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Innovative Thinking

Smart Factory Security

Within a true Digital Factory, manufacturers have access to a variety of data sources, usually in real-time, spanning from commercial operations to the supply-demand chain. Accessibility to this data is vital for a factory to achieve goals of productivity and efficiency associated with Internet of Things implementations.

Industry 5.0: What Does the Future Hold?

The idea of Industry 5.0 may be premature to many since we haven’t even seen Industry 4.0 implementations in their true sense. Nevertheless, it's closer than one might think.

As a setpoint, Industry 4.0 is defined as the use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Data, connectivity, and so on to bring intelligence and automation to manufacturing. This might be the extent of what might think future industrial systems may look like. However, there’s always room for improvement.

Motor Starter Types: What’s on the Market Today?

Inrush currents can surge up to eight times the nominal current within a motor when it is started through direction line. Such surges can be extremely hazardous for the entire distribution network and can cause voltage dips as well as mechanical damage to the motor itself. It is for these reasons that utilities and government regulatory bodies have started to raise the requirements for three-phase induction motors. For instance, after the initial IEC 60034-30:2008 regulation, the Amendment 04/2014 was released that dealt with energy consumption, efficiency and classes of three phase induction motors.

Market Expansion in Robotic Assembly

In the age we live in, machines are built to be used for building other machines. As more people follow the trend of purchasing new gadgets, industrial robots will only gain more popularity and their demand will soar. According to a research conducted by Loup Ventures, it has been found that demand for industrial robots is poised to grow at over 175 percent over the next nine years.

The Top 3 Safety Concerns in Manufacturing

Creating a completely safe work environment in an industrial manufacturing facility is not a simple task, but most pressure points fall into a few basic categories. Consider the three top safety concerns in manufacturing to identify where your facility could benefit from safety policies and practices.

Understanding Variable Frequency Drives

Variable frequency drives (VFDs) are used to control the speed and torque of three phase AC induction motors. VFDs also provide start, stop, acceleration, deceleration, and direction control. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when selecting a drive. Understanding the application, control, feedback, and operational environment is crucial to ensure that your drive application solutions are the right solutions.

The Future of Industrial Robotics

Industrial Robotics is a well-established field within the manufacturing sector for the past thirty years, employed for a variety of tasks like stacking, sorting, casting, welding, etc. Robots are involved within industries as they are able to perform hazardous, repetitive tasks more accurately and economically than humans. But still, in reality robots have a long way to go before they can be assigned intelligent tasks that require reasoning.

Maximum Efficiency in Gear Motors for Automated Control Systems

In today’s world of industrial automation solutions, efficiency is one of the most heavily scrutinized aspects of automated control systems. Any part of an assembly line that is not operating at its maximum efficiency is going to end up costing more money in an energy analysis. In such an analysis, the energy usage of the components becomes the area with the most emphasis.

3 Factors in a Successful System Integration Project

System integration — a sometimes daunting but valuable project that coordinates the manufacturing process into a seamless whole. Integrated systems have evolved over time, but an experienced System Integrator can still make or break your integration project. What 3 factors should you consider when choosing an integration partner?

Automation Solutions: Remote Monitoring with Telemetry, Part 1

What is Telemetry?

Telemetry is defined as the sensing and measuring of information at one location and then transmitting that information to a central or host location (PLC / DCS). There, it can be remotely monitored and used to control a process at the remote site.

The basic concept of remote monitoring with telemetry has been in existence for a long time. Radio telemetry provides a classic but versatile wireless method for transmitting information. Telemetry using radio waves or wireless offers several distinct advantages over other transmission methods, from cost benefits to resilience and security.

In Part 1 of this guide, we'll look at the benefits of using telemetry in your automation solutions.

5 Steps to Effective HMI Programming

Developing efficient HMI screens can make life for both the screen developer and the user a lot easier if they are developed properly. As an HMI programmer, you need to understand the user’s needs: what information is important for them to see in order for them to do their job efficiently and react appropriately.  

So, normally it is a good idea to watch what the operator has to do in order to do their job and discuss with them what would make their job easier. Go over any ideas you may have about screen layouts, how buttons would be laid out on the screens, etc., before you even begin developing screens. Getting the operator to “buy in” to an HMI system is key, otherwise you will have failed before you even get started.

As an automation engineer, I have worked on HMI programming for many automation applications, from system integration projects to production data collection. 

Here are the top 5 guidelines I follow to create the most effective HMIs:

The 3 Tiers of Automated Quality Inspection


Implementing or integrating an automated quality inspection system can be a daunting task. To justify the cost, the system must be highly accurate, provide analytical insight, and allow the operator to communicate with and control the system. There are three tiers to quality inspection that can help you achieve the most value from an automated system.