Software is Key to Realizing the Idea of a Dark Facility

July 24, 2023
A robot is plastic, steel, wires, glass, rubber, etc. The software is its brains, and without the software brain to control it, “it’s just a statue.”

Other Videos in This Series

Guy Courtin, vice president of Industry and Advanced Technology at supply chain software and services business Tecsys Inc., spoke with Sharon Spielman, technical editor at Endeavor Business Media’s Machine Design, about the concept of a dark, or “lights out” facility. 

In this third part of a four-part video series, Courtin talks about the notion of AI, machine learning and big data and how software really is the key to the future of a dark-factory concept. He looks at the parallel paths of mechanics alongside software. 

Controlling the data is also a concern. Software providers, integrators and consultants all want to become the player that controls all of it. “Why? Because if I control all of that, commercially, that puts me in a very strong position,” he says. “At a mass level, we need to figure out the software.”

READ MORE: R&D Spotlight: Manufacturers Automate Through Robotics  

Courtin asks, “How do we leverage things like smarter or artificial intelligence? How do we leverage things such as much more or much more plentiful data? Can we get access to more relevant data?”

More Lights-out Manufacturing Coverage

Barely There: Replacing Manual Operations with Lights-out Processes

Dark Factories: Science Fiction or Reality?

Lights-out Manufacturing: Myths Versus Realities

About the Author

Sharon Spielman | Technical Editor, Machine Design

As Machine Design’s technical editor, Sharon Spielman produces content for the brand’s focus audience—design and multidisciplinary engineers. Her beat includes 3D printing/CAD; mechanical and motion systems, with an emphasis on pneumatics and linear motion; automation; robotics; and CNC machining.

Spielman has more than three decades of experience as a writer and editor for a range of B2B brands, including those that cover machine design; electrical design and manufacturing; interconnection technology; food and beverage manufacturing; process heating and cooling; finishing; and package converting.

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: @sharonspielman

X: @MachineDesign

Facebook: Machine Design

YouTube: @MachineDesign-EBM

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