Older production machines don’t have to retire when they start to become less productive–not when modern automation systems can give them a new lease on life. That’s one of the messages that emerged from last week’s Siemens Automation Summit in Orlando, Fla.
Modernization has become one of the top issues facing manufacturers, according to Raj Batra, vice president of Siemens’ Motion Control and Automation business. "At one point or another, manufacturers have to grapple with how to upgrade their production machines," he says.
A couple presentations at the event underscored this point. One involved the use of modern networking technology to eliminate a failing slip ring on one of Osram Sylvania’s light bulb machines. The other detailed Owens-Illinois’ on-going migration from costly customized motion control systems to off-the-shelf drive-based controls for its glass forming lines. Click here for a closer look at both applications:
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.