If you attended this years’ Hannover Messe, the leading international trade fair for industrial technology, you will have seen fully developed “Industry 4.0” techniques on demonstration. Coined at the Hannover Messe five years ago, Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revelation, driven by data and automation.
This futuristic idea has now become a reality and these new techniques are leading the way to a fully digitised, intelligent manufacturing plant. Mobile ultrasound measuring devices for foresighted machine maintenance, smart liquid analysis, driverless forklifts and even collaborating robots – these were just a few of the new systems and equipment on show.
The US automotive manufacturing industry is probably going through some angsty times right now, what with president-elect Donald Trump reiterating his campaign pledge to repeal or at least renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and any other free-trade deal previous administrations have signed up to.
For a highly globalised industry like the automotive sector, which sources parts from all over the world and may assemble its vehicles in any number of countries simultaneously based on a common platform, this is perhaps one election promise which it would rather not be kept.
However, Trump has already produced a presidential address style video in which he says: “I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country.
Rethink Robotics has reached a deal with a South Korean pneumatic equipment manufacturer and distributor.
TPC Mechatronics will utilise Sawyer collaborative robots from Rethink Robotics in its own facility, as well as the facilities of its customers, in “an effort to move the entire industry toward smarter factories”, according to the companies.
More and more companies in the textiles, clothing and footwear business are turning to advanced manufacturing technologies – robotic sewing machines and connected systems – to reduce the number of humans in their factories, along with the financial and social costs of employing them.
42Q, a provider of cloud manufacturing execution systems (MES), has introduced Semiconductor Equipment Communications Standard, Generic Equipment Model (SECS/GEM) protocol capability.
SECS/GEM is an industry standard factory equipment interface protocol for equipment-to-host data communications.
In securing SECS/GEM capability, 42Q says it greatly simplifies the implementation of factory automation, machine to machine (M2M) communication, real time in process data collection and data analytics, all key elements of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).