Recharging the energy industry: Managing demand and constraint

city at night overview

Partners in industrial automation, Martyn Williams, managing director of industrial software expert, Copa-Data UK and Mark Hardy, CEO of Capula, reveal how new technologies, such as smart grids, big data and business intelligence enable a more efficient use of resources in the industry

Humans have always searched for ways to harness energy, whether it be to complete laborious tasks or just improve their livelihood.

Propelled by the discoveries and inventions of the industrial revolution, this thirst for innovation has led to humanity’s quest for more powerful, smarter and more efficient energy sources.

Recent years have seen a new wave of technology and opportunities hit the energy sector, several of which have been presented by the onset of big data and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Ensuring that supply meets the customers’ demand is a key responsibility of the energy industry, however, these smart technologies are changing the way the grid generates, manages, distributes and stores energy.  Continue reading Recharging the energy industry: Managing demand and constraint

SCADA systems: Security – industry’s second nature

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Martyn Williams, Managing Director of industrial software provider Copa-Data UK, discusses the latest developments in industrial cyber security

When hackers hijacked the electrical systems of three major Ukrainian power distributors back in December 2015, over 230,000 people were left without power for several hours.

The uncertainty caused by the attack lasted much longer, especially since employees in both engineering and IT teams alike were initially unclear about how the hackers managed to infiltrate the system.

The scale and severity of this incident illustrated, yet again, how important it is for companies to secure their cyber systems at all levels. Continue reading SCADA systems: Security – industry’s second nature

Chinese robot maker CloudMinds creates robots based on cloud intelligence

cloud-computing

Company backed by SoftBank says it has switched from artificial intelligence to cloud intelligence

A Chinese company called CloudMinds says it has created what it says is a “cloud intelligence ecosystem” for robotics. 

CloudMinds specialises in the research, development and manufacturing of cloud intelligence-based applications.

It has several investors, including SoftBank Group, the Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet firm.  Continue reading Chinese robot maker CloudMinds creates robots based on cloud intelligence

Rethink Robotics launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ software platform

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Rethink Robotics has launched what it describes as a first-of-its-kind software platform that connects everything in a smart factory.

The collaborative industrial robot maker says the extensible software is “redefining automation deployments and providing a gateway to the factory of the future”.

Rethink Robotics calls its software platform Intera 5, and says it “connects everything from a single robot controller, extending the smart, flexible power of Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer to the entire work cell and simplifying automation with unparalleled ease of deployment”.

Built on the backbone of the Rethink robots’ train-by-demonstration software, Intera 5 is designed to pave the way for connected manufacturing environments and helping companies build factories of the future.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ software platform

Where is the bill of materials? Getting things right first time with PLM and BoM

plm bom article

Geoff Turner, product lifecycle management consultant at Design Rule, examines the value of getting the BoM right in the early stages of a project

The creation of a bill of materials, or BoM, is a fundamental part of product development. However, manufacturers are often unsure at what stage of the product development the BoM comes in.

Best practice dictates that the BoM needs to travel fluently through the different development stages, evolving and changing as products are designed, built and eventually, circulated.

In today’s complex manufacturing environment, a bill of materials can include a set of hundreds – or even thousands – of separate items.  Continue reading Where is the bill of materials? Getting things right first time with PLM and BoM

From virtual space to outer space: Siemens shows off its PLM client list

Land Rover BAR america's cup yacht
Land Rover BAR design team uses NX, Teamcenter, Femap, Fiberism and Star-CCM+ to develop this innovative racing catamaran to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain.

Siemens has been showcasing some of the prestigious projects the company’s product lifecycle management software is being used for – and they include space and maritime projects

Whether it’s space taxis or passenger cars, America’s Cup yachts or Formula 1 race cars, products are more complex, smarter and more connected than ever before. Product Lifecycle Management software helps manufacturers transform their operations into digital enterprises and lead the way – with smarter products and smarter machines making them.

The world’s fastest Space Utility Vehicle will have to be able to withstand a lot.

When plying its standard route between the Earth and the International Space Station, which circles the Earth at an altitude of about 250 miles, transporting cargo there and back, it will do more than merely travel at over 17,000 mph (Mach 25).  Continue reading From virtual space to outer space: Siemens shows off its PLM client list

Adding value to product lifecycle management for the small and medium enterprise

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Bob Hillier, managing director of product lifecycle management expert at Design Rule, explains why working with PLM value added resellers  allows small and medium sized companies to get the most from their software

In 1963, children’s author Leo Lionni published his bestselling book, Swimmy. In this classic book, a school of smaller fish team up and swim as one, to avoid being eaten by the larger creatures.

The story sums up the challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises, especially when it comes to product development.

There are numerous advantages of working with small businesses, due to their agility and flexibility.  Continue reading Adding value to product lifecycle management for the small and medium enterprise

Product lifecycle management software ‘integral’ to industrial internet

bosch iot suite

Product lifecycle management software is integral to the industrial internet but not all companies use them. 

According to industry experts at Hannover Messe, PLM applications are as essential as computer-aided design software.

In the age of Industrie 4.0 and the Internet of Things, some people might wonder if we still need PLM systems in the digital future.  Continue reading Product lifecycle management software ‘integral’ to industrial internet

Renishaw and Dassault team up for integrated additive manufacturing

Dassault Systèmes catia

Engineering services provider Renishaw is collaborating with Dassault Systèmes, a 3D modelling, simulation and industrial operations software provider, as part of its commitment to provide and enhance software for metal additive manufacturing.

Users of Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience platform applications can now design, optimise, simulate and set up additive manufacturing builds directly for production on Renishaw’s additive manufacturing systems, which build 3D metal parts using laser powder bed fusion technology.  Continue reading Renishaw and Dassault team up for integrated additive manufacturing

Energy expert Idec joins Copa-Data partner community

wind turbines

Idec Technical Services, a specialist in the design and installation of high voltage protection and control systems integration, has joined the Copa-Data Partner Community, a worldwide network of certified specialists in Copa-Data’s software, zenon.

As a new member of the Copa-Data Partner Community, Idec will have access to a range of knowledge exchange initiatives provided by Copa-Data with the aim of improving the ergonomics and productivity of partners’ automation projects.  Continue reading Energy expert Idec joins Copa-Data partner community

Advantech launches WebAccess 8.2 to round out the end-to-cloud IoT applications

advantech webaccess

Advantech has launched WebAccess 8.2 to round out the IoT applications from the end to the cloud.

Based on the previous powerful features, the latest version supports MQTT protocol and adds two new drivers (Ethernet/IP for Allen-Bradley PLC and B+B Wzzard MQTT) enabling manager/administrator/System Integrator to effortlessly integrate more on-site devices and upload the front-end data to the cloud.

In order to push product performance to perfection, Advantech has enhanced Dashboard performance in this new release to ensure stable and synchronous data transmission.  Continue reading Advantech launches WebAccess 8.2 to round out the end-to-cloud IoT applications

Software for smart beverage production

zenon data management

Software maker Copa-Data has demonstrated new solutions for smart breweries, comprehensive energy data management, flexible batch production and efficient filling lines.

Copa-Data also says the system has interoperability with the Weihenstephan and OMAC PackML standards, as a result of which machines and equipment can be more quickly integrated into existing manufacturing infrastructures.

Emilian Axinia, industry manager for food and beverage at Copa-Data, says: “Our software innovations for the smart production of beer and other drinks… demonstrate flexible batch production using an equipment model controlled by zenon. These are smart and field-tested software solutions from soft PLC, through ISA-88 Batch Control to mobile technologies.”  Continue reading Software for smart beverage production

The Construct launches Robot Operating System courses

the construct ros course

The Construct has launched its first Robot Operating System Navigation course. 

Beginning on February 13, the one-week training course includes direct, individualised guidance from experienced tutors.

The course can be undertaken online, through the web, or in Barcelona – if you’re lucky enough to live in Barcelona.

The Construct also said it has now opened enrolment to its ROS in a Single Week course, aimed at starters.

The company says the course is “entirely practical ROS training”, which integrates theory and practice. Participants learn by programming different simulated robots and full integrated development environment.

That course, too, can be done online or in person, if you fly over to Barcelona, Spain.

Industrial design: Prepare for product as a service

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Bob Hillier, managing director of product lifecycle management solutions provider Design Rule discusses the concept of PaaS and the software tools that can help OEMs make the move to this new sales model

Global power systems company Rolls-Royce recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its “Power-by-the-Hour” approach to engine maintenance management.

Since its introduction, we’ve seen companies from the automotive, aerospace and industrial sectors following suit, making product as a service (PaaS) plans available to their customers.

Offering PaaS involves a complete transformation of the original equipment manufacturer business model. It returns ownership and responsibility to the OEM, which drives the need for more reliable and higher quality products being delivered.  Continue reading Industrial design: Prepare for product as a service

Virtual factory: Visual Components launches new version of its industrial design application

visual components robots

Visual Components has launched the latest version of its design application which the company says offers a number of new features and capabilities. 

Visual Components 4.0 is the company’s new range of 3D factory simulation products, designed for manufacturing professionals and built on a “powerful, flexible, and scalable platform”.

The company says the new version offers:

  • smarter simulation;
  • improved user interface refresh;
  • better performance;
  • advanced rendering; and
  • open architecture.

Visual Components was founded by a group of simulation experts with long experience in industry.  Continue reading Virtual factory: Visual Components launches new version of its industrial design application