Baumüller prepares to showcase new solutions at Drinktec event

Baumüller will introduce what it describes as “complete solution packages and industry-specific components” at Drinktec 2017, the drinks packaging industry event. 

From September 11-15, 2017, Baumüller will participate in drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry in Munich.

In hall B3 at stand 321, the Nuremberg-based drive and automatization specialist will present its specific industry solutions for the beverage industry – from a drive with an aseptic surface for transport tasks in the food sector to compact local drive technology for minimum wiring effort.  Continue reading Baumüller prepares to showcase new solutions at Drinktec event

China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

open pit lithium mine
An open pit lithium mine. Picture courtesy of The Future of Energy

The market for electric cars in China is huge already and it’s growing at almost an exponential rate annually. 

Commentators in the country include electric cars in the category called “new energy vehicles”, which also refers to hybrid energy vehicles, and are saying the market will be further accelerated as a result of government backing.

Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng management consultancy, says: “With the issuance in April 2017 of the Automotive Industry Mid to Long Term Development Plan, the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology provides guiding principles for the development of China’s auto industry for the next decade.  Continue reading China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

You could be seeing things that aren’t there: Google Glass finds new home in old industries

google glass with manual
On the left is an assembly engine manual that GE’s mechanics used to consult. Now they use Glass Enterprise Edition on the right. Picture: Google X

About four years ago, when Google first showed off its Glass product – a pair of hi-tech spectacles capable of running augmented reality apps – it was met with some scepticism, incredulity even. 

Few people thought it would take off, as interesting as the idea was. Maybe people generally couldn’t see themselves walking around wearing glasses which could be seen as intrusive.

Theoretically, Google Glass could display images on pretty much everything and everyone you looked at while wearing them – and would people in your eyeline appreciate that?  Continue reading You could be seeing things that aren’t there: Google Glass finds new home in old industries

Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

“Lights-out manufacturing” is a term to mean the method of making things in a way that’s entirely automated and does not need humans to be involved in the process. 

Of course, humans initially set up the process, build the factory and so on, but the factory which outputs the final product only requires robotics and automation technology.

It’s an idea that has probably been explored in science fiction many times, but in reality, a fully automated factory that needs no human intervention at all is still a distant dream.  Continue reading Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

CaliBurger’s ‘Flippy’ robot gets $3 million to flip burgers

A burger-flipping robot developed by Cali Group and Miso Robotics has received $3.1 million in financing from strategic investors including Acacia Research and Match Robotics. 

Miso was co-founded and funded by Cali Group, which owns the Caliburger chain of fast food restaurants across the US. The company is currently specialising in automation for the catering industry.

The burger-flipping robot has been named “Flippy”, appropriately enough, and was the first robotic product developed by Miso, and the company has since developed numerous automation applications for the robot, including preparation, grilling, frying, and so on.  Continue reading CaliBurger’s ‘Flippy’ robot gets $3 million to flip burgers

ThyssenKrupp claims ‘breakthrough’ in digital transformation and connecting machinery ​

ThyssenKrupp says it has achieved a breakthrough in the area of digital transformation and connecting machinery ​in industry.

ThyssenKrupp says it has reached a “milestone” for the digital transformation of industry and connecting the machinery of its materials services division through a new digital platform.

The company’s new internet of things platform is call Toii, or toii, as the company prefers to write it.  Continue reading ThyssenKrupp claims ‘breakthrough’ in digital transformation and connecting machinery ​

Americans positive about future of manufacturing but wouldn’t want to work in it

manufacturing usa deloitte report

Americans are optimistic about the future of manufacturing despite saying they wouldn’t want to work in the sector. 

The US manufacturing industry suffers from an important image problem that undermines its competitiveness, says a new opinion survey by Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Only 50 per cent of Americans think manufacturing jobs are interesting and less than 30 per cent are likely to encourage their children to pursue a career.  Continue reading Americans positive about future of manufacturing but wouldn’t want to work in it

Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

apple homepod
The new Apple HomePod, the home automation device which mostly acts like a speaker and plays music

The global market for robotics and automation systems is growing so fast that it’s causing seasoned industry analysts to revise their forecasts. 

For example, the Boston Consulting Group released a report into the robotics which it has now updated with new numbers.

The causes of the reviews include the relatively new interest in personal robotics technology for the home, and the burgeoning market in collaborative robots for industry.

Another key development is the launch of the Apple HomePod, which, along with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, looks set to automate a huge number of homes to levels never seen before.

Continue reading Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

Innovative sensors are empowering the smart factory robot, says AMS

ams Industrial-Robotics

By Mark Donovan

The next industrial revolution is arriving on a shore near you. It’s called Industry 4.0, and like its three predecessors, it’s about to bring sweeping changes to manufacturing that will globally affect everyone.

Industry 4.0, and the resulting manufacturing changes that are coming with it, have spawned a new type of production plant called the smart factory.

Central to the smart factory is the prolific use of autonomous and collaborative robots that work symbiotically with each other and alongside human beings to yield a more productive and efficient manufacturing plant.  Continue reading Innovative sensors are empowering the smart factory robot, says AMS

US manufacturing faces possible pitfalls and severe declines, says report

U.S.-manufacturing flags
Picture credit: LeHighValley.com via GlobalTradeMag.com

The US manufacturing sector faces numerous possible pitfalls and some risk of severe declines, according to a new report by Creditsafe USA.

The in-depth analysis of the US manufacturing industry says that, despite recent overall consistent performance, there are “several areas of concern” across the entire sector. In particular, the rate of bankruptcy signaling the possibility of an industry slowdown.

With the manufacturing industry being the largest area of employment in the US, any decline could have a “catastrophic effect” on the overall US economy, says Creditsafe.  Continue reading US manufacturing faces possible pitfalls and severe declines, says report

Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

thailand bmw factory 1
Pictures from BMW’s factory in Thailand

Managing an economy today is not easy. But managing it for tomorrow? Now that’s a real challenge. It’s one that the government in Thailand is tackling head on, with a raft of new policies aimed at future-proofing its workforce and industry, particularly in the automotive, robotics, and aerospace sectors.

The measures, known collectively as Thailand 4.0, are centered on incentivizing foreign direct investment and nurturing innovation for 10 key future-focused industries.

The goal is to foster an ecosystem that promotes emerging technology, innovation, and creativity within each of these sectors.  Continue reading Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

German robotics and automation market set for sales of $15 billion this year

vdma article

The German robotics and automation market is forecast to grow by 7 per cent this year compared with last year, with sales volume projected to reach a massive $15 billion. 

Germany is one of the world’s leading buyers of industrial robotics and automation systems, and purchased approximately $14 billion worth in 2016.

These are figures which German engineering association VDMA has suggested as a result of its research into the market.  Continue reading German robotics and automation market set for sales of $15 billion this year

ZMP partners with Tokyo taxi operator to launch self-driving cabs for 2020 Olympics

ZMP’s RoboCar MiniVan, a self-driving Toyota Estima Hybrid car
A TV camerawoman films a laser scanner on ZMP’s RoboCar MiniVan, a self-driving Toyota Estima Hybrid car, after a joint news conference between ZMP and Hinomaru Kotsu in Tokyo, Japan June 15, 2017. Reuters / Toru Hanai

Japanese robotics maker ZMP has partnered with a taxi operator in Tokyo, as part of its plans to launch a self-driving taxi in the city in time for the 2020 Olympics, said CEO Hisashi Taniguchi.

Japan’s taxi industry, faced with a labour crunch due to an ageing population, has been looking at new technologies to drive growth. The sector may also have to deal with more competition in the future if the government allows ride-sharing services such as Uber to operate across the country.

“Autonomous taxis and the taxi industry can grow and prosper together,” Taniguchi told reporters, after announcing ZMP’s partnership with Hinomaru KotsuContinue reading ZMP partners with Tokyo taxi operator to launch self-driving cabs for 2020 Olympics

Opinion: North America and its chief robotics officers will drive ‘Industry 5.0’

otto motors

By Matt Rendall, CEO and co-founder of Otto Motors, and host of the forthcoming Drive Manufacturing Summit

Manufacturers in North American know robotics and automation; they have studied and put into practice the Ford Production System and the Toyota Production System to continuously improve operations, with much of those improvements made by the use and integration of automation.

As such, the sector has traditionally been one of the first industries to grab hold of burgeoning robotics technologies and incorporate them into process.

This said, something has changed in the last 10 years – while manufacturers have focused on continuous improvement within their space, the technology sector has also been making leaps and bounds in innovation, with new capabilities spanning cloud computing, big data, and mobile computing.  Continue reading Opinion: North America and its chief robotics officers will drive ‘Industry 5.0’

New Russian plane looking for room in global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus

An MS-21 medium-range passenger plane, produced by Irkut Corporation, takes off in Irkutsk, Russia, May 28, 2017. Courtesy of Irkut / via Reuters

By Tim Hepher, Reuters

Russia’s new jetliner, which conducted its maiden flight on Sunday, may have a hard time challenging the sales duopoly of Boeing and Airbus, but it does point the way to radical changes in how they could be building jets in the future.

The MS-21, a new single aisle airliner produced by Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, and its associate company Irkut, is the first passenger plane borne aloft by lightweight carbon-composite wings built without a costly pressurised oven called an autoclave.

The manufacturing process provides a test for a technology already being assessed by Western rivals, who are looking for cheaper and faster ways to build some of their aircraft with composites, according to aerospace executives and suppliers.  Continue reading New Russian plane looking for room in global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus