The Biggest Challenges of Data-Driven Manufacturing

Willy C. Shih and Helmuth Ludwig for Harvard Business Review:  The widespread deployment of low-cost sensors and their connection to the internet has generated a great deal of excitement (and hype) about the future of manufacturing. The internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet in the United States, Industrie 4.0 in Germany, and 物"网 (wù lián wăng) in China are all centered on the application of big data and analytics to creating the next generation of manufacturing: using data to reduce costs through next generation sales and operations planning, dramatically improved productivity, supply chain and distribution optimization, and new types of after-sales services. In fact, IoT is at the peak of Gartner’s 2015 hype cycle, which suggests the next phase will be disillusionment, and it will be years before we see real productivity gains.

We believe data-driven manufacturing is indeed the next wave that will drive efficient and responsive production systems. But to get beyond the hype, managers need to understand some underlying challenges and paradigm shifts. While there are a multitude of challenges on the road to successful implementation, we think there are four especially important ones.  Cont'd...

German manufacturers take aim at smart factories, mass customization

TOMOHISA TAKEI, Nikkei staff writer:  It has been five years since Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, was first unveiled at the Hannover Messe industrial technology trade fair in Germany.

     Industry 4.0 was more of a conceptual model at that time. This year, however, the trade show witnessed an emerging trend toward "smart factories" that can provide mass customization.

     On April 25, SEW-Eurodrive's booth at Hannover Messe drew crowds of visitors. The German industrial motor maker demonstrated its automated vehicles for next-generation assembly plants, what it calls the "Lean Smart Factory."

     In SEW-Eurodrive's demonstration, about 10 such "smart vehicles" moved about as five workers assembled products. One vehicle approached its target worker, displayed a procedure on its screen and instructed the worker to do the assembly work. After the worker completed the task, the vehicle received the product and moved on to another worker in charge of the next process.

     These smart vehicles were connected over a network and programmed at the company factory. But it looked as if the products themselves were driving the vehicles and moved to where the tasks needed to be done. SEW-Eurodrive has already introduced the system at its factory in the southwestern German town of Graben-Neudorf, intending to make individually tailored products in the future.  Cont'd...

These Five Exponential Trends Are Accelerating Robotics

Alison E. Berman for Singularity Hub:  If you've been staying on top of artificial intelligence news lately, you may know that the games of chess and Go were two of the grand challenges for AI. But do you know what the equivalent is for robotics? It's table tennis. Just think about how the game requires razor sharp perception and movement, a tall order for a machine.

As entertaining as human vs. robot games can be, what they actually demonstrate is much more important. They test the technology's readiness for practical applications in the real world—like self-driving cars that can navigate around unexpected people in a street.

Though we used to think of robots as clunky machines for repetitive factory tasks, a slew of new technologies are making robots faster, stronger, cheaper, and even perceptive, so that they can understand and engage with their surrounding environments. Consider Boston Dynamic’s Atlas Robot, which can walk through snow, move boxes, endure a hefty blow with a hockey stick by an aggressive colleague, and even regain its feet when knocked down. Not too long ago, such tasks were unthinkable for a robot.

At the Exponential Manufacturing conference, robotics expert and director of Columbia University’s Creative Machine Labs, Hod Lipson, examined five exponential trends shaping and accelerating the future of the robotics industry.   Cont'd...

Three ways to leverage IIoT

Scott Stone for Plant Engineering:  The Internet of Things (IoT) will significantly alter manufacturing, transportation, distribution and other industrial sectors over the next decade, according to the World Economic Forum. We've only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of the ways Internet-connected devices will transform these industrial sectors. To put a number on the anticipated growth of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) over the next few years, Accenture places conservative spending estimates at $500 billion worldwide by 2020.

Forward-thinking businesses are already leveraging the power of the IIoT and reaping the benefits. When used effectively, it allows companies to better manage their operation, increase production and transform business for the better.

Let's take a look at how industrial organizations should be harnessing IIoT to set their businesses up for future growth.  Cont'd...

HANNOVER MESSE - Panasonic and Siemens to Cooperate for Next-Generation Electronic Equipment Assembly Plants

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding at the Hannover Messe Agreement on potential for the joint development of automation standards for the electronics industry Partners intend to cooperate in line integration and automation concepts

HANNOVER MESSE - FogHorn™ to Showcase "Edge Intelligence" Industrial IoT Solutions at HANNOVER MESSE 2016

Industrial IoT startup will feature its "End-to-End" industrial IoT solution from the edge (Fog computing) to the cloud (Microsoft Azure).

GE Power Opens First Advanced Manufacturing Facility, a $400 Million Digital Industrial Investment for South Carolina

New Facility Will Deploy Best-in-Class Technologies to Accelerate Improvements in Every Aspect of the Manufacturing Process Including Design, Engineering, Product Development, Production, Supply Chain, Distribution and Service and Will Unlock New Productivity and Growth across GE's Power Portfolio GE Has Invested $73 Million to Date and Will Invest an Additional $327 Million across the GE Power Greenville, S.C., Campus to Boost Innovation and Accelerate the Commercialization of Development of Best-in-Class Technologies for Customers across the Globe Eighty Engineering and Manufacturing Jobs Created with the Facility's Opening, Expected to Have a Multiplier Effect across the Supply Chain

Reed to Host Inaugural Robotics and Smart Factory Exhibitions in Tokyo from January 18, 2017

Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd., Japan's largest trade show organizer, will hold two new exhibitions from 2017, the 1st RoboDEX and the 1st Smart Automotive Factory Expo, taking place January 18-20 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan.

AppDynamics to Speak at Internet of Things North America: "Efficiency in the Connected Factory"

Session focuses on ERP innovation in the modern factory

Industry 4.0 in Hannover Messe 2016 leads manufacturers to cross-industry innovations

Back in Hannover Messe 2011, Germany announced the Industry 4.0 concept and initiated the world's fourth industrial revolution. Since then, Hannover Messe has become a focal point for Industry 4.0 innovations. As Hannover Messe 2016 closes in, the exhibition will once again be surrounded by various Industry 4.0-related hot topics such as integrated industry, smart manufacturing and more.

Coming soon on April 25 to 29, Hannover Messe 2016 will be based on the theme "Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions", which aims to provide an interpretation of the smart manufacturing model of Industry 4.0. As a Taiwanese company with deep expertise in IoT automation, NEXCOM has planned four themed demonstrations that map out a complete solution blueprint for industry 4.0 in the upcoming event.

Joe Lin, General Manager of NEXCOM's IoT Automation Solutions Business Group, states, "Early Industry 4.0 solutions focused on the lower layers of factory communication where IoT gateways were used to integrate different industrial protocols, bridging the Industry 4.0 last mile connection to fulfill the 'connected' concept. Now in 2016, NEXCOM will extend the pathway to the cloud through NEXCOM IoT Studio configuration tool and IoT gateways, which consolidate the management and connection of factory field devices onto a unified control interface, accelerating data aggregation. This will enable a two-way field-to-cloud connection for big data analytics, promoting development for more Industry 4.0 applications."  Cont'd...

LSIS offers glimpse into smart factory

Lee Min-hyung for Korea Times:  LSIS, the nation's top electric equipment maker, aims to apply integrated automation systems into all of its manufacturing facilities as a core strategy to slash operating costs and dominate the nation's energy efficiency market.
The so-called "smart factory" initiative comes amid growing popularity for efficient management systems in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT). Global equipment manufacturers are jumping on the "smart" bandwagon for management efficiency, but only a few companies here have achieved significant feats on the area.
LSIS's manufacturing facility, however, offers a glimpse of what automated factory is all about, ranging from assembling parts to packaging.
In particular, the company's G production line is equipped with fully-automated production system operated by its programmable logic controller (PLC).
The PLC is interconnected with the manufacturing execution system (MES), serving as a network hub to manage every level of manufacturing processes within the factory.  Cont'd...

How Innovators Overcome Smart Factory Challenges

Brad Done for Manufacturing.net:  Smart factories are the manifestation of what's being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution — a concept that's been in the conceptual-buzz phase for years.

While the last revolution saw the widespread digitization of manufacturing technology, allowing information to be produced, replicated and shared on an unprecedented scale, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, could take manufacturing to a place verging on self-awareness.

What does this look like? Smart components will interact directly with other devices — independent of human micromanagement and oversight. It means our technologies will be capable of building and interpreting a more nuanced understanding of the manufacturing environment. People and machines will have access to real-time virtual representations of all manufacturing functions.

It's a vision that's fast becoming a reality. Experts have expounded on the challenges, but this hasn't prevented early-adopters from making significant headways.  Full Article...

Samsung to provide 'smart factory' solution in South Korea

Cho Mu-hyun for ZDNet:  Samsung Electronics will provide its smart factory solution for over a thousand small and medium-sized businesses in South Korea by 2017, the company announced.

The South Korean tech giant will first provide the solution to 224 firms selected by the Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (CCEI), a state-run startup and small businesses accelerator program, starting this month.

The CCEI has centres nationwide and works with almost all South Korean conglomerates to fund and support small enterprises with potential.

Samsung will provide these firms with manufacturing execution systems and enterprise resource planning solutions. It will also provide its IT-based manufacturing solutions such as automated manufacturing, process 3D simulations, and CAD/CAM super-precision moulding machines.

The firm plans to provide 450 companies with the solutions this year and over 1,000 by next year.  Cont'd...

Industrial IoT Market Nears $132 Billion in 2020: Technavio

Pedro Hernandez for Datamation:  The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to have a major, efficiency- and productivity-enhancing impact on how manufacturers and other companies in industrial settings conduct businesses. A new forecast from market research firm Technavio paints a rosy picture for IT vendors that specialize in industrial IoT.

According to the analyst group, the market for industrial IoT software and services will reach nearly $132 in 2020. Between now and then, the market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 percent.

In terms of demand, Technavio has identified the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region as the largest market for industrial IoT.

Last year, the industrial IoT market generated $38 billion in sales in the region, a number that will reach $54 billion in 2020. APAC countries are investing heavily, including South Korea, which plans to pour over $3.6 billion into the IoT by 2020.  Cont'd...

Nobilia uses IoT to create smart factory

Kitchen maker Nobilia has rolled out IoT and automation systems in its German factories to enable real-time tracking of furniture as it progresses through the manufacturing process.

The company, which has distribution in Australia, is using Beckhoff automation technology that is powered by Intel processors.

A barcode that is attached to furniture is encoded with details including processing steps, components required to be added to complete it, and logistics information such as where the finished product is to be delivered.

“Each processing machine scans the barcode and retrieves the associated machining data from a central database. Data connecting the whole factory together makes it possible to produce 2700 kitchens daily,” Intel said in a blog post.

“Through real-time tracking enabled by Intel IoT technologies, Nobilia knows exactly where each part is in the production process at any time.

“If one of the manufacturing lines shuts down, parts are automatically rerouted to another line.”

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