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Design Insights: Finding More Capital; Finding Money in Legacy Machines; Practical PLCs

Design Insights: Finding More Capital; Finding Money in Legacy Machines; Practical PLCs

There’s a potential revenue stream from legacy machine data: It lets them sell a service contract to monitor the equipment, not only telling the machine owner when to service the equipment, but also providing technicians who can handle the task outside times of peak use and prevent shutdowns during business hours,” wrote Adam Justice of Grid Connect, Inc

Connecting legacy machines to the cloud moves a manufacturer closer to the customer because there’s a stream of data about real-time use. That data, in turn, helps engineering departments design better products. As data streams in from the field, engineers and product development teams can see which features or add-ons are widely used or rarely tapped.”

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It is a false notion that every manufacturing problem can be solved by simply installing every new innovative product. 

The process takes examination of your current people and equipment and creating the best solution from the available technology. That said, more technology on the plant floor can identify problems and often point toward the solution.

There is, of course, one big step you have to take before reaching that point—finding the money to invest in such a venture. And as noted in last week’s Automation Forward virtual conference presented by A3, finding that capital can be a challenge, and that challenge isn’t limited to the smaller manufacturers. “For us, that’s where the challenge is at,” said Jorge Ramirez, global director of execution automation and chief manufacturing cybersecurity officer at General Motors. “We are limited by capital. The easy solution would be to take out all the old and put in the new with all the new smarts that just play harmoniously.”

As the world unwinds itself from the pandemic, those manufacturers quickest to invest for the long-term gains as opposed to the short-term gains may find themselves a step ahead when the recovery hits full speed.

Finding Data, Money in Legacy Machines
There’s also something to be said for taking existing machinery and bringing it into the 21st Century with the use of sensors and data management. As a recent Machine Design article noted, there’s more than data in those legacy machines for machine builders.

“There’s a potential revenue stream from legacy machine data: It lets them sell a service contract to monitor the equipment, not only telling the machine owner when to service the equipment, but also providing technicians who can handle the task outside times of peak use and prevent shutdowns during business hours,” wrote Adam Justice of Grid Connect, Inc. “Connecting legacy machines to the cloud moves a manufacturer closer to the customer because there’s a stream of data about real-time use. That data, in turn, helps engineering departments design better products. As data streams in from the field, engineers and product development teams can see which features or add-ons are widely used or rarely tapped.”

Practical PLCs- Download
The Practical Guide to Programmable Logic Controllers Handbook has been improved with tons of new need-to-know info, making it a more comprehensive guide to the world of PLCs. Besides covering the basics of PLC history, hardware and software, this guide takes you deeper into the ever-changing world of PLC communication, the importance of feedback loops, cybersecurity and many other areas that are a must-know for any PLC novice or seasoned automation professional.

Bringing Legacy Machines into the 21st Century

Bringing Legacy Machines into the 21st Century

There’s no reason not to connect older machines into computer networks and make them part of the IIoT.

By the end of last year, there were an estimated 11.7 billion Industrial Internet of Things devices in the workplace, according to market research firm IIoT Analytics.

Turning these legacy, non-connected devices into IIoT-enabled machines could give factory managers safety and maintain several benefits.

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http://shorturl.at/dxHN5

There’s no reason not to connect older machines into computer networks and make them part of the IIoT.

By the end of last year, there were an estimated 11.7 billion Industrial Internet of Things devices in the workplace, according to market research firm IIoT Analytics. This is a sure sign machine makers recognize the value of IIoT. But there are also lots of legacy devices still in the field, and companies could benefit by using data collected from these non-IIoT devices. 

Currently, much of the information available to industrial motors, centrifugal pumps, commercial kitchen equipment, motors, hospital equipment and furnaces just gets lost.

Turning these legacy, non-connected devices into IIoT-enabled machines could give factory managers safety and maintain several benefits. 

First, it would let managers and supervisors turn off machines or set them to turn off based on the facility’s operating hours. Another benefit would be determining what a machine’s normal power consumption looks like and comparing that to actual use. If it’s too high or too low, it might indicate the need for maintenance. Managers and supervisors who cannot predict outages or part failures can wind up losing several thousand dollars or more per day while technicians try to diagnose and fix the problem.

How can machine and equipment builders get actionable data from legacy machines? Among the tools required would be a data transfer protocol such as MQTT, CoAP or XMPP. Programmers designed these for machine-to-machine (M2M), applications.

With a protocol, an AC power connection to a machine and a local Wi-Fi access point, a machine designer could gather and record real-time voltage, current and power factors of the load. That connection could provide high-resolution profiles of the voltage and current wave forms that would let a machine manufacturer track customer use and, in some cases, sign of approaching failure. Engineers could use the on-off cycle counts and powered-on time for the attached load for checking warranty information and exploring preventive maintenance.

For digitally capable students, the sky’s the limit

For digitally capable students, the sky’s the limit

Students will continue to live, work and study in a digital economy – They must be prepared with the tools they need to succeed,” says Ruth Watkins, president of the University of Utah.

Grounding digital literacy in wider pedagogic objectives can open up all kinds of educational possibilities, and lead to some surprising results.

“Talking to university leaders and educators here in the UK, it’s clear that the demands of the digital economy are high on the agenda for developing thinking on how best to enable student success.”



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https://wonkhe.com/blogs/for-digitally-capable-students-the-skys-the-limit/

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is vital to make an impact in the world today. Across professional fields and industries, people harness digital tools to communicate and persuade, to express their creativity, and to collaborate to solve problems.

If students are to thrive in their careers, and contribute to creating a better world for future generations – and many of us work in education because we are driven by exactly that aspiration – they will need to be digitally capable.

A common thread among these institutions is that digital literacy is understood as being much more than simple competence with specific digital tools as an end in itself. Digital literacy is the purposeful use of digital tools for pedagogic purposes – to create something new, to present an argument or position, or to shed light on a different way of looking at a problem.

Developing digital skills are very much part of the equation. There’s a lot of evidence now that while students might be highly literate in some technologies, such as social media, this doesn’t prepare them for using a range of digital tools in the classroom or their wider lives.

But education strategies that integrate digital literacy are much more about giving students the space to experiment, and the agency to explore. Digital learning officer Cory Stokes at Utah describes it as “giving students the power to express their innate creativity by giving them creative tools.”

At Swinburne University of Technology, the first Adobe Creative Campus in Australia, the strategic digital literacy programme is underpinned by a curriculum framework that gives equal weight to technology literacy, information literacy and critical literacy. In addition to students learning to select and use the right technologies, they learn about data and knowledge production in a digital world, and to reflectively question the social context in which digital artefacts are made and the ethics of who controls and consumes them.

Industry 4.0 Readiness Online Self-Check for Businesses

Industry 4.0 Readiness Online Self-Check for Businesses

Where does your business stand? Check your readiness for Industry 4.0!

This self-check lets you calculate your very own Industry 4.0 scorecard. Find out where you are already well prepared for Industry 4.0 and where you still have room for improvement.

The Readiness Model is the foundation for a self-assessment and comparison. The Online Self-Check developed for this purpose gives companies the ability to check their own Industry 4.0 readiness.

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https://www.industrie40-readiness.de/?lang=en

Concept

The Online Self-Check is broken down into six dimensions of Industry 4.0, each containing questions on a different set of issues:

  • Strategy and organization: To what extent is Industry 4.0 established and implemented in your company’s strategy?
  • Smart factory: To what extent does your company have digitally integrated and automated production based on cyber-physical systems?
  • Smart operations: To what extent are the processes and products in your company digitally modeled and capable of being controlled through ICT systems and algorithms in a virtual world?
  • Smart products: To what extent can your products be controlled with IT, making it possible for them to communicate and interact with higher-level systems along the value chain?
  • Data­-driven services: To what extent do you offer data-driven services that are possible only through the integration of products, production, and customers?
  • Employees: Does your company possess the skills it needs to implement Industry 4.0 concepts?

This “Industry 4.0 Readiness” study was commissioned by the IMPULS Foundation of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and conducted by IW Consult (a subsidiary of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research) and the Institute for Industrial Management (FIR) at RWTH Aachen University. VDMA experts and some industry representatives served in an advisory capacity in the development of the study.

How we are taught to measure success

How we are taught to measure success



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    Why materials science is key to conquering the UK’s Grand Challenges

    Why materials science is key to conquering the UK’s Grand Challenges

    It’s no secret that there’s a productivity crisis in the UK. According to the Office of National Statistics, our productivity lags behind other developed nations. The amount each UK worker produces per hour is on average 16% less than that of the remainder of the G7. 

    In an effort to address flailing productivity, the UK government published a long-term industrial strategy at the end of 2017. In this white paper, four ‘Grand Challenges’ are identified as the key areas that the UK needs to focus upon in order to be at the “forefront of the industries of the future”.

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    https://blog.keronite.com/materials-science-grand-challenges

    But what has this got to do with materials science?

    Well, it turns out that research, development and industrialisation in the materials sector could actually be key to overcoming many of these challenges. In this article, we’re going to examine the vital role that new materials and surface treatments might play in the future of the UK economy.

    Meeting the four ‘grand challenges’

    The UK government has defined four areas crucial to bridging the productivity gap:

    1. Artificial intelligence and data
      Putting the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution.

    2. An ageing society
      Harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society.

    3. Clean growth
      Maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.

    4. The future of mobility
      Becoming a world leader in the way people, goods and services move.

    The development and implementation of futuristic new materials and surface treatments is integral to addressing these challenges.

    5 Tech trends accelerating advanced materials design

    5 Tech trends accelerating advanced materials design

    Historically, designing advanced materials has required a significant amount of patience. Professionals in some creative and scientific fields can see the results of their work right before their eyes, but material engineers have always needed to wait for their designs to be manufactured and then tested to see if a new material’s performance would meet expectations.

    Recently, however, several emerging technologies are letting material engineers more freely tinker and iterate to see results from their work much more rapidly. As a result, designers and engineering teams developing advanced materials can test out more ideas, discovering more solutions to pressing problems, faster than ever.

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    https://www.machinedesign.com/3d-printing-cad/article/21155824/5-tech-trends-accelerating-advanced-materials-design-in-2021

    Here are five of those emerging game-changing tech trends for advanced materials designers.

    1. Machine learning and artificial intelligence. The rise of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the single most significant development in the field of advanced materials design over the past decade. ML algorithms simply make materials design much more intuitive than before. They let material engineers make a design change and get immediate feedback about how that new material performs.

    2. Cloud computing. Advanced materials design requires some serious computational power, the type of computing power that until recently was largely only accessible in research labs. Today, the public cloud lets researchers spin up vast resources on a temporary basis, paying only for what they use.

    3. Nanoengineering. The advent of nanoengineering, in which engineering is done on the nanoscale, has let engineers improve the internal structure of materials. Through this process, they can more accurately mimic properties of extremely strong natural materials, such as spider’s silk. Nanoengineering works on a scale so small it is hard to fathom.

    4. Augmented reality. Usually, augmented reality (AR) refers to overlaying digital information onto the real, physical world. For example, by downloading an app from a furniture company, consumers might be able to point a smartphone at parts strewn around the living room floor and receive assembly instructions.

    5. 3D printing. Finally, the growth of high-fidelity, micro-level 3D printing puts the “materials” in “materials design.” Rather than waiting weeks to see designs brought to life via manufacturers’ prototypes, engineers can use 3D printers from their labs (or, depending on their budget, even from their basements) and see real-world results of their efforts in nearly real time. And for people without ready access to a 3D printer, companies like Amazon are now offering 3D printing as an on-demand, “as-a-service” option.

    Christmas Quiz

    Christmas Quiz 2020

    The festive season is here, but sadly the usual celebrations, parties and get-togethers will be toned down this year due to the pandemic.

    Families across the nation will once again turn to virtual quizzes and games to spread some much-needed Christmas cheer and make merry.

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    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/100-christmas-quiz-questions-virtual-23134297

    Christmas quiz questions

    Christmas general knowledge questions

    1. What day of the year is Christmas Day in 2020?

    2. Which animal carried Mary before she gave birth to Jesus?

    3. Which world leader celebrates his birthday on Christmas Day?

    4. When do the 12 Days of Christmas start?

    5. Which country annually sends a Christmas tree to be erected in London’s Trafalgar Square?

    6. Which monarch delivered the first Royal Christmas Day Message?

    7. Which country is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition?

    8. What happened in the 1914 Christmas Day truce during the First World War?

    9. In which year was the first Christmas card sent?

    10. What indispensable item for the Christmas table did Tom Smith, a confectioner, invent?

    11. Which ocean can Christmas Island be found in?

    12. In what type of building was the baby Jesus born in?

    13. What is your star sign if you are born on Christmas Day?

    14. What time is the Queen’s speech traditionally broadcast?

    15. What gifts did The Three Wise Men give Jesus on his birthday?

    16. Who was crowned King of England on Christmas Day in 1066?

    17. Which country traditionally plays the Boxing Day Test Match every year?

    18. Which plant based Christmas tradition was started by servants in Victorian Britain?

    19. Which plant has bright red and green leaves and is sometimes known as the Christmas Flower?

    20. How many ghosts appear in A Christmas Carol?

    Answers to the quiz above

    1. 360th day 2. Donkey 3. Justin Trudeau 4. Christmas Day 5. Norway 6. King George V 7. Germany 8. A game of football between British and German soldiers 9. 1843 10. The Christmas cracker 11. Indian Ocean 12. A stable 13. Capricorn 14. 3pm 15. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh 16. William the Conqueror (William I) 17. Australia 18. Kissing under mistletoe 19. Poinsettia 20. Four

    Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

    Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

    The industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects your people, products, and processes to power digital transformation. Using industrial IoT platforms, companies connect, monitor, analyze, and act on data in new ways.

    You can start fast with digital transformation, using IoT for strategic pilots, while easily scaling solutions to reshape your organization. Leaders depend on the industrial IoT from how they design, manufacture, and service products, to how they create value and engage with customers.

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    https://www.ptc.com/en/products/iiot

    Unlock your potential with IIoT solutions

    The best way to accelerate digital transformation is by using a proven industrial IoT platform that’s purpose-built for you. An established platform offers several advantages:

    • REDUCE TIME: Get to market faster with rapid application development. Use industrial Internet of Things platforms to wrap and extend legacy assets for new functionality.
    • REDUCE COSTS: Harness data from connected products and systems to boost productivity and efficiency while lowering costs.
    • IMPROVE QUALITY: Make product, service, and factory operations more secure and scalable. Improve service quality, reliability, and satisfaction.
    • MAXIMIZE REVENUE: Scale to new markets, improve throughput, and unlock new business models such as products as a service.

    DSM Partners

    DSM Network’s initial partners

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    We have, as Network partners, some of the most innovative coatings manufacturers and related companies in the UK, including Monitor Coatings, Wallwork, Poeton, Thin Metal Films, Micromaterials, and TRL9; and other appropriate manufacturing hubs, networks and catapults (eg. MAPP and AMRC).

    The number of UK academic and industrial partners  ensures a Direct National Impact of the DSM Nework and its activities. 

    We invite you to join us
    • Other companies and networks will be invited to join the NetworkPlus during the lifecycle of the project. 
    • The Network will benefit from close collaboration with: 
    • The Henry Royce Institute (HRI) for Advanced Materials: a key collaborator in this project that will provide links to many other academics institutions. The HRI will allocate 1250m2 floor space and £3m of existing capital equipment for the making, testing and imaging of coating systems. 
    • The Surface Engineering Leadership Forum (SELF): set up following the report of the SEAC special interest group, SELF comprises senior representatives from industry trade bodies, research and technology organisations, professional engineering institutions and specialist manufacturers.  
    • The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), a member of the IUK funded HVM Catapult, is a RTO that develops and proves innovative manufacturing processes and technologies, with emphasis on digitalisation of manufacturing processes, in partnership with industry and academia. 

    Demystifying Industry 4.0

    Demystifying Industry 4.0 – Helping SMEs lay the tracks for Australia’s digitalisation express train

    Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is also known as the fourth industrial revolution. Its impact will be felt by individual companies and industry sectors in every country across the globe. As the revolution progresses, businesses that fully embrace the transformation will be in the best position to thrive, while those that have lagged behind their more agile competitors may struggle to survive. 

    There are also misconceptions among many small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in particular, that the new technologies are too costly and beyond their reach.

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    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339390912_Demystifying_Industry_40_-_Helping_SMEs_lay_the_tracks_for_Australia's_digitalisation_express_train

    Some highlights from the report

    • … most businesses are not yet prepared to meet the inevitable challenges of I4.0 or to exploit the vast opportunities it represents.
    • No industry sector or business will escape the impact of I4.0. The disruptive changes are already happening and are escalating rapidly.
    • Many businesses in the early stages of implementing I4.0 systems are analysing the data generated at relatively superficial levels.
    • The chief economic potential of Industry 4.0 lies in its ability to accelerate corporate decision-making and adaptation processes.
    • Contrary to existing perceptions, transitioning to I4.0 technologies does not necessarily require major investment … there are more affordable technologies, such as data analytics, that can return significant value when expertly deployed within a manufacturing enterprise.

    Deactivating coronavirus on N95 respirators for reuse

    Deactivating coronavirus on N95 respirators for reuse

    Inner and outer view of an N95 mask between dry heat treatment cycles showing no deformation of the respirator. A thermocouple is affixed to the inner surface of the respirator with Kapton tape to measure the surface temperature of the mask over 10 heating cycles in a standard laboratory convection box oven. Masks are heat treated inside a self-sealing autoclave pouch (background) to prevent dispersion of viral particles from airflow inside the oven. Photos by Trevis Massey/LLNL.

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    https://www.llnl.gov/news/deactivating-coronavirus-n95-respirators-reuse

    Thermal process to deactivate virus
    The LLNL team is testing the efficacy of using a thermal process, where heat penetrates through the outer cover of the respirator to deactivate the virus on internal parts, including the filtering element. At the same time, they are studying whether respirators retain functionality after thermal treatment.
    Using a standard laboratory oven, the team conducted initial tests regarding how thermal treatment affects respirator components that play a key role in ensuring a secure fit on the user’s face, such as the metal nose clip, nose foam and neck straps. Following treatment, they tested the fit of the masks in LLNL’s respirator shop and identified thermal conditions that do not compromise the fit.
    With these initial tests completed, the team is now studying deactivation efficacy. Using a mouse hepatitis virus that is related to SARS-CoV-2 but does not cause disease in humans, they are investigating whether any live virus remains on the filter of an N95 respirator after heat treatment. Following treatment, they will gently remove viral particles from the material and count the number of infectious particles that are present.
    While thermal treatment does not completely decontaminate all pathogens, the research team anticipates that it can deactivate viruses.
    “We are thrilled to be part of this effort to explore options for field-based reuse of respirators,” said Bob Maxwell, who leads LLNL’s Materials Science Division. “This type of solution would make it possible to safely reuse respirators during a pandemic, or any other situation where supplies are limited, and front-line health care workers need protection.”
    The multidisciplinary research team includes materials scientists, biologists and engineers who rapidly came together during LLNL’s limited operations to study this challenge and provide results in an accelerated timeframe. In addition to Baxamusa, the team includes Mihail Bora, Monica Borucki, Eric Duoss, Kyle Fuhrer, Razi Haque, Travis Massey, Samuel Paik and Maxim Shusteff.