Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

Additive manufacturing for production

24 March, 2020

As additive manufacturing (AM) / 3D printing continues to evolve, many of the pre-conceptions concerning its usefulness as a production technology for plastic parts and components need to be revisited. Nick Allen, MD, 3DPRINT UK, reports.

A Glimpse through the doors of a Smart Factory

22 January, 2020

SICK offers a fascinating glimpse through the doors of its own Industry 4.0 factory – and proves it pays to practice what you preach. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Serving up finance

15 January, 2020

OEMs can help their customers in the Machine Building sector embrace digitalisation with integrated finance. Neli Ivanova, sales manager, Industrial Equipment at Siemens Financial Services in the UK, reports.

The peanut butter and jelly of industry

02 January, 2020

Jonathan Wilkins, director at automation equipment supplier EU Automation, explains the relationship between legacy equipment and emerging technology.

What does ‘Industry 4.0’ really mean for manufacturers?

10 December, 2019

Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Lucian Dold, general channel & product marketing manager at Omron Europe, about what Industry 4.0 really means for manufacturers.

Digital twins revolutionise time to market

22 October, 2019

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

GAMBICA: A practical journey to a digital future

18 October, 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 the final part of the King Power Stadium discussions on digitisation.

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.

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