Electric autonomous vehicle maker Navya to open first US production plant

Autonomous electric vehicle maker Navya is set to open its first US production plant. Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor Spark are to collaborate with Navya on site selection and talent recruitment.

In a joint statement, Navya, MEDC and Ann Arbor Spark said the Michigan plant will be located in the city of Saline, Michigan with a 20,000+ sq ft facility.

Navya plans to build approximately 25 of its Arma fully autonomous and electric shuttle vehicles at the plant before the close of 2017.  Continue reading Electric autonomous vehicle maker Navya to open first US production plant

Comau provides glimpse into Maserati plant in Italy

Comau has provided RoboticsAndAutomationNews.com an insight into its production processes at the Torino, Italy plant of the prestige car marque Maserati

Comau is part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, which also owns Maserati, along with a number of the world’s most famous and celebrated marques such as Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

In this picture story, Comau shows its industrial robots performing complex tasks relating to body-in-white operations, spot welding and other crucial assembly functions.  Continue reading Comau provides glimpse into Maserati plant in Italy

Opinion: Is digitalisation the key to remote plant operation?

3d printing

By Eric Duchesne, SVP technology experts for Total, who will be addressing at the ERTC Ask the Experts conference in Cologne on 20-21 June 

There have been many advances in the field of digitalisation in recent years.

As the industry moves towards remote operation it is plant optimisation and integrity management which will provide the tools to enhance safety and anticipate potential problems within the plant, ensuring that the right human assets and replacement parts are available when required.

Today, there’s lots of talk about big data, but before we start to consider how we use big data we can dramatically improve the performance of our plants through the more effective interpretation of data that already exists. We need to become proactive rather than reactive.  Continue reading Opinion: Is digitalisation the key to remote plant operation?

Emerson inaugurates Polish manufacturing facility

Opening Dave Farr - Emerson

Industrial automation company Emerson has inaugurated a new facility on its Polish site.

The new part of the Emerson facility produces Asco valves, and was inaugurated on in Lodz, Poland by Emerson CEO David Farr.

The event was attended by members of management board and representatives of the city of Lodz with the mayor Hanna Zdanowska.  Continue reading Emerson inaugurates Polish manufacturing facility

Distec and Red Lion Controls host event to demonstrate smart factory technology

distec red lion

Industrial computing specialist Distec is partnering with industrial automation and networking expert Red Lion Controls to host a smart factory day on March 28, 2017.

The event, which will be held at the De Vere Cranage Estate in Cheshire, UK is designed to give plant managers an overview of the benefits of smart factory technology.

The day will feature speakers discussing their experiences using the latest automation technology to build smart factory environments.

Plant managers and engineers can also view live demo kits to get a hands-on experience of the automation technology that’s helping to build the current and next generation of smart factory. Technical staff will also be on hand to answer questions about the technology and its use in factories.  Continue reading Distec and Red Lion Controls host event to demonstrate smart factory technology

Audi obsessively improving its logistics robot

audi ray robot

Audi is continuously obsessing about how to improve its Ray autonomous logistics robot, which is used to lift and move cars, and park them in specified places. 

The company says the Ray driverless transport system is “continuously being developed further – their weather resistance, for example” and in other ways.

Developed in partnership with Serva Transport Systems, Audi currently has a total of 18 of the parking robots.  Continue reading Audi obsessively improving its logistics robot

Keeping costs down: The lion’s share of IoT communication

IoT compatbility for legacy systems

Adrian Swindells, director of industrial computing specialist Distec, explores how businesses can keep the cost of IoT implementation to a minimum

One of the biggest bugbears of plant managers is the cost of upgrading or replacing devices and equipment.

While this has traditionally only occurred due to a breakage, the rise of the internet of things has driven a need for cross-compatible equipment – in most cases calling for the costly replacement of legacy systems to ensure communication.

Whether you think of it as industry 4.0 or the IoT, the concept of machine to machine internetworking is undeniably the most talked about technological development of recent times.

In fact, forecasts have predicted the market for the IoT to be worth $14.4 trillion by 2022Continue reading Keeping costs down: The lion’s share of IoT communication

Al Waha Petrochemicals to use Honeywell’s industrial internet to improve plant performance

honeywell uop Al Waha

Honeywell says it has been contracted to provide its industrial internet-based Connected Performance Services to Al Waha Petrochemicals Company to explore possibilities of maximizing propylene production.

CPS is a key part of Honeywell’s Connected Plant initiative that helps manufacturers leverage the IIoT to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of operations across a single plant or several plants across an enterprise.

CPS integrates Honeywell UOP’s process and service expertise into the Connected Plant cloud platform. Continue reading Al Waha Petrochemicals to use Honeywell’s industrial internet to improve plant performance

SPX Flow launches ‘multi-million-dollar’ European manufacturing facility 

Company says its new, “multi-million-dollar” European plant enhances process equipment manufacturing capability 

SPX Flow has expanded its manufacturing capability in Europe.

The company – which offers an extensive range of hygienic valves, plate heat exchangers, pumps, homogenizers and process systems designed for use in dairy, food, beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care production – says the expansion is part of its “continued commitment to excel in service, quality and delivery”.

The new SPX flow facility in central Europe is designed for “manufacturing excellence” in terms of efficient production of high quality products with reliable and competitive lead times, says the company.  Continue reading SPX Flow launches ‘multi-million-dollar’ European manufacturing facility 

US President Donald Trump pressures automakers to increase production in the US

Donald Trump and Mary Barra
Trump pulls out a chair for GM CEO Mary Barra as he hosts a meeting with US auto industry CEOs at the White House, on January 24, 2017. Reuters / Kevin Lamarque

By David Shepardson and Roberta Rampton, Reuters

US President Donald Trump pushed the chief executives of General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler to increase production in the United States and boost American employment.

Trump opened a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the White House by saying he wants to see new auto plants built in the United States.

The new Republican president vowed to cut regulations and taxes to make it more attractive for businesses to operate in the United States. He promised frequently during his election campaign to be a job-creating president and stressed that message in his inaugural speech last Friday.  Continue reading US President Donald Trump pressures automakers to increase production in the US

General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

gm building

General Motors says it will invest an additional $1 billion into its manufacturing operations in the US, adding to the $2.9 billion of investment it announced last year. 

And in a what may have been an extra comment aimed at President-elect Donald Trump, GM says it has invested a total of $21 billion in its US manufacturing operations since 2009.

Like virtually all other automakers and large manufacturing companies, such as Apple, GM has been the target of some criticism from Trump, who wants to fulfil his campaign promise to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US.  Continue reading General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

Manufacturing: Trump tempts Toyota with tax break if it builds cars in US instead of Mexico

toyota mexico
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto with Toyota North America CEO James Lentz last year during the start of building the facility in Guanajuato

lockAfter apparently pressuring Ford to change its plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Mexico, President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly putting pressure on Toyota to follow suit. 

Ford had intended to build a plant in Mexico, but is now applying the brakes on those plans, according to the Economist.

A couple of days ago, Ford said it would cancel its $1.6 billion project in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and instead invest $700 million in its plant in Michigan, in the US.  Continue reading Manufacturing: Trump tempts Toyota with tax break if it builds cars in US instead of Mexico

There will be data: Exclusive interview with Honeywell UOP cloud boss

honeywell uop cps petrochemical plant

The oil and gas industry is the lifeblood and oxygen of the modern world. It produces the stuff that powers the power stations, providing the energy on which we all depend if we live in a country with even a moderate infrastructure. 

Much as we’d all like to live on fresh air, and run our iMachines on the light that shines in through our windows, the harsh reality is that the dirty and dangerous business of fossil fuels is still the biggest generator of energy in the world today.

No developed or developing economy on Earth can do without oil and gas, and no oil and gas plant can do without systems to prevent downtime. Every second of unscheduled downtime can cost the oil and gas company millions of dollars. Not only that, the secondary effects on all the businesses connected to the oil and gas company’s supply lines – which basically permeate the whole of society – could be devastating to a nation’s economy and wellbeing if those seconds turn into minutes, hours or days.  Continue reading There will be data: Exclusive interview with Honeywell UOP cloud boss

Honeywell connectivity solution ‘improves efficiency and productivity at PetroVietnam refinery’

Honeywell says a subsidiary of PetroVietnam will use its new IIoT-based Connected Performance Services (CPS) offering to improve the performance of its manufacturing operations in Quang Ngai City, Vietnam.

Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical (BSR) will use Honeywell’s CPS technology which integrates Honeywell UOP’s deep process knowledge to improve refinery and plant performance at its naphtha complex.

CPS is part of Honeywell’s Connected Plant initiative, which leverages IIoT technologies, services and domain expertise to improve all aspects of industrial operations from supply chain efficiency to asset optimization. Continue reading Honeywell connectivity solution ‘improves efficiency and productivity at PetroVietnam refinery’

Faurecia launches $64 million smart factory in Columbus, Indiana

faurecia columbus south
Picture credit: Faurecia via DBusiness.com

Faurecia has unveiled a $64 million “digital factory”, or smart factory as some call it, which the company says showcases the future of manufacturing.

Faurecia says the Columbus, Indiana-based emissions control technologies plant represents the industrial giant’s digital transformation.

Faurecia, which is a leading automotive technology supplier, says the $64 million Columbus South plant is a “data-driven manufacturing facility”.  Continue reading Faurecia launches $64 million smart factory in Columbus, Indiana