Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Audi has demonstrated its autonomous car – which it calls “Jack” – in a road test featuring a humanoid robot called Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics.

Audi’s head of concept development, automated driving, Klaus Verweyen, was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, while Sophia was in the passenger seat.

Verweyen chatted away to Sophia as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Meanwhile, Jack drove itself from Audi’s facility onto a main highway and back again.  Continue reading Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Engineering companies struggling to find and keep talented young workers

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Picture courtesy of WonderfulEngineering.com

To anyone looking for work, it might sound strange to hear that some sectors of the economy are struggling to find and retain workers, but that’s the situation many engineering companies find themselves in. 

Finding, educating, training and retaining talented young people is not just a dilemma for engineering companies in one region or country, it’s a global issue.

But, paradoxically, while companies in some countries say there’s a problem finding engineering graduates, in other countries such as India, large numbers of engineering graduates are reportedly not having much luck finding jobs.

In those countries where there is a shortage, such as Germany and maybe the US, it’s not at crisis levels yet, but it’s a complication that large industrial companies are trying to alleviate in a variety of ways.  Continue reading Engineering companies struggling to find and keep talented young workers

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

boeing 777x

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

Energy and the IoT: Future-proofing Britain’s energy infrastructure

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Martyn Williams, managing director of industrial automation software expert Copa-Data UK, discusses the role the Internet of Things plays in the energy sector 

Few companies can afford to have their operations halted by unexpected downtime, but for the energy grid potential power failures could plunge parts of, or entire, countries into darkness.

The cost of ensuring that Britain can switch its lights back on, following a failure, has grown by £12 million in the past year alone.

Naturally, developed economies are not at high risk of power blackouts, apart from in the most extreme of circumstances. Continue reading Energy and the IoT: Future-proofing Britain’s energy infrastructure

DeviceLynk redesigns user interface for IIoT system

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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 the new design brings a modern touch-centric concept to Industrial IoT, an industry merging the needs of Industrial Automation with the technology of the Internet of Things.

The new DeviceLynk user experience expands upon the situational awareness techniques of using limited amounts of color to increase user’s awareness of alerts and alarms.  Continue reading DeviceLynk redesigns user interface for IIoT system

The delicate balance of costs versus productivity in industrial automation

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John Mitchell, business development manager at CP Automation, examines the essence of lean manufacturing

European manufacturers are estimated to spend over €400 billion every year on maintenance activities. Studies show that about 30 per cent of failed machinery can be repaired at half the cost of buying replacements, which suggests a potential 15 per cent saving. John Mitchell, business development manager at CP Automation, discusses the issues that stop manufacturers cutting costs and improving productivity – the essence of lean manufacturing.

Perhaps the first thing manufacturers should consider when addressing efficiency is keeping assets low.Manufacturers can easily eliminate excess inventory from their books, and thus get better return on net assets,simply by not purchasing the inventory until it’s needed. Methods of achieving this include Just in Time (JIT) inventory management, which is also sometimes called the Toyota Production System. Figures suggest thiscould result in a 60 billion saving in plants across Europe.

As a service and commissioning engineer, I’ve often turned up on site to help a customer with a breakdown, onlyto find a host of spares out of their antistatic packaging and a confused client, not knowing whether or not the spares were functional.  Continue reading The delicate balance of costs versus productivity in industrial automation