The global smart manufacturing market is booming, expected to grow over 15 percent annually for the next five years, reaching almost $480 billion by 2023. But while smart manufacturing is an overwhelmingly positive trend, allowing production lines to respond to real-time developments and keeping the sector relevant and efficient, there is one key obstacle. As volume of smart tools on the factory floor increases, so does the chance of being a victim of cyber crime.
With Industry 4.0 now in full swing, the pressure is on for manufacturers to accelerate the digital transformation of their own operations and the increasing role of robotics at each stage of the manufacturing process is becoming apparent.
£36.7 million is being invested in 10 new technologies, tailor-made to the NCC’s specifications, in order to push the state of the art and speed the development of new processes for all forms of composite manufacturing. Funded, in part, by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the iCAP programme will bring composites into the digital age, increasing production rates and quality while improving efficiency and reducing cost (iCAP stands for Digital Capability Acquisition Programme).
Advanced vision systems could ensure high-quality, reproducible parts from 3D printers. Researchers at the U.S. Department at Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago have added an infrared camera to the high-energy X-ray source at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source to allow researchers to measure thermal signatures across surfaces in real-time. The camera was funded through a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program as part of Argonne’s Manufacturing Science and Engineering Program.
Managing your Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environment can quickly become a little like herding cats. With potentially hundreds of thousands of internal and external IoT end points driving an explosion of data, several challenges arise quickly, including IoT-network scaling, lack of support, data protection and security.
Drive specialist Dana is now offering its advanced Spicer Electrified with TM4 e-Hub Drive, a sophisticated and efficient system for heavy duty off-highway applications. Built to be robust, this new system will be suited to difficult machine applications for mining, quarrying, construction and reach stacker applications.
Metal additive manufacturing company Renishaw has initiated a collaboration with Sandvik Additive Manufacturing, in which Renishaw will supply Sandvik with RenAM multilaser systems, with the goal of substantially increasing Sandvik’s printing capacity.
Recently, Amazon announced Robomaker, a service that allows developers to create, test and deploy robotic applications through their Amazon Web Service (AWS). Acting as a toolkit of sorts, Amazon touts Robomaker as a one-stop shop, providing machine learning and monitoring/analytics services integrated into AWS via the widely used open-source robotics software framework, Robotic Operating System (ROS).
The advancement of robotics is something that’s affecting almost every industry, with manufacturing at the fore. When we incorporate robotics into manufacturing processes and factory operation, we could see an improvement in output. This is the result of better efficiency and leads to an increase in revenue.
Microsoft has made several additions to its industry-agnostic Azure IoT suite that it says will help companies approach the Internet of Things (IoT) more holistically, including a dashboard for security deployment, security protection for connected microcontroller devices, and a platform to create virtual models of physical environments.
With internet-connected devices becoming more and more common, the time is soon approaching that companies will be able to take advantage of the Internet of Things in a way that has a major impact on their business.
After spending the better part of the last decade operating completely out of the spotlight, U.S.-based automotive startup Rivian has finally debuted its first electric vehicle: a five-passenger pickup truck called the R1T.
The McLaren Composites Technology Center (MCTC) aims to be a world-leader in innovating lightweight carbon fibre and composite that will work together with future powertrain development to save weight and produce greater efficiencies.
People interested in robotics often eagerly read magazines and blogs to stay up to date on the latest developments. It’s helpful to do those things since reading expands knowledge. However, it’s an entirely different experience to see new robotic technologies in action by attending a specialty event.
An IIoT roadmap defines a specific path for reaching data-driven manufacturing. This roadmap shows where a manufacturing company is starting out, and then defies how to proceed along a continuous series of implementations.
Germany’s Sono Motors started as a garage project, with the full-on sustainable mobility dream morphing into an automotive company in 2016. Its Sion family EV features solar panels on the hood, roof and body that provide a little extra range.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is considering options for its robotics arm, Comau, including a potential sale at a value of 1.5 billion euros to 2 billion euros (US$1.7 billion to $2.3 billion), people familiar with the matter said.
According to BigRep, the Gernam manufacturer and NOWlab, the Nera feathers airless tires, 3D printed rims, frame, fork, and seat. The e-bike was designed by two NOWlab experts, product designer Mattia Cristofori and Maximilian Sedlak, an applications specialist and parametric designer.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) project has concluded after three years of examining the “Integration of Additive Manufacturing Processes in Automobile Series Production,” also known as “AutoAdd.”
For Dassault Systèmes DELMIA, what many see as the manufacturer’s nightmare of growing consumer expectations for mass customization and speed of delivery, they see as a golden opportunity. They’re software and services company specializing in digital manufacturing management and advanced manufacturing simulation.
Porsche AG has an ambitious plan to improve operating profit by 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) over eight years, by streamlining operations as the automaker spends more to develop and manufacture electric cars.
Formnext was a great show but, as always, the complaint rang out that there wasn’t really much new information or new product launches. What companies are doing is shifting toward actual manufacturing. Car companies are producing tens of thousands of parts; medical companies as well. Aviation is gearing up for broader adoption.
Waypoint Robotics, the New Hampshire startup that set out to build the iPod of robots, has hooked up with Oracle to bring robots to some of the Fortune 500 companies that rely on the $40 billion, California-based behemoth for their software.
Professor Phil Webb, the Royal Academy of Engineering Airbus Chair in Aero-Structure Design, Aerospace Integration Research Centre, Cranfield University, looks at the challenges involved in human-robot collaborative manufacturing, the kinds of robots involved and how they work, and the future implications for the industry.
GKN Powder Metallurgy, a materials and parts producer, has entered into a strategic partnership with additive manufacturing technology supplier EOS. Together, the companies have designed a new, high-productivity process for laser metal 3D printing that has reduced production time by 70 percent and overall cost by up to 50 percent.
Following the establishment of the Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Center (AMBC) by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), located in Conventry, U.K., is developing a partnership with NASA scientists for technology used on space missions.
As manufacturers across a wide variety of industries look to increase operational efficiency through automation, they’ll need to design and implement custom IIoT solutions. The efficiency benefits of automation are clear: automated machines can make more goods at a faster rate, all while minimizing errant operations. By connecting automated devices at the edge of their network, companies can also measure IIoT data in real time to optimize production and keep critical infrastructure running smoothly.
While computers have come a long way since the early days of computing, researchers are constantly seeking ways to improve aspects of the technology. Now, researchers at Georgia State University (GSU) have made what they think is a key breakthrough involving materials called transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs).
Metso is expanding its digital Metso Metrics offering with the launch of a new predictive maintenance solution for mining equipment, aimed to help maximize the uptime and performance of comminution circuits.
While some vehicle manufactures, like Tesla and Ford, see the future of big rig road haulage as all-electric, others are banking on hydrogen-electric hybrids. Nikola Motors is one such company, already having two truck designs en route to production. Now there’s a third on the way, with the Tre being developed specifically for European roads.
BISTeL, a leading provider of adaptive intelligent (AI) applications for smart manufacturing has announced that it has joined the MindSphere Partner Program, Siemens’ partner program for Industrial IoT solution and technology providers.
Boston 3D printer manufacturer Markforged has announced the completion of over 100 worldwide shipments of its Metal X system. The announcement comes almost two years since the product was announced at CES 2017, and eight months into the machine’s commercial availability.
MetalMaker 3D, a Connecticut-based start-up, has launched a rapid prototyping service integrating 3D printing with investment casting. Aimed at creating functional metal parts, the service has been launched as a more cost-effective alternative to Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).
The manufacturing industry is leading the way when it comes to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations. Manufacturing must continuously strive to improve operations to remain competitive, and the data available through IIoT implementations enables attainment of this goal.
IRO3D, a metal 3D printer startup based in Seattle, has started shipment of its $5,000 desktop systems. Available for U.S. pre-orders from May 2018, the company reported in June that production was “on schedule.” Now IRO3D has reportedly completed 4 orders within the past few months, delivering to a potential reseller in Hong Kong, one Canadian company, and two independent customers in the U.S.
Tekna, a Canadian producer of metal powders for additive manufacturing, has increased its production capabilities with the expansion of new manufacturing infrastructure, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The additional facility, created through a $5.5M investment, will be used to relocate administrative staff, as well as research, develop and deploy new metal powder production units.
When purchasing an electric motor, there’s more to consider than just its speed, power, voltage and torque. In fact, before delving into the technicalities of a brand-new motor, manufacturers should consider whether they really need an upgraded model at all.
Many suggest that digital transformation is about applying digital technologies—such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain—to operational processes and creating improvements. The trouble with this definition is that it doesn’t explain what exactly changes in supply chain management—that is, what gets “transformed”—when digital technologies are adopted.
OnRobot, a global leader in end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots, has opened its first U.S. headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Selected for its close proximity to OnRobot partners, Dallas will also provide a central location that is easy for both customers and staff to visit for training demonstrations and sales meetings.
Additive manufacturing, a layer-based manufacturing process similar to 3D printing but with a focus on an end product rather than a prototype, appears to have finally reached the right combination of technological advancement and technical know-how to forever alter the landscape of the aerospace industry.
Industrial additive manufacturing (AM) has one overriding goal today: To increase productivity while significantly reducing cost per part, which sounds like a tall order. In addition, new AM solutions must be able to integrate into current production while being ready—the word “future-proofed” is sometimes used—for up-and-coming applications.
Seco Tools is expanding its customer service capabilities through a partnership with MachineMetrics, a supplier of manufacturing analytics systems. Seco plans to use the MachineMetrics industrial internet of things (IIoT) platform and its manufacturing analytics applications as a cornerstone in its expansion into new technology services. With the data provided, Seco can help its customers make data-driven decisions.
Hitachi Construction Machinery is partnering with Kiesel Technologie Entwicklung (KTEG) to develop electric construction machinery for sale in Europe. Kiesel is one of Hitachi’s European distributors and this agreement will also include developing special application products for the European market.
ABB Ltd. will invest $150 million to build a robotics factory in Shanghai, as the Swiss manufacturer capitalizes on China’s rising consumption and aspiration to transform into a technology pioneer. This new factory will set out to “shape the next generation of manufacturing, the next generation of capacity,” Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer said in a recent interview.
The Japanese electronics manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced the development of a new metal additive manufacturing process. Dubbed as “dot forming technology,” the technique combines laser, CNC and CAM technologies to produce near-net metal parts.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) have found a way to make harder 3D prints in metal using Fused Filament Fabrication, which originates from the plastics processing industry.
One of the birthplaces of artificial intelligence, MIT, has announced a bold plan to reshape its academic program around the technology. With $1 billion in funding, MIT will create a new college that combines AI, machine learning and data science with other academic disciplines.
Four years ago Roger Bou, director of the IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC), saw the hype and potential of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). However, while there was a lot of talk about what IoT could do, there was a noticeable lack of solutions. Here, companies discuss specific solutions in various verticals.
The new World Robotics Report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) shows that a new high record of 381,000 units were shipped globally in 2017 — an increase of 30 percent over the previous year.
Tungsten is a dense, robust metal that has a number of valuable applications, particularly in the chemical industry thanks to its corrosion resistance. Its hardness and extremely high melting point, however, have made it a difficult material to 3D print.
The market for all-electric trucks you might one day be able to buy – from Tesla or Bison, for instance – is really heating up. Last year, Bollinger was among the start-ups to flash a glimpse at an upcoming all-electric truck, the shape-shifting B1 “sport utility truck” capable of quickly transforming between 4x4 utility vehicle and small pickup.
For all the focus manufacturers have been placing on digitization, and especially on intelligent automation technologies, AI has yet to have a significant impact on the factory floor. This is about to change, believes Harald Bauer of McKinsey.
Industrial companies are taking smart manufacturing strategies from the whiteboard to the production floor to bring new value to their operations. To help executives keep current with technologies and trends that can accelerate their digital transformation, Rockwell Automation is launching an executive podcast series, “State of the Industry: Your Guide to the Future of Smart Manufacturing.”
German automaker BMW is taking a majority stake in its China joint venture and investing 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in factories there, underscoring the importance of the Chinese market as the company prepares to meet increased demand for electric vehicles.
The Internet of Things (IoT) sounds like the goal of a mad scientist and, in some ways, it is. The goal of IoT is to create a physical and digital network of everyday devices, such as smartphones and automobiles, that are in constant communication. It is also an incredible resource for data gathering and comprehension, and it would allow businesses to track their devices in real time and monitor their operational efficiency.
While technology continues to evolve, resulting in stronger steel or advanced uses for graphene, other researchers have homed in on composite materials and the potential capabilities for 3D printing. Scientists from the University of Surrey teamed with counterparts from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the University of California, Irvine to develop a new 3D printed material that is stiff, strong and flexible.
Neutron diffraction strain scanning measurements at ANSTO have validated a new theoretical model that successfully predicts the residual stresses and critical deposition heights for laser additive manufacturing.
Students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) unveiled their newest Deep Orange concept vehicle, sponsored by Honda R&D Americas Inc. (HRA). After two years, the 19-student team unveiled the high-performance, fuel-efficient motorsports prototype at the ALL-IN Auto Rally Ride & Drive event at Clemson University Saturday, Oct. 6.
Researchers at Ecole Centrale de Lyon have recently devised a new developmental framework inspired by the long-term memory and reasoning mechanisms of humans. This framework, outlined in a paper presented at IEEE ICDL-Epirob in Tokyo and pre-published on arXiv, allows robots to autonomously optimize hyper-parameters tuned from any action and/or vision module, which are treated as a black box.
X-ray microcomputed tomography (microCT) has become widely used as a way to analyze and test additively manufactured parts, particularly for dimensional measurement and porosity analysis. In a paper entitled “X-Ray Microcomputed Tomography in Additive Manufacturing: A Review of the Current Technology and Applications,” a group of researchers takes a look at the various ways microCT has been used in additive manufacturing, and the benefits and limitations of each.
Manufacturing sits proudly at the heart of the U.S. economy and, in 2018, the industrial revolution continues its charge with sustained IT innovation and automation. Where factory floor employees used to print off component lists for product assembly, they now barcode scan for the designs and quickly locate parts in the warehouse.
What cloud vendors often call “the edge” is in reality the center of your universe and your customer’s operations. If you can obtain a clear view into the state of your equipment each moment, as well as details about the environments in which they operate, there is tremendous opportunity for optimizing productivity, reducing costs and increasing revenue.
More and more these days we're seeing applications for 3D printing in the tooling sector. Minnesota-based Wilson Tool International, a top provider of tooling solutions since 1996, recently announced that I had just added a new division, called Wilson Tool Additive, to help the prolific tooling company adopt additive manufacturing capabilities.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, helps companies manufacture parts more quickly than traditional methods, easily adding customization options and helping designers to be more creative without incurring costs. Engineers play critical roles in helping their firms become more efficient and competitive, and additive manufacturing can play a large part in accomplishing those goals.
Last week, Autodesk hosted the Accelerate 2018 conference at their new office in downtown Toronto. Autodesk Accelerate has traditionally been heavily focused on PLM, but this year a new topic took center stage: generative design, a fairly new addition to the company’s engineering software portfolio. The technology allows users to specify constraints and load cases for a mechanical design, to which it generates dozens or even hundreds of possible designs.
Where’s my 3D-printed car? For that matter, where’s my 3D-printed house or clothing or smartphone? 3D printing was supposed to be the biggest technological game-changer since the PC. But what have we gotten for the past three decades? Trinkets, art projects, prototypes and the occasional medical or aerospace pièce de résistance.
3D design and printing technology has advanced at an alarming rate. We can now print complex objects from different materials, in different colors, in rapid time — even in the comfort of our own homes. Then there’s the varied commercial applications for 3D printing (3DP).
Volkswagen revealed it will build 27 different models for four group brands based on the MEB, beginning with the Volkswagen ID model, which is expected to be released off the production line at its Zwickau facility in Germany towards the end of 2019.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has completely changed our lives as we are now able to interact with other people, and our own things, wherever we are and whenever we want to. A side effect, however, is that we are now more susceptible to cyberattacks than ever before, as our private data is no longer private and our devices are interconnected on all fronts.
3D printing simulation is a fairly broad term that covers any simulation aspect of the 3D printing process, ranging from the melting of particles in a feedstock to the actual toolpath simulation required to build a part. There is a range of different companies offering simulation solutions for each and every aspect of the process and the target demographics of each of these software packages are as wide and varied as the software products themselves.
Siemens, alongside its development partner Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam (ViP), will present their findings at InnoTrans 2018 to show how a tram will drive autonomously in real traffic. It is anticipated that the project will reveal the technological challenges of autonomous driving under everyday conditions, which can then be developed and tested to accelerate research.
Tokyo-listed Nidec Corp. makes motors of all sizes that show up in just about everything: cars, washing machines, even hard-disk drives from back in the day. This ubiquitous yet low-profile company has a knack for anticipating major business trends, so when Nidec starts ramping up investment in robots, an important trend could be in the offing.
A number of companies offer metal 3D printing, which creates products and components layer by layer with a computer-controlled system tracing its lineage to ordinary inkjet printers. But on Monday, print giant HP announced it’s entered the market with the ambition to dramatically lower prices, courtesy of a $400,000 product called Metal Jet.
By 2025, the sector called Industry 4.0 — the Fourth Industrial Revolution — is expected to generate close to $1 trillion in economic value, much of it unlocked by the efficiencies and disruptions transforming factories and production lines around the world.
While many businesses view a fully digital supply chain as a pipe dream, they can start their journey through a small and non-intimidating step: implementing workflow automation. Starting small with workflow automation allows organizations to streamline simple manual process like contract signatures and work all the way up to more complex tasks, such as supplier performance management.
Numerous large companies have been increasing their state in 3D printing materials manufacturing, but BASF is the largest chemical producer in the space. The German chemical giant has continued to throw its weight around, mostly recently investing a massive $25 million in Materialise, the nearly 30-year-old Belgian 3D printing software developer and service provider.
The MIT’s Self Assembly Lab is inventing entirely new ways to create a new generation of objects, including Rapid Liquid Printing, where an object is printed inside a vat of gel, allowing designers to rapidly print flexible, complex shapes.
BASF is expanding its cooperation with Materialise, a supplier of 3D printing technologies, working together within the framework of an open business model to improve materials and software for various 3D printing technologies. The companies are focusing on applications in the consumer goods, automotive and aviation industries and the partners intend to accelerate the development of innovative applications and new materials.
Defects in 3D printed parts can cause tremendous failures in a finished component. Luckily, new research from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, has gleaned a new way of detecting faults. By introducing gold nanoparticles into the 3D printer material, researchers can now quickly scan parts to help predict failures before they happen.
Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) and RWTH Aachen University have won an award for development of Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA). In place since 2000, the Berhold Leibinger Innovationspre is is one of the most prestigious awards in laser technology, and is presented every two years by a panel of experts from science and industry.
When it comes to new materials, thin is most definitely in. Brazilian researchers have created a new two-dimensional material called hematene, which is made up of sheets of iron ore just three atoms thick. And as is often the case with 2D materials, hematene seems to have different properties to its regular form.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the future of the oil and gas industry. As the Internet of Things’ (IoT) network of devices, sensors and software brings about change in consumers’ daily lives, this particular industry is lagging behind. Oil and gas have been facing challenges, largely attributed to the antiquated and inefficient approach that many companies take to maintain assets and collect data. This article looks at five ways that IIoT will revolutionize the oil and gas industry.
Blockchain technology is moving into more and more commercial and enterprise applications — from supply chain to energy production and even potential automotive applications. The ever-expanding Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is going to require solutions for automation and security alongside its solutions for connectivity and blockchain, with its promise of facilitating encrypted, automated and verifiable transactions between systems, looks poised to be the answer.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices. The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses the speed and precision of roll-to-roll newspaper printing to remove a couple of fabrication barriers in making electronics faster than they are today.
3D printing has enabled the creation of complex components with reduced costs and turnaround times in the highly-regulated environment of aerospace. Especially in the field of 3D printing of service parts, the aerospace industry can benefit from the increased asset uptime, reduced costs, lighter components, more durability, and increased customer satisfaction.
As one of the leading industries that was an early adopter of process automation, manufacturing is often ahead of the curve when it comes to seeking ways to improve processes – yet still has work to do in the technology adoption realm. While the trend for cloud adoption is increasing over on-premises solutions overall, some organizations are hesitant to make the transition to the cloud.
German OEM Audi has officially initiated series production of electric motors for e-tron in Gyor, Hungary. For the production of electric motors, the Audi Hungaria facility installed the innovative production equipment and islands within just one year. The departments for the development of electric motors and for production planning cooperated closely with the prototype manufacturing/ production technology center in Gyor to develop the required expertise.
Initially revealed back in early 2016, the Microlino promised a new electric interpretation of the classic 1950s bubble car, the BMW Isetta. After some unexpected design delays they stylish little EV has finally been approved as street legal, with production to commence immediately and first deliveries expected by early 2019.
Going beyond the initial collection of connected device or sensor data to deride actional insights is essential in today’s highly competitive, digital business landscape. In order to optimize operational efficiency, satisfy customer demand and maintain security, manufacturing organizations must continually monitor and understand all of the data their machines are constantly producing.
As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has evolved, manufacturing organizations have gained access to more information than ever before. At the same time, global supply chains and production processes have become more complex in order to support increasingly sophisticated products.
Manufacturers in several different industries are already using physical robots to assemble, test and package their products. Despite the improvements these robots have made in streamlining the assembly line, the manufacturing industry continues to face significant issues when it comes to automating back-office and operational processes. These include problems in keeping up with new regulations and finding skilled labor, as well as issues surrounding inventory management, procurement, and customer communications.
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