Current Issue: November 2015

Despite increasing competitive and regulatory pressures, medical device manufacturers have an opportunity to seize a significantly growing market. Streamlining operations through automation will be key.
Machine vision is freeing robots to seek work beyond the kinds of highly repetitive jobs typically found in mass production. The gift of sight makes them cost-competitive even in moderate volume production applications.
Integrating different equipment types is more than just making sure they can keep the plant running. Making sure everything communicates effectively can also bring people, suppliers and customers together.
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A portable gas separator provides an alternative to flaring off natural gases from shale oil operations. Pioneer Energy needed a control system that could handle the complex processes, but could also operate reliably in remote shale fields.
As robots moved from science fiction to industrial reality, the biggest complaint about them was that they eliminated good jobs. However, evidence is beginning to mount that this isn’t the case.
Based on its Digital Twin concept, software-defined assets can make it easier and more effective for power plants to predict and prevent failures and optimize energy production.
A common theme at PACK EXPO 2015 was the need to ease machine integration using intuitive programming software that accelerates engineering and the commissioning of equipment, as well as provides access to more OEE information.
Ethernet communications not only help within a robotic vision application itself, but also help enable remote support, as is the case with a robot solving a Rubik’s Cube for a traveling exhibit.
At the ODVA 2015 Industry Conference, a great deal of focus was directed at Time Sensitive Networking and its potential to bring determinism to industrial Ethernet networks.
A Canadian copper mine faced considerable safety and monetary issues because of its inability to accurately measure an area of crushed ore storage with laser, ultrasonic or radar technologies. Low-frequency acoustic measurements helped change that.
Research shows growth in machine and computer vision systems as food and beverage manufacturers look for help with quality control and traceability, and non-industrial sectors realize the value of “seeing” everything.
Closing out the Wonderware 2015 Conference, Ravi Gopinath addressed the proposed merger of the company’s software assets with Aveva, assuring customers that it’s all good.
Open Interconnect Consortium announces new partnerships with HyperCat and EnOcean Alliance to advance Internet of Things application capabilities.
Manufacturers could benefit from the latest version of the operational intelligence software that can capture unstructured streaming data and uses advanced analytics to detect system anomalies.
The two will collaborate on integrating their respective DCS and MES offerings, bringing together control and production workflow for pharmaceutical companies.
Infosys will acquire Noah Consulting for $70 million, creating a bigger play for Internet of Things involvement in oil and gas exploration and production.
If data historian vendors want to avoid disruption, expand the user base, and deliver on the promise of IIoT use cases, solutions must bring together all types of data into a single environment that can drive next-generation applications.
Beyond the impact of a poor global economy, soft starters have been steadily losing growing to VSDs, which have increased functionality.
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