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Latest News

Ford Shifting 550 Jobs to Boost SUV Production in Kentucky

Mar 20, 2019
Ford Shifting 550 Jobs to Boost SUV Production in Kentucky
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Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it will shift 550 jobs to its Kentucky Truck Plant to boost production of its Expedition and Lincoln Navigator vehicles to meet growing requirements for its large SUVs. Growing sales for the Expedition and Navigator are driving a 20 percent production push at the plant in Louisville, the automaker said. To increase the truck plant's workforce, Ford said it will shift the jobs away from its crosstown factory — Louisville Assembly Plant, which makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC. Raising demand for large SUVs is fueling the employment boost at the sprawling truck plant.'Kentucky Truck Plant is home to two of Ford and Lincoln's most successful vehicles,' said John Savona, Ford vice president, North American manufacturing. 'After observing a continual increase in customer demand for Expedition and Navigator, we are boosting production for a second time to match it.' Retail sales of the Expedition eight-passenger SUV surged 35 percent last year, Ford said. Navigator sales grew 70 percent in 2018, posting the vehicle's best sales year since 2007, it said. The truck plant's production will increase after the summer shutdown in July, Ford said. Production of Expeditions at the Kentucky Truck Plant grew from nearly 50,000 in 2017 to around 76,000 last year, Ford said. Navigator production doubled in the same period to about 24,500.
 
The Kentucky Truck Plant, one of Ford's premier assembly plants in North America, has about 8,100 hourly workers and the Louisville Assembly Plant has about 4,400 hourly employees. The assembly plant will soon move from a three-shift to a two-shift operation, which was announced late last year. Ford has put in $925 million in the Kentucky Truck Plant in the past several years to create the Expedition and Navigator. The plant also brings Super Duty pickups. To produce even more Expeditions and Navigators, Ford said it has enlarged the line speed at Kentucky Truck Plant. After a production review by a group of salaried and hourly workers, the plant added more workstations and split up some tasks, the company said. Ford also said it's introducing a new 'Better Big' marketing campaign for the Expedition. Ford's announces that it's growing production of its large SUVs is the latest signal of the auto industry's shift to SUVs and trucks.
 
Basic Motors plans to shed as many as 14,000 workers in a major restructuring aimed at shifting its focus to making trucks, SUVs and electric and autonomous vehicles. Toyota announced last week that its Georgetown, Kentucky, facility will get a $238 million investment to produce hybrid versions of Lexus ES 300 sedans starting in May and the RAV4 SUV starting in January 2020.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Omron to Demonstrate Advanced Solutions for Flexible Manufacturing at Automate Show

Mar 20, 2019
Omron to Demonstrate Advanced Solutions for Flexible Manufacturing at Automate Show
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Industry-leading automation solutions provider Omron Automation Americas will prove a different solution portfolio encompassing traceability, flexible manufacturing, human-machine collaboration and more at the upcoming Automate Show in Chicago this April
 
Omron Automation Americas, a global leader in end-to-end solutions for industrial automation, will be at the upcoming Automate Show to demonstrate applications for the factory of today and that of the future. Omron's diverse innovations on display will feature solutions for traceability and versatile manufacturing.  The biennial Automate Show gives attendees the chance to see many of the world's cutting-edge manufacturing technologies in action. Taking place from April 8-11 in Chicago, it provides a key opportunity for Omron to showcase technologies that help manufacturers improve productivity, flexibility and human-machine interaction. 
 
In Booth #8737, Omron will be introducing its Factory Harmony exhibit, a multifaceted display that provides a vision of the manufacturing floor of the future. Each demo in the exhibit is designed to express ways in which machines can collaborate more efficiently with humans on the factory floor. The Factory Harmony exhibit consists of a fully built in vision-guided robotics pick-and-place demo that shows the possibilities for machines to regulate finely detailed work with speed and accuracy as part of a flexible manufacturing system, as well as a traceability demo comprised of laser marking and robotic technologies. Flexibility and traceability are key targets of Omron solutions. Other robotic solutions on display at Automate include Omron's TM Series collaborative robot, a flexible solution for human-machine collaboration, and the LD Series mobile robots that move materials flexibly throughout the factory. Both solutions help manufacturers meet growing demands for customization without fully reconfiguring their production lines.  The Omron booth will also highlight a demo of its most advanced machine vision technology as well as its safety product offerings. In total, the Factory Harmony exhibit displays a new standard for human-machine collaboration to help manufacturers enjoy improvements in productivity, efficiency, quality and worker satisfaction.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

How 3D Printing Could Revolutionize the Future of Development

Mar 20, 2019
How 3D Printing Could Revolutionize the Future of Development
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3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has the prospective to democratize the production of goods, from food to medical supplies, to great coral reefs. In the future, 3D printing machines could make their way into homes, businesses, disaster sites, and even outer space. Get 3D printing basics from this 2 minute Mashable video.
 
As this technology spreads, it could help associate marginalized and difficult-to-reach populations with crucial products. All in all, this emerging technology has the potential to revolutionize our societies, and convert the development sector. In order for this to happen, we need to assure that this rising technology gets into the hands of development practitioners and stakeholders around the world. Here is one way that people are working to make 3D printing more accessible.
 
Like content on the top technologies and how they can be used for social good? Get updates about 3D printing and more with the +SocialGood newsletter.
 
The Sustainable Development Goals carry a big vow for the future of our people and planet. Goals this big will need big changes in order to succeed. 3D printing is being used to progress many of the Global Goals, and has the potential to make a further impact.
 
3D printing is being explored as a major solution for current and future levels of hunger and homelessness. For example, Anjan Contractor hopes that one day, his 3D food printer will be able to empower the earth’s population to feed themselves “customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store.” These cartridges would be easy to transport, long-lasting, and could be made of sustainable materials like insect protein. 3D printing is also revolutionizing home construction, making it cheaper and more efficient.
 
This 3D printing technology uses industrial solid waste to replace cement in the production of a low-carbon building (Sustainia)
How 3D printing could end food waste and tackle hunger (Quartz)
This 3D printer can print a house in less than 24 hours
Transforming humanitarian response and modern medicine
 
3D printing also is being used to get important goods and services to disaster areas and refugee camps, allowing workers and stakeholders to have access to the tools they need to recover. For example, in Nepal, the United Nations is implementing 3D printing as part of their plan for earthquake response, including printing tailored pipe parts required for sanitation infrastructure. 3D printing is also enabling new and essential medical tools to get into the hands of people who need them, from medical possibilities like an 3D printed artificial heart to basic tools like umbilical cord clips.
 
The future of medicine is 3D printing (Futurism)
How 3D printing is being used to transform aid (World Economic Forum)
Tech eases Syrians’ trauma in Jordanian refugee camp (BBC)
Protecting our planet
 
3D printing is also allowing us to use old contents in new ways that are more sustainable. For example, researchers have figured out how to transform carbon dioxide into concrete using 3D printing. Utilizing former waste to create future products makes our society have more efficient consumption. 3D printing innovators are even exploring how to make the process itself more sustainable, including using algae based filaments to reduce the energy necessitated for the printing process. The creative use of materials and production methods opens up new possibilities as we approach climate action and sustainable living.
 
Fred the tortoise had his damaged shell replaced by a 3D printed shell made of corn plastic (Futurism)
These 3D printed shoes are made from plastic ocean waste (Sustainia)
Engineers are 3D printing coral reefs to help save our oceans (Futurism)
 
The United Nations is working with innovators and programmatic implementers to make this transformative technology more accessible to people worldwide. Currently, they are mostly confined to technical university and specialized labs, especially in developing countries. However, in order for the true possibilities of the technology to be realized, it must be brought outside those spaces and into the hands of stakeholders and local changemakers. United Nations agencies, like UNICEF, are using their reach and resources to help make this a reality. Check out UNICEF’s Innovation Fund here.
 
UNDP Egypt hosted a ‘how to build a 3-D printer’ workshop to make the technology more affordable and accessible locally (UNDP)
Why it’s important to bring 3D biofabrication and other health technologies to the most disadvantaged (UNICEF Innovate)
UNDP Uzbekistan named a 3D printing startup the number 1 project during their ‘Startup Initiatives — 2017' programme (UNDP)



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

The Benefits of Flexible Shafts in Industrial Drain Cleaning

Mar 19, 2019
The Benefits of Flexible Shafts in Industrial Drain Cleaning
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In homes, small businesses, and large industrial settings, plumbing systems and drains need cleaning. In many of these settings drain cleaning consists of pouring chemicals down the pipes every few years. In other regions and businesses, drain cleaning is a much more substantial job.
 
Restaurants and food businesses put undue stress on their drain systems with all of the grease and food waste they discard every day, requiring heavy-duty industrial drain cleaning equipment to remove troublesome blockages.
 
In older homes or businesses that are located next to old trees and their root systems, the situation is similar, as tree roots can infiltrate drains and pipes, clogging them severely.
 
When obstructions like tree roots or a longtime build-up of grease come into play, chemical solutions do no more than tickle blockages. This is why there are a wide variety of industrial drain cleaning devices on the market today — there is a need for machines that can clean seriously blocked drains quickly, cheaply, and efficiently.
 
Lastly, pliable shafts can be useful to use over other drain cleaning methods in certain situations because they clean drains without water, which enables the use of a camera. When hydro-jetting, camera use is impossible due to the high volume of pressurized water used. Cleaning a drain using a machine based around a flexible shaft (or other dry cable) allows a camera to be fed into the drain just behind the spinning end of the cable. This can be helpful as it allows drain cleaners to see what exactly is blocking the pipe, enabling them to adjust their cleaning method if need be.
 
As a whole, all of the three main methods to industrial drain cleaning have a place in various applications. Flexible shafts are a light, powerful, clean, and effective new method to clean drains that can serve as an excellent option in all kinds of industrial drain cleaning applications.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

ATI Industrial Automation has introduced a new Compliant Deburring Blade

Mar 19, 2019
ATI Industrial Automation has introduced a new Compliant Deburring Blade
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The sturdy collet accommodates a variety of commonly available blades and media used with hand deburring tools. The blades can be transformed quickly and easily — without the use of additional tools.
 
 
ATI Industrial Automation is the world's leading engineering-based developer of robotic accessories and robot arm tooling including Robotic Tool Changers, Multi-Axis Force/Torque Sensing Systems, Utility Couplers, Manual Tool Changers, Robotic Deburring Tools, Robotic Collision Sensors and Compliance Devices. Their robotic end-effector products are found in thousands of applications across the world. Manufactured completely in the USA, ATI products enable customers to achieve a high level of flexibility in robotic automation. Their flagship product is the Robotic Tool Changer, a robotic wrist coupling that locks and unlocks automatically, allowing a single robot to perform many different tasks. ATI products can be found at some of the world's most renowned companies and organizations such as NASA, Ford, Honda and Johns Hopkins University.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Tobi Deploys inVia Robotics to Speed Up Fast Fashion Warehouse Operations

Mar 19, 2019
Tobi Deploys inVia Robotics to Speed Up Fast Fashion Warehouse Operations
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inVia Robotics, the company of next generation warehouse automation solutions, today announced Tobi has integrated its inVia Picker robots and cloud-based Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) automation system to optimize e-commerce fulfillment in its Reno warehouse.
 
The strongly competitive e-commerce retail space keeps rapid growth, with U.S. retail e-commerce sales increasing by 14.3 percent (±4.4%) in just one year. Companies are having to innovate to keep up with the improving demands of customers, including expectations for next day shipment. This hassle is particularly high for fast fashion e-commerce retailers, which undergo rapid market modifications due to seasonality, sales and trends.
 
As an online fast fashion retailer, Tobi required an automatic system that would promptly add productivity and precision to its warehouse operations and evolve with the company. inVia Robotics' solution empowers Tobi to boost warehouse productivity and fulfillment, without interrupting warehouse process to provide Tobi with a competitive advantage.
 
'We strive to surpass customers' expectations with every facet of our business from selection to price and even delivery,' said Kenneth Chan, founder and CEO of Tobi. 'We found that in order to compete and resume to wow our customers we needed automation to present. inVia offered the best solution to boost order efficiency and reliability. The robotics expertise the inVia team has contributed into our operations has been one of the most valuable aspects of the deployment. They have handled our business like it's theirs and let us devote our resources to our core competency of delivering fast fashion to our customers.'
 
The inVia Picker works collaboratively with people in the Tobi warehouse to masterfully pick and move clothing and accessories, automating the storage and retrieval process and freeing workers to focus on less repetitive tasks. The robots are directed by the Robotics Management System (RMS) that analyzes the company's warehouse to optimize workflows and increase throughput. The system's advanced AI algorithms adapt to fluctuations in demand and adjust robot warehouse mapping to create a more efficient process. inVia's holistic program seamlessly integrates with any existing layout and software, and its Robotics-as-a-Service model lets customers see an immediate ROI. As a part of inVia's discovery process, which includes thousands of simulations conducted by the engineering team, Tobi is expected to double its throughput rate.
 
'Warehouse automation is a competitive advantage for e-commerce retailers operating in a crowded space,' said Lior Elazary, founder and CEO of inVia Robotics. 'inVia's innovative AI- driven technology will optimize picking and cycle counting for Tobi and automate repetitive warehouse tasks, so their people can focus on delighting their customers. We're excited to partner with Tobi to create more meaningful work experiences for their employees and consistent satisfaction for their customers.'



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Additive Manufacturing Continues to Prove Promise of Custom-Fit Future

Mar 18, 2019
Additive Manufacturing Continues to Prove Promise of Custom-Fit Future
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For all the interest and headlines gained by additive manufacturing—more commonly known as 3D printing—it still represents a small percentage of all manufacturing operations. Traditional subtractive manufacturing methods such as CNC machining and injection molding produce the vast majority of all parts manufactured at scale. The benefits of on-demand customization for small batches of personalized consumer products is evident. But we’re now beginning to see additive manufacturing used on a much larger industrial scale. Clearly, there’s a growing level of confidence in additive manufacturing, and that will create opportunities across a variety of industries. Here are a few examples:
 
Right Now – Customized Sporting Goods:
 
The overall performance of athletes can be altered significantly by seemingly small factors, like the fit of a shoe. Companies such as Reebok, Adidas and Nike have begun experimenting with 3D printing to create custom-fit sneakers for professional athletes in sports like basketball, baseball and track. Not only does the technology take advantage of better, more compact and breathable materials, it—in combination with 3D scanning — allows every shoe to be perfectly fit to a wearer’s foot, improving comfort and performance.
 
The Near Future – Transportation & Mobility:
 
Perhaps the best known of all additively-manufactured aerospace components is the fuel nozzle used in GE Aviation’s LEAP engine, which just recently passed the 30,000 printed parts mark. Yet 3D printing is truly being used for other reasons as well. In recent years, Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers have begun installing 3D printed parts in their cabin interiors, reaping the benefits of reduced weight leading to lower fuel costs. Last year, Boeing went a step further by announcing the use of 3D printed titanium parts on its 787 Dreamliner…and for the first time, these parts will be constructive components of the plane.
 
Further down the road – Personalized Healthcare:
 
Medical practitioners have long used a traditional set of generic treatments on their patients. Suffer from high blood pressure? Here, take these pills. Break a leg? A few bone screws and plates will fix you right up. The hip implant you accepted last winter is quite likely the same model as the one being installed in your neighbor next week, and when you contract an infection, you’re going to accept the same antibiotics used to treat millions of other people, whatever their shape, size, or sex. Because every patient’s body is unique, these one-size-fits-all treatments don’t always impact every person the same way.
 
Despite the seemingly impersonal nature of today’s health care, we are healthier, as a population, than we have ever been. Yet most in the medical community would agree that many treatments would be more effective if they could be customized to the patient’s unique needs—if medications could be manufactured based on genetic makeup and body chemistry; if new bones could be produced with the same attributes and internal structures as the old, and fit better than a tailored suit.
 
The good news is that level of custom medical care is right around the corner. By giving physicians the ability to accurately model the human anatomy and then print replicas—and sometimes actual replacements—of various body parts, this convergence of technologies is changing the way medicine is being practiced. Further, 3D printing is (or soon will be) creating a host of patient-specific medications and surgical instruments, while offering medical researchers bold new insights into the way we humans work.
 
One example of this is the work done by Massachusetts-based Biomodex. The development of computed tomography (CT scans) followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) greatly improved our ability to peer into the human body, but relying solely on these images to perform surgery is akin to a football player going into a big game without first warming up. Biomodex is changing this decades-old paradigm by converting scanned images of patient organs and other tissues into realistic 3D-printed models, giving surgeons a chance to practice and refine their techniques on polymer replicas before performing an actual surgery on a live patient. This leads to faster recovery times, lower surgical costs, and improved patient outcomes.
 
Yet additive manufacturing generates much more than body parts and prosthetics. Companies such as FabRx, a spin-off of University College London, are using 3D printers to improve the way we consume medications. FabRx’s so-called “Printlets” as well as other companies’ versions of 3D printed drugs, deliver personalized dosing, incorporate multiple drugs into a single polypill, and offer advanced drug release profiles for aging or very young patients. These companies envision a future of on-demand drug dispensing, making pharmaceutical delivery no more difficult than buying a customized dog tag from a vending machine.
 
The ability to suddenly and easily print virtually any shape imaginable has broad ramifications for all industries, but especially the biosciences. So, too, does 3D printing’s ability to combine multiple materials—some of which are living cells—into a single printed part:
 
Researchers in Dresden Germany have printed the first “bots” for delivering anti-cancer drugs to patients with uterine cancer.
A research project at The University of Minnesota is aimed at printing “stem cell-infused scaffolds” for treating patients with spinal cord injuries.
Tissue engineers at Carnegie Mellon University are busy working on the world’s first 3D printed heart made from the patient’s own cells, while researchers at ETH Zurich have already made a functioning prototype from silicone, the stuff of cookware and contact lenses.
Scientists are still a long way from creating transplantable 3D printed human organs, but the future points to the eventual ability to repair—and even replace—hearts, lungs, bones and skin with patient-specific 3D printed replacements. Experts suggest that, within the next decade or two, “bioprinters” will leave the laboratory and enter the doctor’s office. Custom-made drugs, prosthetic devices, and surgical tools—most of them 3D printed—will also become commonplace.
 
Thanks to this convergence of 3D printing and software technology, medical care is about to become a lot more personal, literally. It might not make you look forward to your next doctor visit, but it could just save your life.



This article is originally posted on 
Tronserve.com

Nova Bus next generation Hybrid Electric Buses to be delivered in Toronto

Mar 18, 2019
Nova Bus next generation Hybrid Electric Buses to be delivered in Toronto
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SAINT-EUSTACHE, QC, NOVEMBER 20, 2018 – Bus manufacturer Nova Bus is very satisfied to announce the ongoing transport of 55 of its hybrid electric vehicles to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). This story was achieved today by the TTC, the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada, in the presence of Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York, and Toronto Mayor John Tory. This shipment is part of a massive order of 325 buses presented to Nova Bus by TTC after an intensive competition and evaluation period in 2017.
 
These next generation hybrid electric buses are driven by electric motors operated by on-board battery system, both of which are developed by BAE Systems. This allows better fuel economy and it lowers maintenance costs and emissions. In addition, all on-board systems such as doors, HVAC and power steering are fully electrified.
 
“We are very proud of this partnership which allows us to equip the TTC with the next generation Hybrid Electric buses and thus to contribute to the City of Toronto’s efforts to reduce its emissions,” said Martin Larose, Vice President and General Manager of Nova Bus. “Our company is a great player in sustainable urban transportation and we’re pleased to provide Toronto public transit passengers, quality buses that are dependable, safe and ecofriendly,” he added.
 
“The Government of Canada is investing in efficient public transit systems to help minimize traffic blockage and improve air quality,” said Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The TTC’s new hybrid buses will benefit transit users across Toronto by providing modern new buses, while helping improve air quality and protecting the environment.”



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Cincoze Launches DC-1200

Mar 18, 2019
Cincoze Launches DC-1200
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Cincoze, a professional manufacturer of embedded computing platforms, releases its current compact fanless computer, the DC-1200. Equipped with Intel® Pentium® N4200 quad-core processor up to 2.5GHz and based on Cincoze' unique modular design, the DC-1200 offering an incredible size-performance ratio for the most challenging industrial environments.
 
'With the combination of compact size and modular design, the DC-1200 provides easy configurations to suit different application-specific needs. It is much easier to use Cincoze' ready-to-use CMI & CFM modules for extension of 8x digital I/O, 2x serial ports, power ignition sensing, Power over Ethernet (PoE) and even a third display output for a variety of applications' said Brandon Chien, CEO of Cincoze.
 
Developed for industrial IoT applications, the DC-1200 includes 2x full-size mini-PCIe slots which support WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G/LTE wireless communication modules. Furthermore, the system is equipped with dual front-accessible SIM card slots for communication redundancy, making it the best choice for IoT management, and smart transportation applications.
The DC-1200 incorporates a variety of I/O connectivities, including 2x serial ports, 4x USB 3.0, 2x GbE LAN, DVI-D, and DisplayPort. The system also offers 1x mSATA socket and 1x 2.5' SATA drive bay as its storage media for operating system and mass data storage.



This article is originally posted on 
Tronserve.com

Converging the Old and New

Mar 18, 2019
Converging the Old and New
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As factories become more updated and coordinated than ever before, long standing legacy equipment can be overshadowed by new, high tech machines. These future-facing industrial assets are normally readily obtainable to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) — a new technology paradigm that is aiding manufacturers improve competitiveness, increase profitability and reduce downtime through interconnectivity and data collection.
 
Overhauling old methods for present alternatives may seem idyllic, but this could be far too costly and unfeasible for most businesses in the US. Also, when you consider the great number of time necessary to source new parts, uninstall current equipment and re-train employees, the time investment alone is sufficient to put businesses off the rip-and-replace approach.
 
This begs the question — how does legacy equipment fit into Industry 4.0? Put simply, to control the benefits of new technology, factories must have an IIoT ecosystem that integrates with legacy assets.
 
The problem doesn’t lie with the age of present equipment, but the skills of workers. Many of the professionals in running and maintaining legacy equipment are retiring, leaving younger workers to face the struggle of working with both old and new technology. But this, in itself, isn’t adequate reason to get rid of old areas if they are working optimally. Even broken obsolete parts can be replaced with the help of the right obsolete parts supplier.
 
Ironically, new technology is aiding older equipment by extending its lifespan through retrofit sensors and condition monitoring. This software means the health of assets can be tracked accurately, allowing predictive maintenance schedules to be put in place.
 
Connecting legacy machines to the IIoT is challenging, but not impossible. Retrofit, or ‘wrap-and-extend’ solutions involve using third party, IoT-ready products such as IoT gateways, OPC servers and sensors. This out-of-the-box connectivity can be installed with no interruption to uptime.
 
This approach can be completely customized to the business’s needs, meaning only useful sensors are put in place. Compare this with buying brand new equipment, which would include hundreds of inbuild sensors that aren’t all required.
 
These retrofit sensors can track details such as temperature and vibration, to provide valuable insight, with the help of software, into the current condition and the next condition of a part.
 
For example, a high temperature could give engineers with a sophisticated warning of lubrication breakdown. Similarly, by monitoring the vibration spectrum for change, it is possible to discover and monitor signs of wear, by comparing to baseline values. A skilled vibration analyst can notice the presence of a bearing defect, a damaged impeller blade and much more.
 
By giving this data to the cloud, it can join the other IIoT data developed by the internal sensors of new machines. Software can then parse this collection of data, with little discrimination regarding whether this data came from a new or old part.
 
Most factories will take a phased approach to employing this third-party technology. We’ll see businesses gather the benefits of tackling difficult legacy equipment first, and with this success, retrofit condition monitoring programs can then be rolled out to other legacy equipment progressively over time.
 
After tackling the troubled assets, high-value, critical and hard-to-reach legacy assets can then profit from retrofit condition monitoring too.
 
Many legacy machines have been built to last, and this is definitely a positive. It’s good that businesses have the option to keep this equipment around, rather than be required to pay for pricey rip and replace schemes to overhaul run down systems.
 
New technology means the lifespan of this legacy equipment can be elongated even further through preventative maintenance. The message is clear — don’t exclude your legacy equipment from your IIoT infrastructure.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

China's Auto Sales Contraction Worsens in February

Mar 15, 2019
China's Auto Sales Contraction Worsens in February
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The downturn in China's auto market worsened in January and February as an economic slowdown and a tariff fight with Washington chilled demand in the industry's leading worldwide market. Sales of SUVs, minivans and sedans plunged 17.5 percent from a year earlier to 3.2 million SUVs, minivans and sedans in the first two months of 2019, with respect to an industry group, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers. Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, fell 15 percent to 3.8 million units. The slide in sales of passenger cars in January was 15 percent. Economists and industrial analysts usually incorporate the first two months of the year when hunting at consumer activity to screen out the effect of the Lunar New Year holiday, when factories close for up to two weeks and commercial activity falls.
Chinese consumers are putting off huge purchases amid an economic downturn that saw growth last year fall to a three-decade low of 6.6 percent. Trade tension with Washington is fueling consumer jitters. The auto slump is squeezing revenue for global and Chinese automakers that are spending heavily to meet government targets to formulate electric cars. Last year's auto sales endured their first decline in nearly three decades, calling 4.1 percent from 2017 year to 23.7 million. The downturn has encouraged suggestions Beijing will cut sales taxes or offer other incentives. Sales by Chinese brands fell 23 percent to 1.3 million units in January and February, according to CAAM. Market share for Chinese brands shrank by 3 percent compared with the same time last year to 41.8 percent. Growth in sales of pure-electric and hybrid vehicles, which Beijing is promoting with subsidies, rose 98.9 percent over a year ago to 148,000 units. Sales of SUVs, usually a bright spot for the industry, contracted 18.6 percent to 141,000.


This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Vada Tech Announces New 6U VPX Chassis with Fibre Optic

Mar 15, 2019
Vada Tech Announces New 6U VPX Chassis with Fibre Optic
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Henderson, NV - March 14, 2017 - VadaTech, a leading manufacturer of integrated systems, embedded boards, enabling software and application-ready platforms, announces the VTX350. The VTX350 is a 6U VPX chassis with up to twelve 6U VPX slots and provision for dual power modules ideal for field deployment. The chassis can accept 0.8-inch, 0.85-inch and 1.0-inch pitch modules.
 
The initial backplane offers eight 6U VPX payload slots, fully compliant to VITA 46.0 baseline specification with additional support to the RTMs, compliant to VITA 46.10 and OpenVPX VITA65. In addition, an optional chassis manager (VPX980) can include a JTAG Switch Module (JSM) with JTAG routed to payload slots. Each payload slot supports up to six VITA 66.5 12-way fiber modules for high density fiber I/O. The chassis contains provision for fiber management and stress relief, making it appropriate for high-speed, high-I/O applications such as EW and multi-mode radar. Chassis construction meets shock and vibration requirements per MIL-STD-810G.
 
The VTX350 needs airflow to be offered by the cabinet, and includes provision for airflow management over payload, power and switch/manager modules.


This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

NSI Industries Expands its Product Portfolio

Mar 15, 2019
NSI Industries Expands its Product Portfolio
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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., March 14, 2019 - NSI Industries, LLC, a major company of electrical and control products, today launched a merger with the Newbury Park, California-based Platinum Tools®, increasing its product portfolio and market reach, while producing new value for a wide range of customers. Platinum Tools is a market leader of award-winning datacom products, driving the innovation for the preparation, installation, hand termination and testing of wire and cable.
 
'The Platinum Tools product portfolio is entirely complementary to our NSI electrical solutions and will add immediate category depth,' said G. R. Schrotenboer, chief executive officer, NSI Industries. 'Platinum Tools shares our dedication to present the best quality products manufactured for excellent and easy installation, while providing economic value to contractors, electricians and installers.'
Platinum Tools' portfolio consists of cable management solutions, planned wiring products, tester kits, cutters, crimpers and other products for electrical, industrial, security, audio/video, commercial, residential, datacom and telecom applications, which extends NSI's market reach.
 
'Our new combined power, including our mutual commitments to delivering superb attention and service to our customers, brings considerable opportunities for us to offer a broad array of unique and industry-leading solutions to our customers,' said Lee Sachs, president, Platinum Tools. 'We are excited about this partnership with NSI Industries and the value it will bring to our respective customers.'
Named the top brand leader in the Tools & Testers category in CE Pro Magazine's 2018 Brand Analysis report, Platinum Tools was also recently awarded two 2018 Cabling Installation & 2018 Cabling Innovators Awards from Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

5 Reasons Why AR Is the Future of Smart Factories

Mar 14, 2019
5 Reasons Why AR Is the Future of Smart Factories
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The fourth industrial revolution, commonly known as 4IR, is achieving a host of new options for manufacturers looking to increase their production lines. Augmented Reality (AR) is key to this revolution and is now used by major companies like Siemens, Hitachi and Volkswagen to improve production and engineering. Over the next five years, AR is supposed to accomplish a 20 percent increase in industry adoption, as companies set up smart factories — equipped with AR solutions — in an attempt to boost productivity and improve revenues. As these solutions become more sophisticated, the factory environment as we know it will radically change.
 
Here we will look at five ways AR will enhance the smart factories of the future:
 
No. 1 - AR can be your personal assistant
First, AR will increase the way tasks are managed and distributed among factory staff. By setting up a centralized AR assistant platform that can recognize individual employees as they arrive at work, Smart Factories will be able to tell workers of their daily responsibilities and let them know how their tasks are related to those of the previous worker. This AR application is essentially an automated secretary, accessible across a variety of devices (including smartphones, tablets and head-mounted displays) which helps to streamline handovers between employees and improve accuracy and productivity in the workplace.
 
No. 2 - Visualizing data with the Internet of Things
To increase the benefits of using AR as a personal assistant, factory managers just need to blend this technology with the Internet of Things (IoT). If employees use AR applications equipped with IoT data visualization, they can access a world of real-time, operational information on temperature, electricity flow and power levels simply by holding a mobile camera over a machine sensor. All the factory owner needs to do is attach IoT sensors to the equipment, and AR will correctly identify and visualize the necessary information. Workers can also access information about the equipment they need to use, with all the information augmented on a portable or head-mounted device (HMD). Such technology can greatly increase work efficiency and simplify monitoring procedures, and is especially useful if it is difficult to reach a particular piece of equipment, for example if hidden behind a wall or covered by a multitude of wires.
 
No. 3 - Voice command
Let’s not forget that the above-mentioned AR applications can be controlled by voice — a great advantage in industrial settings where factory workers need to have both hands free to carry out their everyday tasks. When using voice-controlled HMDs, there is no need for employees to use a mouse-pad or look through thick paper manuals to find instructions on factory procedures. Instead, AR will improve safety for employees carrying out hazardous procedures and additionally save time by eliminating the need to put down their tools to look up instructions.  If they need support, workers can talk into their device and set up an AR-based video call, connecting them with professionals in remote places. The on-site industrial worker can then share their environment via video and receive prompt guidance with intuitive AR drawings, text or image sharing superimposed on their HMD.
 
No. 4 - Navigating the factory floor made easy
Finding a certain machine component in a large factory can be a challenge for even the most seasoned employee. Thankfully, advancements in AR will make it easier for workers to surf their factory floor. With AR, employees will be able to use their hand-held devices or HMDs to view a specific floor plan with information on equipment location, emergency exits, fire extinguishers and more. On top of that, AR indoor navigation technology will be able to automatically direct workers from their current position to the specific machine or piece of equipment they need to access. Workers can display their current location with colleagues, which also helps keep the workforce coordinated.
 
No. 5 - A ‘black box’ for factories
In the future, Smart Factories will be prepared with an industrial ‘black box’ — a central computer which automatically records information from worker devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets and smart glasses) and collects vast amounts of valuable data on work procedures, all of which can be stored on the cloud. This computer, if integrated with IoT sensors, will make it possible to provide real-time information on machinery and allow workers to identify problems and make repairs before a minor default turns into an issue which could stop production. For factory managers, possessing an AR black box will allow them to better assess staff performance. If there is a problem, they will who did it and exactly how it happened. Using that insight, they can then increase the accuracy of future work procedures. In addition, in the case of an emergency, all pertinent data on the incident is collected automatically, allowing workers to come up with an precise and effective reaction and avoid a repeat of the same situation.
 
The Cusp of the AR Revolution
The AR revolution is achieving impetus. Regarding to a Harvard Business School report from 2017, Xerox now handles 76 percent of technical problems using smart specs. Boeing managed to cut the amount of time it takes to train new staff by 35 percent thanks to the use of AR 3D drawing, while Coca-Cola boosted its bottling line uptime and speed of line changeovers by 45 percent, using AR contents assistance. The Smart Factory is emerging as one of the big trends in Industry 4.0, and manufactures that don’t catch on will not only be saddled with outdated production lines and less competitive products, but will also miss out of paid off operating costs and healthier bottom lines.
 


This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

THE IMPACT OF INDUSTRIAL IOT ON MANUFACTURING 4.0

Mar 14, 2019
THE IMPACT OF INDUSTRIAL IOT ON MANUFACTURING 4.0
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Digital transformation is a key component of Industry 4.0 (or the fourth industrial revolution). As a matter of fact, these new transformative technologies are already possessing a major impact on the manufacturing process, for example with self-driving logistics vehicles, predictive maintenance, data-driven quality controls, self-organizing production and much more. In the discrete manufacturing sector, which is highly competitive and price sensitive, these expert practices are being rolled out especially fast to attain optimal yields, high operational efficiencies, and cost controls.
 
According to a present Bsquare Maturity Study of manufacturers, 77 percent of organizations polled have some sort of IIoT solution in place. The majority of these deployments are less mature and focus on simple data forwarding, device connectivity, and some real-time dashboard monitoring. However, there are a number of manufacturers rolling out more mature solutions that deliver innovative analytics such as machine learning, cluster analysis and artificial intelligence, or that are creating completely automated, single-step actions. What was mastered from these early trail-blazing organizations? Here are some key conclusions to consider:
 
The Data Challenge Is Real
The next phase in factory automation is anticipated to grow these data counts tremendously. In fact, new forms of digital technology, including touch interfaces and augmented-reality (AR) systems are already popping up in the advanced factory. Considering this current and future data outlook, manufacturing executives should understand that these large data sets are far too vast for humans to read. IIoT solutions are needed to make timely, smart, data-informed decisions. With high cloud-based data analytics, machine learning, and predictive reasoning, organizations can transform rich operational data into tangible business improvements.
 
ROI is Not Far Away
Once accordingly reviewed and acted upon, a company’s streaming and stored data becomes a vital business asset – enabling production improvements, cost savings, and smarter resource allocation. For instance, manufacturers can use IIoT-based data analysis to achieve the following:
 
1. Establish condition-based maintenance schedules to reduce unplanned equipment downtime, better manage servicing costs, optimize production, and extend the useful life of equipment;
2. Use rules-based automation and remote-control access to maximize yield while also maintaining quality, prolonging equipment lifespans, and remaining compliant;
3. Automate and connect every corner of the factory floor to optimize processes and material flow for more precise planning, just-in-time manufacturing, and workplace safety;
4. Make machines more autonomous, such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and industrial/collaborative robots, to reduce the workload of IT, operations, and engineering staff;
5. Find the core determinants of production and workflow performance, then take action to continually improve them.
And these are not the only applications of IIoT that can significantly improve financial outcomes. A PWC survey of industrial sectors projects that 10 percent of all companies that digitally transform their factories, and 27 percent of “first movers” that do so, will simultaneously achieve a 30 percent increase in revenue.
 
Precise Goals Key to Success
It’s essential to note that manufacturers are not spending blindly in this latest digitally transformed world. They are instead strategic about where they make their investments in order to realize the greatest rewards.
 
The Bsquare Maturity Study also revealed that logistics (95 percent) – including that on the factory floor—was the most common challenge being tackled by manufacturers that are currently adopting IIoT solutions. The other two top priorities were machine health (82 percent) and operating costs (34 percent).
 
IIoT can have a tremendous impact on an industrial organization. The technology can be used to connect physical assets, monitor asset data, predict conditions, automate operations, optimize equipment, and more. Whatever the goal, if rolled out properly, the technology offers a strategic advantage that allows data to be more actionable. By unlocking previously unknown operational insights, businesses can increase output, manage costs, and improve productivity, which is at the core of Industry 4.0.
 


This article is originally posted on 
Tronserve.com

U.S. Health Officials Move to Tighten Sales of E-Cigarettes

Mar 14, 2019
U.S. Health Officials Move to Tighten Sales of E-Cigarettes
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U.S. health regulators are moving beforehand with a plan designed to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers by reducing sales of most flavored products in convenience stores and online.
 
The new guidelines, first proposed in November, are the present government effort to counter what health officials call an epidemic of underage vaping.
 
E-cigarettes commonly heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapor. Federal law bans their sale to those under 18, but 1 in 5 high school students report using e-cigarettes, according to the latest government figures.
 
Under recommended guidelines released Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette makers would control sales of most flavored products to stores that verify the age of customers or include a separate, age-restricted area of the store for vaping products.
 


This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

uEye CP camera family to be expanded

Mar 14, 2019
uEye CP camera family to be expanded
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IDS has built in the high-resolution 12 MP IMX226 rolling shutter sensor into the uEye CP camera family, giving increased resolution, speed and sensitivity. The new models are available with the established GigE or USB3 interfaces and will be available from May 2019.
 
Thanks to the BSI ('back-side-illumination') technology of the SONY STARVIS series of sensors, the IMX226 is greatest for tasks that need maximum results even in low light conditions. It delivers exceptionally low-noise images and is therefore ideally suited for applications in areas such as microscopy, medicine, logistics and traffic monitoring.
 
With a sensor size of 1/1.7', the uEye CP cameras, which are only 29 x 29 x 29 mm in size, also allow for a very large selection of cost-effective lenses. The sensor will be available in either color or monochrome. Thanks to the unique IDS software suite, users can also experience practical 'plug & play' with these cameras: the models are automatically recognized in the system and are straight away ready for use.
 
The uEye CP cameras at a glance:
-USB 3.0 and GigE interface
-12 MP CMOS sensor from the Sony STARVIS series
-4000 x 3000 px, pixel size 1.85 μm
-Particularly light-sensitive and low-noise
-Available from May 2019
 

This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Nissan Cuts Back on More Business at English Plant

Mar 13, 2019
Nissan Cuts Back on More Business at English Plant
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Infiniti Motor Co., the luxury division of Japanese automaker Nissan, says it's withdrawing from Western Europe — offering another blow to car makers in the U.K. bracing for Britain's departure from the European Union.
 
The company mentioned on Tuesday that as part of its restructuring plan, it will cease making two models, the Q30 and QX30, by mid-2019 at the manufacturing plant in Sunderland, in northern England.
 
Nissan ended plans in February to build a latest diesel-powered X-Trail sports power vehicle in Sunderland. That inverted a decision proclaimed two years ago after Prime Minister Theresa May's government offered some 60 million pounds in incentives.
 
Car makers are being required to measure uncertainty about feasible tariffs and border checks at a time when the industry confronts a wholesale overhaul amid changing consumer habits.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Reeco wins prestigious Henry Ford Award

Mar 13, 2019
Reeco wins prestigious Henry Ford Award
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An expert in collaborative robots has won a prestigious global award for its work with Ford.
 
Reeco Automation has got the Henry Ford Award for its partnership with Ford's engine plant in Bridgend is successfully integrating a collaborative robot (known as ‘cobots') into its manufacturing process.
Seven entries from Ford plants around the world were evaluated by judges before Reeco was picked as the winner along with Ford technicians, Gary Evans (Electrical Controls Specialist) and Phil Moreton (Senior Emerging Technology Engineer).
Reeco's Managing Director, Llewelyn Rees, Gary and Phil were offered with their award by Wallace Yearwood, Bridgend's Engine Plant Manager.
The high-profile success has resulted in Reeco being put forward by Ford for similar projects at some of the motor giant's other sites internationally.
Llewelyn, whose company is based in Caersws, Powys, said: 'To win the Henry Ford Award is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, both at Reeco and the team at Bridgend Ford with whom we worked so closely.
'Both larger and smaller manufacturers are increasingly seeing the benefits of integrating cobots into their production processes, not to replace the human workforce but to complement them.'
Other Reeco customers involve Rolls Royce, Honeywell and Unilever.
The company is a turnkey solutions provider for cobots - making use of technology on to production lines, bringing about a step change in speed of production, efficiency and safety.
Reeco was built in August 2016 by Llewelyn and is the leading integrator of cobots in the UK. The global market for cobots is expected to grow by more than 40 per cent per year and be worth over £3billion by 2020.
Reeco offers customers with eight different cobot solutions including screw and bolt fixing, pick and place, riveting, dispensing, polishing, electronics and gluing.
The company also has a strong highlight on safety working with clients to create and implement safety strategies to ensure compliant cobot application.
By using cobots to carry out a range of tasks, employees can be freed up to work on more crucial tasks demanding human intervention.
Cobots allow operators and robot to work alongside without the need for safety fencing and expensive guarding, all regulated to ISO 13849-1. The cobots commonly have a compensation within 12 months dependent on the application.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

AMP Robotics & Ryohshin work on New Industrial Automation for Construction and Demolition Recycling

Mar 13, 2019
AMP Robotics & Ryohshin work on New Industrial Automation for Construction and Demolition Recycling
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AMP Robotics Corp. ('AMP'), a master in artificial intelligence ('AI') and robotics for the recycling industry, and Ryohshin Co. Ltd. ('Ryohshin'), a leader in waste control technology in Japan, today introduced a partnership to make and sell AI-driven industrial robotics for material recovery in the Japanese Construction and Demolition ('C&D') market. The companies also announced the industrial launch of a detailed solution of high-performance C&D robotic systems now presented in Japan.
 
Ryohshin and AMP co-developed a groundbreaking robotic system using the AMP Neuron™ AI platform to guide high-performance robots that spot, arrange, pick and plan C&D debris for recycling. The two C&D robotic systems are called ‘AI-Benkei' and ‘AI-Musashi'.
 
AI-Benkei is the heavy-duty workhorse operating a single-robot cell to handle heavy trash up to 40 kg, running up to a phenomenal 25 metric tons per hour. AI-Musashi is the high-speed racehorse using a tandem-robot cell that swiftly picks smaller objects at an unprecedented speed of 160 pieces of material per minute, processing up to 10 metric tons per hour. The two methods combine payload and speed to form a complete solution that can operate 24/7 and process a vast array of material including metal, wood, electronics, concrete and much more.
 
AMP Neuron is the 'eyes' and 'brain' of the robotic setup achieving real-time pattern recognition to determine target materials. It continually learns by processing vast numbers of data converted from millions of images captured via its vision system. AMP Neuron realizes different colors, textures, shapes and patterns to identify material characteristics. AMP Neuron collects all data in a material stream, providing transparency about its material composition, as well as analysis of operational efficiency. Customers use this data to supervise and measure performance, while attaining vital insights to make key business decisions.



This article is originally posted on 
Tronserve.com

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