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.
The head of logistics at software giant SAP says the future of the digital supply chain is robotics and automation.
SAP is one of the world’s largest software companies in any sector, with more than 300,000 clients in around 190 countries, and its logistics division has customers such as luxury automaker Porsche, and large transport operations such as Trenitalia.
In an interview with em360tech.com, Hans Thalbauer, SVP of extended supply chain and IoT at SAP, says industries are becoming smarter because of these technologies.
At Daimler, the “smart factory” is the centrepiece of the digitalisation of the entire company. In the smart factory, the products, machines and the entire environment are networked with each other and connected to the internet. Integration of the real world into a functional, digital world enables a so-called “digital twin” to be created, which allows the real-time representation of processes, systems and entire production shops.
“Digitalisation enables us to make our products more individual, and production more efficient and flexible. The challenge is to plan for the long term while remaining able to respond rapidly to customer wishes and market fluctuations,” says Markus Schäfer, executive board member Mercedes-Benz cars production and supply chain management.
“The working environment in the automobile industry is facing major and very rapid changes,” says Michael Brecht, chairman of the Daimler works council. “We want to be actively involved in shaping these changes. One key to this is undoubtedly the systematic, far-sighted training of the current and future workforce.” Continue reading Daimler sets its sights on vision of smart factory
Martyn Williams, managing director of Copa-Data UK, explains the changing responsibilities of IT and OT
The convergence of industrial automation and communication is an integral part of the growing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In the modern industrial realm, automation should provide a consistent way of executing tasks and processes – including those usually associated with information technology (IT).
As a result, the operational technology (OT) used to support manufacturing processes is experiencing significant changes.
IT and OT convergence describes the integration of IT systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, with OT systems, such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).
Robot-to-person solutions are on a rapid trajectory for 2017 and beyond. Yet discrete manufacturing organizations which initiate material replenishment automation programs without properly analyzing processes and priorities for internal and external stakeholders, find far less value than anticipated.
Manufacturers are unsure about current replenishment capabilities within ERP (enterprise resource planning) and other systems, and are even less clear whether to fix, buy, or build a solution to gain the capabilities needed.
Too often disruptions in leadership and a change-averse environment can create barriers to improved production flow and automating processes.
Jay Cadman, of Ubisense, talks about the history of smart factories and the new products today that are enabling many more businesses to realise the benefits of real-time location systems
While the phrase “smart factory” is relatively recent, first coined at The Hanover Fair in 2011, the concept has been talked about in various forms for the past 30 years. And at Ubisense we’ve been creating smart factories for some of the world’s leading manufacturers in the automotive and discrete industries for more than a decade.
Ubisense’s Smart Factory product was originally designed to specifically help vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) tackle the challenges of managing ever increasing levels of complexity in assembly lines brought about by mass-customisation.
Automatic guided vehicles that optimize their own routes. Warehouses that automatically recognize missing inventory and order refills in real time. Systems that develop into complete service providers, thanks to innovative IT. CeMAT 2016 brings all the fascinating trends in intralogistics together at the same time and place.
The future belongs to the Smart Factor – but only after perfectly integrated logistics processes create the necessary preconditions. This makes the intelligent control of inventory flows an absolute must.
Manufacturers, dealers, service providers: All of these are on the lookout for new technologies and ideas. And CeMAT is the only place that brings together groundbreaking solutions for the entire supply chain – under the keynote heading of Smart Supply Chain Solutions. Continue reading CeMAT theme to be smart supply chain solutions
KPMG and IBM have signed a deal to apply IBM’s Watsoncognitive computing technology to KPMG’s management consultancy services.
The agreement, including a focus on auditing services, builds on several recent KPMG initiatives that the companies say demonstrate the promise of cognitive technologies in transforming the firm’s ability to deliver innovative and enhanced business services.
“The cognitive era has arrived,” said Lynne Doughtie, KPMG chairman and CEO. “KPMG’s use of IBM Watson technology will help advance our team’s ability to analyze and act on the core financial and operational data so central to the health of organizations and the capital markets.
Automation technologies such as the Jacquard loom were ubiquitous in the 1800s during the first industrial revolution. Such machines eliminated some of the most tedious and time-consuming jobs from factories, and raised production to record levels.
Then, in the mid-1900s, the robotic arm was invented. Like the loom, that too is a machine ubiquitous in the contemporary industrial landscape. And with the advent of computing, robotics and automation systems have been increasingly integrated into self-contained production systems, controlled through what might now be considered rudimentary forms of artificial intelligence.
That integration process is still ongoing, but meanwhile a number of new technologies have emerged – particularly in computing and networking – which are combining to form trends that are themselves coalescing. Experts are now encapsulating all these technologies, trends and developments into a relatively new catch-all term – Industry 4.0.
One of the key features of Industry 4.0 is, arguably, the gradual encroachment of AI into what used to be considered jobs that only humans could do – the robots were supposedly not clever enough. The common misconception was that computer-controlled robotics and automation systems can only perform simple manual labour tasks.
While this may be true to a large extent, Moravec’s paradox shows that this is not the whole story, and that, in fact, computers are more suited to high-level intellectual jobs. Which seems obvious when you think about it, or get your robot to think about it. However, neither the hardware nor the software has been available to demonstrate the implications of the paradox on a large scale, until now.
At least some of these views are shared by Alexander Khaytin, chief operating officer at the Yandex Data Factory. According to Khaytin, the gradual move to Industry 4.0 requires rethinking of the full implications of new, artificial intelligence-based technologies.
In exclusive comments to Robotics and Automation News, Khaytin makes the observation that many intellectual tasks are already undertaken by AI systems.
Around 90 per cent of all business processes will be paperless within the next two years, according to a new survey. And the irony is that Xerox, a name synonymous with photocopying on paper, aims to boss the digital market.