Features - Manufacturing/Consumables

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      Commercialising products for the military market (02/07/2018)

      Manufacturers of COTS equipment that want to address the military market may assume this is complex and costly; however, the testing process can be minimised by using gap analysis between defence standards and commercial standards, such as those for CE marking.

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      Soaring through virtual aviation (04/06/2018)

      VR headsets are now taking the world by storm – and not only across consumer electronics fields: industries such as the aviation and manufacturing sectors are beginning to use VR during the design process. This piece examines the use of VR in the aerospace manufacturing sector.

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      Ensuring security when connecting IIoT systems to the cloud (05/04/2018)

      Opening up factories and their industrial plant to remote access to enable industrial IoT (IIoT) applications is creating potential security vulnerabilities, but as this piece explains, these can be mitigated...

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      Improving farming efficiency with a 21st century gate (12/03/2018)

      Dofygate is a fast-opening, electric gate that requires no external power, available in 2-, 4- or 7-bar versions, with spans of 2 to 6 metres. Solar-powered, it can be operated from a vehicle using a fob, or via a phone app or keypad, and is self-closing. Made from carbon fibre, the gate is strong enough to resist accidental contact from livestock.

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      Growth, technology trends and investing in the future (07/03/2018)

      EPDT and DPA met Digi-Key's President Dave Doherty and Vice Chairman, Mark Larson to talk about how Digi-Key – the world’s 5th largest electronics distributor – are driving their company’s growth, as well as their future investment plans that will more than double distribution capacity.

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      Meeting the challenge of manufacturing in the IoT era (05/03/2018)

      The rate of innovation in the electronics sector is increasingly driven by demand for new solutions, coming from large vertical markets, or often, even single pockets of explosive growth. Today, the IoT drives this growth – but not too long ago, it was mobile telecommunications.

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      Sensors enable the smart home (05/03/2018)

      Real-time sensing will help define the smart home – to allow the Internet of Things (IoT) to decide exactly what the ‘things’ need to do. Widely-deployed sensing becomes the gateway to an ‘internet of awareness’ that will feed the IoT, delivering the right services at the right time.

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      Four essential technologies for Industry 4.0 (19/02/2018)

      This piece explains the challenge of assembling in one place the four requisite industrial IoT technologies: networking, processing, user interface and security – and ultimately considers how NXP’s new QorIQ Layerscape LS1028A processor helps to meet this challenge.

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      Cellular connectivity for IoT: the case for NarrowBand-IoT (06/02/2018)

      As the economies of scale provided by the 3GPP ecosystem help drive down prices, NB-IoT will apply well to long-range connectivity of devices with low data rate, low mobility requirements. This piece reviews why testing of low cost IoT devices is still critical to ensure optimum battery performance and minimal interference.

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      How to prepare for the new Medical Device Regulation (05/02/2018)

      In 2012, the European Commission outlined its plan to introduce a regulation that would replace existing directives for medical devices and active implantable medical devices. This piece explains what this means for manufacturers of medical devices who sell within EU.

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      Modern manufacturing demands drive growing reliance on factory software tools (29/01/2018)

      OEMs and contract assemblers are constantly pursuing a technological edge over their competitors, investing in better, more modern machines, to win new business and grow their market share.

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      Defence industry poses new challenges for supply chain (26/01/2018)

      Although defence budgets are under constant review, on both sides of the pond, there is talk that an increase in spending may be vital for our security. In the US, President Trump has proposed an extra $54 billion above previously announced plans.

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      AI and IoT – looking to the future of the smart factory (19/01/2018)

      The combination of the IoT with rapidly-advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will allow manufacturers to make the most of big data. And indeed, the era of the smart factory is already upon us.

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      The benefits of cloud computing in the manufacturing industry (16/01/2018)

      The domestic canary isn’t what many of us would consider an obvious tool for industrial labour. Today, connectivity advancements and cloud computing are making industrial environment monitoring much more sophisticated than the former. As we enter the era of the smart factory, COPA-DATA discusses the benefits of cloud computing for the manufacturing industry.

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      Big data and telematics in supply chain management (03/01/2018)

      The sheer size and scope of the supply chain means that it can face challenges in managing the movement of goods and maintaining the quality of them, as well as the workings of machines and the safety of workers. However, as this piece explains, big data and telematics are two key technologies that are already filtering into common use within the supply chain, making it as efficient, safe and cost effective as possible.

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      Software is integral to delivering highly functional and safe products (03/01/2018)

      When designing hardware products, software is often a differentiator that delivers key benefits for OEMs and end users. As this piece explains, software also offers the ability to upgrade the product during its lifetime, adding new features or compatibility with new standards and protocols.

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      Waste not, want not… (14/11/2017)

      Electronics are everywhere: in our homes, our workplaces, our cars and on our person – they have become pervasive throughout our everyday lives. But while electronics manufacturers typically focus on sourcing, they tend to neglect the end stages of the production lifecycle: repair, refurbishment and recycling.

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      Supporting new product development (06/11/2017)

      SMS hosted a 2017 event celebrating the opening of their dedicated, in-house Product Development Centre. This interview with SMS explains why SMS decided to make such a substantial investment in technology to support the front-end of the product lifecycle – from concept to creation.

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      5 key documents to include in your electromechanical build pack (03/11/2017)

      To accurately produce a quotation for, then manufacture, an electromechanical assembly, your CEM will need many key documents from you. Whilst you may be tempted to send your latest build pack immediately, this piece explains why it’s worth reviewing it in detail first.

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      Viewpoint: ‘Interesting times’ ahead for UK manufacturing (25/10/2017)

      Despite its well-documented, long-term decline – largely brought about by off-shoring to low labour cost countries (LLCCs) – reports of UK manufacturing’s demise have often been greatly exaggerated. Certainly today, in common with other mature developed industrial economies, manufacturing represents a smaller proportion of the economy than it once did, both in terms of GVA (gross value added) and employment.