Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

Digitalisation and brownfield facilities – can these fit together?

14 August, 2019

Today's plant automation systems provide transparent monitoring of system status, plus tools such as condition monitoring or predictive maintenance – all help to reduce unscheduled downtime. However, what about brownfield installations with legacy equipment? Hartmut Pütz* and Thomas Lantermann** report.

GAMBICA: A practical journey to a digital future

06 August, 2019

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

Make automation talent work for you

06 June, 2019

Tim Bednall, sales & marketing manager for Wood Automation & Control’s Systems Division, highlights the depth of expertise and talent that UK manufacturers can draw upon to ease the path to automation and, in turn, greater productivity.

Avoiding the traps of digitalisation

22 May, 2019

With more than five years' experience in the introduction of Industry 4.0 – gained both through its own operations and in supporting other companies – Bosch Rexroth shares some advice on adopting a digitalisation strategy by discussing the top five stumbling blocks in the introduction of Industry 4.0.

Global leaders in Industry 4.0

21 March, 2019

Leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to connect digital systems is a crucial step for increasing manufacturing productivity, efficiency and quality. Jonathan Wilkins, director at industrial automation parts supplier EU Automation, explains what UK manufacturers can learn from countries leading the way.

Robotics and AI

14 March, 2019

Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at robotics and AI and the autonomous future of industry.

Improving productivity with facial recognition

11 January, 2019

In 2018, Facebook faced a class action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology. The lawsuit alleged that Facebook gathered biometric information without users’ explicit consent. Technology has rapidly caught up with the human ability to read faces, progressing to a stage where facial recognition could improve industrial security. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Can you afford not to use predictive analytics?

08 January, 2019

Smart Machines & Factories looks at how food and beverage manufacturers can reduce downtime using predictive analytics to enable prescriptive maintenance.

Industry 4.0 and the language barrier

12 December, 2018

Various different terms have evolved to describe the Industry 4.0 phenomenon: but are they helping industry to understand the changes ahead or is language a barrier to implementation? Aaron Blutstein looks for answers in conversation with Steve Sands (SS) of Festo.

Before you buy a cobot......

20 November, 2018

Over 1.7m new industrial robots will be installed between 2017 and 2020. Collaborative robots (cobots), machines that work harmoniously alongside humans, account for 3% of this market, but will reach 34% by 2025. Nigel Smith, CEO of TM Robotics, explains what manufacturers need to understand before they jump on the cobot bandwagon, as this investment may not be as low-risk as it first appears.

Machine tool 4.0 – turning vision into reality

03 October, 2018

As a global automotive and industrial supplier, Schaeffler is digitally transforming its entire business, which involves the integration of its mechatronics components, systems and machines into the rapidly expanding world of the ‘Internet of Things’. Through its Machine Tool 4.0 project, Schaeffler wants to demonstrate that Industry 4.0 is not an abstract, remote vision, but can make a contribution to added-value today. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Fighting for the space race after Brexit breakup

27 September, 2018

Dividing up video games, fighting over who keeps the Netflix account and arranging joint custody of the dog. Breakups require delicate negotiation. Magnify to Brexit level and you can understand why negotiating who gets to be involved in space contracts is causing trouble. Here, Mark Sewell, CIO of leading Microsoft recruitment partner, Curo Talent explains why it’s vital for the UK to keep up with the space race post-Brexit.

How IIoT will deliver smarter factories

03 August, 2018

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been described as the fourth industrial revolution. Like steam, the production line and information technology before it, the convergence of cyber and physical systems has the ability to utterly transform how factories operate. Jon Hill, business development director (pictured) , reports.

Should robots pay taxes?

31 May, 2018

Robot tax? A tax on robotics is as absurd an idea as a tax on pencils. As Britain’s political parties discuss a potential tax on automation and robotics, Nigel Smith, managing director of Toshiba Machine partner, TM Robotics, explains why slowing down the machine economy would lead to a productivity disaster.

Robots, AI and the collaborative workplace

25 May, 2018

How can artificial intelligence be applied to accelerate the transition to more connected factories, where human and machine work collaboratively? What technological advances are being made – and how can we encourage robots (and humans) to learn? Steve Sands, head of product management at Festo, explains what the future workplace might look like.

Bosch plans Industry 4.0 ‘evolution’ at Glenrothes

19 April, 2018

The decision by Bosch Rexroth to introduce Industry 4.0 into its Glenrothes facility in Fife, Scotland, is evolution, rather than revolution.

Creating a route to Industry 4.0

23 March, 2018

Festo’s senior consultant, Training & Consulting - Neil Lewin, says the company has identified four key creativity techniques that can help to develop creative thinking and generate new innovative ideas. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Seize the moment (in small steps)

01 February, 2018

Siert Wijnia, co-founder, Ultimaker, explains the way in which organisations can leverage 3D printing to maximise the potential of the light bulb moment.

Ten times cheaper

01 February, 2018

When plate glass got ten times cheaper, it changed the way buildings are designed and built. Here’s the next process to get ten times cheaper. Jon Bruner* and Eduardo Torrealba* reports.

Making Britain’s manufacturing smarter

01 February, 2018

First came the dawn of mechanical machines, succeeded by the introduction of electricity, quickly followed by the third industrial era, the advent of computers and the internet. Now, as we enter the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 is moving from buzzword to reality. Martyn Williams, managing director of industrial software provider, COPA-DATA UK, examines what is needed to achieve Britain’s goal of becoming an Industry 4.0 leader in 2018.

Smart sensors – the ‘all-seeing eyes’

13 December, 2017

David Hannaby, SICK’s UK product manager for Presence Detection takes a look at why sensors are the building blocks of Industry 4.0.

Robotics: A help not a hindrance

13 December, 2017

Martin Walder, VP Industry at Schneider Electric, looks at how the growth of robotics will generate better ROI and productivity.

Industry 4.0: dispelling the myths

13 December, 2017

Traditionally, machines in industrial environments could only provide actuation, but not anymore. As we enter the era of Industry 4.0, Nigel Smith, managing director of industrial robot specialist, TM Robotics, dispels some common misconceptions about implementing smart manufacturing.

Gigabit Industrial Ethernet adoption - the key to greater interconnectivity?

20 October, 2017

Is Gigabit Industrial Ethernet adoption the key to achieving Industry 4.0 goals? Smart Machines & Factories spoke to John Browett, CLPA Europe general manager, who outlines the network requirements that will enable Industry 4.0.

Augmented humans: the future of robotic exoskeletons

20 October, 2017

Chris Johnson, managing director of specialist bearing supplier SMB Bearings, explains the importance of choosing specialised bearings and lubrication in robotic exoskeletons as the development into this technology advances in real life.


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