New robotic painting system saves ‘significant’ resources, claims Fraunhofer

An automated painting system, involving an industrial robot, is claimed to save significant resources by its developer, the Fraunhofer Institute.

The robotic system – called SelfPaint – is said by Fraunhofer to offer reductions of 20 percent in paint use, 15 percent in energy consumption and 5 percent in production time.

These are “significant advantages” compared to manual painting operations, which have previously been the preferred option, adds Fraunhofer.  Continue reading New robotic painting system saves ‘significant’ resources, claims Fraunhofer

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

Honeywell says its newest PLC dramatically reduces integration costs for industrial plants

honeywell controledge plc

Honeywell Process Solutions has launched the latest version of its ControlEdge Programmable Logic Controller.

This release, combined with Honeywell’s Experion distributed control system, provides a “significant reduction” in integration efforts and project costs as well as increased security and availability through enhanced cyber security for industrial facilities, says the company.

The PLC is used in a variety of balance of plant applications, such as equipment and device level control.  Continue reading Honeywell says its newest PLC dramatically reduces integration costs for industrial plants

Cyber-physical systems and manufacturing’s new frontier

The real world and its digital twin are collaborating to bring forth something called “mass customisation”, a new manufacturing culture which, as the term suggests, will be the basis for the most diverse ecosystem of engineered products ever seen. 

To understand and articulate some specifics about what’s being called “the new frontier of manufacturing”, one of the world’s largest management consultancy firms, Deloitte, partnered with the Singularity University, a forum for technology futurists co-founded by Ray Kurzweil, to organise a conference called Exponential Manufacturing, featuring many thought leaders working in the industrial sector.  Continue reading Cyber-physical systems and manufacturing’s new frontier

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

What’s in the stars for manufacturing in India?

An electric fan factory, Varanasi Benares India
An electric fan factory, Varanasi Benares India

Exclusive interview with Sharmila Annaswamy, India-based consultant specialising in industry

Apple recently established a manufacturing facility in India, through Foxconn, the Taiwanese company which makes its iPhones, iPads and other devices. 

For Sharmila Annaswamy, a Frost & Sullivan consultant specialising in industry, the tech giant’s decision is one of the “remarkable achievements” of the government’s Make in India campaign.

As well as Apple and Foxconn, a number of Chinese companies have set up manufacturing facilities in India. Huawei, for example, plans to make smartphones in the country.

In an exclusive interview with RoboticsAndAutomationNews.com, Annaswamy says: “Apple and other large companies moving into India is one of the good things that is happening with the Make in India campaign, which the government has been promoting on a large scale.  Continue reading What’s in the stars for manufacturing in India?

Cognitive technologies and AI poised to transform all manufacturing sectors, says Frost

ibm ai

Partnership, collaboration, and technology investment crucial for growth opportunities, says Frost & Sullivan’s industrial automation and process control team 

The Internet of Things and data analytics are transforming the manufacturing space, and data is the new currency.

Currently, human intervention is needed for logical and reasonable decision making. However, with the rise of cognitive technologies, machines will be empowered to detect constantly changing manufacturing scenarios and respond in real time with minimum human intervention.

To be successful, manufacturers need to invest in artificial intelligence technology to improve plant efficiency and productivity, and build partnerships and collaborations that drive data-driven intelligence.  Continue reading Cognitive technologies and AI poised to transform all manufacturing sectors, says Frost

NarrativeWave claims first of its kind IIoT platform

industrial-internet-plm

Today, large industrial assets, such as airplane engines and gas turbines, generate data through sensors.

In fact, there are around 6 billion connected sensors in the world today and by 2020, more than 20 billion sensors will be connected worldwide, according to Gartner.

During a commercial airline flight, data such as the engine’s health and status is sent to diagnostic engineers to be closely analyzed.

Approximately 1,000 gigabytes of data are generated per flight and with over 100,000 flights per day, this equates to over 100,000,000 gigabytes of commercial flight data every day.

That is what you call BIG data.

While big data can be a curse to manage, it is becoming the most critical asset. Continue reading NarrativeWave claims first of its kind IIoT platform

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

Renishaw and Dassault team up for integrated additive manufacturing

Dassault Systèmes catia

Engineering services provider Renishaw is collaborating with Dassault Systèmes, a 3D modelling, simulation and industrial operations software provider, as part of its commitment to provide and enhance software for metal additive manufacturing.

Users of Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience platform applications can now design, optimise, simulate and set up additive manufacturing builds directly for production on Renishaw’s additive manufacturing systems, which build 3D metal parts using laser powder bed fusion technology.  Continue reading Renishaw and Dassault team up for integrated additive manufacturing

Biopharmaceuticals manufacturing: Strict but supple

Robert Harrison, pharmaceutical industry manager of industrial software expert Copa-Data, explains how industrial automation solutions could change the face of biopharmaceutical manufacturing in the years to come

Despite producing innovative drugs that save millions of lives, the pharmaceutical sector is one of the most conservative areas of industry. This cautious approach to new technologies is particularly clear in pharma’s less matured subsectors, including biopharmaceuticals.

Biopharmaceuticals represent the fastest growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry, making up about 20 per cent of the market. Annual growth rates of the biopharma subsector are around eight per cent – double that of more traditional pharmaceutical sectors.  Continue reading Biopharmaceuticals manufacturing: Strict but supple

Hannover Messe: Smart materials paving the way to 3D printing and to the ‘microfactory’

3d printed supercar

Get your complimentary ticket to Hannover Messe 2017

There may or may not be slight differences between what’s called “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing”, but essentially both are advanced techniques that could spell the end of assembly lines as we know them. 

It’s a widely known historic fact that giant car companies pioneered what we now known as the assembly line, where a product – such as a car or any other complex item – would move along production line, where different workers and teams of workers would do their jobs and eventually a finished product would be the result.

This process, however, is now being reconsidered in an age where customers are asking for increaing amounts of customisation and new technologies such as 3D printing and additive manufacturing are making this customisation possible.  Continue reading Hannover Messe: Smart materials paving the way to 3D printing and to the ‘microfactory’

How supply chain professionals can help create a smart factory 

warehouse

Bob Davies, international operations manager of obsolete components supplier, EU Automation, discusses the role the smart supply chain plays in the factory of the future 

In the animal kingdom many animals store food to see them through the difficult winter period, but in the case of the Gray Squirrel it has been shown that 74 per cent of their buried stores fail to be recovered.

In the age of accelerated industrial obsolescence, some manufacturers have taken a similar approach, stockpiling spare parts for their industrial automation systems in case of equipment failure later on. Using a more modern approach can streamline this process by maximising factory space and minimising waste.

When German industrialists created the concept of Industry 4.0, they played heavily on the idea of the smart factory, in which the whole facility is integrated, connected, intelligent analytics orientated and focussed on reducing downtime and waste.  Continue reading How supply chain professionals can help create a smart factory 

Lowering the entry barriers of additive manufacturing

renishaw

Marc Saunders, director of Renishaw’s Global Solutions Centre, explains how additive manufacturing is moving from the world of rapid prototyping into series production

A famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin says: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Although in reality Franklin never said these words, the quote has become extremely popular because its message resonates with anyone who has ever tried to make sense of new technology.

To a large extent, the quote also applies perfectly to additive manufacturing (AM).  Continue reading Lowering the entry barriers of additive manufacturing

Zeiss opens car body and automated inspection center in Michigan

zeiss car body inspection
Zeiss Car Body and Automated Inspection Center in Michigan. (PRNewsFoto/Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology)

Zeiss Industrial Metrology has opened a new facility in Wixom, Michigan, that the company says is dedicated to the latest developments for the process chain in car body metrology and automated inspection.

Bob Wasilesky, key account manager for automated inspection at Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, says: “This center helps us illustrate how to make production more efficient in line, in the measuring room, and in-between.

“This means production and quality can find solutions to problems anytime, from anywhere in the manufacturing facility. Zeiss also showcases solutions for robotic inspection, quality and process data mining, plus measurement planning and offline programming.”  Continue reading Zeiss opens car body and automated inspection center in Michigan