Adidas reveals plans for 3D printing 'Speedfactory'

Corey Clarke for 3DPrintingIndustry:  Adidas is moving closer to a 3D printing shoe manufacturing revolution. As previously reported the sports shoe manufacturer used 3D printing to produce the Ultraboost Parley and 3D Runner releases in 2016. This year, Adidas are keen to up the tempo with their Speedfactory concept. Industrial factories where 3D printing and robotics manufacture sneakers on-demand are at the core of the plan. Manufacturing will also become localized, eliminating costs associated with logistics and supply chains. Large-scale production at German Speedfactory in Ansbach is set for mid-2017, with Adidas expecting to create 500,000 shoes a year in the future. While in the U.S, Adidas has announced plans to create a Speedfactory in Atlanta in late-2017.   Cont'd...

Chiefs hold back on smart factories after backlash

Peggy Hollinger for Financial Times:  General Electric, one of the world’s biggest industrial companies, estimates that digitising industrial machinery, networks and processes will not just bring down the costs of manufacturing. The data it generates will open new business opportunities, such as optimising maintenance schedules for customers or improving the design and quality of products. The resulting “industrial internet”, GE argues, has the potential to deliver global productivity improvements that could add $10tn-15tn to global GDP over 20 years. No manufacturer can ignore the coming revolution. Yet many, in developed economies at least, are wary. A backlash against globalisation, fuelled by decades of decline in America’s rust belt and the erosion of blue-collar jobs, has already upset the status quo in the US, where Donald Trump’s protectionist slogans helped him to win the White House. Almost half the 1,370 chief executives questioned in PwC’s annual Global CEO survey published this week fear that this latest industrial revolution will feed further distrust among their companies’ stakeholders — whether they be investors, employees or the wider public.   Cont'd...

What is Smart Manufacturing & the Smart Factory?

Smart Manufacturing and the Smart Factory enables all information about the manufacturing process to be available when and where it is needed across entire manufacturing supply chains and product lifecycles.

Special Tradeshow Coverage for ATX West 2017

ATX West will be held from February 7th - 9th in Anaheim, California. This ManufacturingTomorrow.com Special Tradeshow report aims to bring you news, articles and products from this years event.

YCF - 2017 could be year of smart factory

Katie Mallinson for B Daily:  2017 could be the year of the smart factory. That’s the opinion of Huddersfield-based YCF – the not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting the manufacturing industry and its supply chain. The statement follows months of speculation around Industry 4.0 – the idea of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technology. Simply, it’s the computerisation of manufacturing, involving systems that communicate with each other, monitor physical processes and make decisions. And YCF’s CEO Jill Mooney thinks that 2017 could be the year that manufacturers start to plan the implementation of such machinery.     Cont'd...

A New Use for High-Speed Fiber Optics: Connecting Smart Factories

Jennifer Baljko for EBN Online:  Machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) have risen to the forefront of many strategic technology conversations. Companies are revamping product designs and component capabilities to allow for seamless, real-time communication flows between devices. Executives talk about how constant transmission and automated analysis of machine-generated information will transform the way we live, work, play, drive and shop, and change the landscape of our homes, offices, cars, malls, supermarkets, hospitals, gas stations and every other place we move through on a daily basis. As M2M and IoT shape business and operations strategies, influence product design and compel companies to re-examine how suppler and customer data is collected and used, a question begs: How will companies pool together all their internal factory and supply chain data in a way that matches the speed, consistency and reliability of what IoT promises? The factory, after all, is the heartbeat that keeps many companies operating, and a data bottleneck there comes with a costly implication. Many in the industry in have started to realize that, and it's resulting in a deeper conversation around industrial IoT, or IIoT.   Cont'd...

IIoT's new business models

Smart Industry:  Today, most companies see the value of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as additional information— data—that can help them do the things they already do, just better and more efficiently. And there lies a lot of low hanging fruit in  But for some companies, a much greater value is coming in the form of whole new capabilities—new products, services and businesses that could not exist without IIoT technology. “This higher value of IIoT is hidden in a lot of people’s minds—they’re not able to see the potential,” said Joe Sinfield, senior partner, Innosight and tenured professor of civil engineering, Purdue University. Sinfield spoke at September’s Smart Industry 2016 conference in Chicago about how individuals and companies can learn to see and take advantage of these new opportunities. “IIoT will transform virtually all industrial companies,” Sinfield said. How will the IIoT ecosystem evolve, and where is value shifting? How can industrial companies spot and capture related opportunity? What are the strategic roles available for industrials? What shifts in strategic planning are needed to unlock the value of IIoT?    Cont'd...

The Audi smart factory of the future

Jason Siu AutoGuide.com:  Audi is developing a “Smart Factory” where robots will work together with humans to build cars. The German automaker first talked about its Smart Factory last year, envisioning a plant with human-robot collaboration, 3D printed parts, drone material transport and piloted cars that drive themselves off the production lines. A new video has been released that gives us a glimpse into that factory, proving that it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. In fact, Audi appears to be making great progress with drones transporting steering wheels, although it may not seem very effective in the video.   Cont'd...

Delta buys Unicom to advance smart factories

Christine Chou, The China Post:  Delta Electronics, a provider of power management solutions, will acquire a 100 percent stake in industrial software provider Unicom (羽冠) for NT$351 million (US$10.9 million).  In a bid to speed up its smart manufacturing operations, Delta Electronics' board of directors agreed on Friday to acquire Unicom - merging the leading Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) software provider into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta. Unicom, which specializes in Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), has been providing solutions to streamline factory management and equipment monitoring for almost 20 years. Delta Electronics chief executive officer Cheng Ping said with the arrival of the internet of things, manufacturers must move towards smart production to adapt to changing market demands. The development of core technologies and systems for smart manufacturing requires cross-disciplinary cooperation to speed up the transition and seize market opportunities, Cheng said.   Cont'd...

Siemens to buy Mentor Graphics amid push to digitize factories

By Christopher Alessi and Natascha Divac, Dow Jones Newswires:  Siemens AG’s planned acquisition of automation and industrial software provider Mentor Graphics Corp. is the German giant’s latest play to stay competitive in the race to digitize heavy industry. Siemens on Monday offered $37.25 a share in cash, equivalent to a 21 percent premium on Mentor’s closing share price on Friday, giving the U.S. company an equity value of around $4 billion.Wilsonville, Ore.-based Mentor, which has agreed to the acquisition, sells software and hardware design-automation tools for the development and testing of advanced electronic systems. The company has a field office in Longmont. Mentor’s shares gained 18.3 percent to $36.30 in recent Nasdaq trading on Monday. “It’s a perfect portfolio fit to further expand our digital leadership and set the pace in the industry,” Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said.   Cont'd...

Samsung SDS releases AI-based smart factory system

Yoon Sung-won for KoreaTimes:  Samsung SDS has launched its artificial intelligence (AI)-based smart factory system service Nexplant, the company said Wednesday. The system integration service affiliate of Samsung Group highlighted that the new service will help clients maximize production efficiency as the AI system analyzes manufacturing problems in real time. "Before the domestic release of the service, we have already drawn high interest from manufacturing businesses in overseas countries including the United States and India," Lee Jae-cheol, smart factory business director and senior vice president of Samsung SDS, said in a statement. "We will expedite business expansion on the global stage." In developing the Nexplant system, Samsung SDS said it has tapped into its expertise in manufacturing process optimization systems that it has accumulated during the last three decades while providing them to plants run by other Samsung affiliates.   Cont'd...

Smart Factory Hackathon: Talented data-science specialists develop solutions for the factory of the future

Press Release via AutomotiveWorld:  “Data drives our production – you innovate from our data” is the motto of the Smart Factory Hackathon, which was held at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt from October 19 to 21. Talented young data-science specialists from the fields of IT, mathematics and engineering developed innovative software solutions for the factory of the future, based on genuine but anonymized data sets from Audi’s production. On Friday afternoon, the winners of the IT competition were awarded their prizes: The “Happy Unicorns” team won first prize with its idea on the subject of container management. The Smart Factory Hackathon is a programmers’ marathon in which participants work out digital solutions and prototypes for genuine application cases over a period of 24 hours. For the competition, more than 20 departments from the pre-series center, toolmaking, paint shop, assembly and logistics had provided anonymized data sets with which the teams had to work. The results were assessed by a jury of four Audi experts and the startup consultant Thorsten Weber from “UnternehmerTUM,” the center for innovation and startups at the Technical University of Munich. The teams then presented their ideas to an audience. The winners were decided equally by the jury assessment and the audience’s votes.   Cont'd...

5 key trends in the global smart factory market

Abhishek Budholiya for Embedded Computing Design:  Smart factories are being touted as the future of manufacturing. Continuous advancement in machine intelligence is expected to bring about a fourth industrial revolution, expected to offer a wide range of benefits, including greater efficiency, flexibility, and safety. The global smart factory market was valued at nearly $52 billion in 2014 and is expected to expand at over 13 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the next ten tears. Let’s take a look at some key insights on the global smart factory market. First, smart factories are gaining traction in the automotive and transportation sector. Tightening profit margins and stringent guidelines have made automotive manufacturing a highly competitive market.   Cont'd...

Blockchain plus 3D printing equals 'smart manufacturing' and Ethereum you can touch

Ian Allison for International Business Times:  Genesis of Things is a new "smart manufacturing" company which leverages intellectual horsepower from members of the Ethereum community. This young company, established and launched just a few weeks before DevCon2 in Shanghai, has produced a tangible proof of concept in the form of a set of 3D printed titanium cufflinks inscribed with a QR code and bearing the insignia of the Ethereum logo. Genesis of Things combines 3D printing, blockchain and IoT in a virtuous, futuristic flow that re-imagines manufacturing processes. The company is in stealth right now and more details about how it operates and possible use cases will be released going forward. It should be repeated that the cufflinks pictured are a proof of concept; this is not a commercial product but rather a limited edition to show the potential of the technology.   Cont'd...

Fujitsu to sell 'smart' factory systems in China

Nikkei Asian Review:  Japan's Fujitsu will partner with Chinese group Shanghai Yidian to sell factory management systems in China, where the government is promoting such technology as a way to cope with a shrinking labor force and improve manufacturing quality. These systems fall into the realm of "internet of things" -- networks of machines, such as factory robots or appliances, that can collect and share data. The municipal-government-run Shanghai Yidian group comprises nearly 150 companies making electronic components, lighting and other products. Some of the group's factories have already adopted Fujitsu software that allows managers to monitor equipment in real time. These systems track energy usage as well as any problems the machines encounter.   Cont'd...

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