General Electric to shed 12,000 jobs as electric future opens up

General Electric’s recent decision to reduce its employee numbers by 12,000 globally indicate how important it thinks the trend of electric power will become, or perhaps has already become. 

The significant job losses will come from the GE Power division. GE says the decision is part of its overall restructuring.

The company acknowledges that the growth in renewables is part of the reason for the cost-cutting measures.  Continue reading General Electric to shed 12,000 jobs as electric future opens up

The Chinese way: From ‘teaching’ to ‘teaching and learning’

By Edward Tse, Gao Feng Advisory

A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with the APAC head of a major Fortune 500 company at his office in Shanghai.

He told me that he had arrived in China around six months ago and was sent from headquarters to run their Asia business with a particular focus on China.

He said he thought he would come to China to “teach”.  Continue reading The Chinese way: From ‘teaching’ to ‘teaching and learning’

Robotics and automation to replace 800 million human workers by 2030, says new report

The global effects of robotics and automation technologies is forecast to include the removal of as many as 800 million people from their jobs by 2030, according to a new report. Seventy million of them will be in the US. 

McKinsey, the consultancy firm which conducted the research, says the development of automation technologies is “sparked much public concern”.

In its report, Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation, McKinsey Global Institute says that, while automation is not a new phenomenon and fears surrounding its effects date back centuries, the situation seems different now.  Continue reading Robotics and automation to replace 800 million human workers by 2030, says new report

Analysis: A new narrative of Chinese corporate growth

By Edward Tse, Gao Feng Advisory

A growing number of privately owned Chinese companies have been achieving exponential growth and successfully transforming their businesses.

Many of them however remain relatively unknown in the West.

Unlike famous Chinese internet companies like Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings and the latest crop of startups with skyrocketing valuations.  Continue reading Analysis: A new narrative of Chinese corporate growth

China’s abundance of big data is helping the development of artificial intelligence

By Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng 

Tekes Future Watch China – Artificial Intelligence is the latest in a series of reports prepared by Gao Feng for Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

The report is aimed at helping Tekes to study China’s digital landscape and at highlighting strategic implications for both Finnish companies and policymakers.

After decades of development, artificial intelligence has become one of the most disruptive technology enablers in today’s exponential age.   Continue reading China’s abundance of big data is helping the development of artificial intelligence

ROS celebrates 10 years as it looks forward to an expanding market

The Robot Operating System is marking its 10th anniversary since launch, and with 10 million downloads a month, the market for ROS is set for “significant expansion”, according to a report by Transparency Research

The Robot Operating System is a collection of software tools and libraries used by robot programmers for developing applications.

ROS itself is not an operating system but uses an operating system’s user interface, file system, process management system, and programming utilities.  Continue reading ROS celebrates 10 years as it looks forward to an expanding market

The growing importance of software in the manufacturing sector

 

It’s not just manufacturing – it applies to all industries. But manufacturing is the sector that outside observers might expect to be the least affected by the digital world. 

Nothing could be further from the truth of course, especially now.

Some people might think that everything in a factory is entirely mechanical, and maybe just has some electrical components – with a chip or two for the industrial robots.

But increasingly, factories are becoming a hive of hi-tech activity, and the new buzz is almost entirely about the software.  Continue reading The growing importance of software in the manufacturing sector

Electronics industry boosting sales of industrial robots

 

The global growth in the number of data centres, and the corresponding growth in the manufacturing of servers, could provide opportunities for robot makers 

The electrical and electronics sector is one of the fastest-growing markets for the industrial robotics and automation industry. 

The sector bought almost as many industrial robots as did the automotive sector, traditionally the biggest buyer of industrial robots.

This is partly confirmed by new data and analysis by the International Federation of Robotics, but mostly, it can be gleaned from anecdotal evidence all around. Continue reading Electronics industry boosting sales of industrial robots

US trade boss warns of oversupply of bad robots because of Chinese government subsidies

 

China’s appetite for industrial robots is big and growing. Already the largest buyer of the machines, domestic companies are being encouraged by the Chinese government to build more robots locally, not just import them from overseas. 

Such high-powered encouragement has led to the establishment of numerous robot manufacturers in the country, some of which take advantage of government subsidies.

This has prompted criticism from US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross (main picture), who grumbled about a range of issues, but singled out China’s burgeoning robotics industry, which he apparently believes is built mainly on government subsidies.  Continue reading US trade boss warns of oversupply of bad robots because of Chinese government subsidies

Opinion: How assistive robots will transform the workplace and elderly care

By Dr Antonio Espingardeiro, member of the IEEE

Robots can bring significant benefits to the workplace, positively impacting productivity, efficiency and quality.

There are challenges to realising these benefits – not least the complex subject of the degree and quality of human interaction that we want or need robots to deliver.

However, robotics offers tremendous scope for helping humanity, so the field will continue to develop the advanced technologies that make it possible.  Continue reading Opinion: How assistive robots will transform the workplace and elderly care

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

Opinion: Automation ‘engineer to order’ solution reduces rejects by almost 11 percent for electroplating company

By John Murdoch, Alfacon Solutions

Lloyd Betcher, vice president of operations and services with Kuntz Electroplating (KEI), recently shared that the firm will celebrate 70 years in business next year.

A family owned and operated business since 1948, KEI boasts North America’s largest and most advanced metal finishing operation for original equipment manufacturers of steel and aluminum components.

As the first metal finisher to simultaneously achieve ISO 9002 and ISO 14001 certification, Kuntz set the industry’s benchmark for quality and service.  Continue reading Opinion: Automation ‘engineer to order’ solution reduces rejects by almost 11 percent for electroplating company

China’s auto mobility revolution: Going from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’

Gao Feng, a business consultancy headquartered in China, has released a new paper about the revolution in auto mobility in China

China’s unique set of urban transportation challenges, very high rate of adoption of mobile internet services, and rapid and aggressive introduction of alternative mobility solutions have combined to make China a global breeding ground for mobility innovation.

The deeply-rooted automotive industry business model is experiencing disruption.

Mobility needs previously satisfied through product “ownership” are increasingly being served through mobility services “usership”, with profound implications not only for traditional players within the value chain, but also for non-traditional players – as they enter and compete to deliver services.  Continue reading China’s auto mobility revolution: Going from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’

Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

augmented-reality-glasses atheer

By Douglas Bruey, electrical engineering program lead at Synapse

At first glance, a gamer playing Pokémon Go has little in common with a surgeon saving lives in an operating theatre. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that might not be the case for much longer.

Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are poised to open up a whole new world of opportunities. We’re already seeing the effects of VR when it comes to gaming. But in future could AR add a new dimension to surgery?

AR and VR both have the ability to alter our perception of the world. AR takes our current reality and adds something to it – virtual objects or information. VR, on the other hand, immerses us in a different – virtual – world.  Continue reading Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’