MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Collaborative robots in the automotive industry
The world’s first industrial robot was an idea conceived after a conversation about science fiction novels between inventors George Devol and Joseph Eagleburger in 1954. Six years later, Unimate had secured its place in the robotic hall of fame as the world’s first industrial robot. It was then put to work on the General Motors assembly line in 1961. Inevitably, the public were sceptical of the safety issues surrounding Unimate. And with only Gort, the laser-firing robot from the 1950s thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still for reference, who can blame them? But after 50 years of practice, today’s industrial robots are a much less scary affair. Here, Jonathan Wilkins marketing director of industrial automation supplier European Automation discusses the newest and perhaps most exciting realm of industrial robotics: collaborative robots.
The industrial IoT and the need for Time-Sensitive Networking
This article discusses the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the resultant need for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) – which is being addressed by the recently formed AVnu Alliance.
What are the requirements for machinery CE marking plates?
Owen Kennedy of nameplates365.co.uk explains the requirements relating to CE plates affixed to machinery to indicate compliance with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
Root cause analysis benefits end users and machine designers
A robust root cause analysis (RCA) process is an essential tool for any effective reliability or maintenance improvement program. As Phil Burge, Country Communication Manager at SKF, explains, it can provide useful insights for machine designers too.
The fight against food contamination: metal detectors vs. X-ray
Sarah Ketchin, Managing Director at Fortress Technology, tackles the equipment options in the most widespread food and packaging application scenarios, cuts through the confusion on the pros and pitfalls of metal detectors versus X-ray, and highlights the importance of arming yourself with all of the facts to make an informed decision based upon the most prevalent contaminant risks.
Increased connectivity with digital twins
Until the beginning of the 21st century, the only way to get information about the status of operating industrial equipment was to inspect it. Today, increased computing power and connectivity are making it possible to virtualise this task by creating and maintaining a digital twin of anything from electric motors to PLC systems. The concept doesn’t stop at industrial facilities. It’s predicted that by 2018, we will begin to see the first stages of digital twins for entire cities being developed. Here Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of European Automation explains the concept of digital twins and the impact it will have on industry.
Foodie fads spark robot rethink
TV cooking programmes are driving legions of fans back into the kitchen. Seven of the top 10 most-seen shows of 2015 were episodes of Bake Off, with demands for specific ingredients and products featured, sparking a sales bonanza after each broadcast. Similarly, a slew of new dinner kits are inspiring home cooks to prepare more ambitious meals at a fraction of the effort. This trend is compelling retailers to rethink store layouts, how they group products together for consumer convenience and how swiftly they react to the scramble for the latest ‘must have’ ingredient or kitchen gadget.
The delicate balance of costs versus productivity
European manufacturers are estimated to spend over EUR400 billion every year on maintenance activities. Studies show that about 30 per cent of failed machinery can be repaired at half the cost of buying replacements, which suggests a potential 15 per cent saving. John Mitchell, business development manager at CP Automation, discusses the issues that stop manufacturers cutting costs and improving productivity – the essence of lean manufacturing.