Factory automation’s benefit of being connected

The 21st century brought about many technological advances to factory automation, from basics like internet connectivity all the way to remote data collection and production control. Since the beginning of automation, with robots performing never-changing repetitive and dangerous tasks, automation technology has been changing, new tasks being automated, new technologies being added, and more information…

Read more

A portable assembly line makes factory automation more practical

Coming out of the last recession, companies that had invested heavily into new automation technologies beforehand are less willing to invest again in new technology. However, there is new automation technology that would make new investment worthwhile: the portable assembly line. It uses battery-free automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with inductive power transfer (IPT) to create…

Read more

Automation’s flexibility a benefit to large-scale manufacturing

In manufacturing, automation has existed for several decades as a tool for performing repetitive tasks. Today, though, automation can be a great benefit to production, allowing for flexibility and increased efficiency. It is through the subtle flexibility of large-scale automation that allows the economy of scope to excel against the economy of scale. Technologies are…

Read more

Preventative maintenance strategies to keep your factory going

There is no way to prevent a factory from having an unscheduled shutdown from time to time. However, there are ways to prevent many of the equipment failures that can cause these shutdowns. One of the easiest preventative measures is conducting proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance. An analysis by ABB’s Process Automation Service found the…

Read more

Applying lean principles to produce results

In a case study, Manufacturing Business Technology Magazine shows us how a company used lean manufacturing principles to achieve a 90 percent improvement in on-time delivery, 20 percent reduction in waste, and a 35 percent improvement in productivity. Starting in 2003, FLEXcon, which manufactures pressure-sensitive film and adhesive products, has saved 10 times the dollar…

Read more

Knowing what your business knows to help find your niche

Your company has undoubtedly developed a pool of knowledge over the years about what it does and how to best perform those tasks. Over the years, though, the details can become blurred. In automation, the lines can be blurred from the beginning. Sometimes, your organization just needs to sit down and figure out where your…

Read more

Green manufacturing doesn’t have to be expensive

It’s no surprise that in discussing sustainability, a discussion about cost will most likely arise. The argument usually involves the costs of implementing green technologies being more than the overall savings of “going green”. The problem with this is that there are steps that can be taken to be more green, and there are also…

Read more

Keeping your factory secure

As manufacturers expand their automated technologies, more and more of them will be “connected,” taking advantage of wireless and bluetooth technologies. While this brings manufacturing well into the 21st century, it does bring the question of cyber security onto the manufacturing floor. Potential vulnerabilities exist everywhere, from printers and HVAC systems to unused ports in…

Read more

Looking at history to see the future of manufacturing jobs

It’s no secret that automation technologies like robots have eliminated the need for humans to perform dirty, dangerous, or repetitive tasks in factories. But as the dirty and dangerous jobs are being taken up by robots, there are questions about whether the continued inclusion of robotics and automation technologies will replace even the high skilled…

Read more

How to manage the risks of obsolete technologies

With all of the new automation and data collection technologies emerging today, its hard to know what will be a good, long-term investment and what will become obsolete and inevitably need to be replaced. Because budgets are a little bit tighter than they once were, there is more thought going into how to best spend…

Read more