Investor Conviction in Operational Technology

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Visual Inspection

How the Maker's Mark Distillery Produces 24 Million Bottles of Bourbon per Year

Acoustic Monitoring

Isaac Brown of Landmark Ventures discusses how digital technology trends are affecting buying processes and the benefits of seeking out tools that empower your workforce:

Assembly Line

In situ infrared temperature sensing for real-time defect detection in additive manufacturing

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Authors: Rifat-E-Nur Hossain, Jerald Lewis, Arden L. Moore

Topics: additive manufacturing, defect detection

Organizations: Louisiana Tech University

Melt pool temperature is a critical parameter for the majority of additive manufacturing processes. Monitoring of the melt pool temperature can facilitate the real-time detection of various printing defects such as voids, over-extrusion, filament breakage, clogged nozzle, etc. that occur either naturally or as the result of malicious hacking activity. This study uses an in situ, multi-sensor approach for monitoring melt pool temperature in which non-contact infrared temperature sensors with customized field of view move along with the extruder of a fused deposition modeling-based printer and sense melt pool temperature from a very short working distance regardless of its X-Y translational movements. A statistical method for defect detection is developed and utilized to identify temperature deviations caused by intentionally implemented defects.

Read more at ScienceDirect

Parts cleaning: the manufacturing maintenance saving you’ve never heard of

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Author: Tim Brown

Topics: recycling, sustainability, equipment cleaning

Organizations: Knorr-Bremse, Safety-Kleen

“Our new process, developed with the new Automatic Aqueous cleaning machine solution supplied by Safetykleen, reduced the cleaning cycle from 30 minutes down to 7 minutes!,” said a spokesperson at Knorr-Bremse “Not only was the cleaning time reduced but the cleaning is now more efficient and has significantly less environmental impact.”

The use of a parts washer can dramatically decrease the personnel time required for the cleaning component of maintenance and allows maintenance workers to focus on the key tasks of disassembly, reassembly and testing. According to feedback from users, an automatic parts washing machine can complete two days’ worth of manual cleaning in around 3 hours and reduce maintenance personnel requirements by 23%.

Read more at The Manufacturer

Pharma Sets a Foundation for Greener API Manufacturing

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Author: Cynthia A. Challener

Topics: sustainability, continuous-flow manufacturing

Vertical: Pharmaceutical

Organizations: Boehringer Ingelheim, W R Grace and Company, Double Rainbow Biosciences

To contribute to the reduction of CO2 and GHG emissions, all drug developers and manufacturers need to seriously consider measures to improve sustainability throughout each phase of their industrial processes, according to Weng. “The pharmaceutical industry is due for a major overhaul in all aspects of its unit operations. Essentially, the pharmaceutical industry should be evaluating sustainable alternatives for all current exercises that rely on fossil fuel inputs,” he sates.

The best time to consider optimal, sustainable production solutions is during the design of the synthetic route to an intermediate/API, notes Martin, because once these processes are validated, it is very challenging to introduce any changes, even if they offer significant improvements in productivity and sustainability.

Read more at Pharmaceutical Technology

Western Digital’s Journey To Build Business Resiliency Through Cloud And ERP Transformation

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Author: Patrick Moorhead

Topics: digital transformation, cloud computing, enterprise resource planning

Organizations: Western Digital, Infosys

In 2019, Western Digital started the most crucial part of the transformation journey. This fourth and final phase would transform manufacturing, inventory operations, and intercompany finance for 10 manufacturing plants across five countries, contract manufacturers and end users in a future-ready platform. Infosys was engaged to bring in an outside-in industry view to challenge current business practices and identify opportunities to harmonize process across the sites and standardize by eliminating custom practices.

The program was divided in multiple sub-phases. First sub-phase involved transforming manufacturing operations and intercompany transfers between component factories alongside payroll consolidation, reporting consolidation in Oracle BI. Second sub-phase had as many as 12 parallel projects for bringing hard disk drive manufacturing operations to cloud and consolidating all shipping and revenue operations, making way to retire two out of three legacy ERPs.

Read more at Forbes

This Factory Is Using AR To Help With A Hiring Crunch

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Author: Patrick Moorhead

Topics: augmented reality, cobot, wearable technology, bearing

Organizations: Taqtile, PBC Linear

One of the challenges associated with AR has been in trying to turn a complex physical process, such as wiring a component or working a machine, into code that could run on a headset. Taqtile CEO Dirck Schou said the company’s software makes programming for AR glasses simple, and based on my conversation with Tim Lecrone and Beau Wileman of PBC, the software Taqtile developed is easy to use. Once PBC has created a module for training it pays for itself after 1.44 employees train with it according to Wileman.

The cobots help handle processes that are repetitive and free up people to take on different tasks. Given how tough it is to hire people to work in the factory, using them helps reduce the overall staffing load. But the biggest gains so far have been in training and getting employees quickly up to speed. Now PBC can hire a person and get them working on a machine in a few days as opposed to that taking up to six weeks. It also helps reduce the cost of training a cobot and staff. Wileman told me that an intern, which costs $17 an hour, can train a cobot or map out a process in less than four hours, while it might cost around $30,000 for an outside expert to manually train a cobot.

Read more at Taqtile Blog

Surge Demand

Cathie Wood takes notice of Industry 4.0 technology adoption with a bet on Komatsu and their autonomous dump trucks, site surveillance drones, and construction automation technology. Beyond $ARKQ and Ark, Global X’s $BOTZ ETF has nearly three billion in assets that seeks to invest in companies “involved with industrial robotics and automation, non-industrial robots, and autonomous vehicles.”