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5 for Friday: IDEA Awards Voting Starts; Create a Lights-out, Sustainable and Efficient Operational Strategy

July 21, 2023
Machine Design takes a look at the week past, and a look ahead to the issues facing the design and manufacturing sector.

1. IDEA Awards Give Engineers a Voice

Voting for the annual IDEA Awards is now under way, and it’s a showcase for the latest manufacturing innovations. It’s also a chance for our engineering leaders in design, operations and maintenance to show that kinds of product debuts best align with their needs in the plant.

As manufacturing systems become increasingly integrated, the views from all members of the manufacturing floor team are crucial to get consensus on how to turn technology into productivity. The IDEA Awards will celebrate those products that best meet those ideals, so your vote will be crucial. Here’s a link to the voting form, so get started on your ballot as soon as possible.

2. Bringing Sustainability from the Boardroom to Ground Level

On the subject of integrating your plant operations, we’re seeing a greater use of sensor data, edge and cloud computing and artificial intelligence to deliver the clearest picture yet of the full potential—and place for improvement—in any plant. As a new Machine Design article notes, smarter use of sensing technologies can drive energy efficiency and enable electrification.

3. Productivity Shines in the Dark

The concept of “lights-out manufacturing” isn’t a common production strategy, but the technology is there to move us closer to that concept.

As Jerry Perez, executive director of global accounts and manager of business development at FANUC Americas notes in a new Machine Design special report on the topic, lights-out manufacturing is “more doable and more feasible for companies to begin that journey by taking their existing equipment and adding some central devices to get equipment communicating.”

Perez and Kevin Cradduck, director of operations at Fabco-Air, a Festo company, will further enlighten you to the concept of lights-out manufacturing at a webinar that will be moderated by Machine Design Editor-in-Chief Rehana Begg. The webinar will be on demand starting Monday.

4. Driving IT/OT Convergence for Efficiency and Uptime

A July 27 Machine Design and IndustryWeek-hosted webinar sponsored by Copia Automation will discuss how modern DevOps processes standard to IT teams can now be applied to industrial automation projects, providing unprecedented visibility into PLC and control device projects, enhancing communication and collaboration while leading to reduced errors and increased productivity. We will discuss how you can align IT and OT as it relates to your PLC and control device projects, both for source control and automatic backup of running devices.

It's one of a number of great Machine Design webinars now available. Some of the other topics:

For more details on Machine Design’s popular webinar series, click here.

5. The Five Key Drivers of a Successful OEM Partnership

A culture of innovation and consultative support adds up to better machine performance. A new Machine Design e-Guide, produced in conjunction with Schneider Electric, discusses the five key drivers that help build a successful OEM partnership and how Schneider Electric can help you achieve it.

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