Festo were pleased to support the recent EEF Manufacturing Connect Event on exploring the 4th Industrial Revolution held at Lambert Engineering. This series of EEF events are hosted at manufacturers' facilities and include a factory tour, enabling best practice and information sharing with peers. The agenda explored the evolution phase of the 4IR journey, the practices and solutions manufacturers have adopted to optimise their operations, improve connectivity, communication and access to data to ensure greater productivity and future growth.
Festo was invited to present its Industry 4.0 journey as a supplier and end user. Warren Harvard, Product Manager for Electric Automation at Festo, presented how Festo is evolving with Industry 4.0 with its customers. His presentation focused on how Festo is applying the latest Industry 4.0 technologies within our Scharnhausen plant, an Industry 4.0 smart factory concept, to reduce manufacturing costs and increase production flexibility. Examples included digital maintenance, energy management and the use of collaborative robots. Warren also discussed the related Festo Bionics research and development programme, what Festo has learnt from this on areas such as autonomy, swarming behaviour, energy efficiency, collective behaviour and self-learning and how these findings have been reflected in its approach to the smart factory.
Festo also took it's Multi-Carrier-System (MCS) to the event - an Industry 4.0-ready linear motor track system, jointly developed with Siemens. The MCS is an adaptable, modular transport solution for manufacturing and production, combining linear motor and mechanical guidance technology from Festo with Siemens’ extensive controls expertise. It delivers unparalleled levels of flexibility and can be easily incorporated into existing processing and packaging environments. The MCS addresses the acute need for flexibility in modern manufacturing and production environments driven by increasingly complex product diversity, shorter product life cycles and growing levels of mass customisation.
The event covered the latest insights into the challenges and benefits of 4IR, solutions businesses can implement today, opportunities to network and solve problems and discussed a Lean Benchmark report to help focus improvements for maximum value. It was attended by those responsible for creating and deploying a strategy which focuses on profitable business growth, already on the 4IR journey and want to explore current practices and solutions to adopt and those wanting to ensure they're investing in improvements that maximise performance.
Martin Strutt, EEF consultancy director, said: “4IR is happening and the UK’s success in this global industrial transformation will hinge on manufacturers’ strategies and ambitions. “4IR goes far beyond simply investing in new technologies and techniques – this new era requires cultural shifts, new business models and the ability to adapt and innovate. “Manufacturers are ready to do the heavy lifting, but their efforts must be supported across the sector and supply chains are backed up by Government through its new industrial strategy. If we get this approach right, then the UK can expect to be at the forefront of this global industrial wave.”
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