Apple to build three ‘big, big, big’ manufacturing plants in the US, claims Trump

President Donald Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook has committed to building “three big manufacturing plants in the US”, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal website. 

In an interview with the business and investment newspaper, Trump is reported to have said: “I spoke to [Cook], he’s promised me three big plants – big, big, big.

“I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”  Continue reading Apple to build three ‘big, big, big’ manufacturing plants in the US, claims Trump

Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

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The Bharati autonomous guided vehicle for materials transport

Bharati Robotics Systems has been showing off its new autonomous industrial floor cleaning robots. 

The company says the small vehicle saves labour costs and increases productivity by up to 200 per cent, and cleans the floor better than humans, or the “highest quality of cleaning”.

The robot’s battery lasts up to four hours on one charge and it has a smartphone interface through which it can be monitored and controlled.  Continue reading Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

‘Innovative’ Škoda factory introduces human-robot collaboration with Kuka LBR iiwa

Škoda Auto, Matador Group and Kuka have come together in the town of Vrchlabí, Czech Republic, for what they say is “a manufacturing initiative without borders or fences”.

The project is being undertaken in an automobile factory which produces direct-shift-gearbox automatic transmissions.

There, an industrial robot does what industrial robots do best: grow productivity, reduce costs and improve output quality.  Continue reading ‘Innovative’ Škoda factory introduces human-robot collaboration with Kuka LBR iiwa

Nanotronics partners with Geometric Intelligence on AI for factories

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Nanotronics says new partnership with Geometric Intelligence will strengthen its artificial intelligence systems for factories

Nanotronics has extended a licensing agreement to continue to include Geometric Intelligence products and expertise along with its own artificial intelligence software for manufacturing. 

Nanotronics has provided AI tools for factories since 2014, and further developed its artificial intelligence with a view to making “continuous improvements in process control for industry”.

The two companies say they will “strive for provide the greatest convergence of hardware and software solutions on the market” to their semiconductor and materials science customers.  Continue reading Nanotronics partners with Geometric Intelligence on AI for factories

Integrating industry with the universe

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A scene from last year’s Hannover Messe, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors

lockHannover Messe is widely regarded as the world’s leading trade fair for industrial companies – particularly those in engineering, robotics, and automation.

Held in Germany every year in April, the event attracts more than 200,000 visitors and over 5,000 exhibitors.

Considered to be the most important exhibition of its type, last year the special guests were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and US President Barack Obama.  Continue reading Integrating industry with the universe

Foxconn to replace all humans with robots

Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn, says it will replace all its human workers with robots, according to a report in Futurism.com

Quoting DigiTimes.com, Futurism says Foxconn has announced a three-part plan to fully automate its factories in the hope of achieving 30 per cent automation by 2020.

Foxconn currently has about 40,000 robots – or Foxbots – working in its factories. The company says it has the capacity to produce 10,000 Foxbots a year.  Continue reading Foxconn to replace all humans with robots

Opinion: Industry 4.0 is transforming manufacturing – but the cyber threats are increasing

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By Mirko Brandner, technical manager, Arxan Technologies 

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.

To remain competitive, companies need to embrace digitisation. The fusion of IT and automated engineering has resulted in intelligent collaboration of all components involved in the production process, this promises an increase in efficiency, flexible resource management and the individualisation of mass production.  Continue reading Opinion: Industry 4.0 is transforming manufacturing – but the cyber threats are increasing

Audi smart factory ushers in new era of manufacturing

Audi has opened what it calls a “smart factory”, in Mexico, the first such plant opened by a leading automaker in that country.

Professor Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi, says: “The plant in Mexico is a milestone in the history of our company and an important step in our internationalization.

“It is one of the most modern factories on the American continent. With this facility, we have established an important site for the export of our automobiles to customers all over the world.”  Continue reading Audi smart factory ushers in new era of manufacturing

Robots eroding employment prospects in developing economies, says UN

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Picture courtesy Stratfor.com

Increasing utilisation of robotics and automation technologies in developed countries is ruining emerging economies around the world, according to a report by the United Nations. 

A policy briefing by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Robots and Industrialization in Developing Countries, argues that increased use of robots in developed countries erodes traditional labour-cost advantage of developing countries.

The report notes that new technological breakthroughs in computing, robotics and artificial intelligence in advanced economies will result in large numbers of people being made redundant in developing countries.  Continue reading Robots eroding employment prospects in developing economies, says UN

Epic infographic from TradeMachines confirms global takeover by robots

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Infographic: How industrial robots will improve our lives 

Vintage and pre-owned industrial equipment supplier TradeMachines has produced a massive infographic which provides insights about the impacts of industrial robots on our work life. 

Industry 4.0 marks the dawn of a new era for robotics, which are starting to be an integral part of factories, all over the world.

In recent years, robots sales have exponentially increased: in 2015, 1.8 million industrial robots were in operation; that is more than the whole population of Philadelphia.  Continue reading Epic infographic from TradeMachines confirms global takeover by robots

Huge reboot: What Trump’s aversion to trade blocs could mean for the US robotics, automation and manufacturing industries

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US President-elect Donald Trump reacts to a crowd gathered in the lobby of the New York Times building after a meeting in New York, US, November 22, 2016. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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.

“Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”  Continue reading Huge reboot: What Trump’s aversion to trade blocs could mean for the US robotics, automation and manufacturing industries

RoboDK updates industrial robot simulation application

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RoboDK industrial robot simulation software has been given an extensive update

RoboDK has launched the latest version of its industrial robot simulation application. 

The company’s CEO, Albert Nubiola, says the software is now much faster and easier to learn and use.

He adds that RoboDK is working on producing more video tutorials and manuals. “RoboDK has been updated to better integrate into smart factories and Industry 4.0 networks.

“The RoboDK software enables your robots and your factory to automatically adjust processes according to any modifications, as well as accurately merge the virtual simulation with the physical world.”

Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer signs deal with Korean company TPC Mechatronics

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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.

The exclusive distribution partner of Rethink Robotics in Korea, TPC Mechatronics’ core customer base consists of a wide range of industrial manufacturers.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer signs deal with Korean company TPC Mechatronics

Sewbots prepare to take millions of jobs off humans in clothes manufacturing sector

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.

One of the largest apparel manufacturers in India, Raymond, which employs 30,000 human workers, says it plans to replace 10,000 of them with robots over the next three years. Continue reading Sewbots prepare to take millions of jobs off humans in clothes manufacturing sector

Industrial internet: 42Q launches new protocol capability for factory automation

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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).

Several factories using 42Q have already deployed this new protocol in their operations, sasy the company.  Continue reading Industrial internet: 42Q launches new protocol capability for factory automation