Tag Archives: Industry 4.0

Robotics, 3D printing and the Internet of Things: Using new tech to boost industrial efficienc

New technology has always fueled the country’s industrial sector. That hasn’t changed. In fact, advances in technology are playing an even bigger role as retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart continually tweak the way they get their products to their customers or retail outlets as quickly as possible.

Chicago Industrial Properties recently spoke with two commercial real estate experts – Noah Shlaes, managing director of the strategic consulting group with Chicago’s Newmark Knight Frank, and Todd Steffen, managing director of supply chain and logistics with the Chicago office of Colliers International – about the ways in which changing technology is making the distribution process a more efficient one.

Chicago Industrial Properties: All this new technology is a wonderful tool. But can having access to so much of it become overwhelming for industrial users?

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Supply chain optimisation using technology in manufacturing

Technology-enabled processes are providing manufacturers a bird’s eye view of the entire supply line. This comes with its benefits and challenges

Location is no longer an indicator of taste—whether in the food you eat, the clothes you wear or the furniture you buy. It is not outlandish to demand guacamole in Mysore, distressed jeans in Bikaner or an IKEA sofa in the heartland of Matheran.

The exponential improvement in the price performance of the digital and machine learning infrastructure is a key driver of adoption (Shutterstock.com)This is at least partly because the processes that used to frame the production of a good—whether a pail of paint or a bottle of antiseptic lotion—are no longer limited by their proximity to material, the ready availability of freight-fit highways or the closeness of distribution centers. Increasingly beholden to customer’s changing tastes, they are instead moving continuously outward to include more functions that render the modern supply chain more global, complex and diverse and yet also more agile, efficient and productive.

Actively driving this trend forward is technology. Dominated by big data, cloud and IOT, technology-enabled processes are providing manufacturers a bird’s eye view of the entire supply line that is at once far more comprehensive in its reach as well as far more detailed in its scope simply due to enhanced visibility.

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Industry 4.0: Changing the way the world designs and manufactures

History shows us that emerging technologies have influenced previous industrial revolutions, unlocking new possibilities that advance the human race and unleashing unprecedented economic potential.

Whether harnessing the power of water and steam to mechanize production, using electricity to create mass production or designing electronics and IT to automate production, the only constant in the ever-evolving manufacturing landscape is the role of emerging technology as an opportunity for reinvention.

We’re on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, one that promises to be greater and more disruptive than any that has come before. The blending of the digital and physical worlds through 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other digital manufacturing technologies will profoundly change the way we live, work, and interact with one another.

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Where does 3D printing lie within Industry 4.0?

As 3D printing continues to make inroads from product design right through to the manufacturing floor, Dr Phil Reeves offers an insight into where the technology is making the biggest impact in the next industrial revolution.

Strakka Racining's race-ready cockpit dashboard panel, 3D printed in thermoplastic material using Stratasys' FDM 3D Printing Tech.3D printing – or additive manufacturing – has evolved to a manufacturing process that continues to allow a plethora of companies in an increasing array of sectors to enjoy new manufacturing efficiencies; including on-demand production benefits and significant time-to-market reductions.

As recent analyst reports suggest, additive manufacturing is now established as a highly-regarded technology, with McKinsey & Company stating that the industry could be worth around US$100-$200bn.

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