Helping to demystify industrial
digitalisation in UK manufacturing

Foundations set for digital operations in upper tier COMAH site

27 August, 2020

By using an integrated solution, Siemens DI has enabled Kemira to optimise how it makes its polyacrylamide products, which are used for the cleaning of municipal and industrial wastewater, and consequently achieve increased productivity levels at its Bradford plant.

A collaborative digital technology project helps connect entire digital factory

10 July, 2020

A collaborative digital technology project between Siemens and Hosokawa Micron Limited (HML) has helped its customers improve productivity by 15% and reduce energy costs by 10%. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Collaborative or cooperative - which type of robot suits your application best?

20 April, 2020

Barry Weller, product manager at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at the key features of collaborative and cooperative robots and how to quickly identify the best system for an intended application.

Middleware that’s far from middling

19 March, 2020

For many years Turck Banner has used smart solutions using “middleware” to interface directly to customer’s databases and ERP / MES systems. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Unleashing the full potential of additive manufacturing

13 March, 2020

3D printing /additive manufacturing is enabling manufacturers to overcome many of the limitations of traditional manufacturing processes – from phasing out physical inventories to bringing batch-size-one customisation within reach of a greater number of companies. Yet, with these new opportunities come new threats that must be eliminated if manufacturers are to unleash the full potential of the medium, says Lee-Bath Nelson, Co-Founder and VP Business of LEO Lane.

Fully integrated Smart Connected Assembly solution

18 December, 2019

Atlas Copco has designed and installed a fully integrated Smart Connected Assembly solution at leading eTruck manufacturer, Tevva Motors, for error-proof battery pack production. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Smart factories find leaks the smart way – wirelessly

18 December, 2019

The automotive industry is often a technology trendsetter among manufacturing industries as the scale and competitiveness of automotive manufacturing means that optimising production through automation increases output as well as enhancing quality and continuity. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

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

26 November, 2019

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

AM: opening up opportunities

15 October, 2019

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is moving into series production, opening up opportunities for suppliers, service providers and end-users. Unfortunately, despite the many advantages of AM, poor surface finish is a major barrier to adoption, particularly in demanding end-use applications, such as the civil aerospace industry.

A digital transformation

02 October, 2019

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

Rockwell Automation helps simplify integrating safety into machines

23 July, 2019

Machine designers are required to design safety into more industrial systems than ever. To help them design more easily and meet their other application requirements, Rockwell Automation has seven new safety modules across three I/O platforms. This offers designers both local and distributed safety I/O options and a wide range of performance and connectivity attributes to help improve compliance and machine performance.

Smartening existing processes

14 June, 2019

Ypsomed and Harting haved collaborated on the development of Industry 4.0 digital control systems for retrofitting to plastic injection moulding machines. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Greater Security in Manufacturing IT

03 May, 2019

Paresh Kansara, Rittal’s product manager for Industrial & Outdoor Enclosures, looks at some tips to help companies implement fast-deploying and secure IT for production environments.

Smart approaches to the digital revolution

31 January, 2019

John Browett, general manager of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) Europe, looks at some of the challenges inherent in digital transformation and how to address them.

Compressed air systems show Industry 4.0 in action

02 January, 2019

If Industry 4.0 has so much to offer manufacturers, why are so few of them rushing to implement it? Smart Machines & Factories spoke to Carl Sharpe, UK & Ireland sales manager of compressed air specialist BOGE who has some practical, real-life examples to show how its benefits can easily be gained right now.

Keep making the tablets

31 August, 2018

Valuable manufacturing production line downtime in the pharmaceutical industry can be reduced by ensuring Industry 4.0 machine predictive maintenance of tablet making machinery. Smart Machines & Factories takes alook at HARTING’s MICA industrial computing platform.

The future of spare parts warehousing

22 August, 2018

In line with the digitalisation of manufacturing lines, warehouses too are becoming more advanced. The traditional, manual process can be challenging for warehouse operatives and is prone to error. By adding digital solutions and intuitive User Interfaces, cognitive load can be reduced from staff and an audit trail can be used to track stock’s movement. Tom Blockley, user experience (UX) designer at EU Automation, shares his visions for spare parts warehousing.

Data capture solution

23 March, 2018

Welland Medical, a British manufacturing company established in 1988, specialising in the design, development and manufacture of stoma care appliances and accessories, recently moved into its new premises, and had upgrades to its network architecture and server. Subsequently after the move, the company’s existing data capture system no longer functioned and the quote they had obtained for a replacement/upgrade was prohibitively expensive. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look.

Lightweight cobots take on heavy-duty jobs

01 February, 2018

Sure, cobots are lightweight: the largest UR10 robot is under 29 kg/64 lbs, so they’re easy to pick up and move from one process to another. But they’re no lightweights when it comes to heavy-duty processes like welding. In fact, there’s already a range of cobot welding systems to choose from. Surprised? Don’t be. It’s just one more smart application for these flexible, cost-effective, and easy-to-program automation tools. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

Minimising the risks of equipment failure

13 December, 2017

‘Smart Condition Monitoring’ aims to end downtime for the food and beverage Industry. Smart Machines & Factories takes a closer look at the technology.

Compressor connectivity – from then to now

26 October, 2017

Stef Lievens, business line manager for compressor technique service operations at Atlas Copco Compressors UK and Ireland, looks at the history and application of Internet connectivity and data science in the compressed air industry and examines how it may influence both the initial design of the equipment and the way it is monitored and managed in working environments.

Robots automate 3D printing factory

06 September, 2017

By combining collaborative robots with 3D printers, a US company believes that it can produce plastic parts in batches of up to 100,000 at prices that compete with injection-moulding. Contributing editor Tony Sacks looks at the company’s plans.

Evolution and revolution in automation

31 August, 2017

The globalised markets are placing two key requirements on the manufacturing companies: greater speed in all entrepreneurial processes on the one hand, and a broader range of individual options for the end consumer on the other. Digitalisation offers the necessary key technologies to meet these requirements. Information and communication technologies are merging with classical industrial mechanics to yield cyber-physical systems. Festo has been adapting to this development by creating new organisation units stressing the significance of digitalisation. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The rise of cobots

29 August, 2017

There’s no doubt the use of robotics will grow significantly in the industrial sphere in a wide variety of applications. There has been growing concern that robots are set to replace tasks humans are currently executing, but the latest technology is allowing automation of repetitive jobs, paving the way for increased efficiencies and providing opportunities for upscaling. Simon Duggleby, technical marketing manager at RS Components, reports.

Rise of the machines

02 June, 2017

M2M, or machine-to-machine communication, provides opportunities for even more advanced factory management and, thanks to Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) the number of intelligent machines is on the rise. Should manufacturers fear this new ‘rise of the machines’ or embrace it? Smart Machines & Factories reports.


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