Category Archives: Interviews

A giant company built on tiny components: Interview with Bosch industrial internet boss

bosch image

In this interview, Stefan Hartung, a senior member of the board at Bosch, talks extensively about the industrial internet, detailing some of the components and devices the company uses to give old machines a new lease of life, and provides some insight into the company’s plans going forward

Bosch is as relevant in today’s computerised world as it was after the end of the first industrial age, and the company’s main concern now is keeping it that way. 

Its relevance comes from making the power tools and household appliances most readers will be familiar with, and also from its development of ideas and technologies which are likely to shape a future which many of us haven’t even thought about yet.

Nowadays, all the talk is of Industry 4.0, an umbrella term to describe a range of technologies which have at their centre two tiny components: sensors and chips – both of which are Bosch’s essential stock in trade.

And if you want someone to blame for the Industry 4.0 phrase, look no further than Bosch, because it was part of the working group of German industrial giants which coined the term in 2011. 

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Interview: Big data suggests there’s a trade war looming

Port of Los Angeles, in the US

Port of Los Angeles, in the US

One of the wonders of the modern, computerised world is the emergence of data science. Data science is, arguably, at the heart of most successful businesses today, and its favourite food is big data. 

For Panjiva, data science and big data enables it to keep track of virtually all goods moving from one country to another, with a particular emphasis on the US market.

But while it might sound straightforward to some, the actual collation and preparation of the data, and then the presentation of it, is not a simple process. 

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    Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Barack Obama discussed trade earlier this week, and agreed this was a crucial time for…
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Cyber-physical systems and manufacturing’s new frontier

The real world and its digital twin are collaborating to bring forth something called “mass customisation”, a new manufacturing culture which, as the term suggests, will be the basis for the most diverse ecosystem of engineered products ever seen. 

To understand and articulate some specifics about what’s being called “the new frontier of manufacturing”, one of the world’s largest management consultancy firms, Deloitte, partnered with the Singularity University, a forum for technology futurists co-founded by Ray Kurzweil, to organise a conference called Exponential Manufacturing, featuring many thought leaders working in the industrial sector. 

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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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    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…
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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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Video: Massive growth in collaborative robots market could strengthen Universal

The market for collaborative robots is growing at a phenomenal rate, with some estimates suggesting it will go from $150 million a year now to more than $3 billion in five years.

The market leader in the cobots sector is currently Universal Robots, and this video is an interview with Helmut Schmid, the company’s general manager, with responsibility for a number of countries in Europe. spoke to Schmid at this year’s Hannover Messe, held in Germany recently. 

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Exclusive interviews: Genesis Robotics bosses claim their LiveDrive could ‘change everything’

A company called Genesis Robotics is claiming that its new innovation could change the world of robotics, as well as the whole area of motion control in general. 

The company’s LiveDrive is a component which could replace traditional gears in everything from industrial robots to cars and even bicycles.

In an interview with, Genesis Robotics’ president, Michael Gibney, and James Klassen, CTO, both of whom we met at Hannover Messe, provide some background about how the company was formed as well as some insight into the new technology. 

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Video: Stäubli Robotics investing in software for the future

One of the first industrial automation companies in the world, Stäubli, is investing in the next generation of technology for the future. 

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News (video above), Stäubli Robotics group division manager Gerald Vogt says the company is “investing and developing in the software side”.

A range of Stäubli robots

A range of Stäubli robots

However, he added that hardware remains fundamental to the company’s business. “I think mechanics will still be the basis on which software is built, meaning that if you don’t have good mechanics, the software will not help.”

Vogt says this is an exciting time for the robotics and automation sector because “we have the technology” to see what the applications of Industry 4.0 technologies are going to be.

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Video: Fanuc open to building manufacturing plant in outer space

The world’s largest industrial robot manufacturer could build a facility in space.

In a wide-ranging interview with, recorded at Hannover Messe, Neil Dueweke – who was competing to be heard over a loud musical band in the background – says the company has big ambitions.

“Anywhere there’s robotics involved, Fanuc will be there,” says Dueweke. “Space robotics? Why not?”

As far-fetched as it might sound, there are many projects involving robots in space – that’s in addition to the robotic rovers which are already widely known.

In one project, the European Space Agency is building a robot holiday resort on the Moon.

And Nasa has a large number of projects involving robots in space, and has even installed an outer space additive manufacturing facility which targets the alien market

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Video: F&P Robotics boss says he wouldn’t trust the thinking, feeling robots of the future

The founder and managing director of F&P Robotics says he wouldn’t trust the robots of the future because they will become conscious and capable of taking over the world, and possibly enslaving humans. 

The experienced roboticist, who has a background in natural sciences and brain research, says it’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence-powered robots start thinking about big questions – like, who created the universe and what is the point of humans.

In an interview with, recorded at Hannover Messe in Germany (video above), Dr Hansruedi Früh says the only difference between humans and robots, at the moment, is “self-reflection, which only humans and very few animals have”, but robot learning is progressing and that their consciousness is inevitable. 

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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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Video: Dassault Systèmes to launch integrated new platform for 3D printing

Dassault Systèmes is planning to launch an integrated 3D printing platform in the next few months, according to a senior executive at the company. 

In an interview with, Philippe Bartissol, vice president, industrial equipment industry, Dassault Systèmes, says the the initiative will be announced in the next two months.

The initiative will “address the complete ecosystem of 3D printing”, says Bartissol, adding: “It will not be only one customer using our platform extensively.

“It will be several players from several fields jointly working on one platform, with payment possibilities and delivery possibilities as well.” 

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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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The human factor: GE Digital automation boss hints at new directions for Predix

ge digital image

Exclusive interview with Matt Wells, of GE Digital. By Abdul Montaqim

GE Digital is a subsidiary of General Electric, the quintessential American multinational corporate conglomerate with operations in more countries than the United Nations. 

But far from being just one of its parent company’s dozen or so subsidiaries, GE Digital is something of a shooting star, outperforming many other subsidiaries to the point where it is informing, if not transforming, the entire culture and ethos of the company.

Nowadays, General Electric likes to be known as a “the world’s digital industrial company”, except they capitalise the words to emphasise the importance of the virtual realm. 

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Growing pains at ADL as it launches ‘industry’s smallest’ Intel-based embedded PC

adl embedded systems

Exclusive interview with JC Ramirez, director of engineering, ADL Embedded Solutions

If there’s one problem most companies would be happy to have is the one related to having too many orders to deal with. 

This is the situation ADL Embedded Solutions finds itself in, according to JC Ramirez, the company’s director of engineering and product manager.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Ramirez says the company is experiencing “serious growing pains”, especially in Germany, where there is “too much work” going on.

ADL has generally been highly regarded and known as a “board company”, specialising in supplying technology for military and defence applications.

But the company has been going higher, into the upper levels of integration with its products in the past few years. 

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