Industrial robots are becoming easier to program, more versatile, more cost-effective, more accurate and more mobile. These changes are lowering barriers to entry, shortening return on investment and making robots a more practical investment.
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The second level of machining automation is here. It may not be at every shop or factory yet, but it’s coming.
With an influx of investment in digital factories, the playing field is changing and the ROI for digitizing production is becoming ever more apparent. However, restraints, such as company size and a disconnect between IT and OT, means the road to a successful digital transformation is one very few will be able to do alone.
For years, companies have struggled to understand how additive manufacturing (AM) can add value to their businesses. This makes sense because for a long time, additive tech didn’t meet the threshold for producing industrial-grade parts.
Cloud technology presents manufacturers with opportunities to improve the flexibility, scalability and efficiency of their operations. Realizing these benefits will require more than simply doing a one-to-one transfer of current technology to cloud-based servers.
Blockchain technology is becoming a key player in modernizing supply chains to enable easy tracking, automate transactions and delivery, and build end-to-end trust, Chandra Narayanaswami, principal research staff member, Member IBM Academy of Technology at IBM Research, told people attending a smart manufacturing session at the MD&M West conference here last week.
When it comes to being successful, manufacturers today have more tools than ever to succeed. Chris Mahar, Associate Editor of Manufacturing Engineering, talks with Jeff Lage, President, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies at Ellison Technologies, about how Industry 4.0 is helping manufacturers improve operations through data collection and insights. Providing tips on how businesses can get the most capacity out of their machines, remove waste and enable their machines do more.
Machine vision is proving ideal in helping humans perform tedious but crucial manufacturing tasks. That is why it is poised to grow significantly in the next few years.
Energy markets across the world are changing rapidly with the increase of renewables and the change to a more distributed energy network. Energy storage is key. The capabilities of large-scale batteries have expanded, allowing users to capture more value and create a powerful tool to manage energy needs.
So you have finally decided to start your digital transformation. You have seen the benefits around digitizing your operations. By connecting your disparate systems, you can start seeing what is actually happening in your plant and become more efficient. And not just in one plant, but in multiple plants.