Vertical farms in urban areas ready to grow after harvesting tons of seed money

Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you probably understand what “vertical farming” is. 

Unlike some buzz phrases, it sounds like what it means – farms built upwards, inside a building on multiple levels, unlike traditional farms, which occupy large, flat, single-level fields, covering thousands of acres of earth if done on an industrial scale.

The concept of vertical farms has been around a long time, but perhaps only now is the technology available to sustain the sector commercially.  Continue reading Vertical farms in urban areas ready to grow after harvesting tons of seed money

A3 reports record growth of robotics and automation sales in North America

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has revealed the results of its latest research on robotics and automation trends, sales, and growth.

As expected, many records were set in the areas of robotics, machine vision, motion control and motor technology for the first half of 2017, says A3.  Continue reading A3 reports record growth of robotics and automation sales in North America

WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

WesTec returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center September 12-14. 

WesTec is a manufacturing forum presenting the latest in advanced manufacturing technology including precision machining, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, software and digital technologies, advanced materials, tooling and more.

Produced by SME and the Association For Manufacturing Technology, WesTec will showcase and provide hands-on interaction with the latest cutting-edge technologies, global industry leaders addressing the hottest topics and major manufacturing companies bringing their best products, technology and services.  Continue reading WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

Leroy-Somer launches new integrated drive for IMfinity motors

Leroy-Somer has launched Commander ID300, a new integrated drive solution optimized for the control of IMfinity induction motors.

Leroy-Somer says this decentralized system brings together performance and reliability, offering customized solutions for process, manufacturing and intralogistics applications.

With the transition to Industry 4.0 under way, production is evolving in an increasingly complex and demanding environment. As a consequence, companies require more and more quality, risk management, equipment performance and compliance to standards.  Continue reading Leroy-Somer launches new integrated drive for IMfinity motors

Map produced by Brookings pinpoints location of all robots in the US

The Brookings Institution has found that Michigan has the highest number of robots of all the states in the US. 

Brookings found that Detroit, traditionally the motor town of the US, has more than 15,000 industrial robots installed.

That works out to about 8.5 robots per 1,000 workers, says Brookings.  Continue reading Map produced by Brookings pinpoints location of all robots in the US

Integro Technologies teams up with 3D vision specialist Coherix

Machine vision integrator Integro Technologies has signed an agreement with Coherix, a manufacturer of 3D, high-speed, high-definition machine vision products, as an authorized system integrator.

Coherix is in the business of solving difficult 3D machine vision problems. The 3D data the Coherix products produce enables customers to assess how their manufacturing processes are performing.

Customers use 3D data to improve quality, while decreasing cost and shortening time to market.  Continue reading Integro Technologies teams up with 3D vision specialist Coherix

Opinion: Digitalization, big data, artificial intelligence, agility… what really creates value for industrial companies?

By Vincent Champain, GE Digital

For years industrial companies have been looking for opportunities to enhance the operational efficiency of their assets and processes.

Unsurprisingly, new technologies and agile working have opened a new world of possibilities to the manufacturing sector.

In recent years, new technologies, such as big data and artificial intelligence, have considerably impacted the way industrial companies operate, leading to an increasing number of players in the industry embracing the trend of digitalization.  Continue reading Opinion: Digitalization, big data, artificial intelligence, agility… what really creates value for industrial companies?

Opinion: Materials handling automation and robotics requires IIoT monitoring

By John Hayes, Vecna Robotics

There is a frequent complaint of Industry 4.0, Big Data, and the Industrial Internet of Things. Too much data, little of which can be accessed and used effectively.

From tuggers, automated guided carts, and automated guided vehicles, there is a real need to include IIoT monitoring which defines the next phase of automation and robotics in materials handling.

Without IIoT monitoring, plant managers, operations managers, logistics coordinators throughout manufacturing and distribution sectors lack the data collected which offers real-time continuous status and health information.  Continue reading Opinion: Materials handling automation and robotics requires IIoT monitoring

Kuka celebrates production of 2 million Jeep Wranglers

Kuka is apparently rather pleased with itself for having helped produce 2 million Jeep Wranglers. 

A few days ago, the Kuka Toledo Production Operations celebrated the completion of its two millionth Jeep Wrangler body-in-white.

Kuka says it’s “the latest milestone in a stellar history that has seen this unique plant rank consistently among the quality and productivity leaders in the North American automotive industry”.  Continue reading Kuka celebrates production of 2 million Jeep Wranglers

Dürr and BMW win award for smart painting technique

Robotics and automation technology company Dürr and automaker BMW have won an award for developing a new robotic painting system.

The companies received the award for technique for their concept of a “smart paint shop” at the Surcar 2017 event in Cannes, France.

The jury at Surcar, which is said to be the world’s leading biennial congress on automotive body finishing, traditionally selects the winners for three awards.  Continue reading Dürr and BMW win award for smart painting technique

Top 10 additive manufacturing and 3D printing companies

Although we’ve called this a top 10, it’s not really in any particular order – it’s just a list of 10 of the most well-known and perhaps most highly regarded additive manufacturing or 3D printing companies. 

If anything, it’s an impressionistic understanding of the market, taking into consideration size of the company, number of clients and general reputation.

We have not included software-only companies or providers of marketplaces without any hardware of their own – we’ve tried to concentrate on companies which manufacture 3D printers and the materials that they require.  Continue reading Top 10 additive manufacturing and 3D printing companies

Autodesk to bundle Nastran simulation and manufacturing software free with Inventor

Autodesk is planning to include simulation and computer-aided manufacturing software into its Inventor mechanical design suite of applications, according to a report on Engineering.com

Autodesk Inventor is generally used by engineers in mechanical design, and was available for $2,500 a year through the company’s website.

Autodesk’s senior director of manufacturing business strategy, Stephen Hooper, told Engineering.com that the company would now include Nastran and HSMWorks in an Inventor suite.  Continue reading Autodesk to bundle Nastran simulation and manufacturing software free with Inventor

The 10 most highly prized industrial design awards

An industrial design award can launch a designer’s career, so is highly sought after, and there are plenty of design competitions out there to enter if you’re interested. 

Although most of the competitions emphasise consumer product design, and often software-oriented products, the industrial product categories are also extensively included.

And if you can’t find one that has a category that seems to suit your category now, if you wait long enough, someone will organise one.  Continue reading The 10 most highly prized industrial design awards

Kuka wins prestigious Red Dot design award for industrial robot

Kuka has won a prestigious design aware from the Red Dot organisation, which runs a competition which analyses products from an extensive range of industries.

The award that Kuka won was in the Red Dot industrial product design category, and it was for its industrial robot, the KR CyberTech (pictured).

Kuka says the jury’s reasoning was: “The KR CyberTech industrial robot – with its streamlined, elongated silhouette – stretches the limits of possibility in terms of speed and reach.”  Continue reading Kuka wins prestigious Red Dot design award for industrial robot

Billion-dollar industrial estate to feature data centre infrastructure as part of its offering

In what might be a sign that traditional industry is increasingly becoming digital, the developer of an industrial estate is making telecommunications and data processing a fundamental component of its offering. 

Traditionally, the priority for industrial estates have been to provide good road and other transport networks. Nowadays, data networks are sometimes even more important to companies of all types – including those in the manufacturing sector.

Bannon Investment Group, which is developing the 85-acre Elk Grove Technology Park near Chicago O’Hare Airport, says the estate will one of the largest of its kind in the US.  Continue reading Billion-dollar industrial estate to feature data centre infrastructure as part of its offering