Manufacturing and construction driving growth in Vietnamese automation and control systems market, says report

Despite slowdowns in certain industries, Vietnam’s automation and control systems market is witnessing stable growth, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.

Robust expansion in the manufacturing and construction sectors plus increased foreign direct investment, growing end-user need to optimize processes and improve efficiency, and development of special economic zones are factors fuelling growth.

Nonetheless, barriers to market entry are high. To succeed in a fiercely competitive ecosystem, automation vendors must embrace new technologies, such as Internet of Things, collaborate with developers of machine-to-machine technologies, and become one-stop integrated solution providers.  Continue reading Manufacturing and construction driving growth in Vietnamese automation and control systems market, says report

Prefabricated construction using robots set to increase in next few years

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Prefabricated construction is where the individual components and parts of a building are manufactured in a factory and then transported to the building site and assembled together to form the final house or commercial building, or whatever it may be. 

This construction technique or methodology has been around for quite some time and its proponents have probably often wondered why it doesn’t become the main way dwellings and office blocks are built.

Its supporters say it reduces the costs of construction significantly and enables more accuracy and quality in the final building process.  Continue reading Prefabricated construction using robots set to increase in next few years

Swiss robots planning to build houses using 3D printers

ETH Zürich, a university in Switzerland, has unveiled a plan to build a three-storey house – dubbed DFab House – using robots and 3D printing. 

Structural engineers and sustainability experts from ETH Zürich have teamed up with business partners on the project, which is designed to bring numerous building technologies from research labs into the real world.

The project is overseen by the National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication, and its architects, robotics specialists, and materials scientists.  Continue reading Swiss robots planning to build houses using 3D printers

Daimler lays foundation stone for $280 million Mercedes-Benz plant in Russia

Bense, von Fritsch, Schaefer, Manturov, Ruess and Vorobyov attend a new Mercedes-Benz plant's cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Esipovo outside Moscow
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Rus CEO Axel Bense, Germany’s Ambassador to Russia Ruediger von Fritsch, member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars Markus Schaefer, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, head of production planning of Mercedes-Benz Cars Rainer Ruess and Moscow Regional Governor Andrei Vorobyov attend a new Mercedes-Benz plant’s cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Esipovo outside Moscow, Russia earlier this week. Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva

By Jack Stubbs, Reuters

Daimler began construction of a new Mercedes-Benz plant near Moscow this week, following through on the first new investment by a major foreign automaker in Russia since Western sanctions were imposed three years ago.

Daimler said in February that it will invest more than $280 million in the factory, contrasting with widespread wariness among international investors after a prolonged downturn brought on by sanctions and a collapse in global oil prices.

But Russia’s economy has recently shown signs of recovery, while its car market is returning to growth after four years of decline.  Continue reading Daimler lays foundation stone for $280 million Mercedes-Benz plant in Russia

US President Donald Trump orders reduction of manufacturing and construction bureaucracy

US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Picture: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Picture: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque

Newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump has signed an order aimed at reducing the amount of bureaucracy involved in getting permissions and licences in the manufacturing and construction sectors. 

Trump got elected partly on a platform to rejuvenate manufacturing and industry – or his “make it in America” mantra – and these first few days have seen some big changes proposed.

The order he signed is designed to streamline the administrative process, which Trump said was “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible”.  Continue reading US President Donald Trump orders reduction of manufacturing and construction bureaucracy

Boeing completes prototype parts for 777X wing at new billion-dollar advanced manufacturing facility

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Boeing says it has completed prototype parts for the wing of its new 777X Dreamliner aircraft

The company is using advanced manufacturing methods, including additive or 3D printing, in the construction of the passenger plane at its new $1 billion Everett, Washington facility.

When completed, the wing for the 777X will be the largest wing Boeing has ever built.  Continue reading Boeing completes prototype parts for 777X wing at new billion-dollar advanced manufacturing facility

Construction: Interference could undermine development of crane technology

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Keith Armstrong, worldwide electromagnetic compatibility specialist at EMC Standards, looks at problems with electrical interference and how construction managers can minimise their risk

Cranes are synonymous with the idea of development. Typically used to construct buildings, cranes aid the economic and social development of a town or city. However, cranes suffer from a persistent problem that is indicative of a significant threat to the future of technology: interference.

In the early days of the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s EMC Awareness Campaign, there was an infamous incident where a man was crushed to death by a crane. In this case, electrical interference caused the crane to prematurely release its load while the man was operating it with his radio-control pendant. Unfortunately, this tragedy is not an isolated incident.

There was another incident with a company that claimed to have made the controls and drives for the first large scale hovercraft-testing tank in the late 1960s. It was, in effect, a sophisticated travelling overhead crane, which ran the length of a gantry along overhead rails and towed a hovercraft shape along a large pool of water in an even larger building. In those days, they used resistor-transistor logic, which ran on a 40 V rail to provide noise immunity.

Continue reading Construction: Interference could undermine development of crane technology

Dassault Systèmes launches solution for architecture, engineering and construction industries

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Cloud collaboration solution from “design to fabrication” aimed at solving problems ahead of construction

Dassault Systèmes, a provider of product lifecycle management solutions among other software, has launched its “design for fabrication industry solution experience” for architecture, engineering and construction.

The company says the software gives architects, engineers, contractors, fabricators and building products manufacturers access to a digital, collaborative environment on the cloud for civil and building projects, from concept through fabrication detail with shop floors that reduces waste and rework.

Each architecture, engineering and construction project brings together new teams of designers, fabricators and contractors who use their own building information modeling solutions.  Continue reading Dassault Systèmes launches solution for architecture, engineering and construction industries

Koops embarks on $5 million industrial automation expansion journey

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Factory automation specialist Koops says its $5 million expansion plan will eventually double its production capacity

Preparing for the increasing global demand for industrial automation systems, Michigan-based automation company Koops broke ground on a new 40,000-square-foot plant expansion that will nearly double production capacity.

The $4.9 million expansion to its current plant at 987 Productions Court in Holland, Michigan, is in response to growing global demand for automation equipment that is expected to hit $200 billion in sales in the next few years.

“Growth in the automation systems industry is on the rise because manufacturing companies worldwide are seeking ways to lower production costs while improving quality through expanded automation processes,” said Koops CEO Paul Brinks at last week’s groundbreaking.

Continue reading Koops embarks on $5 million industrial automation expansion journey

Kuka opens new facility at headquarters

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Kuka has inaugurated its prestigious new building at its Augsburg headquarters, which it calls the Development and Technology Center. 

The company celebrated the opening with about 200 guests from the worlds of business and politics.

The robotics and automation specialist put on an event wholly dedicated to its technologies, products and solutions for Industrie 4.0 and, by association, the digitization of production. Continue reading Kuka opens new facility at headquarters

Robore Cuts tests Husqvarna’s demolition robot

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The Husqvarna DXR 140 demolition robot tears down the Bloomsbury Theatre

Company puts Husqvarna DXR 140 demolition robot through its paces on a construction site 

Robore Cuts – a diamond drilling, cutting and controlled demolition specialist – has put its expertise to precise effect by demolishing a fire escape within the University College of London – Bloomsbury Theatre.

Strict noise and vibration controls were being enforced, therefore they turned to Husqvarna’s DXR 140 Demolition Robot to complete the work on time and within the restrictions stipulated.

Robore Cuts provides a specialist diamond drilling, sawing and controlled demolition contractor service to the construction industry both nationally and internationally.  Continue reading Robore Cuts tests Husqvarna’s demolition robot

Kuka robot constructs pavilion by sewing parts together

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Like an oversized sand dollar: the completed research pavilion at the University of Stuttgart. Photo: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Sewing may be one of the oldest technical activities of humankind but it’s not one that robots have yet fully mastered. 

The complexity of sewing, whether it’s sewing by hand or using a machine, is such that robots – or sophisticated sewing machines – can only perform some relatively simple stitches.

But those stitches that the robots or sewing machines can perform are actually very impressive and would be difficult – though not impossible for a human.

On the other hand, a lot of things a human can do – such as stitch together a sleeve and cuff or some other part of the garment, or even sew together the entire garment – is way beyond the realms of possibility for even the most sophisticated robots of today.

Nonetheless, the university in Stuttgart has used Kuka robots to perform a sewing job which can only be described as impressive. Perhaps weird as well, since they stitched together some wood – not a material usually associated with sewing.  Continue reading Kuka robot constructs pavilion by sewing parts together