Automation is cause for unemployment, or is it? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 43)

There’s been massive outcry recently regarding the shift in automation employment in various industries, threatening nearly 40% of jobs by 2030. Factories are quickly implementing new automated systems for warehouse management, manufacturing and most menial tasks. Taking away manual jobs from the market, many are complaining it’s eroding the economy as a whole in the process. In fact, some countries are relying on industries that are seeing a massive shift to automation, effectively truncating and undermining their workforce. This is most dangerous to those regions struggling to rise above the poverty line, where traditional factories are being replaced by automated performance power-houses. Nonetheless, the data is showing automation is not characterizing unemployment as we feared. This is all the more pronounced in those countries where institutions have been put in place to enable the pursuit of more future-oriented occupations. If we look back at ATMs in the ’70s, we will see a decline in the number of employees per branch but the new system encouraged companies to build more and more branches, mitigating the effect. All in all, while automation is having an impact on unemployment per se, new possibilities are being created to make a smarter, more efficient system possible while keeping the economy machine churning.

 

This Economic Model Organized Asia for Decades. Now It’s Broken

Today, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Myanmar are in the early stages of climbing that ladder—but automation threatens to block their ascent. Instead of opening well-staffed factories in these countries, Chinese companies that need to expand are building robot-heavy facilities at home. “The window is closing on emerging nations,” says Cai Fang, a demographer in Beijing who advises the Chinese government on labor policy. “They will not have the opportunity that China had in the past.”

Keep reading at Bloomberg.

 

The rise of robots in the German labour market

Although robots do not affect total employment, they do have strongly negative impacts on manufacturing employment in Germany. We calculate that one additional robot replaces two manufacturing jobs on average. This implies that roughly 275,000 full-time manufacturing jobs have been destroyed by robots in the period 1994-2014. But, those sizable losses are fully offset by job gains outside manufacturing. In other words, robots have strongly changed the composition of employment by driving the decline of manufacturing jobs illustrated in Figure 1. Robots were responsible for almost 23% of this decline. But they have not been major killers so far when it comes to the total number of jobs in the German economy.

Read the full article here.

 

Chill: Robot-related job loss won’t be that bad (probably)

Chill: Robot-related job loss won’t be that bad (probably)

[…] the ATM was highly disruptive. You’d be tempted to equate this disruption with job loss, as fewer employees at bank branches meant thousands were suddenly without jobs.

But you’d be wrong.

Since ATMs made it much cheaper for banks to operate, it led to a boom, of sorts, in building new branches. From 1989 to 2004, banks opened 43% more physical locations than it did in the period before ATMs — leading to more jobs in banking, consequently.And that’s not even considering the additional skilled laborers needed to install, configure, and maintain over 400,000 ATMs installed nationwide since the 70s. Or, there’s the drivers and guards needed to fill them. There’s those who work in customer service, laborers who man the assembly lines, parts companies responsible for the pieces within them, ISPs (and their employees) who keep them online, security experts who lock down the network from hackers, and so on.

 

Read the full article at The Next Web.

 

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How the law can foster or hinder unprecedented industrial trends (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 42)

Uber’s current challenges in London and elsewhere show how governments and legislation can change the path of technology.

Industry 4.0 is no different. The technological trends that characterize the current industrial world have yet to be fully understood, both in terms of sheer research and in its spot within the law. Many issues are arising due to the intricately different nature of these technologies which pose new conundrums with regards to intellectual property (IP), operational and product safety standards and much more.

Nowhere this is more apparent than within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystems, where its interconnected and decentralized nature makes it more susceptible to cyber-attacks and the new and overwhelming barrage of connected devices make the law-grounds much more difficult to thread. Is it all going too fast for legislators to keep up? It certainly seems so, as Southern China authorities have already issued the mandatory registration for all additive manufacturing industries citing “social security issues”. The trembling hand of these institutions, scrambling to grasp what they cannot entirely control, is starkly in contrast with many other countries where a race is on for the biggest slice of the innovation cake. They are putting together consortiums for the analysis and debugging of law-related issues and fostering the rise and gathering of activities which will, inevitably, spur consolidated operational standards, providing fertile grounds for them to grow.

How product safety will define the success of Industry 4.0/IIoT

Whilst safety protocols for IIoT equipment already exist within the Industrial Ethernet, from a product safety standardization perceptive, the challenges come when product advances outpace safety standards development. Then there’s the potential risk of fitting sensors to existing ‘redundant’ equipment to make these machines IIoT capable. In this scenario, the certified-design and safety parameters of the machine may be invalidated by making the device IIoT ready. Functional Safety for both hardware and software (to standard IEC 61508 and its associated standards) and Cybersecurity are also now defining factors when it comes to building in safety of an IIoT device. These aspects (and more) need to be carefully considered as early on in the design phase as possible.

Keep reading at Control Engineering Europe.

Chinese City Registers All Additive Manufacturing Industries To Ensure “Social Security”

Chongqing is an industrial and technological hub. Image via BASF.

Authorities in Chongqing, Southern China have announced that they will require all 3D printing companies based in the city to register with local police. Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported that the objective of the measure is to both keep dangerous and illegal products from the public, whilst also controlling the production and sales of digital blueprints and data files for important specialist components.

Read the full article here.

The Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) And The Law

There has been surprisingly little attention given by the legal community to the issues and implications associated with the IIoT, either generally or within the utility industry. Discussion of the IIoT in the electric industry has been the province of operational and engineering experts. But IIoT operational and engineering challenges will inevitably present novel and difficult legal issues.

Read the full article at Mondaq.

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How to overcome AM’s limitations (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 41)

We’ve heard so much buzz about how AM is poised to be the end-all be-all manufacturing technology. Alas, there are many things that it still can’t quite achieve and that is where we take a step back and either make do with what we have or invent our way into the unexplored. For example, very small-scale 3D printing is not yet deemed at high enough resolution for certain medical applications and doesn’t allow for the level of manufacturing flexibility it would require: that’s when MIT designed a new layer-based manufacturing method capable of overcoming AM’s shortcomings. Some other times it’s just a matter of resources, where AM is the pricier alternative, albeit unmatched in some cases. Arup has shown that AM can become a facilitator of older techniques like casting, providing complex shapes in the form of sand molds, chopping away at the expenses of direct metal printing. Likewise, hybrid manufacturing is giving businesses the flexibility to choose the most beneficial production method depending on the design and final use. More and more we are seeing the rise of big manufacturing power-machines, like the latest Fraunhofer/CMS 5 axis brainchild.

 

3D Fabrication Technique Allows for Multiple Vaccinations in Single Injection

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing a 3D fabrication technique that would allow multiple doses of a drug or vaccine to be delivered to a patient over an extended period of time. According to research scientist Ana Jaklenec, they were unable to create these structures using current 3D printing methods. Instead, the team used a new method called SEAL (StampEd Assembly of polymer Layers).

Check out the full article at All3DP.

 

Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements

Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements, © Davidfotografie

Working with the Anglo-Dutch company 3DealiseArup 3D-printed sand molds are used in the traditional casting process to create sophisticated, unique structural steel nodes as a certified material. Sand printing offers a quick technique that can reuse the materials and allows costs to be kept low.

Keep reading at Archdaily.

 

Fraunhofer IWU And CMD Partner To Make Mega 5 Axis 3D Printer Hybrid

3D Kreator concept. Image via Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine

The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU) in Chemnitz, Germany, has entered into a partnership with Italian machine center makers CMS to research and develop a new hybrid CNC milling 3D printer. Operating beyond the bounds of typical XYZ directional 3D printers, the named CMS Kreator is capable of tool paths across 5 axis, bringing more freedom to the possibilities of FDM.

Read the full article here.

 

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Our quantifiable future: the industry’s hunger for data (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 40)

Data acquisition processing is changing the world and the impact will be felt on larger scales than industrial contexts alone. IoT and IIoT technologies are gathering data points on many human and machine related activities, quantifying the world more precisely and pervasively than ever before. At this point in time, there are a few questions that can help us define the future of these processes: what are the next steps forward in this hunger for data? Do we have a functioning framework from which to extrapolate insights in a secure fashion? What will happen when technology allows us to make *anything* quantifiable? New partnerships are making data acquisition ubiquitous in the AM industry. This data will be used in quality assessments to improve part production and pipeline efficiency. Security is still paramount and new businesses and research projects are ready to prove that we have the technology to make safe and efficient data processing a reality. Businesses need to protect themselves against cyberattacks now more than ever. GPS technology is not anymore up to the standards required in the industry and everyday applications. Company Humantics is promising a microlocation-based future, which applied to AI and machine learning algorithms can enable new, high-granularity controls and services.

Oak Ridge Partners With Senvol For 3D Printing Data Collection Project

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry views the 3D printed proof-of-concept hull for the Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator (OMTD). (Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), co-developer of the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) process and one of America’s leading technological research institutes, has signed a two-year research agreement with the Senvol additive manufacturing database. In the collaboration, ORNL will use Senvol’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to evaluate the best processes for data collection and apply it to quality assessment of 3D printer feedstock materials.

Read more here.

Three-Layer Technique Helps Secure Additive Manufacturing

[…] AM could become a target for malicious attacks – as well as for unscrupulous operators who may cut corners. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a three-layer system to verify that components produced using AM have not been compromised. Their system uses acoustic and other physical techniques to confirm that the printer is operating as expected, and nondestructive inspection techniques to verify the correct location of tiny gold nanorods buried in the parts. The validation technique is independent of printer firmware and software in the controlling computer.

Read more about the system at RDMag.

Introducing Humatics: Revolutionizing How People and Machines Locate, Navigate and Collaborate

Imagine a tool that will only drill a hole at the exact right spot, a large format robotic 3D printer with unprecedented precision, a drone that hovers precisely indoors, and augmented reality glasses that project ultra-precise images onto the world you see. Now imagine AI and machine learning applied to every conductor, every factory worker, every robotic collaboration: technology placing our work within a broad human context. That’s where Humatics is going.

Take a look at Humantics at their website.

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3D printing & the environment: promises and limitations of AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 39)

There are a lot of manufacturing dynamics which 3D printing is upending. It goes beyond design freedom, AM technologies allow us to be a lot more conscious of our footprint on the environment. We are still testing new grounds and so far AM is revealing to be a less wasteful, smarter approach to manufacturing. Not only can we build structures that utilize the barest minimum in terms of material usage, entirely new materials and techniques allow us to tackle the problems of biodegradability and energy consumption. Nonetheless, AM still has a way to go before it can get to the level of manufacturing performance of traditional methods. Laser sintering still requires a great deal of electricity to fuse metal particles, most processes are imprecise by traditional standards and most groundbreaking AM applications are still very much R&D. This point reinforces the fact that AM should cover its role in a broader hybrid manufacturing system, in which the optimal outcome in terms of manufacturing footprint and item accuracy can be achieved. There is no holy grail solution in manufacturing, just an ever expanding toolset to give you the right means to get optimal ends.

3D Printhuset Lays Foundations For 3D Printed Office-Hotel in Copenhagen

A rendering of the finished BOD. Image via: 3D Printhuset.

Building on Demand (BOD), the latest venture of Danish firm 3D Printhuset, marks a major breakthrough for additive manufacturing in construction. The concrete office-hotel structure, occupying just under 50m of floor-space, is due to be 3D printed in Nordhaven, Copenhagen’s docklands area, and will be Western Europe’s first inhabitable 3D printed buildingJakob Jørgensen, Technical Manager at 3D Printhuset, explained in a press release that 3D printing the building over traditional construction meant that “complex forms can be entered at no additional cost”, while Michael Holm, the company’s development manager, emphasized the use of up-cycling and waste reduction in building materials.

Read the full article here.

3D Printed Biomaterials Degrade on Demand

Researchers 3D-printed intricate temporary microstructures that can be degraded on demand using a biocompatible chemical trigger. (Credit: Wong Lab / Brown University)

Biomaterials that can degrade on demand have been 3D printed by engineers at Brown University. The materials were fabricated by means of stereolithographic printing […]. The capacity of the materials to degrade is imparted by the development of reversible ionic bonds. Precursor solutions were prepared with sodium alginate, a compound derived from seaweed that is known to be capable of ionic crosslinking. Different combinations of ionic salts, including magnesium, barium and calcium, were then added to 3D print objects with varying stiffness levels, a factor which affected how quickly the structures dissolved.

“The idea is that the attachments between polymers should come apart when the ions are removed, which we can do by adding a chelating agent that grabs all the ions,” said assistant professor Ian Wong. “This way we can pattern transient structures that dissolve away when we want them to.”

Read the full at IEEE.

Research Breakthrough: Cold Sintering

Researchers in Penn State’s Materials Research Institute, led by Clive Randall, recently discovered a process that could revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Known as cold sintering, the process could be used for developing materials we use every day, such as bricks and glass, at a much lower energy cost than the process used today. The researchers have shown their new process can be used to make at least 50 materials, and they are continuing to expand their research to incorporate additional materials.

 

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Siemens PLM Software and Authentise Partner to Make Geometric Search More Accessible

Pasted image at 2017_09_06 07_55 AM (1)

Siemens’ Geolus Search now embedded in Authentise platform

Salt Lake City, UT; 15 August 2017 – Authentise, a leader in process automation software for additive manufacturing, today announced a distribution partnership with Siemens PLM Software, a leading global provider of PLM software, to make shape search technology more broadly available to the digital manufacturing industry. This partnership embeds Siemens PLM’s shape search technology, Geolus Search, in Authentise’s 3Diax, the API platform for additive manufacturing. The resulting module makes shape search easy to implement in custom, integrated workflows that stretch across the digital thread from design to production. These workflows benefit because knowledge associated with historical designs, such as previous production notes, material choices or intellectual property rights, can be identified based on the geometry, not keywords.

Specifically, the 3Diax Module featuring Geolus® software:

  • helps to determine candidate designs for additive manufacturing and to recognise those designs that share similar compensation models and parameters, saving valuable time in the design process;
  • allows the customer to identify similar designs to highly classified internal ones in order to share externally for quotes or review to enable more transparency and communication; and,
  • safeguards companies from breaching intellectual property regulations by scanning any parts against blacklists.

 

“We are delighted to be working with Siemens to extend our offering,” says Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise. “We partner with a variety of companies to increase both the breadth and depth of modules on 3Diax. It is great to see that even more established players see an opportunity in working with 3Diax to give those customers pursuing advanced process automation the tools in the format they need.”
“Siemens PLM Software is committed to creating partnerships that enhance the experience of end-users. We are pleased to partner with Authentise to provide integrated solutions that can improve the productivity of the digital manufacturing community,” says Evan Knuttila, Vice President Global Sales – PLM Components, Siemens PLM Software.

***

To find out more about the 3Diax modules, please visit www.authentise.com/modules.html

About Authentise:
Authentise delivers software that enables the production-scale deployment of additive manufacturing. Its landmark products include the 3Diax modular platform as well as the Authentise Manufacturing Execution System. These tools use device data to solve discrete automation challenges and provide an avenue to fully automated order execution and tracking in additive manufacturing, reducing Total Cost of Ownership and speeding up product delivery. The company was founded in Silicon Valley in 2012 and has been covered by Bloomberg, the BBC, Wired, and others. Find out more at www.authentise.com and follow on Twitter @authentise.

Media:
3DIAX Logo (Square, Horizontal)
Authentise Logo
Recent article on the 3Diax geometric search module

Contact:
Andre Wegner
+16506918615
info@authentise.com

 

Note: Geolus is a trademark or registered trademark of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.

Simulation: how machines are better problem-solvers (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 38)

Physical testing can only take us so far. New techniques in digital simulations enable us to experiment with every variable at play to guarantee the best desirable performance. This is the case, for example, when trying to pinpoint the reason for behind “material redistribution”, a phenomenon that leads to defects in printed metal parts. Simple observation and image recognition can only lead to partial understanding (although Nvidia’s GPUs have shown that huge strides have been made in that regard) as part of the reactions happen below the surface or in other unaccountable regions. Computer models of the system, coupled with high-speed monitoring of the same, can give unprecedented holistic vantage points when investigating these activities. Similarly, simulation can take researchers far in terms of understanding long-extinct animals’ behavior. Hydrodynamics, bone-structure, muscle arrangement, all this can be taken into account when determining the most plausible gaze for creatures that lived millions of years ago, in a system which can then be 3D printed and tested tangibly. Similarly, Canadian researchers want to take it a step further by merging AI simulation with manufacturing capabilities, creating a 3D printer which dissects a problem and finds the appropriate solution automatically.

Team finds reason behind defects in 3-D printing

LLNL finds reason behind defects in 3D printing

In a study published by Scientific Reports , LLNL scientists combined ultrafast imaging of melt-pool dynamics with high-resolution simulations, finding that particles of liquid metal ejected from the laser’s path during the powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM) process—commonly called “spatter“—is caused by the entrainment of metal particles by an ambient gas flow, not from the laser’s recoil pressure, as previously believed.

Read more at Phys.org

University of Southampton 3D Printers Solve Million Year Old Flipper Mystery

To determine the swim-path of plesiosaur flippers Southampton researchers, alongside partners at the University of Bristol, 3D printed models based on the dimensions of a fossil skeleton. According to the supporting paper, experiments show “that plesiosaur hind flippers generated up to 60% more thrust and 40% higher efficiency when operating in harmony with their forward counterparts, when compared with operating alone.”

Read the fully article here.

Canadian Researchers in Pursuit of Artificially Intelligent 3D Printers

Edward Cyr examines a 3D rendering of a lattice structure. Photo via The Star Phoenix

Edward Cyr’s research, funded by a McCain postdoctoral fellowship, aims to develop an AI system that will approach a problem and 3D print its solution after considering all the alternatives. Cyr acknowledged that a human problem solver would only be able to come up with an optimal design after testing thousands upon thousands of ideas.

A computer, on the other hand, “can actually model a total design space and tell us which one is the best, and it can even come up with things we might not even think of.”

Read the full article here.

 

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AM is moving transportation beyond traditional supply chains (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 37)

Transportation is victim to many of the issues plaguing many other industries: manufacturing lines are linear and dull and spare parts are manufactured in bulks. 3D printing is not only giving it tools to make many of these steps more efficient, it is also allowing startups to disruption the industry. Which do you think will be more impactful? Startups pursuing new business models or established companies using AM to fine tune theirs?

Siemens To Bring 3D Printed Parts To Dubai Metro

To keep trains running, and passengers happy, [Dubai’s] Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an MOU with the Middle Eastern branch of award-winning automation conglomerate Siemens. The agreement will enhance the RTA’s existing 3D printed spare parts initiative, contributing to the endeavor to become “the world’s smartest city” by the year 2020.

“The 3D printing technology would enable RTA to keep the Dubai metro assets in service longer while driving down the cost of parts and in turn passing this saving back to the customer.” – Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.

Read the full article here.

Daimler Starts 3D Printing Metal Replacement Parts for Older Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Daimler 3D-printed truck parts

Daimler has been 3D printing plastic spare parts for older commercial trucks for about a year, and now it’s moving on to metal parts. The company recently 3D printed its first metal replacement part, a thermostat cover for older Mercedes trucks and Unimog utility vehicles. Daimler believes 3D printing could be a cost-effective way to keep spare parts available indefinitely.

Read all about it at Digital Trends.

How an Autonomous Vehicle Maker Slashed the Supply Chain with 3D Printing

Visualising Olli on MakerBot print/image via MakerBot

A new case study shows how Local Motors, an autonomous and open source vehicle manufacturer, is using 3D printing to save time and money. This case study produced by MakerBot clearly illustrates some of the primary advantages of using 3D printing in a production setting. Firstly, tooling costs at Local Motors are down by a half as 3D printing is used to create to custom tooling for low volume production. Secondly, obtaining the necessary tools quickly can greatly reduce the production time. Thirdly, the tools that are 3D printed and used are optimised for their particular project improving both workflow and the durability of the tools.

Read the full article here.

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AM delivering Self-Sufficiency @ the Front Lines (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 36)

Military operations all over the globe are encumbered by grave logistics problems with regards to supplying and maintaining bases, sometimes in remote areas.  3D printing is giving them the ability to utilize local resources for almost anything that’s needed to run the operation smoothly, from the barracks to on-demand repair parts and flexible asset design. The decentralization of the manufacturing capability is a game changer for the military, reducing dependency from external suppliers/producers and providing a more agile toolset to face the challenges of the front.

U.S. Army Seeks Commercialization of 3D Printed Cement Barracks

Cement barracks hut 3D printed at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. Army photo by Mike Jazdyk

Spanning 512 square-feet, the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign, Illinois, has revealed the successful construction of its first 3D printed barracks hut.

“ACES provides a capability to print custom designed expeditionary structures on-demand, in the field, using locally available materials.” – Dr. Michael Case, CERL ACES program manager.

Such huts would typically be constructed using plywood. By comparison, locally sourced cements reduces the cost of shipped building materials by half. Automation additionally saves manpower requirements by 62%.

Read the full article at 3D Printing Industry.

Marines Evaluate Mobile Fab Lab To Expedite Repair And Supply

Sgt. Ethan Maeder demos a 3D scanner in the X-FAB. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Kailtin Kelly

The U.S. Marine Corps is evaluating the utility of an expeditionary fabrication laboratory (X-FAB) for on-demand crisis response. A self-contained fab lab, the 20 x 20 foot unit is stocked with four 3D printers, CAD software and a 3D scanner.

It can be deployed with battalion-level Marine maintenance units, servicing support ground equipment including motor transport and communications electronics.

“In a contested environment where ships cannot easily land, or airplanes cannot necessarily fly in and deliver goods, Marines need a way to support themselves—at least temporarily,” – Lt. Col. Howie Marotto, Additive Manufacturing lead at Marine Corps Installations and Logistics.

Read more about the X-FAB here.

US Marine Designs 3D Printed Surveillance Drone at Fraction of Regular Cost

Last year, Rhet McNeal (26-year-old Corporal in the US Marine Corps (USMC)) and a team of five collaborators submitted “Adaptable and Affordable 3D Drones,” a proposal for a transportable, quick-assemble, inexpensive drone that was modeled after the existing Wasp – but with 3D printable parts. An entire Wasp drone system costs roughly $250,000 once all is said and done. But using 3D printer resin, off-the-shelf electronics, and the iPhone app Q Ground Control, the Scout drone system (1 control system, 2 drones) can be built for just $613 – less than 0.5% of the Wasp system.

Read more about the project here.

 

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The Many Faces of Automation in Today’s Industries (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 35)

Automation is bringing about transformation to today’s manufacturing in many shapes and forms. Giants like McDonald’s are having a revival in productivity (and profits) thanks to smarter food handling systems. Similarly, renewal projects of power plants across the US employ automation to slash the number of employees considerably. Flexibility and performance find a match in Fraunhofer Institute’s new SelfPaint system, which enables factories to automate painting of individual objects.

Automation key to McDonald’s revival

A McDonalds restaurant in France.

Fast food giant McDonald’s has seen a significant rise in second quarter profits. This is being put down to new ways of working and automation, leading to increased productivity. McDonald’s net income leapt by 28% to $1.4B in the second quarter, Business Times reports. This predicted increase in growth is attributed to a continuation of technology designed to aid manufacturing automation and with McDonald’s further application of digital technology to automate the customer experience.

Read the full story at Digital Journal.

SelfPaint tech automates painting of one-off objects

A SelfPaint-guided robot paints a chair, with its calculated

German and Swedish scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute are developing a system known as SelfPaint, which will allow robots to figure out how to paint individual objects. It could reportedly reduce paint use by 2%, energy consumption by 15%and production time by 5%. First of all, a 3D scan of the item is performed. Next, the path that the robot will travel while painting is mapped out. The painting process itself then takes place, followed by an inspection to check that the coating of paint is thick enough.

Read all about SelfPaint at NewAtlas.

Automation Is Engineering the Jobs Out of Power Plants

View of a Mitsubishi-made gas-fired turbine

Gone are many of the mechanics, millwrights, and welders who once held high paying jobs to keep coal-fired power plants operating. […] the extensive use of analytics and automation within natural gas-fired power plants means that staffing levels can be cut to a fraction of what they were a decade ago. On August 1, Michigan-based DTE Energy revealed plans to spend almost $1B to build a 1,100-MW gas-fired power plant. When the station enters service in 2022, it will replace 3 existing coal-fired units that currently employ more than 500 people. Job openings at the new gas-fired plant? 35 full-time employees, says a DTE spokesperson.

Check out the full analysis on IEEE Spectrum.

 

Our Twitter feed has a lot more news and insights on AM and IIoT, check it out! Don’t forget to come back next week for another edition of hand-picked brain candies for you to feast on.