The number of manufacturers worldwide using simulation software is set to nearly double over the next five years, predicts ABI Research. The software differs from other technological tools in that it examines production lines before they begin and tests possible changes.
Two Chicago organizations, MxD and mHUB, are advancing digital manufacturing, cybersecurity and product development by forming partnerships between manufacturers, universities and other businesses and organizations. One effort from mHUB is working with large manufacturers and startups to create industrial internet of things devices that can solve specific problems.
Gemalto and Rohde & Schwarz are developing internet of things testing that would enable manufacturers of IoT solutions to introduce virtual drive tests in the development phase of CAT-M1 and NB-IoT modules in an effort to enable earlier detection of issues.
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The internet of thing's data collection and analysis functions can improve worker safety and facility efficiency. Examples of safety functions include equipment that automatically stops if someone is in the way or "smart buildings" that warn employees when they come too close to a hazard.
Air casters float equipment on a bed of compressed air, making it easy to lift heavy items for part replacement or other maintenance. Air casters, which can sometimes replace conveyor belts or forklifts, improve safety and reduce wear and tear within plants.
Belt conveyor failure often occurs due to misalignment, tracking problems or other maintenance issues. In this article, Amin Almasi describes how to deal with a number of belt conveyor problems, including misaligned pulleys, improperly joined belts and off-center transitions.
Transport equipment manufacturer IHI is using Neurala's machine vision platform that relies on artificial intelligence to detect and prevent quality problems. "AI can help make manufacturing jobs more desirable, while it also makes our workers more powerful and effective," says Neurala co-founder and CEO Massimiliano Versace.
Operational technology security and incident readiness are two areas where manufacturers need to focus this year, says Donovan Tindill of Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity Marketing. Cybersecurity must be considered "through the entire life cycle of the control system, from its initial selection through to design, configuration, commissioning, and maintenance," he says.
Manufacturing output and productivity have skyrocketed, and the industrial internet of things is set to deliver even more disruption, writes IMEC President David Boulay. To get the most from IIoT, manufacturers need a "strategic technology adoption plan" that includes partnerships, he writes.
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