In the 1955 short story “Autofac,” Philip K. Dick envisioned a world dominated by self-replicating robots that work incessantly, eventually depleting the planet’s resources.
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Intelligent factories have existed since manufacturing’s historical inception, but intelligence—defined as the acquisition and application of manufacturing knowledge—resided only with the factory’s staff.
I’ve had quite a month, again, covering clever software and gadgets that continue to inch their way into performing tasks once reserved for humans. These tasks range from mundane material handling to highly skilled engineering design. It has made me think quite a bit about how our world of manufacturing and engineering will be affected by all this artificial cleverness.
With a shortage of young workers willing and able to do today’s factory jobs, manufacturers are taking steps to retain the older workforce already punching in.
Contract manufacturers, aka job shops, are the heart and soul of US manufacturing. Their survival and success are imperative.
Our focus has always been on helping manufacturers improve quality, productivity and visibility. In Sight Machine 2.0, among other things, we’ve added a set of enhancements to improve visibility.
My instincts tell me we need a sense of urgency around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing. The urgency is driven by how quickly technology can move today, and how an unexpected breakthrough can quickly dominate.
My original intention for this column was to discuss a phrase getting a lot of buzz lately, artificial intelligence (AI). By any measure, interest in AI is expanding exponentially, both in the number of articles one can read on the subject and, according to Google Trends, the number of searches for those articles.
Automated manufacturing operations are finely tuned ecosystems in which all components must function in complete harmony. Grippers used to pick and place, orient and hold components or end products at various points along the production chain are key to this process.
Convergence-enabled cyberattacks—where criminals exploit traditionally isolated operational technology (OT) devices through their new connections to the IT network—may be motivated by the desire to hijack and demand ransom for services, steal trade secrets through industrial or national cyberespionage, or commit cyberterrorism or engage in cyberwarfare.