Future factory – a moderator’s impression!

01/02/2016

Read-out was asked to moderate the automation stream at the National Manufacturing & Supplies conference held last week outside Dublin. (26th January 2016). In their wisdom the organisers selected “Future Factory!” as a title for this half day seminar and there were 11 speakers organised to speak on their particular subjects for about 15 minutes each. This was replicated in the the over a dozen different seminars held on this one day.

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Long queues lasted well into the morning to enter the event!

We were a little sceptical that this would work but with the help of the organisers and the discipline of the speakers the time targets were achieved. Another target achieved was the number of attendees at the event as well as those who attended this particular seminar.
In all between exhibitors, speakers and visitors well over 3000 packed the venue. Probably far more than the organisers had anticipated and hopefully a potent sign that the economy is again on the upturn. Indeed it was so successful that it was trending (#MSC16) on twitter for most of the day.

Seminar
But back to our seminar. If you google the term Future Factory you get back 207million links, yet it is difficult to find a simple definition as to what it means. The term automation similarly is a very difficult term to define though the term in Irish “uathoibriú” perhaps is a bit clearer literally meaning “self-working.”

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Good attendance at the Seminar

Background
The world of automation has changed to an extrordinary degree and yet in other ways it remains the same. The areas where it has experienced least change is in the areas of sensing – a thermometer is a thermometer – and final control – a valve is a valve. Where it has changed almost to the point of unrecognisability is in that bit in the middle, what one does with the signal from the sensor to activate the final control element.

From single parameter dedicated Indicator/Controller/Recorders in the sixties which transmitted either pnuematically (3-15psi) or electrically (4-20mA). Gradually (relatively speaking) most instruments became electronic, smaller in size and multifunctional. The means of communication changed too and fieldbus communication became more common to intercact with computors which themselves were developing at breaknech speed. Then transmission via wireless became more common and finally the internet and the ability to control a process from the computer that we call the intelligent phone. There are problems with these latter, internet/cellphone, of course. One is that the reach of the internet is focussed at present on areas of high population. Another is the danger of infiltration of systems by hostile or mischivous strangers. The importance of security protocols is one that has only recently been apparent to Automation professionals.

• Many of the presentations are available on-line here. The password is manufac2016

The Presentations
Maria Archer of Ericsson spoke on the enabling and facilitating IoT in the manufacturing industry. Diving straight into topic she drew on her experience of big data, e-commerce, media, cyber security, IOT and connected devices.

The second speaker was Cormac Garvey of Hal Software who addressed Supply Chain prototyping. The Supply Chain ecosystem is incredibly complex, usually requiring significant integration of each suppliers’ standards and processes to the manufacturer’s. Cormac will introduce the concept of supply chain prototyping, where easy-to-use, standards-based technology is used to wireframe out the entire supply chain ecosystem prior to integration, thus significantly reducing cost, time and risk on the project. This wireframe can then be used as a model for future integration projects.

Two speakers from the Tralee Institute of Technology, Dr. Pat Doody and Dr. Daniel Riordan spoke on RFID, IoT, Sensor & Process Automation for Industry 4.0. They explained how IMaR’s (Intelligent Mechatronics and RFID) expertise is delivering for their industrial partners and is available to those aiming to become a part of Industry 4.0.

Smart Manufacturing – the power of actionable data was the topic addressed by Mark Higgins of Fast Technology. He shared his understanding of the acute issues companies face on their journey to Business Excellence and how leveraging IT solutions can elevate the business to a new point on that journey.

Assistant Professor (Mechanical & Manuf. Eng) at TCD, Dr Garret O’Donnell,   explained how one of the most significant initiatives in the last 2 years has been the concept of the 4th industrial revolution promoted by the National Academy for Science and Engineering in Germany- ACATECH, known as Industrie 4.0. (Industrie 4.0 was first used as a term in Germany in 2011).

Another speaker from Fast Technologies, Joe Gallaher, addressed the area of Robotics and how Collaborative Robots are the “Game Changer” in the modern manufacturing facility.

Dr. Hassan Kaghazchi of the University of Limerick and Profibus spoke on PROFINET and Industrie 4.0. Industrial communications systems play a major role in today’s manufacturing systems. The ability to provide connectivity, handle large amount of data, uptime, open standards, safety, and security are the major deciding factors. This presentation shows how PROFINET fits into Industrial Internet of Things (Industrie 4.0).

White Andreetto

Maurice Buckley CEO NSAI

The CEO of NSAI, the Irish National Standards Authority, Maurice Buckley explained how standards and the National Standards Authority of Ireland can help Irish businesses take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution and become more prepared to reap the rewards digitisation can bring.

The next two speakers stressed the impact of low forecast accuracy on the bottom line and how this coulbe be addressed. Jaap Piersma a consultant with SAS UK & Ireland explained that low forecast accuracies on the business performance is high in industry but with the right tools, the right approach and experienced resources you can achieve very significant result and benefits for your business. Following him Dave Clarke, Chief Data Scientist at Asystec, who mantains the company strategy for big data analytics service development for customers. He showed how are incredible business opportunities possible by harnessing the massive data sets generated in the machine to machine and person to machine hyper connected IoT world.

The final speaker David Goodstein, Connected Living Project Director, GSMA, described new form factor mobile SIMs which are robust, remotely manageable which are an essential enabler for applications and services in the connected world.

All in all a very interesting event and useful to attendees. Papers are being collected and should be available shortly on-line.

It is hoped to do it all again next year on 24th January 2017- #MSC17.

See you there.

@NationalMSC #MSC16 #PAuto #IoT


Creating an Innovative Manufacturing & Supply Chain Eco-System. @natmancom

21/12/2015

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In line with its newfound status as an All-Ireland ‘must-attend’ annual event, the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition has switched to a larger and more conveniently placed venue, moving from the Aviva Stadium to the Citywest Hotel to the west of Dublin city.  The one-day event is expected to attract over 2,000 delegates from across Ireland with 100 exhibitors offering over 2,000 products and services.

meetingDesigned with the objective of connecting key stakeholders across the full spectrum of Irish manufacturing, including the food, pharmaceutical, medical, chemical, life sciences and electronics manufacturing sectors, the third National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition will be held on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016.

The Conference is held in conjunction with an Exhibition of the latest processing and supply chain technology available to Irish industry. Suppliers from all key industrial sectors will be exhibiting at the 2016 event.

National Forum
Now in its third year, The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition provides a forum for manufacturers and operators involved throughout the supply chain from across Ireland – North and South – to gather to discuss pressing issues facing Irish industry.

The theme of the 2016 event is ‘Creating an Innovative Manufacturing & Supply Chain Eco-System’ and an impressive line-up of speakers from manufacturing, academia and government agencies will explore the key problems, challenges and opportunities facing Irish industry.

Colin Murphy, Managing Director of Premier Publishing & Events, organisers of this event says, “A list of 75 speakers is currently being finalised along with the various free workshops and 20 supporting associations. The speakers at the Conference have been carefully selected from senior management within Irish industry and academia, who have a successful track record of delivering quantifiable results in sustainable manufacturing and throughout the supply chain, and who can offer delegates a clear pathway to enhancing competitiveness and innovation.”

Speakers at The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2016 include: Colm J Murphy, Senior Human Resources Manager at Hollister ULC; Arthur Stone, CEO of OEEsystems; Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dr Richard Keegan, a specialist in the areas of Lean/World Class Business and Benchmarking with Enterprise Ireland; and Liam Cassidy, Managing Director of LCL Consult Ltd. Representatives from Pfizer, Lake Region Medical and Mondelez International will also be speaking at the event.

The Citywest Hotel complex with its easy access and free car parking is strategically placed to host All-Ireland events of this nature.

New For 2016 – Jobs Expo
A new feature at the 2016 event is the Jobs Expo area, dedicated to highlighting the many employment opportunities currently available throughout the Irish manufacturing and supply chain sectors. This purpose-designed jobs, employment and recruitment section of the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition will act as an interface between suitably qualified job seekers and representatives from both national and international companies with vacancies. With many businesses experiencing skills shortages, the new addition is timely.

Networking Opportunity
The National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition 2016 will provide an ideal forum for meeting Government agencies and supporting associations, and gaining free advice from experts. It will also provide networking zones to connect buyers and suppliers.

The layout of the Conference & Exhibition is intended to maximise the opportunity for delegates to network and make new contacts.


The impact of AI on education.

07/12/2015

Emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to have a big impact on education and are already being used worldwide as an effective tool to enhance the learning experience. AI expert Toby Walsh, a professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales (AUS), says developments in this field have already proven that “it’s not difficult to replace a teacher with a machine.”

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Professor Toby Walsh

Over the past 21 years, OEB, the global cross-sector conference on technology-supported learning and training, has attained international esteem by presenting eminent experts whose strength lies in identifying new trends in learning and technology. At this year’s event, which opened today with more than 2000 participants from over 90 countries, AI and robotics will be put in the spotlight. World-renowned industry experts will demonstrate and discuss the opportunities presented by these fast-evolving technologies – and their implications.

“We’re seeing MOOCs and intelligent tutoring systems all start to replace some aspects of teaching,” explains Walsh, keynote speaker at the recent OEB 2015 in Berlin (D). He says that in “well-defined domains like maths”, it is already possible to bring AI, in the form of tutoring systems, into the classroom.

In addition to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects, the realm most commonly associated with AI, researchers and developers are experimenting with how it can be used in artistic contexts such as music and dance. On OEB’s Spotlight Stage, which will play host to creative thinkers and innovators, AI pioneer Dr Luc Steels of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel presented the results of a three-year project in which he created a “smarter” MOOC for learning music using artificial intelligence.

Over a period spanning more than two decades, OEB has earned – and sustained – the reputation of being an education conference that is widely recognised as one of the world’s most exciting, challenging, and inspirational. Over the next two days, the future of learning will be explored in over 100 parallel sessions, presented in a range of formats including workshops, plenaries, discussions, debates, labs, demonstrations, and performances. Furthermore, the expansive exhibition area will feature 79 international edtech providers, ranging from established market leaders to emerging start-ups.


Report productronica 2015 – “The world’s leading trade fair where the future is the present!”

14/11/2015

On its 40th anniversary, productronica featured plenty of innovations including augmented reality, robotics in electronics manufacturing and the productronica innovation award. Some 38,000 visitors from nearly 80 countries took part in the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Electronics Development and Production. The share of visitors from Asia was up considerably.

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Falk Senger, Managing Director at Messe München, drew a positive conclusion: “During the past four days of the fair, we have experienced the industry’s unbelievable innovative strength. That underscores productronica’s position as an international industry gathering for electronics development and production.” 

productronicaReleases received from exhibitors!

Rainer Kurtz, Chairman of productronica’s Technical Advisory Board, CEO of kurtz ersa and Chairman of the VDMA Electronics, Micro and Nano Technologies (EMINT) Association, sees positive signals for the industry: “There are so many opportunities to drive our business forward. Industry 4.0 is a new market with a great deal of growth potential. And in automotive electronics, all the driver assistance systems are giving electronics production a considerable boost.” The latest figures from a VDMA survey about the business climate verify that. According to studies, growth rates of approximately 15 percent are expected between now and 2018—among other things due to Industry 4.0, the automotive industry, wireless network technologies and mobile communication.

According to a survey by market research institute TNS Infratest, 93 percent of visitors said that productronica met their expectations regarding innovations.

Some 38,000 visitors from nearly 80 countries attended the trade fair in Munich—roughly the same high level as in previous years. According to a survey by market research institute TNS Infratest, visitor satisfaction is very high: 97 percent of visitors gave the fair a rating of good to excellent.

The sharpest increase in attendance was the number of visitors from Asia—and from China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore in particular. After Germany, the countries with the largest number of visitors were as follows (in this order): Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation and Great Britain.

Successful premiere: productronica innovation award
Panel member Prof. Lothar Pfitzner from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB, is convinced by the award’s concept: “Given global competition, it is important to further strengthen machine manufacturers, material producers and information technology suppliers in Europe. productronica and the brand new productronica innovation award play an important role for the economy, but also for the scientific sector, and they strengthen horizontal and vertical cooperation. In doing so, they satisfy a key prerequisite for rapid implementation in system development and the user industry.”

Of the more than 70 submissions, awards were presented to the following winners in five cluster categories: Fuji Machine in the PCB & EMS cluster, Rehm Thermal in the SMT cluster, F&K Delvotec in the Semiconductors cluster, Schleuniger in the Cables, Coils & Hybrids cluster, and Asys in the Future Markets cluster.

IT2Industry
IT2Industry, the Exhibition and Open Conference for Intelligent, Digitally Networked Working Environments, was held in conjunction with productronica for the first time ever. The final report for IT2Industry is available in German on the website.

The trade fairs productronica and electronica are held in alternating years, making Munich the most important place for the electronics industry to meet.

• The next electronica takes place from November 8 to 11, 2016, and the next productronica takes place in Munich from November 14 to 17, 2017.


#EMrex On top of the world!

19/10/2015
Pic tweeted by @NewEngControls

Pic tweeted by @NewEngControls

Unfortunately we were unable, in any detail, to follow this years Emerson User Group love in. It took place high up in the Rocky mountain city of Denver (CO USA) and certainly looked like a very full programme with the usual enthusiastic plethora of tweets submerging our twitter feed, such as “Great venue, great presentations, great networking, great week – I’m #Elevated!” from @ChristopAmstutz. And obviously singing from the same hymn sheet @MCChow_88 with “I truly had my experience elevated this past week @EmersonExchange!”  Obviously all were on a higher plane – or altitude than us mere mortals at sea level!

A new item (as far as I can remember) was a feature which included those who were unable to be in Denver who were invited to participate in the final “Ask the Experts” – seven gurus with all information and knowledge on the topics featured in the four packed days of information sharing. The @EmersonExchange twitter constantly referred to the various forum posts questions and solutions of interest to users.

As always the Jim Cahill, Mr Emerson On-Line, was ever present guiding, pointing and highlighting interesting happenings, speakers and events.

There were news letters and videos published on a daily basis which helped inform people not present what was happening.   This was also useful for those attending but who had to make choices as to which presentation to attend.

A very comprehensive account of highlights has been written by Gary Mintchell, “Wireless, Enhanced Sensing Lead Emerson Product Announcements,” which is “a summary—running through many of the new products introduced to the press and analysts during Emerson Exchange 2015.”  He also made an video of his experience:

During the week although we were unable to follow events we did have a link on our home page, which allowed visitor to follow things.

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Daily Reports
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Videos from Major Sessions

FieldCommtechnologies at #EMrex (report Control-online 25 Nov’15)

Our Reports for earlier EMrex Events

The next User Group Meeting is scheduled for Europe in Brussels (B) in April 2016. Emrex Americas is planned for later next year in the Capital of Texas, Austin – 24-28th October 2016. And if you wish to plan even further ahead the 2017 event is to be held in Minneapolis.


220,000 people integrate and join the network at #HM15.

20/04/2015
Spotlight on “Industry 4.0”, robots and intelligent energy systems while India sets new standards as Partner Country.
Germany's Dr Angela Merkel and India's Shri Narendra Modi at opening ceremony of 2015 Hannover Meße

Germany’s Dr Angela Merkel and India’s Shri Narendra Modi at opening ceremony of 2015 Hannover Meße

Stories shared with Read-out from this years Hannover Fair! Other Reports: • Automation World • The Industrial Ethernet BookProfiBus/Net Reports! • Gil Community

After five action-packed days of industrial innovation, dynamic networking and lead generation, HANNOVER MESSE 2015 – the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology – drew to a close on Friday, 17 April, to rave reviews by exhibitors and visitors. With “Integrated Industry – Join the Network” as its keynote theme, HANNOVER MESSE 2015 soared to new heights, striking an inspirational note among exhibitors and attendees from industry, business and government.

The show placed major emphasis on the digitization of manufacturing as well as on human-machine collaboration, innovative subcontracting solutions and intelligent energy systems – topics which pulled in the crowds. More than 220,000 trade visitors – 70,000 of whom came from outside Germany – used HANNOVER MESSE to catch up on the latest technologies and make key investment decisions.

“HANNOVER MESSE 2015 has made it unmistakably clear: Industry 4.0 has arrived, and is sweeping every sector of industry. Digital integration is becoming a key aspect of modern manufacturing, and this trend is set to continue at a rapid pace,” commented Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. “Over the past several days, some 6,500 companies from 70 countries have showcased technologies for tomorrow’s production plants and energy systems. And India has made a real splash as this year’s Partner Country, creating a truly impressive showcase to promote its ‘Make in India’ campaign.” Under the motto of “Integrated Industry – Join the Network”, HANNOVER MESSE 2015 gave tangible shape to the vision of the “intelligent factory”. In the factory of the future, information will be seamlessly exchanged between machines and products, ensuring optimal results and peak efficiency.

According to Köckler, “HANNOVER MESSE 2015 has demonstrated that ‘Industry 4.0’ is far more than an inspirational buzzword – it is a reality. For the first time, the smart-factory solutions advertised here can be bought for direct implementation at customers’ plants.” Robots also figured prominently at the fair, drawing keen visitor interest with their captivating demonstrations of speed, precision and power. HANNOVER MESSE 2015 also revealed a new trend in this field, with protective barriers no longer separating robots from people, but robots taking their rightful place alongside human co-workers as versatile team players handling monotonous and physically demanding tasks. “Robots have been uncaged and can now directly support production crews,” said Köckler. But integration is not confined to mere production operations, as energy systems also rapidly become intelligent, driving the transition to renewable forms of energy. An increasing number of decentralized power generators – including wind, solar, hydroelectric and biogas plants – are being hooked up to the grid. “The challenge of combining all these forms of energy generation into a single intelligent power grid, and distributing this power adequately to consumers, has been impressively addressed by the many exhibitors showcasing their pioneering solutions for the energy sector at HANNOVER MESSE,” Köckler noted. “Around the globe, there is a lot of debate about whether Germany is not only a leading industrial nation, but also a leader in terms of Industry 4.0. A quick look at the show’s attendance figures says a lot about this,” remarked Dr Köckler.

Of the more than 220,000 visitors at HANNOVER MESSE, 70,000 were from abroad – a new record. “From rank-and-file SME employees to the CEO of industry giant Foxconn – all of them came here to Hannover to explore the opportunities for more integrated, faster, more individualized production. That means they are in the market for leading-edge technology – that is, for Industry 4.0. And they know that Germany is already far down the 4.0 path, and this why they turn to HANNOVER MESSE for the related expertise.” The pulling power of Industry 4.0 was also highly evident in the strong demand for guided tours, forums and events addressing the topic at the fair. According to Köckler: “The 4.0-related guided tours for visitors were booked solid. So was the Industry 4.0 forum. And we ran out of copies of the Industry 4.0 visitor guide in the first few hours. The supporting program of panel discussions and events also proved highly popular.” HANNOVER MESSE visitors were delighted with India’s confident, innovative and fresh presence as this year’s Partner Country. India succeeded in positioning itself as an up-and-coming industrial nation, with more than 400 companies displaying their goods and services at the show. India’s objective was to encourage foreign companies to set up shop there, and to encourage Indian enterprises to form even closer partnerships with German business and industry. “India put in an impressive performance, here in Hannover and throughout Germany, making ideal use of the opportunities generated by the Partner Country showcase. It has set new standards for partner countries at HANNOVER MESSE,” remarked Köckler. In the words of Anupam Shah, Chairman of EEPC India (Engineering Export Promotion Council of India): “Hannover Messe 2015 has been a tremendous success for India in every respect. As the Partner Country at one of the world’s largest engineering fair and under the leadership of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Commerce & Industry Minister, Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian companies were able to showcase their technical skills, engineering capabilities and human resources before a global audience. EEPC India, which is the lead agency for India that brought 350 companies of diverse economic scales to display their engineering competence, is truly proud of having undertaken this mammoth task successfully under the guidance of the Indian Ministry of Commerce and other agencies. Major Indian companies like Roots India, HEC, to name a few, signed MoUs with their German counterparts. EEPC India also signed an MoU with BVMW, the leading German association of SMEs with 2,70,000 members. EEPC India expresses its sincere gratitude to German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, Vice Chancellor Mr Sigmar Gabriel, Minister-President of Lower Saxony, Mr Stephen Weil and other senior officials for their support in making India’s participation a grand success. EEPC India pledges to build this relationship for mutual benefit in the years to come.”


Connectivity & Convergence:  Core Catalysts for Innovation Impacting All of Humanity!

08/02/2015
The driving forces of step-change innovation will be explored at Frost & Sullivan’s GIL 2015: Europe in London

gileurope15The core catalysts of innovation impacting all of humanity are connectivity and convergence, the theme of Frost & Sullivan’s Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) 2015: Europe. The GIL congress returns to London for its seventh consecutive year on Thursday, 14th May in Kensington, London (GB). Over 200 industry leaders are expected to convene from all over Europe to share ideas and strategies to make their business choices successful.

With his keynote on “New Convergence Business Models,” EIA Partner & Director Dorman Followwill will discuss why convergence plays a key role in identifying new business models that drive growth. Directly after there will be a ground-breaking keynote address showcasing global leadership in connectivity and convergence driven innovation in healthcare through the 100,000 Whole Human Genome Sequencing Project lead by Genomics England. The Chief Scientist spearheading this most important project globally on genomics and personalised medicine, Professor Mark Caulfield, will explore this project. This represents an excellent case study of connectivity & convergence across multiple IT platforms and research/care facilities in Britain coming together to drive global leadership in an initiative that will ultimately impact every person on the planet.

“We are seeing that the core catalysts of step-change innovation across industries and geographies are connectivity & convergence, and one of the most incredible examples of global leadership in innovation is happening right here in the UK with the 100,000 Whole Human Genome Sequencing Project.  It is a joy to see the UK taking global leadership in such an exciting initiative, and we look forward to learning best practices that can be applied across industries and initiatives from Professor Caulfield,” said Mr Followwill.

The one-day congress is part of Frost & Sullivan’s exclusive Growth, Innovation and Leadership community that represents a global network of over 5,000 senior executives.  It will start at 9 am with a welcome speech by the Head of UK Operations, Partner Gary Jeffery.

Highlights include: Global Trends in Connectivity and Convergence by Partner Sarwant Singh, Techvision 2020 by Practice Director Ankit A. Shukla and the 2015 Frost & Sullivan Growth Excellence Awards Banquet.

Frost & Sullivan’s Global GIL Community continues to be the industry’s only resource that supports CEOs and their management teams in critical decision-making, offering tools that help industry leaders in achieving the three essential objectives of Growth, Innovation and Leadership. GIL 2014: Europe will provide CEOs and their growth teams an opportunity not just to attend GIL, but to actually experience it.