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How Bright is the Future of Automation?

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.

Meticulous Recordkeeping Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

The requirements for FDA 21 CFR Part 11 are in place for a good reason: When companies are making a part that goes inside your body, the engineering and manufacturing process must be meticulously documented, tested and controlled. People’s lives are at stake.

How a Small, Influential Maker of Robots Sees Human Workers

The human factor is sometimes just too cumbersome in manufacturing. Take the German chipmaker Infineon: By using an autonomous robot called Scout from MetraLabs for the last several years, the automotive supplier shrank to 10 from 300 the number of minutes it takes to collect the clean-room data needed to measure the presence of rare gases in the air.

How Factory Intelligence is Evolving

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.

Will Automation and Robots Change the World?

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.

Which Technologies Should Come First, Second, Third?

Analytics solutions. The industrial Internet of Things. Robotics. Automation. Manufacturers looking for tech solutions that will help them control costs and gain a competitive edge have many great options. In fact, deciding what type of technology to invest in and why can seem overwhelming.