Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

Using industrial software to converge operational and information technology

13 May, 2021

As Industry 4.0 drives businesses towards greater levels of data awareness and automation, operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) are merging together. The challenge is on for manufacturers to link ageing OT systems with new IT technologies, while also maintaining the highest levels of connectivity and security — but how? Here, Stefan Reuther, chief sales officer at COPA-DATA, explains why industrial software holds the key.

Climate strategy advanced

13 May, 2021

Analog Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADI) has announced new commitments that advance the Company’s climate strategy, including pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. As part of the Company’s roadmap towards net zero, ADI signed the United Nations’ Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge and has committed to setting targets to be verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Robotics & AI Industry Showcase reveals full programme

12 May, 2021

The three-day event, which is being organised by KTN and will be hosted online, will provide delegates with a unique breadth of insight into the latest in industrial robotics and AI innovation in everything from nuclear operations and decommissioning, to in-orbit space operations.

Taking the lead with digital metrology

11 May, 2021

According to Manufacturing Confidence, a report by the Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission (M2R), digital industrialisation could be worth as much as £455 billion to Britain’s economy over the next decade. Here Mike John, managing director at industrial metrology supplier The Sempre Group, explores how involving metrology in plans to digitalise can help the British manufacturing sector become a world leader in innovation.

How to make sense of big data

10 May, 2021

Deploying RTUs on industrial assets is an important element of capturing, interpreting and using big data from an industrial process. In this article, Jean Burton, technical sales support manager at Ovarro, supplier of remote monitoring technologies, looks at how RTUs play a key role in accessing big data, helping improve situational awareness, security, productivity, safety and operations.

Pandemic triggers remote diagnostics tipping point

07 May, 2021

The adoption of ‘all-things remote’ has been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the widespread use of remote assistance technologies. With manufacturing decision makers now focused on long term efficiency improvements, Nigel Flowers - UK managing director of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag - examines how moulders are eliminating inefficient tasks and benefiting from intelligent diagnostic tools to monitor and troubleshoot machine assets remotely.

Second generation of Autonomous Machine Vision systems

07 May, 2021

Inspekto, has announced it has launched the INSPEKTO S70 Gen.2, a new and improved version of its  Autonomous Machine Vision (AMV) system for industrial quality inspection. Powered by Autonomous Machine Vision AI (AMV-AI), the S70 Gen.2 supports an even higher number of use cases and allows for reliable quality inspection in challenging applications such as highly reflective materials, moving parts and vibrating platforms.

Smart Thinking: Integrating Innovation to realise Industry 4.0

09 April, 2021

Jocelyn Vecchio, director of engineering and innovation at JPB Système spoke to Smart Machines & Factories about recent changes and challenges for companies like JPB, as well as why a fully connected factory floor is the way forward for any manufacturer seeking to fully realise the Industry 4.0 vision.

Manufacturing in the new norm

12 March, 2021

Social distancing, protecting your employees, restarting operations and machines, catching up on supply chain gaps. Just like society as a whole, manufacturers are experiencing a lot of additional challenges they didn’t expect. So how do you navigate the new manufacturing norm?

Hannover Messe digital set to showcase in April

03 March, 2021

The corona pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of industry. At the same time, it has exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains. In the midst of unprecedented upheaval, industry faces a crucial question: Which strategies, measures and partnerships ensure competitiveness? Hannover Messe Digital Edition – the central platform for innovation, networking and orientation in the age of industrial transformation – provides the answers. Smart Machines Factories reports.

Keeping competitive with food automation

24 February, 2021

With an overall turnover of €1,109bn and more than 4.5mn people employed across the continent, the food and drink industry is undoubtedly one of the most economically important industries in Europe. Add to this the fact that there are 294,000 European companies active in the industry and it becomes plain to see why the ability to remain competitive is vital for food manufacturers. George Walker reports.

The importance of innovation & digital transformation in production engineering

19 February, 2021

It is vital in every industry to make the most of technology and innovation, and few more so than in engineering. Chris Joy outlines why digital transformation is important for smaller engineering firms.

The IIoT journey starts with remote telemetry

17 February, 2021

The first rule of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is that communications will fail. One challenge is rising volumes of data place increasing loads on both the main server and the communications networks connected to it. Craig Abbot explains why remote telemetry units (RTU) are vital for minimising congestion in intelligent power, utility, broadcast and transport applications.

Five key trends in smart warehousing for 2021 and beyond

26 January, 2021

2020 was a year like no other. So what are the implications for warehousing and fulfilment in 2021? Tim Wright looks to the future of the smart warehouse with five key trends.

Smart predictions: The connected technology that will transform 2021

19 January, 2021

Although we have bid a grateful farewell to 2020, the disruption and uncertainty we experienced are spilling over into 2021. If there is one thing that we learnt last year, however, it’s that we need to accelerate the pace of transformative change. Connected technology is of critical importance in this process, and is likely to be one of the key economic drivers going forward. Matthew Margetts reports.

Automated storage system helps manufacturer towards its smart factory vision

18 December, 2020

Stafford based Alpha Manufacturing has this year extended its investment in a TRUMPF 10 bay STOPA storage system to serve multiple machines at this sheet-metal fabricator's plant. The completion of the STOPA marks the culmination of Alpha's journey to automation and its 'smart factory' vision. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

AI and robotics: enabling cost-effective production

04 December, 2020

What can European automotive companies do to future-proof their production lines, especially in relation to battery manufacturing? Robotics, automated quality control and artificial intelligence (AI) can help companies to tackle the strong competition they are facing from Asia. Henry Claussnitzer reports.

Taking the step-by-step approach to Digital Twins

01 December, 2020

Gaining insights into the operating health and service status of plant and machinery is a priority for Industry 4.0. As foot soldiers posted on the front line of operations, sensors collect intelligence with the power to be transformative for operating efficiency. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

How similar can humans and robots be?

27 November, 2020

Chloe Reynolds explains how manufacturers can use AR to further bridge the gap between humans and robots in assembly and more.

Approaching quality in the digital era

26 October, 2020

British industry has a productivity problem. Compared with major competitors like the USA, Germany and France, its productivity lags. It isn’t because we’re not working hard enough ― studies have shown that British workers put in the longest hours in the EU. So, if we’re working longer, but are still less efficient, where are we going wrong? Mike John*, explores how the UK industry can start a quality revolution.

Moving forward through the manufacturing storm

20 October, 2020

Standing still isn’t an option for manufacturers in the UK. Neither is simply moving forward with a “business as usual” mindset. Researchers at the MIT CISR identified two drivers for successful digital transformation: an organisation’s experience maturity, and its operational efficiency. Smart Machines & Factories explains how the latest technology can reduce unnecessary production space to improve operations within the production line.

Putting the logic back into logistics

24 September, 2020

Robot-led automation can make a tremendous difference to the efficiency, accuracy and - not least - to the flexibility of logistics operations in all settings. With developments such as e-commerce and omnichannel distribution set to transform the way consumers purchase and receive their goods, Nigel Platt* explains why robotic automation offers an increasingly logical solution for logistics.

How similar can humans and robots be?

22 September, 2020

Augmented reality (AR)allows you to experience an enhanced version of reality. From computer games to manufacturing, this technology can help humans gain repeatable and reliable results just as a robot would. Chloe Reynolds* explains how manufacturers can use AR to further bridge the gap between humans and robots in assembly and more.

Bringing the edge and cloud together

25 August, 2020

Data is at the heart of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Smart Manufacturing. By setting up suitable platforms to collect and analyse data, it is possible to gain in-depth, unique insights into manufacturing processes that can lead to their optimisation. The most effective setup combines edge and cloud-based platforms to get the best of both worlds. Chris Evans* looks at why the future of network infrastructure balances edge and cloud capabilities.

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

06 August, 2020

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

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