Create Action from Data Analysis

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Manufacturers are finding ways to gather, analyze, and use data analytics to solve problems before they happen and drive upgrades in uptime and quality.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

There was a time, not so long ago, when manufacturing companies had systems that were stuck in silos with little or no communication between humans and machines. Data was difficult to gather and shared only through spreadsheets and by word of mouth, making problems almost impossible to predict. Today, not only are humans and machines communicating, but machines are talking to each other. Massive amounts of raw data are flying through the air at warp speed revealing all kinds of intelligence. It’s one thing to have the data. It’s another to be able to analyze the data. But the secret sauce, according to Nathan Oostendorp, co-founder and chief technical officer of Sight Machine, San Francisco (sightmachine.com), is dissecting the data, identifying the right data, and then using the knowledge gained in a meaningful way to create actionable results. Follow this link to read the full article.

Drones Fly Beyond Inspections

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Unmanned-aircraft systems are excellent and safe inspectors, but the future is in analyzing the data they collect.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

They can be as small as a pizza or as large as a picnic table. With the help of a licensed pilot, they can fly over and around heavy equipment. They can hover high above facilities and gather data from areas that would require scaffolding and cranes for humans to reach. They can maneuver into tight, hard-to-reach spots, such as industrial piping. Most important, they safely collect valuable data in record time and with minimal risk of unnecessary shutdowns or need for excessive manpower. To read the full article, please follow this link.

Tomorrow's Plant in Action Today

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Using 3D laser scanning and rapid prototyping, Festo created its Scharnhausen Technology Plant with Industry 4.0 and complete communication at its core.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Thanks to progressive and innovative methods and a focus on Industry 4.0, Festo (festo.com) has designed and built a facility in which employees safely interact with a flexible robot that takes over assembly tasks ergonomically disadvantageous for humans. An energy transparency system allows all energy flow and consumption to be tracked in the future. Tablets, with interactive apps, have become the primary working tool to detect and rectify machine faults quickly and directly on site. The Scharnhausen Technology Plant in Ostfildern/Stuttgart, Germany, is at the forefront of automation’s future. To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Bionics Drive Future Factories

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Festo’s Bionic Learning Network studies the movement and behavior of animals in nature to inspire interactive, intelligent technology and machines that stretch the boundaries of factory automation.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

Walk through Festo’s headquarters in Esslingen, Germany, and you’ll witness what appears to be science fiction. Artificial intelligence and energy efficiency are deeply imbedded into its bionic robots. The engineers at Festo believe that by turning to nature to study the behavior, movement, and communication techniques of mammals, insects, and reptiles, you can build a smart factory with advanced automation. In fact, you can build the factory of the future. Please follow this link to read the full story.