Automation Update - Issue 88

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AUTO OMATION PDATE Issue 88

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E N G I N E E R

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M A N U F A C T U R E

TF Automation manufacture special purpose machinery across a wide range of industries, specialising in process automation and product assembly, testing and handling.

www.tfautomation.co.uk


Simply done. VARIO-X is the decisive step towards the future! Agile manufacturing, sustainability or Industry 4.0 – thanks to 100 percent automation without control cabinets. Modular, flexible and future-proof, Vario-X brings your machines and systems into the future with decentralized installation technology. future. It‘s that simple.

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AUTOMATION UPDATE Publication Director Kane Weller 01843 580 460 Kane@engineering-update.co.uk Editor Leigh Little 01843 267 690 leigh@engineering-update.co.uk Sales Director Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 tim@engineering-update.co.uk Editorial Assistant Laura Sharpe 01843 448 443 laura@engineering-update.co.uk

Automation Update is an engaging, editorially led publication & directory giving the reader news and updates on new products and services to our ever Progressing industry. Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd The Forge, Spratling Court Offices, Manston, Kent CT12 5AN www.jetdigitalmedia.co.uk

www.automation-update.co.uk

Forerunner Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. The Sensor People have been setting technological standards in industrial automation for more than 50 years. In the field of safety at work, we convince right from the start with trend-setting inventions, such as the development of the first protective sensor ever, to our latest safety innovation, “Smart Process Gating” – the space-saving solution for access guarding on conveyor lines. This is how we ensure the success of our customers in an industry that is ever evolving.

www.leuze.co.uk Automation Update - 3


Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld is one of the UK’s leading motorhome dealerships. With the largest array of premium German brand motorhomes, they are perfectly suited to meet the current unprecedented demand facing the UK market.

Efficiency of Space at Erwin Hymer

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fficiency of space was a key consideration when designing their new 20-bay service area and showroom. By investing in a new automated storage and retrieval system, they were able to deliver greater customer engagement.

The Erwin Hymer Centre has established itself as the company’s premier spare parts division. Their Service Centre and MOT testing facility delivers innovative solutions to their customers. Delivering new parts and accessories in real-time was a priority when designing the Service Centre, to ensure customers received their parts as soon as they were stocked in automated systems. Kardex enabled Erwin Hymer to store all parts in a single Vertical Lift Module (VLM) unit, close to the bespoke manufacturing department, as 80% of vans require bespoke parts (often one offs), Kardex helped establish speedy customer service. A customised solution based on a standard Vertical Lift Module (VLM) utilised the overhead space, which operates like an elevator. It’s comprised of a shaft in the middle with 4 - Automation Update

two columns of trays and shelving, which contains hundreds of motorhome parts and accessories for fast retraction. Alongside the economy of space, the warehouse management software Kardex Power Pick System provides valuable data insight using algorithms. Data is produced on various topics, including the most popular parts ordered, as well as the ideal amount of stock to have of a certain product. Using this knowledge, they can store three quarters of their inventory within the system. Moreover, the Kardex solution allowed them to increase order throughput as well as reduce the number of personnel by more than half. Next to this, the faster and smarter processes brought on by the custom solution, allowed Erwin Hymer to deliver innovation and excellence to customers visiting their service centre. For more information contact Kardex direct: info.remstar.uk@kardex.com or visit our website at www.kardex.com


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PLC Web Browser OPC UA Server WebView In Excess of 300 Communication Drivers Event Bar Chart Database Server SQL Query Energy Demand Display/Setting

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Lamonde Automation Limited Quality Products: Expert Advice


TF Automation support Parker Filtration with update to production line TF Automation were approached by Parker Filtration to replace and update part of a production line for the manufacture of oil filters. This is TF’s first of several automation projects for Parker Filtration, although we have supplied them with pneumatic components for a number of years. The machine was required to improve the production efficiency of what was a very high maintenance line to create a seam between an oil filter cylinder and cap, whilst also presenting the finished item correctly to its next stage of production. The design team at TF re-engineered the complete system using the existing conveyor loop provided by the customer. The filters are placed on the conveyor manually and the conveyor then moves the item to one of two seamer lift stations. Using pneumatics, the seamer lift station pushes the cylinder firmly into the lid to create the seam. The filter moves along the conveyor to the final station which lifts and turns the cylinder 180 degrees, using a servo lift axis which caters for different cylinder lengths. The cylinder is then correctly oriented for the next stage of production which is to screen print for identification purposes. The whole process is managed by a new control system designed by the TF project team. Tony Hubbert, MD at TF Automation comments, “We are delighted to be supporting Parker Filtration with updates to their production line and process efficiencies. We have supplied them for many years with pneumatics and industrial components, but this is the first of a number of automation projects we are designing and manufacturing for them in the coming months.” For more information please visit www.tfautomation.co.uk 6 - Automation Update


DESIGN | ENGINEER | MANUFACTURE | DESIGN | ENGINEER | MANUFACTURE

Supporting a wide range of manufacturing industries from automotive, aerospace and defence to medical, printing and packaging, we design and manufacture process automation solutions focusing on improving output and productivity.

SPECIAL PURPOSE MACHINE MANUFACTURER SERVICES

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In-house design In-house manufacture Testing & commissioning Programming

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Assembly & Testing Process Automation Robotics & Product Handling Product Marking Manual Workstations Plasma Treatment

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HEATING

TEXTILES

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PACKAGING

FOOD & BEVERAGE

to discuss your next automation project, please get in touch with our design team

T: 01274 308005 E: info@tfautomation.co.uk www.tfautomation.co.uk Hillam Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD2 1QN


FUTUREPROOFING YOUR OP IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK

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utomated Shop Floors Where Cobots Work Alongside Operators Are No Longer The Future, But Rather The Present. Whether They Are Used In Manufacturing Packaging, Warehousing, Maintenance Or Training – Collaborative Solutions Are Already Changing The Way We Operate And, Ultimately, The Industrial World We Know. Easy To Program And Install, They Are Also Ideal For EntryLevel Automation Applications. Barry Weller, Robotics Product Manager at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at the benefits of implementing collaborative robots and how easy they are to integrate into existing processes.

Automated shop floors where cobots work alongside operators are no longer the future, but rather the present. [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.]

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Collaborative and industrial robots are increasingly used in a wide range of industrial activities. In a decade, the global sales volume of industrial robots tripled, with up to 422,000 units shipped worldwide every year1. Cobots represent nearly 5% of this total2– a portion that continues to increase annually. The high adoption rate for robotic solutions is primarily driven by the vast benefits they can deliver. Robots improve productivity and throughput while delivering high accuracy and reproducibility, leading to consistent production quality. Collaborative robot solutions are particularly attractive, as they typically require smaller initial investments. They are also easier to fit into existing manufacturing setups, as no physical barriers are required to ensure a safe working environment. One of the biggest advantages, however, is how intuitive and easy they are to use and interact with.


PERATIONS WITH COBOTS

Mitsubishi Electric’s MELFA Assista cobot is coupled with its intuitive, touch-enabled engineering software RT VisualBox. [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.]

1 Statista Research Department. (2021). Industrial robots worldwide - statistics & facts. Available at: https://www.statista.com/topics/1476/industrial-robots/#dossierKeyfigures [Accessed: 19 October 2021] 2 Statista Research Department. (2021). Collaborative robots’ share of the worldwide industrial robot market 2017-2019. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/897655/cobot-industrial-robot-market-share [Accessed: 19 October 2021]

Automation Update - 9


[Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.]

Making programming instinctive Cobots utilise visual programming languages and graphical user interfaces that let users sequence the process and manipulate key functions without any coding. This significantly reduces programming complexity. For example, Mitsubishi Electric’s MELFA Assista cobot is coupled with an intuitive, touchenabled engineering software, called RT VisualBox. This software supports the creation of operating sequences by linking block diagrams in a chain of events. External devices, such as vision systems, can be connected to the cobot by using a software wizard within RT VisualBox that guides them through each step of the setup process. It is also possible to automatically perform key functions, such as the calibration of a coordinate system using Artificial Intelligence (AI). To make things even easier, the MELFA Assista offers an additional hand-guided teaching function. With it, the cobot can be manually guided into a position, which is then added to the work sequence by pressing a button on the robotic arm. These functionalities help operators create even highly sophisticated applications without any prior programming knowledge. Installation and setup can be streamlined and businesses can start using them almost instantly. These elements are also extremely helpful to companies at the beginning of their digital transformation journey and help users grow their confidence and skills in factory automation. There is no need for operators to have a high level of expertise in robotics or programming. This also helps companies to develop their own in-house expertise and evolve over time, which can then support the use of more complex solutions, such as conventional industrial robots. Ultimately, businesses can increase their automation literacy and create highly effective setups that meet their specific needs and requirements. 10 - Automation Update

The MELFA Assista can be manually guided into a position, which is then added to the work sequence by pressing a button on the robotic arm.

Futureproofing education Finally, the ease of use of a cobot such as the MELFA Assista can be key in meeting the current and future workforce training requirements. Being able to work with robots and all other automation components that make up smart factories will be a key requirement for the plant engineers of tomorrow. This means being able to set up these machines, interact and inspect them as well as conduct maintenance activities. Improving skill provision systems and upgrading education policies to advance technology skills is therefore becoming increasingly important. To address these educational needs, Mitsubishi Electric provided Redcar & Cleveland College with an RV-F series articulated arm robot. The setup gives pupils the unique opportunity to develop key skills in a hands-on learning environment. They are able to develop practical skills, such as programming different axes of motion themselves, and gain an understanding on how to deploy and maintain robots. Collaborative robots can further support this development, as they remove entry barriers and contribute to increased ‘robot literacy’ across the workforce. By implementing cobots, forward-thinking businesses can benefit from automated processes and also support their staff in developing key skills, adding value to their operations in the long run. Further Information: Website: gb.mitsubishielectric.com/fa Email: automation@meuk.mee.com

Cobots are ideal for entry-level automation applications because theuy are particularly easy to program and install. [Source: Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.]



Reducing errors with machine vision Meeting standards in food manufacturing with machine vision According to a recent survey, only 1.7 per cent of businesses are using machine vision, and a further 0.4 per cent are testing specific advanced technologies using machine vision. This is concerning, particularly for food and beverage manufacturers that rely on their products meeting strict standards. Here Adam Carless, TwinCAT Vision product specialist for Beckhoff Automation UK, explores how machine vision can improve the inspection process in food manufacturing and what plant managers need to consider when choosing a machine vision solution. 85 per cent of production errors, recalls, and machine downtime in food and beverage manufacturing are caused by human error. While a lot of the time, food recalls relate to the product itself, faulty packaging can play a part. Broken packaging could lead to food contamination or increased oxidisation of fruit and vegetables, which would cause them to rot before their stated use-by date. 12 - Automation Update

To help prevent this from happening, machine vision systems can be set up on any production line and used to check each product against what the system’s artificial intelligence engines have deemed correct. Machine learning solutions can also be used to identify and remove defective products before they leave the facility. By learning the dimensions, weight and look of what a perfect product looks like, the system can then distinguish between that and imperfect products. When integrated with other machines, like a robotic arm, the system can then remove the defective products from the line before they leave the facility, or go through further costly manufacturing stages. One of the most important considerations when choosing a machine vision solution is the integration with the existing technology used on the production line, for example the programming language. TwinCAT Vision, offered by Beckhoff Automation UK, is an extension of

Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3 software. The open automation principles that lie behind the software means that engineers can continue to use the programming language and software environment they are familiar with, rather than having to learn a new one for their machine vision system. The ability to bring all systems under one programming language and software environment allows for the easy synchronisation between systems, which results in a reduction in latency. The TwinCAT Vision system can be easily configured which means that it can be brought under the same control environment as robotics and motion applications, which results in less additional work for the engineers. Machine vision gives food manufacturers peace of mind that their products are leaving their facility in the best possible condition. For more information on how TwinCAT Vision can be integrated into your existing production line, visit TwinCAT Vision | Beckhoff United Kingdom.


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SME Manufacturers Call For Supply Chain Support As Government Eyes New Business Support Landscape

companies looking to recover from the aftereffects of the pandemic but against a volatile backdrop of supply chain disruption and rising inflationary pressures. It is critical that Manufacturing bosses continue to receive specialist support to rebuild their growth strategies,” explained Dean Barnes, Regional Director of the Manufacturing Growth Programme.

Supply chain support and longer-term assistance are at the top of the wish list for UK manufacturing SMEs if they are to make the most of the postpandemic recovery and the long-anticipated UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

He continued: “The report clearly underlines some common themes and the need for assistance to be longer-term to deliver the most benefit and, importantly, for in-depth supply chain support alongside more grants to be available to spend on capital purchases.

Over three quarters of the 335 firms questioned by the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) in its latest report indicated that supply chain improvement would make them more profitable, while grants to help them buy new equipment and invest in new technologies to support digitalisation would make the biggest difference to their ongoing performance. The survey - the largest ever undertaken on the future of industrial business support - showed that management teams wanted access to specialist external advice and funding to drive profitability (68%), increase sales (62%)

and to boost productivity (58%). 75% felt that leadership and management training is beneficial, whilst 83% said they wanted business support to be delivered by experts with significant industry experience, such as the MGP Growth Managers. Unsurprisingly considering the growing environmental agenda, just over a quarter said they want to use assistance to help them move towards Net Zero to meet new sustainability targets and make the most of the green economy.

“Manufacturing is responsible for 10% of national GDP and still accounts for half of the UK’s goods exported and nearly two thirds of all R&D activity in this country. These reasons alone mean we need to understand what industry wants and needs to grow.”

“These are important messages to be sending out to Government as they look to reshape the business support landscape.” The recent Levelling Up White Paper released earlier this year laid out plans to ensure that manufacturers, from across all sub-sectors, are automating, decarbonising and building resilience by 2030. This will be achieved by maximising existing spending and non-spending policy levers and strategic investments to attract, anchor and grow supply chains, working closely with local leaders, industry and academia.

“We are operating in unique times, with The Manufacturing Growth Programme continues to contribute to achieving this strategic vision. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice, the initiative was launched in 2016 to create a targeted service to support manufacturing SMEs by delivering business improvement projects in strategic planning, productivity and process improvement, competitiveness, innovation and leadership and management. It has assisted more than 4000 companies to date, providing over

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£12m of grants and helping to create or safeguard 9200+ jobs, with nearly £20m of private sector investment also leveraged. Digital marketing and e-commerce, productivity strategies, quality standards, business and growth plans and new product development have been the most popular forms of help. “Levelling up is one of the Government’s key commitments and MGP has been doing exactly that since 2016, with more support and activity undertaken in transitional regions across the country to help them ‘level up’ against the more developed areas outside of London,” added Jane Galsworthy, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Advice.

capital grants and for the support to be longer-term and strategic.” L ike many b usin esses , T h e Manufacturing Growth Programme had to pivot during the pandemic, developing a ‘Crisis Management Framework’ as an engagement tool for SMEs. This meant that firms knew the route to market to access essential support during Covid-19 and this helped them make the necessary changes

and business strategy adaptations to remain operational and in a good position to maximise the recovery. Jane concluded: “We’re at an exciting stage of development with the race for electrification gathering pace and digital manufacturing starting to play a bigger role in industry. Now is the time to help SMEs join this journey and contribute to the Government’s overarching ‘levelling up’ agenda.”

“We have given the powers that be a blueprint for how they deliver industryspecific support that tackles low levels of productivity, failure of SMEs to seek assistance and lack of innovation in our smaller manufacturers. She went on to add: “With funding due to change, it’s now time for Government to build on this good work, whilst also listening to what firms are telling us – most noticeably to make it easier to access For further information, please visit www.manufacturinggrowthprogramme.co.uk or follow @mfggrowthp on twitter. Automation Update - 15


ENGINEERING PDATE

May 2022

Three days of innovation, partnerships and excellence: Subcon is back for 2022! Subcon returns on the 7- 9 June 2022 to the NEC, Birmingham. Now in its 45th year, it remains the UK’s premier event dedicated to subcontract manufacturing buyers, enabling them to source suppliers, benchmark capabilities, and form new manufacturing partnerships. At Subcon, find everything from product design, prototyping and development, contract and subcontract products and services through to machine tools, systems and equipment.

processes.

This June, Subcon will once again be collocated with The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show, bringing together even more of the best suppliers, latest innovations and practical advice.

The UK’s largest bespoke lapping and polishing sub-contractor, Lapping Services specialise in double sided lapping, high volume to 1 off’s AS9100 Rev D and they are RR nuclear accredited.

World-class solution providers: The exhibition Across the three show days the exhibition will deliver the contacts, connections and content that engineering and manufacturing businesses in the UK need to succeed. Visitors will be able to harness new innovations from over 200 world class suppliers to help increase capacity, optimise productivity and improve flexibility, whilst also driving down costs to stay competitive in a global market. Subcon exhibitors span a massive range of manufacturing and engineering businesses, including assembly work, CNC machining, metal fabrication, 3D printing and many more. As this diversity of exhibitors shows, there will be huge opportunities to forge strategic partnerships and improve existing

Exhibitors include: Lapping Services

Mintdale Engineering Mintdale Engineering are a family run business that have been supplying precision engineered parts to clients throughout the UK and internationally in a variety of industries for over 40 years.

Visitors can also enjoy over 30 hours of free conference sessions lead by industry experts discussing the key issues and trends that are driving innovation and shaping the UK’s industrial landscape in 2022: from the latest developments in key technology areas such as hydrogen mobility, electrification, and nuclear fusion to keynote insights on automation, finance and engineering skills. Speakers confirmed this year include: •

Dave Short - Technology Director, BAE Systems: Innovation in the defence sector

Ian Whiting – Commercial Director, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre: Scaling up UK electric vehicle battery manufacture

Tony Langtry – Head of Mechanical Engineering, Tokamak Energy: The engineering challenges of nuclear of fusion

Hugo Spowers – Founder, Riversimple: Transforming mobility with hydrogen

Professor Ric Allot – Director of Business Development, STFC: Industrial applications of Big Science.

Professor Chris Tuck – University of Nottingham: Insight from the cutting edge of the UK additive manufacturing research community.

Nick Hawker, CEO and co-founder, First Light Fusion on the commercial application of nuclear fusion

Martin Little, commercial director, Rail Alliance on the overlooked opportunities within rail

Trust Precision Engineering Trust Precision Engineering is an AS9100 for Aerospace accredited subcontract service provider specialising in sliding head machining. The proven cost savings of 1 hit machining for both simple and complex components is fundamental to their philosophy. Trust Precision will competitively provide the highest quality for your machined component requirements. Shaping the future: Free conference sessions

Jason Dante, event director for Subcon, points out that this wide range of opportunity and the chance to see so many diverse companies is no accident: “With Brexit, Covid-19 and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we are even more aware than ever of

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ENGINEERING PDATE

May 2022

the pressures on UK engineering and manufacturing businesses, so we have crammed as much value into the event as we can. This year, alongside the Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show theatre, we also have a brand new supply chain theatre that will bring together an expert line-up of speakers to talk about the biggest challenges and opportunities for the sector. We also once again have ensured there will be ample networking opportunities available at the show, including the VIP buyers lounge, sponsored by Qimtek. Plus, there will even be a couple of extra surprises in celebration of the Jubilee! We are incredibly excited to include so much new material and look forward to opening the doors at the NEC.”

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Be Inspired by Innovation at Advanced Engineering Book your stand today to avoid disappointment

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he 13th edition of Advanced Engineering will celebrate innovation, development and growth within the UK’s manufacturing industry. There 18/02/2022 06:30:08 will be seven show zones this year — aerospace, composites, automotive, advanced metals, connected manufacturing, space and satellite and a new product testing and quality control zone. In the space and satellite zone, the ExoMars Rover, Bruno will return following huge interest at the 2021 exhibition. This year, Advanced Engineering will once again be colocated with sister show, Lab Innovations, giving visitors and exhibitors more opportunities to collaborate across sectors. It is also offering more networking opportunities with a new composites networking area and drinks reception, which will be sponsored by PRF Composites. “Over the last two years, our whole industry has learned the value of in-person interaction, both personally and professionally,” explained Alison Willis, Director at Easyfairs, the organiser of Advanced Engineering and Lab Innovations. “At last year’s event, we found that more visitors and exhibitors were attending with a purpose — whether that was to connect with a new supplier or purchase a particular piece of equipment. AE Connect, our digital platform that helps exhibitors and visitors connect and arrange meetings in advance of the show, really helped facilitate this.”

The UK’s largest gathering of OEMs and engineering and manufacturing supply chain professionals, Advanced Engineering, will return to the NEC, Birmingham on November 2 and 3, 2022. The event is shaping up to be a huge success, with 80 per cent of exhibitor space already sold. Last year saw over 7,000 people attend across the two days, including representatives from Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Alpine F1, Ford, BAE Systems, RollsRoyce, and the Ministry of Defence. “Our industry is always innovating and releasing new technologies that are even more impressive when you see them in person. Take Advanced Engineering’s Enabling Innovation competition as an example — inperson events give start-ups like those involved in this the chance to showcase their ground-breaking products to the rest of the engineering community.” In 2022, Advanced Engineering’s smart badge system will return, meaning that attendees scan a personalised badge to receive digital literature and exchange virtual business cards with suppliers. As well as reducing the amount of paper being used, the smart badge technology also helps decrease the spread of COVID-19. Over 75 per cent of last year’s exhibitors rebooked for 2022, including Qimtek, a business that helps industry buyers and designers find new subcontract manufacturing partners. At the exhibition, marketing manager, Dean Munkley said, “The show’s been really good — far busier than I expected. We’ve probably taken more leads than we have at any show over the last three years. There was a lovely mix of people and it was great speaking to anyone from students to directors. There’s such a good variety of suppliers here too — we’ll definitely be returning.”

Exhibitor space is selling out fast. To book your stand, visit www.advancedengineeringuk.com and make an enquiry. Alternatively, you can contact our Head of Sales, Ali Farr on +44 (0)20 3196 4244. 18 - Automation Update


2 & 3 November 2022 | NEC Birmingham

The UK’s LEADING annual gathering of OEMs and engineering and manufacturing supply chain professionals An absolutely outstanding event! We’ve met many great people who we will be looking to work with in the future, and overall it has been a very successful couple of days. Matt Travis, Engineering Manager, JCB

Scan the QR code to discover the event

Association partners Composites

BOOK YOUR STAND

Trade Association

aeuk@easyfairs.com | +44 (0)20 3196 4300 advancedengineeringuk.com

Co-located with


THE LARGEST UK EVENT DEDICATED TO DESIGN ENGINEERING

12-13 October 2022

Coventry Building Society Arena

Celebrating 10 yea r s

@EngDesignShow #EngDesignShow

Interested in exhibiting?

Get in touch with simon.bonell@markallengroup.com for more information on our exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities.

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SEE YOU ONLINE!

27-28 APRIL 2022

BACK FOR 2022! THE VIRTUAL EVENT FOR THE ENGINEERING DESIGN SECTOR

Stay up-to-date with all the opportunities and challenges facing the sector through inspirational keynotes, case study led presentations and interactive panel sessions. Browse the latest cutting-edge technology, projects and innovations spanning the length and breadth of UK engineering. The best part... you can join us wherever you are and it’s all free to attend.

Interested in exhibiting? Head to the website to find out more about our virtual booths and sponsorship opportunities.

WWW.RECONNECT.ENGINEERINGDESIGNSHOW.CO.UK @EngDesignShow • #EDSReconnect

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“Every time you touch something it costs you money” The labour market continues to be challenging with new pressures that hinder efficient and sustainable production. We offer unique services to help the short-term pathways for greater productivity with existing staffing, and cost justifiable automation with shortest return on investment. The challenges and opportunities

What we can help with?

• When did you last consider automation of your processes? • Are you up to speed on market innovations, harnessing technology and people? • Do your current processes involve specific manual action or series of actions? • Have you considered using automation for each and every task carry out by people? • Are your processes seamless? If not, why not? • Do you operate a ‘pull’ method of production? • Have you applied agile and lean production principle? • Do you require training at management level to embrace best practice, or technology, or management of change for greater efficacy? • Double handling is a financial killer. Eliminate it. • Do you have a skilled workforce challenge? • Are you looking to improve and advance the profile of your workforce? • Are the skills needed available in the UK marketplace? • Could you use input from experienced experts with proven track record, improving operations performance, scope your automation possibilities and plan procurement of proven robotics and automation technologies?

• Improving current manual practices. • Implementing immediate change(s) that increases productivity. • Design of production lines for efficient flow, avoiding double handling. • Scoping proven automation to combine with best practice for ‘lean’ and ‘agile’ operation. • Management of projects for procurement of automation, including legal contracting for a smooth installation process. • Supply of proven low-cost robotics as may be appropriate and investment justified. • Development of automated solutions on exclusive basis. • Improving labour planning through use of existing government legislation. • Assisting with funding solution as applicable, including grant finance for new automation.

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How we would help and engage with your team? • A free initial 60-minute remote meeting. • Day visit to scope opportunities for improvements (this will be on a confidential and fee basis). • Initial assessment and immediate presentation with first recommendations, to be elaborated and submitted after the visit. • Report to be submitted within 5 days of the visit.

Who is in our team? • Skills Provision International: A leading Global Recruiter: www. skills-provision.com • Culmstock Technology Centre: A world leading authority on Robotics and Lean Production www.culmstocktechnology.com

How to contact us: • Website: www.skillsprovision.co.uk/contact-us • Email: enquiries@skillsprovision.co.uk • Telephone: +44 (0) 1373836776


Independent Pump Training from E-learning Classroom based “Live” webinars On-site courses Tailored options For more information call

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scan code for the training guide or email: training@bpma.org.uk Automation Update - 23


Pets versus cattle:

Cloud Computing in Manufacturing The benefits of cloud-native applications in manufacturing

T

he cloud-native approach is often conceptualised using the “Pets vs. Cattle” DevOps concept, which compares traditional server systems, which are unique and cared for, to pets and cloud systems to cattle. Cattle are identical, assigned, scalable systems where if one of the systems were to be unavailable or fail, the whole network would not be affected. In this piece, Neil Bellinger, head of EMEA at global automation parts supplier EU Automation, delves into the native cloud and why it is the future of manufacturing. Given the value of the cloud, one wonders why the manufacturing industry is resisting the move to cloud-native systems, especially 24 - Automation Update

with companies already using various cloud-based applications.

training more than 200 specialists for its cloud-innovation centre.

Until recently, manufacturing industries have been up to date with the latest innovations, from production tracking systems to artificial intelligence. Although financial and retail sectors have followed business giants like Netflix and Spotify, many still resist the switch to cloud-native. While 83 per cent have a strategy for cloud implementation established, many still struggle to visualise the business value and cost savings of the cloud-native approach. However, forwardlooking businesses are making the first steps in this direction. For example, one company currently implementing cloudnative applications is Volkswagen,

Cloud-native is the term used to describe software and services that run on the internet instead of a local computer system, allowing businesses to be faster and more agile. Cloud-based applications, however, are not created in the cloud but instead transferred from an in-house web application to a cloud server. This cloud-based system allows for the availability and scalability of cloud-native applications without redesigning current applications. Cloudenabled is similar to cloud-based, with the migration of the traditional application to the cloud. However, it does not have easy availability and scalability of cloud-based or cloud-native.


Some examples of cloud computing in the manufacturing industry are cloud-based marketing, product development, production and stock tracking, and productivity management. The responsiveness, innovative features and zero downtime deployment of the cloud-native model provide businesses with a database needed to succeed in modern times. Successful examples of this implementation are Netflix and Uber. Netflix currently operates using over 600 services, with an update rate of around 100 times per day. The structural design of the cloud-native enables the rapid response, scalability, and selective deployment observed in companies such as Uber, Netflix and Spotify.

The cloud-native revolution high performing system. The Cloud-native is the clear future of all businesses, including manufacturing. As seen in the last two years, implementing changes to aid when mass disruption like the pandemic occurs is extremely important for business survival. With accessibility possible from across the globe via the internet, the cloud-native approach is the best change companies could make. The restriction of large on-premise systems has held back the manufacturing industry for years, but cloud-native applications enable companies to use small, reusable and independently deployable microservices. It can also allow the automation infrastructure, application delivery, recovery and scaling to increase, providing a more resilient and

cloud-native model can also aid in lessening the strain of managing back-end software and infrastructure. Cloud-native apps also enable the sharing and analysing of data across the organisation by being the central repository for data flowing from sensors, machines, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and more. At EU Automation, we value the importance of keeping with the times and understanding the cost of downtime. Cloud-native is the next step in lessening the impact of failures in company systems. If you wish to stay informed about the developments of the cloudnative approach and how to unlock success in an industry 4.0, visit EU Automation’s Knowledge Hub. Automation Update - 25


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