The Hybrid Future in Human-Robot Relationships (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 29)

The manufacturing plant is now more than ever the product of synergies derived from multiple, different actors playing their part for the greater objective. There is no “killer app” in the manufacturing industry and AM will need traditional manufacturing just as much as robots will still need human input to get around their limitations. The non-zero-sum game nature of manufacturing is exemplified by the international efforts to find balances in which new production processes can get the best of both worlds. For example, 11 partner groups from Germany and the Netherlands are starting new research efforts to explore the potential of hybrid manufacturing, particularly helpful for complex products like electronics. On a broader perspective, human-robot relationships have never been stronger. Those people afraid of giving up their jobs to robotic counterparts can put their hearts at ease (for now): automation is bringing greater productivity by putting tireless androids able to execute the most boring tasks under the human supervision. Similarly, deep learning automation is helping businesses deploy their time and resources more intelligently, using machine vision and actuation where the humans could be better employed doing something higher level.

German company Neotech AMT announces two new fully additive 3D printed electronics projects

A circuit board created using 3D printing technology. Image via Neotech.

German electronic 3D printing company Neotech AMT GmbH has announced it will engage in two new projects to advance additive manufacturing. The first project, known as ‘Hyb-Man’, will bring together 11 partner groups from Germany and the Netherlands with the aim of developing hybrid manufacturing techniques. While the second project – AMPECS – will focus on the printing of ceramic substrates.

The resultant process lines will address the needs for low volume agile manufacture within a single platform. – Dr. Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech

Read more about the projects here.

Online Retail Boom Means More Warehouse Workers, And Robots To Accompany Them

There’s a good chance something you’ve bought online has been in the hands of a “picker” first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we’re ordering. At Amazon and other companies, they’re working side by side with robots. Experts say while the robots are replacing some human workers, the machines aren’t quite ready to take over completely.

Read the full article at NPR.

Two Apple Engineers Want To Create The Brain For Fully-Automated Manufacturing

Assembling TV sets

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, along with another former Apple engineer, Samuel Weiss, have founded manufacturing startup Instrumental. The Los Altos, California-based startup builds a camera system that takes high-definition pictures of the product during various stages of the assembly process and sends it back to the company. Instrumental software then lets companies remotely track how their products are being assembled. But the bigger picture vision for the company is introducing more automation into what is a still very manual process. Instrumental has begun deploying machine learning techniques to pick out any manufacturing anomalies and track where things go wrong.

Read more about Instrumental and their goals here.

 

We hope to see you again next week as we publish another edition of our News-In-Review! Also, check out our Twitter feed for more AM/Automation/IIoT related news and insights.

Facing New Dynamics With Technology (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 03)

Hi and welcome to another edition of the News-In-Review!

On the eve of President-elect Trump’s inauguration, dozens of companies are announcing that they are keeping manufacturing jobs in the US, creating them, or bringing it back: Ford, Alibaba, and Amazon among them. In fact, this is a long term trend: We highlighted a FastCompany article that revealed that apparel manufacturing in the US went up by 35% since 2009. But why? It’s not because customers are expecting improved personalization options (they’re not really), and it doesn’t seem to be about taking advantage of new technologies such as 3D printing. Instead, we think it’s the need to stay agile to consumer needs, and that’s best done by empowering your operators with the new opportunities cloud+data provide. Read our CEO’s latest LinkedIn post below and find out more.

The Uneasy Truth Behind Amazon’s Hiring Blitz And What Startups Are Doing To Fix It

Today, Amazon announced that it will create 100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs in the United States over the next 18 months. The jobs, Amazon says, will range from entry-level positions to software development roles. The announcement is designed to play nicely into President-elect Trump’s rhetoric about bringing more jobs back to our shores, but it’s important to remember that Amazon’s business model is premised on increasing automation wherever possible, which means replacing more and more humans with machines.

Read the full article at FastCompany.

The dream of Ara: Inside the rise and fall of the world’s most revolutionary phone

In a very personal and thorough recollection of the bold project of modular phone Ara we get a glimpse into how AM was scrapped from the manufacturing plans. “[Paul] Eremenko cut ties with one of Ara’s earliest supporters, 3DSystems, scrapping the project’s dependence on rapid 3D printing for a dye sublimation process. 3DSystems’ printers were too slow, and the new system could adorn modules with selfies and pets.”

Read the full story here.

Trust your People.

People who run manufacturing, sales, logistics or many other core functions in supply chain know how important their team members are: How much they know, how many ideas they have to drive more efficient operations – yet how they have long been stifled by rules, ignored by managers and brushed aside by support staff. No wonder people become demoralised. Modern software tools should be providing relief. Alas, the most recent industrial IoT examples such as GE’s Predix show that this trend looks set to continue. Data Scientists lead IoT projects that get the data to tell them where the problems are rather than asking the people on the front line what stops them from being better at their job. Their findings are enshrined in IT systems as rules not to be tampered with. IIoT is the buzzword, but we are not sure that people are looking at it the right way.

Read the full article on LinkedIn.

 

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