Article | January 4, 2022
So much emphasis has been placed on features, advantages, and benefits; too little attention has been paid to delivery dates. The best automation solution on paper means nothing if it cannot be delivered in 2022. Selling the sexy sizzle of new, clever, even remarkable AGVs means nothing if manufacturers and distribution centers cannot take delivery of the product until 2023. Throughout industrial manufacturing and distribution the lead time from many AGV manufacturers is more than a year. That means product ordered in Q1 2022 will not be delivered until the following year. That is an absurd lead time and reflects poor planning and unnecessary supply chain constraints.
Article | November 23, 2021
Having recently returned from Uganda, had the pleasure of being introduced by Bernard Munyanziza of Nziza Hospitality to Gilbert Atuhire. He is the Managing Director at Value Addition Microfinance Ltd. which provides micro loans to producers and manufacturers.
Atuhire is an attorney by training, however his ability to articulate the core values of Lean Six Sigma and continuous process improvement were abundantly clear. The Kampala, Uganda offices are located on Parliamentary Avenue and Dewinton Rise. This central location allows direct access to industrial projects.
Article | January 20, 2022
A smart factory that leverages Industry 4.0 concepts to elevate its operations has long been a model for other industries that are still figuring out how to travel the digital manufacturing route. Smart manufacturing technology is all you need to know if you're looking to cash in on this trend.
“Industry 4.0 is not really a revolution. It’s more of an evolution.”
– Christian Kubis
In this article, we'll look at the advantages that many smart factory pioneers are getting from their smart factories. In addition, we will look at the top smart factory examples and understand how they applied the Industry 4.0 idea and excelled in their smart manufacturing adoption.
Industry 4.0 Technology Benefits
Manufacturing Industry 4.0 has several benefits that can alter the operations of manufacturers. Beyond optimization and automation, smart manufacturing Industry 4.0 aims to uncover new business prospects and models by increasing the efficiency, speed, and customer focus of manufacturing and associated industries.
Key benefits of Manufacturing Industry 4.0 in production include:
Improved productivity and efficiency
Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing
Better agility and adaptability
Improved customer experience
Reduced costs and increased profitability
Creates opportunities for innovation
World Smart Factory Case Studies and Lessons to Be Learned
Schneider Electric, France SAS
Schneider Electric's le Vaudreuil plant is a prime example of a smart factory Industry 4.0, having been regarded as one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world, utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a large scale. The factory has included cutting-edge digital technology, such as the EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to accelerate operation and maintenance, resulting in a 2–7% increase in productivity. EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor's initial deployment saves up to 30% on energy and contributes to long-term improvement.
Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes, Ireland
DePuy Synthes' medical device manufacturing plant, which started in 1997, just underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to better integrate digitalization and Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing. Johnson & Johnson made a big investment in the Internet of Things. By linking equipment, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (referred to as “digital twins”). These digital twins resulted in sophisticated machine insights. As a result of these insights, the company was able to reduce operating expenditures while simultaneously reducing machine downtime.
Bosch's Wuxi factory's digital transformation uses IIoT and big data. The company integrates its systems to keep track of the whole production process at its facilities. Embedding sensors in production machinery collects data on machine status and cycle time. When data is collected, complicated data analytics tools analyze it in real-time and alert workers to production bottlenecks. This strategy helps forecast equipment failures and allows the organization to arrange maintenance ahead of time. As a consequence, the manufacturer's equipment may run for longer.
The Tesla Gigafactory, Germany
According to Tesla, the Berlin Gigafactory is the world's most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant. On a 300-hectare facility in Grünheide, it produces batteries, powertrains, and cars, starting with the Model Y and Model 3. For Tesla, the goal is not merely to make a smart car, but also to construct a smart factory. The plant's photographs reveal an Industry 4.0 smart factory with solar panels on the roof, resulting in a more sustainable production method. On its official website, Tesla claimed to use cutting-edge casting methods and a highly efficient body shop to improve car safety. Tesla's relentless pursuit of manufacturing efficiency has allowed them to revolutionize the car industry.
The SmartFactoryKL was established to pave the way for the future's "intelligent factory." It is the world's first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production facility, demonstrating the value of high-quality, flexible manufacturing and the effectiveness with which it can be deployed. The last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been guided by particular strategic objectives that drive innovation; the aim is to see artificial intelligence integrated into production. Two instances of AI-driven transformations include an "order-to-make' mass customization platform and a remote AI-enabled, intelligent service cloud platform that anticipates maintenance needs before they occur.
Enabling smart manufacturing means using the latest technology to improve processes and products. The aforementioned smart factory examples are industry leaders and are thriving by implementing Industry 4.0 technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use these smart factory examples to learn about the adoption process, challenges, and solutions. Industry 4.0 is aimed at improving enterprises and minimizing human effort in general. So adopt the smart factory concept and be productive.
What is the difference between a smart factory and a digital factory?
The digital factory enables the planning of factories using virtual reality and models, whereas the smart factory enables the operation and optimization of factories in real time.
Where does Industry 4.0 come from?
The term "Industry 4.0" was coined in Germany to represent data-driven, AI-powered, networked "smart factories" as the fourth industrial revolution's forerunner.
Article | November 12, 2021
Robotics industry growth has accelerated rapidly across several industries. It has aided manufacturers in overcoming numerous barriers related to real-time communication, workplace safety, and overall manufacturing cost and timeliness. However, if we trace its history back to 1961 when George Charles Devol introduced the first robot, dubbed 'UNIMATE,' it has exponentially grown and utilized across sectors to make operations more effortless, precise, and faster.
“As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.”
– Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
However, the industry has seen snags or difficult times due to market fluctuations, unfavorable situations, and the need to remain competitive in the drive for expansion. To thoroughly understand the robotics industry, let us examine each component that surrounds it.
Industrial Robotics Global Market Size
According to recent Allied Market Research studies, the global industrial robotics market was worth $37,875 million in 2016 and is expected to reach $70,715 million by 2023, rising at a 9.4% compound annual growth from 2017 to 2023.
Industrial Robotics Market Analysis
The global industrial robotics market is primarily driven by a global increase in labor costs, which has compelled firms to replace human labor with robots. As a result, Asia and Europe are the world's fastest-growing areas, with top companies such as ABB, Fanuc, KUKA, Kawasaki, and Yaskawa Electric Corporation headquartered in the region.
The global market of robotics has been segmented by its type, industry, and function.
Soldering and Welding
Electrical & Electronics
Healthcare & Medicine
Assembling & Disassembling
Rubber & Plastics
Painting and Dispensing
Others if any
Machinery & Metals
Cutting and Processing
Food & Beverages
Precision & Optics
Others if any
Others if any
Industries That Are Pioneering the Use of Robotics
As we have observed, the global robotic market will continue to rise in the future years. Therefore, let us examine which industries will extend their use of robotics in their operations.
Healthcare & Medicine
Medical robots help surgeons optimize hospital logistics and free up the working staff to focus on patients. In the healthcare field, robots are revolutionizing surgery by speeding supply delivery and disinfection and freeing up time for doctors to interact with their patients.
da Vinci System – A General Surgical Robot
The da Vinci System is a surgical robot that focuses on a wide range of urological, bariatric, and gynecological surgical treatments. In addition, Stryker's MAKO System also specializes in orthopedic surgery, specifically partial and total knee replacements.
The da Vinci SP system is cleared for use in the United States exclusively for single-port urological procedures, lateral oropharyngectomy (often referred to as radical tonsillectomy), and tongue base excision.
Police robots are meant to gain access to areas inaccessible or dangerous to first responders, and they are capable of manipulating items and gathering data using several technologies. It encompasses robots capable of operating in various conditions and displaying a range of data and communication capabilities.
Agriculture & Food Industry
Farm equipment is now routinely equipped with sensors that utilize machine learning and robotics to identify weeds, compute the appropriate quantity of herbicide to spray, or learn to detect and pick strawberries, for instance.
Additionally, in the food business, robotics has been used to do repetitive tasks such as picking and placing food items and cutting and slicing food items during any given food item. For instance, the modern bakery business uses robotics to perform traditional craft skills and produce any product in large quantities while maintaining high quality and hygiene standards.
The transportation sector is highly leveraging robotics. The powerful transport capability, advanced control technology, and sensing precision are some of the benefits that make the transportation robots widely utilized in this sector. These benefits from robotics help the sector convey various commodities in factories, restaurants, and medical institutions, among other locations.
Robots are employed in manufacturing to do repeated jobs and streamline the overall assembly process. Additionally, robots and humans can also collaborate on product making. Robots can replace humans for hazardous tasks or processes that need large quantities of materials, which might be hazardous for a human employee to handle.
Factors Sustaining the Growth of the Robotics Industry
Reduces Manufacturing Costs: Robotics application in all industries reduces the overall manufacturing process running costs.
Improves Product Quality: The precision of robotics throughout the manufacturing process helps produce high-quality items that meet target client needs.
Offers Competitive Market: Increased income due to utilizing the benefits of robotics applications makes any industry more competitive.
Speed-ups Production Time: Robotics speeds up production and helps manufacturers increase output.
Offers Task or Process Flexibility: Robotics can weld, cast, mold, assemble, machine, transfer, inspect, load, and unload items, among other duties. So, it gives the manufacturer process flexibility.
Reduces Excessive Use and Waste of Production Materials: Robotics employs the exact quantity of material required for the manufactured product, reducing waste and overuse of materials.
Offers a Safe Working Place: Robotics improves employee health and safety by performing tasks that humans find risky. For example, in the chemical industry, a human employee may not do a hazardous task. In such instances, robots can replace people.
The rise of the robotics industry has accelerated dramatically, and it is now spreading its wings across industries. Research firm IDC provided a projection for the commercial robot market, forecasting that the market will exceed $53 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 20%. In addition, several advantages of robotics such as safety, productivity, uniformity, and perfection are pushing its expansion and making it an essential element of industry 4.0.
Why are robots the future of the manufacturing industry?
The use of robots in manufacturing has improved process efficiency and product quality. As a result, robots are gaining favor in production and becoming the future of manufacturing.
Which industries make the most use of robotics?
Healthcare, agriculture, food, and manufacturing are the industries that are embracing robotics to get the most out of it.
How is manufacturing utilizing robotics?
Manufacturing uses robotics for repetitive tasks. This helps in the reduction of errors and human efforts. It also improves production efficiency.
"name": "Why are robots the future of the manufacturing industry?",
"text": "The use of robots in manufacturing has improved process efficiency and product quality. As a result, robots are gaining favor in production and becoming the future of manufacturing."
"name": "Which industries make the most use of robotics?",
"text": "Healthcare, agriculture, food, and manufacturing are the industries that are embracing robotics to get the most out of it."
"name": "How is manufacturing utilizing robotics?",
"text": "Manufacturing uses robotics for repetitive tasks. This helps in the reduction of errors and human efforts. It also improves production efficiency."