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Downtime and IoT 0

Posted on 26, June 2017

in Category Blog

Downtime is always a problem in a factory setting. Having your human workforce stand around being paid while hundreds or thousands of products don’t get made on time is costly and frustrating. In today’s JIT environments, the cost of downtime is unacceptable. How unacceptable? $21,800,000 a year on average. That’s $16,000,000 a year for enterprise-level companies, with the remainder of the $21,800,000 affecting smaller businesses. For an individual company, extended downtime can be extremely threatening. Any delay can reverberate along the supply chain. Add IoT and downtime goes beyond expensive. Downtime can spread from one system to another, data can [&hellip

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Sentient Robots? 0

Posted on 23, June 2017

in Category Blog

Pepper, a popular humanoid robot, is designed to identify human emotions and to respond to them. 10,000 of these devices currently work in banks, cruise ships, stores, and bars. The makers recently introduced an app that allows people without programming skills to write scripts for their Pepper robots. Sophia, a lifelike robot famous for saying, “Okay, I will destroy humans” in an interview, is Hanson Robotics’ first step toward robots with the ability to love humans and be friends with them. Her makers claim that robots like Sophia will eventually be smarter than humans, and will be able to solve [&hellip

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IndraControl Hardware Certified for Ships 0

Posted on 21, June 2017

in Category Blog, News

IndraControl XM22 systems have been certified for use on ships and offshore installations. This is a big deal. Hardware on ships and offshore environments has to be able to function even under extreme ambient conditions.Six agencies have certified IndraControl for these uses: the American Bureau of Shipping Lloyd’s Register Bureau Veritas Det Norske Veritas / Germanischer Lloyd Registro Italiano Navale the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency The certifications include the control hardware and extension modules in the IndraControl S20 I/O portfolio. IndraControl XM works for motion control in both hydraulic and electrical configurations. The specific version of IndraControl XM certified [&hellip

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Trump’s Apprenticeships 0

Posted on 19, June 2017

in Category Blog

Rexroth is a German company, and well grounded in the European system of apprenticeships. In the United States, Rexroth has a strong record of education and cooperation with educational institutions, from high schools to colleges. So Rexroth may be well placed to support a new White House initiative, an expanded apprenticeship program proposed by President Trump. Inside Higher Ed and the Jobs for the Future program examined the new proposal. They identified the greater involvement of industry or other “third party” entities as a key change. Moving apprenticeship programs away from educational institutions carries some dangers, according to JFF. They [&hellip

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The Benefits of Dumb Robots 0

Posted on 16, June 2017

in Category Blog

Manufacturers are working toward smarter factories, smarter netwokrs, and smarter robots. But at least two sociologists think that dumb robots might actually have some benefits as collaborative machines. This is counter-intuitive, certainly, and it’s swimming against the tide as robotics researchers strive for safer and more collaborative robots. The Yale sociologists gave teams, some all-human and some including both human and robot members, problems to solve. Smart robots didn’t speed up the process at all, but dumb robots which made erratic choices did. Teams with dumb robots showed statistically significant improvements in the speed of their solutions — they were [&hellip

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Understanding the Industrial Ethernet 0

Posted on 14, June 2017

in Category Blog

There’s Ethernet… and then there’s the industrial Ethernet. One big difference is the distinction between soft and hard deadlines for delivery of information. An ordinary Ethernet connection treats a delivery failure as a total failure. It tried to deliver the information, the information was not delivered, so let’s all move on with our lives. Or not. A hard deadline — there’s either success or failure — makes sense for flight control or other situations where a failure could literally be a life or death matter. A soft deadline, when referring to an Ethernet connection, allows adjustment of deadlines, or some [&hellip

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Rexroth for Extreme Environments 0

Posted on 12, June 2017

in Category Blog

IndraControl XM has been certified by six boards in America and in Europe for marine environments and offshore installations, including extreme environments. What’s an extreme environment? After all, Rexroth industrial motion control systems have been functioning perfectly in washdown environments for decades. It’s not as though they’re prima donnas requiring ideal conditions for performance. The right ambient temperature range, the right voltage, and the right parameters — that’s all Rexroth motion control has ever demanded. The IndraControl XM series, which is suited to electric motion control as well as hydraulic and hybrid needs, is fine on the high seas. In [&hellip

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Rexroth Factory Repair Process 0

Posted on 9, June 2017

in Category Blog

When you have a problem with your Rexroth electric motion control modules, you have a choice. You can panic and try to fix it yourself while its still on the machine (bad choice). You can call up the local Servo Repair and Bait Shop and hope they can fix it for you (another bad choice), or you can arrange for factory repair. Factory repair means you’re getting original parts, accurate specs, and a new warranty when the repair or reman is complete. Essentially, you’re getting a “back to new” repair. It’s a satisfying combination of efficient automation and human skill. [&hellip

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Solutions to Automation-Induced Job Loss 0

Posted on 7, June 2017

in Category Blog

A new historical study of the effects of technology on the job market over the past 165 years confirms that automation isn’t the threat to human jobs that some would have us believe it is. Certainly, the study found plenty of examples of jobs that disappeared because of technology… and of new jobs that arose for the very same reason. Jobs on railways increased in the 1800s, for example, then decreased in the 20th century and were replaced by jobs relating to cars. Those weren’t jobs lost to automation; it was just a shift in the technology being used. And [&hellip

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Rexroth Gets Coffee on the Table 0

Posted on 5, June 2017

in Category Blog

  Rexroth industrial motion control is an integral part of the Eiffel Tower, the Panama Canal, and NASA spacecraft. Why should anyone get excited about its part in producing coffee pods for those trendy pod-based coffee machines? Because Rexroth is part of a solution to a big problem. Conveyor belts are important to modern manufacturing. They keep everything up to speed, literally. But conveyors that deliver things over long distances, or to human beings, or in any situation where there are additional variables, can end up with problems.     When it comes to the coffee pods, any back up [&hellip

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