Category Archives: Industrial internet of things

Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

“Lights-out manufacturing” is a term to mean the method of making things in a way that’s entirely automated and does not need humans to be involved in the process. 

Of course, humans initially set up the process, build the factory and so on, but the factory which outputs the final product only requires robotics and automation technology.

It’s an idea that has probably been explored in science fiction many times, but in reality, a fully automated factory that needs no human intervention at all is still a distant dream. 

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ThyssenKrupp claims ‘breakthrough’ in digital transformation and connecting machinery ​

An illustration of ThyssenKrupp’s new IIoT platform, which it calls toii

An illustration of ThyssenKrupp’s new IIoT platform, which it calls toii

ThyssenKrupp says it has achieved a breakthrough in the area of digital transformation and connecting machinery ​in industry.

ThyssenKrupp says it has reached a “milestone” for the digital transformation of industry and connecting the machinery of its materials services division through a new digital platform.

The company’s new internet of things platform is call Toii, or toii, as the company prefers to write it. 

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Neousys launches ARM-based IoT gateway

neousys igt-20

Neousys Technology has launched an industrial grade ARM-based gateway, which it calls IGT-20.

The company says unlike System on Module (SoM) that’s commonly provided as a barebone component, IGT-20 is based on AM3352 from Texas Instrument’s Sitara AM335x family and will be shipped as a ready system pre-installed with Debian.

The industrial nature of IGT-20 means it is in compliance with common industrial certifications such as CE/FCC, shock and vibration. 

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Fujitsu extends product portfolio with connectors from Neltron

fujitsu connectors

Fujitsu Electronics Europe is extending its line card portfolio to include products from Neltron Industrial.

The Taiwan-based company manufactures ROHS compliant connectors of various types. With this partnership, FEEU is seeking to widen the range of its offerings and to create new synergies between them, strengthening its role as a Value Added Distribution Partner for the EMEA market.

Neltron offers a broad range of connector types, including board to board, wire to board, wire to wire, FPC/FCC, IDC connectors, shrouded header, USB connectors and jumpers. 

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Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability


By Thomas Cutler

Until now pick-to-light equipment has represented a significant fixed capital expense with little consideration for variable use, often driven by seasonality, warehouse/distribution variance, and project management flux.

From manufacturers to 3PL (third-party logistics) companies, these swings in low or high usage represented a level of waste as purchased lights went unused and wasted.

Pick-to-light is a fulfilment technology which uses alphanumeric displays and buttons at storage locations to guide the manual picking and recording of items for shipment. 

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Industrial internet of things improving everything, says Rockwell Automation CEO

rockwell ceo blake moret

Rockwell CEO Blake Moret

Industrial internet of things applications are leading to better collaboration, faster problem-solving and increased productivity, according the boss of Rockwell Automation.

Blake Moret, president and CEO of Rockwell, spoke on internet of things adoption and its impact on industrial productivity, sharing insights with more than 1,200 business leaders at Cisco’s IoT World Forum.

Rockwell claims to be the industry’s only company solely dedicated to industrial automation and information, and says it is “uniquely positioned to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with harnessing the future of smart manufacturing”. 

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    DeviceLynk has released a new user experience offering a completely redesigned interface focused on improving navigation and ease of use. The company says…
    Tags: industrial, automation, iot, operations, internet, technology, things, applications
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    Advantech, which claims to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial computers and “intelligent systems”, has joined the…
    Tags: iot, applications, solutions, industrial, technology, internet
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    This page is for subscribers only, and contains special offers. Robotics and Automation Industry Thought Leaders 1  Download PDF version…
    Tags: industrial, automation, things, iot, technology, internet

Honeywell says its newest PLC dramatically reduces integration costs for industrial plants

honeywell controledge plc

Honeywell Process Solutions has launched the latest version of its ControlEdge Programmable Logic Controller.

This release, combined with Honeywell’s Experion distributed control system, provides a “significant reduction” in integration efforts and project costs as well as increased security and availability through enhanced cyber security for industrial facilities, says the company.

The PLC is used in a variety of balance of plant applications, such as equipment and device level control. 

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MIT spin-out Tulip raises $13 million to ‘digitally transform manufacturing’

tulip manufacturing app warehouse

New Enterprise Associates leads $13 million round, with participation from Pitango, to expand product research and development and continue growing customer support capabilities

Tulip, the MIT spin-out which has developed a Manufacturing App Platform, has raised $13 million in Series A financing.

New Enterprise Associates led the round with participation from Pitango Venture Capital and many returning angel investors.

Tulip says it will use the capital to grow its world-class product, design, and research teams, while expanding its customer support capabilities in response to significant customer growth. 

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What’s in the stars for manufacturing in India?

An electric fan factory, Varanasi Benares India

An electric fan factory, Varanasi Benares India

Exclusive interview with Sharmila Annaswamy, India-based consultant specialising in industry

Apple recently established a manufacturing facility in India, through Foxconn, the Taiwanese company which makes its iPhones, iPads and other devices. 

For Sharmila Annaswamy, a Frost & Sullivan consultant specialising in industry, the tech giant’s decision is one of the “remarkable achievements” of the government’s Make in India campaign.

As well as Apple and Foxconn, a number of Chinese companies have set up manufacturing facilities in India. Huawei, for example, plans to make smartphones in the country.

In an exclusive interview with, Annaswamy says: “Apple and other large companies moving into India is one of the good things that is happening with the Make in India campaign, which the government has been promoting on a large scale. 

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    This page is for subscribers only, and contains special offers. Robotics and Automation Industry Thought Leaders 1  Download PDF version…
    Tags: robotics, industrial, industry, automation, robots, things, process, internet
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    Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, discusses milestones in robotics, from ancient mythology to the present day The earliest…
    Tags: robots, industrial, automation, robotics, industry
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    An increasing number of industrial robots will find their way into factoring which themselves will be more well-connected, according to…
    Tags: industrial, manufacturing, robotics, robots, automation

Almarai partners with Schneider Electric to introduce smart manufacturing system

almarai farm

Schneider Electric, a provider of energy management and automation solutions, has partnered with Almarai to develop a smart manufacturing solution.

Almarai is said to be the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company. The company already uses Schneider’s industrial internet of things platform, Wonderware.

Now it has expanded its Schneider Electric deployment as part of a smart manufacturing initiative by deploying line performance suite. 

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Video: Microsoft looks to strengthen partnerships with industrial companies

Microsoft has been offering industrial companies a range of digital services based on its Azure platform over the past few years and is probably the leading tech company in the space.

Microsoft’s global infrastructure and Azure cloud platform enables companies with worldwide manufacturing or logistics operations to create software applications either specifically for their own companies or for other companies.

The company has also developed special connectors which can accept data from devices which use the OPC-UA standard, a data transmission protocol which is increasingly being adopted in industry for sensor-laden machines and components. 

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    Special report from Hannover Messe: How hard-bitten industrialists are turning to software  Back in the old days, you knew what…
    Tags: software, company, industrial, will, companies, data, digital
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    ABB and Microsoft have formed a strategic partnership to help industrial customers create new value with digital solutions. The companies…
    Tags: industrial, microsoft, digital, will, platform, azure
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    Company to support Open Platform Communications standard across IoT offerings  Microsoft says it is working with the Open Platform Communications…
    Tags: microsoft, azure, industrial, software, platform

Video: Siemens predicts small number of companies will dominate industrial internet

Only a small number of companies will dominate the industrial internet, according to a business development executive at Siemens, who was speaking to at Hannover Messe. 

The German engineering giant recently launched its MindScape IoT platform and more than 50 individual apps for a variety of scenarios in industry.

Matthias Lutz, business development manager, digital factory division, Siemens, says: “I personally do see a couple of platforms co-existing in future, and maybe a couple of very specialised ones.

“But in the end, in my opinion, I think it’s a matter of two to three large platforms.” 

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Huawei links up with GE Digital to offer industrial cloud solution

huawei catherine du

Huawei’s Catherine Du, pictured here at Hannover Messe, says the company decided it was the right time to expand its industrial IoT portfolio

Huawei and GE Digital are partnering to jointly launch their industrial cloud-based predictive maintenance solution. 

In an interview with Robotics and Automation News, Catherine Du, Huawei’s director of marketing, said the company is looking to increase its share of the nascent but fast-growing sector of business.

“Huawei is one of the leading ICT vendors,” said Du. “We supply a wide range of technologies to the market, from Big Data to IoT, so we feel that now is the right time for us to reach out to the industrial space and build new partnerships.”

And although Huawei’s current focus is on the industrial market, the company is looking to promote its brand globally going forward, in the wider business-to-business market and in the consumer space, says Du. 

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Kuka agrees deal with Beet on IoT

beet analytics video still

Kuka has agreed a deal with Beet Analytics as part of robot maker’s Industrie 4.0 strategy.

Kuka will now be able to offer Beet’s industrial IoT technology as another tool in their Industrie 4.0 eco-system and to offer Beet technology on Kuka solutions.

Ronny Chiang, president Beet analytics technology, says: “We are excited to work with Kuka, whose global industrial leadership in automation systems will further strengthen Beet’s presence in the global market. This will allow OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to access Beet IoT solutions with a respected and established leader standing behind it.” 

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SAP and Kuka partner to design the ‘factory of the future’

sap leonardo iot platform

SAP and Kuka say they will work together around Industrial 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to develop more flexible and automated production processes.

Both companies want to collaborate, particularly in the areas of manufacturing, mechanical engineering and the automotive sector.

The integration of Kuka robots into SAP’s digital manufacturing is based on standard protocols such as OPC Unified Architecture.

In addition, Kuka and SAP plan to provide Kuka robot applications based on the SAP Leonardo IoT platform

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