replace human hands at food manufacturing sites’ end of line packing operations…

Securing OT systems against cyber-attack

David Bean looks at the fundamental aspects that need to be considered, including suitable system level design, risk management, system intrusion detection and automation platform vulnerability management.

Inaugural programme for the UK Festival of Robotics announced

The EPSRC UK Robotics & Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS Network) has announced the inaugural programme for the UK Festival of Robotics – a brand new 7-day celebration set to boost public engagement in robotics and intelligent systems.

Bringing zero touch measurement to UK & Irish manufacturers

Industrial metrology supplier The Sempre Group has partnered with advanced metrology solutions provider DWFritz Automation.

Microsoft Azure customers worldwide now gain access to Senseye PdM

Senseye, a leading industry AI driven asset health management company, has announced the availability of Senseye PdM in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing applications and services for use on Azure. Senseye customers can now take advantage of the trusted Azure cloud platform, with streamlined deployment and management.

Measuring strain using low-cost Bluetooth technology

Wireless strain bridge measurement doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking 

Enjoying the benefits of Industry 4.0

The new moneo starter kit from ifm electronic reportedly provides everything needed for users to start exploring and enjoying the benefits of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The landscape for the industrial robot market is undergoing significant change

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape for the industrial robot market is undergoing significant change. Automotive is a key sector for the industrial robotics industry due to its size and the high level of automation in the industry.

Digital integration collaboration to improve operations at North Sea platform

A pilot project that will enable a digital transformation of monitoring of critical electrical systems at the Gina Krog platform in the North Sea, has begun through the collaboration between ABB and Equinor.

Why IoT doesn’t have to be complex

In the words of American author and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, “complexity is the enemy of execution”.

Looking to the future

The future potential of process control systems - By Matt Hale, international sales & marketing director, HRS Heat Exchangers

Protocols provide TSN with the needed extra application layers for industrial automation applications

As the digital transformation of industry continues to advance, Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) could become a must-have for the factories of the future. While this technology offers advanced capabilities able to enhance production, it is not a standalone solution. In fact, TSN is part of the Ethernet standards and still needs upper-level protocols to support industrial automation applications effectively. So what will be the future relationship between TSN and these higher level protocols?

Digital twins are set to usher in a new and exciting digital era

Asite, a leading digital transformation platform, has launched a new report examining the foundations required to build and implement a valuable digital twin.

Fincantieri and Comau together for innovation of production processes with robotics

The companies will manufacture a new and advanced welding robot vehicle for shipyards

Simplifying condition monitoring of balance of plant equipment

Knowing the health of your important assets is critical to achieving production and business goals. Gary Ingram, sales manager for reliability solutions at Emerson, explains how edge analytics devices are helping to simplify the implementation of online monitoring systems.

New igus SLS material for electrostatically conductive wear-resistant parts from the 3D printer

 Lubrication-free tribo-polymer iglidur I8-ESD enables the cost-effective manufacture of durable special parts with no minimum order quantity


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