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Manufacturing Post COVID-19: Marching Toward Innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way people live. Social distancing, face coverings, and remote working when possible are the new norms. Manufacturing, deemed an essential service, must forge on, finding new ways of working that balance the safety of workers with maintaining a production schedule to meet supply chain demands and sustain profits.

Manufacturers find themselves navigating the new normal of split team working, digital platforms, and remote working that can make worker connectivity and productivity challenging. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for manufacturers willing to embrace digital platforms and other technology designed to circumvent such issues.

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The Rise of Robots-as-a-service in Manufacturing Operations

Robots-as-a-Service uses a cloud-based system which allows for easier requirement changes.

The intent behind these “as-a-service” implementations is to democratize the technology while lowering the barrier to entry for businesses, large and small alike. The “as-a-service” philosophy is becoming more prevalent in today’s working environment and is spreading to new aspects of work. One of those new arenas is robotics as a service (RaaS).

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The Future of Manufacturing Technologies

Technology and the manufacturing industry have always worked hand in hand. Recently, however, rapid technological innovation and the Internet have fuelled the ongoing industrial revolution in 2020 where robotic automation is expected to expand its role and impact in various manufacturing settings.

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Five Factors to Smart Instrumentation in Industry 4.0

Learn how Industry 4.0 incorporates the data and analytics from smart instruments to add tremendous value to an organization.

Instruments in today’s market are heavily data-driven and connected. Live information about the process can be accessed at the field level without having to be networked through a traditional HMI (human-machine interface). Learn how Industry 4.0 incorporates the data and analytics from smart instruments to add tremendous value to an organization. Consider these five factors to smart instrumentation in Industry 4.0:

1. Smart instruments in the Industry 4.0 infrastructure

“Smart” Instruments are instruments that, besides their primary purpose, generate additional data such as diagnostics. They are highly accessible platforms such as phones, tablets, and laptops that work over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals. Smart instruments often have advanced protocols such as Ethernet/IP or OPC-UA that allows them to be tied directly into site networks instead of through the control system. This can also be done with the use of gateways. Control systems can, therefore, predominately focus on control while maintenance, calibration and commissioning data is still accessible at higher levels such as the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or manufacturing execution system (MES).

2. Common examples of Industry 4.0 instrument data

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Why You Need to Invest in Robotic Automation Today

Intelligent automation is increasingly being applied in businesses; don’t get left behind

Robotic automation, also known as robotisation, involves the automation of manufacturing and other business processes through the use of robots in different forms. Industrial robots, for example, are used in manufacturing, taking over tasks normally associated with or performed by a human being. These include tasks such as welding, shipping, assembly line work, materials handling, and product packaging. Software robots are also part of robotic automation, in that they are created to render generic automation capability, and are configured to perform manual, repetitive tasks as exemplified by the chatbots people encounter the first time they visit a website.

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5 Steps to Implement Al on the Factory Floor

Companies should be looking to benefit from the potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence and edge computing for business success and competitive advantage.

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Tips for Implementing Robotic Automation Tools

Robotic automation can spur greater efficiency, deliver better results, lower costs and increase flexibility, but companies need to have the right tools to make the robot's application successful.

When implemented correctly, robotic automation can spur greater efficiency, deliver better results, lower costs and increase flexibility — for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger-scale manufacturing companies. However, businesses must have a sound and strategic vision of robotic automation before pursuing it. They should understand how it will be introduced and to which applications, outline its potential benefits, and clearly understand the unique budget and operational strategies.

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Improving Cybersecurity in Robotic Automation

Cybersecurity poses a serious threat to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) enabled devices and robotic automation equipment. Attackers who gain access to industrial networks have a number of devastating options available to them, from changing production data to causing harmful production errors.

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The Future of Automation in the Manufacturing Environment

In the past, the word “automation” has created such a buzz, especially in the manufacturing industry. The discourse surrounding the use of robots in the processing and delivery of products is a hot topic of conversation throughout various industries. Majority shareholders are pushing top management officials to adopt automation due to the numerous benefits it brings. The overreaching goal is to seamlessly integrate it into their current processes to streamline their operations. 

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Now is the Time to Implement Warehouse Automation

Warehouse storage and retrieval are set to undergo a worldwide change over the next decade. Automated warehouses will delegate many of the tasks now performed by people to robots, including automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Warehouses with automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) will have several advantages over those that rely on human labour.

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