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Editor: Jonathan Severn
10th January 2018

In previous years I have avoided making predictions but, for a change, here are my best guesses for the coming 12 months.

In 2018 more machines will either be built specifically to operate in an Industry 4.0 environment or will incorporate relevant technologies so end users can implement Industry 4.0 at a later date. There will also be a greater uptake of cobots both for truly collaborative applications and as a simpler, lower-cost alternative to conventional industrial robots. Additive manufacturing (commonly referred to as 3D printing) will increasingly be adopted as a quicker and more cost-effective way of making machine parts such as gripper jaws, nests, guides, brackets and components that would be complex to fabricate or machine from solid. Cybersecurity at the machine level will be given greater prominence (hopefully we will not see a major attack).

Finally, in the field of machinery safety, I expect there to be greater use of integrated tools for conducting risk assessments, creating safety concepts and designing safety-related control systems right down to the component level.


pxNew cloud app for recording and analysing safety-related data
Phoenix Contact's new PROFICLOUD app can be used to record and analyse safety and standard data from automated machines and processes. More?

ndVirtual sensors enable drives to monitor machine condition
Nord Drivesystems is developing cost-efficient and reliable virtual sensor functions so inverters with integrated PLCs can perform condition monitoring. More?

rsLow-cost, low-power industrial panel meter uses E-Ink display
RS Components is introducing the PanelPilot SGD 21-B panel meter featuring a 2.1inch E-Ink display that users can configure and customise. More?

meHigh-performance laser triangulation sensor offers easier set-up
Micro-Epsilon's versatile new optoNCDT 1750 laser triangulation sensor is configured via a web interface, with no need for specialist software. More?

cuNew Android app for programming robots intuitively
Comau is releasing PickAPP, an Android app for programming pick-and-place robots in a new way that is so intuitive no training is required. More?


esNew venue for Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2018
Next month's event, to be hosted in Farnborough's new purpose-built venue, will have 800 exhibitors and a programme of technical seminars. More?

paPPMA Seminar - CE Audit
This new PPMA seminar explains what buyers of machinery should check prior to delivery, and machine builders can learn what is expected of them. More?

pcMachinery safety training courses and seminars from Pilz in 2018
Pilz is running more CMSE and City & Guilds courses this year, and other courses and seminars will cover a variety of machinery safety topics. More?


prProcter's new website incorporates machine guard e-shop
The all-new website from Procter Machine Safety is clearer, easier to navigate, and includes an online shop for SATECH modular machine guarding. More?

rlNew tools for instant device analytics and collaboration
Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices appliance and FactoryTalk TeamONE Standard Edition app reduce machine downtime. More?

hmHBM adds new Tips and Tricks section to website
This latest addition to HBM's customer services offering incorporates an extensive collection of technical articles, tutorials, check lists and videos. More?

urCollaborative robot welding systems come of age
Universal Robots' collaborative robots can now be equipped with a choice of welding systems for small, medium and large production runs. More?

fsNew slimline modules for amGardpro interlock gate switch range
Fortress Interlocks has added two slimline modules to its amGardpro interlock safety gate switch range: a solenoid switch body and an option pod body. More?

PNOZmulti 2 configurable safety controller gains SafetyNET p
New expansion modules enable up to 16 Pilz PNOZmulti 2 configurable controller base units to be connected to a SafetyNET p network. More?


heHow to prepare machine noise emission declarations
Some 80 per cent of noise declarations do not comply with the Machinery Directive's requirements, so the HSE is promoting this guidance document. More?


Dogbert the Consultant
This week Dogbert shows the engineers how to adhere to company guidelines while communicating with each other - with predictable results.  More?

Jonathan Severn

Andrew Turner
Telephone: +44 (0) 1483 560314

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