Connect with us

Manufacturing

How Digital Construction Platforms will transform construction sites

Published

on

Photo by Patrick Schöpflin on Unsplash
Photo by Patrick Schöpflin on Unsplash
Share this:

The world of construction and building is changing fast thanks to the use of robotics. Robots have the potential to build faster and more accurately than people, and they signal the digital transformation of the industry.

There have been various innovations with robotics for the building industry. Robot bricklayers that seem to outperform any human. Drones can now build walls by transporting one brick at a time. Things are really set to change, however, through new technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Digital Construction Platform

The innovation is called the Digital Construction Platform (or simply ‘DCP’). It may not look like much to begin with, resembling a flattened crane-like construction equipped with solar panels. Yet it is the latest in both robotic tasks and 3D printing (and outfitted with wheels). The DCP is used to produce structures for building sites, from scaffolding to materials that go into the building itself. Many of the designs produced would have been very difficult for construction workers to fashion using traditional methods.

The chief application of DCP is to design and digitally fabricate multifunctional structures. This means a device like the DCP could transform the way that homes, offices and other structures are built, as the video below reveals:

The video shows how the DCP robot built an igloo-shaped building half the diameter of the U.S. Capitol dome. And it did so all by itself in around 14 hours.

How it Works

The DCP design may not look like much bit it’s effective. The robot, Science Magazine reports, consists of a large hydraulic arm on motorized tank like treads. Towards the end of the arm is a smaller electric arm for finer movements. These two systems implement a micro-macro manipulator robot architecture akin to the biological model of the human shoulder and hand. The arm takes swappable tools for tasks like welding, digging, and 3D printing. The combined reach of the arms is an impressive 10 meters.

Furthermore, the DCP is capable of light printing, excavation, welded-chain construction, and additive fabrication with the Print-in-Place process. With the printing, the robot has a maximum printable volume of 2,786 cubic meters.

What’s Next for DCP?

The brains behind DCP, Dr. Steven Keating, told TechCrunch where things will go next: “Our future vision for this project is to have self-sufficient robotic systems. Just like a tree gathers its own energy, our platform is being developed toward the design goal of being able to gather its own energy. We’ve shown that through photovoltaic energy. And being able to gather and use local materials.”

Robotics have been a little slow to come to the construction world, unlike with car production. Now, however, robotics is set to radically change the building trade through speed and innovation, at least according to CBC’s technology analysts. This comes with an initial hefty price tag. If you want a DCP device it’ll cost $244,500.

More details about the design and functionality of DCP are detailed in the journal Science Robotics. The research paper is titled “Toward Site-Specific and Self-Sufficient Robotic Fabrication on Architectural Scales.”

Share this:

Manufacturing

Manufacturers are recognizing the need to find new efficiencies

Recent data from Oden Technologies shows that 94% of manufacturers have seen significant changes in demand.

Published

on

Share this:

“The challenges facing the manufacturing industry seem to be never-ending.” 

So begins the introduction to The State of Manufacturing: CEO Insights, the new report by Willem Sundblad, co-founder and CEO of intelligent industrial automation company Oden Technologies.

This year, of course, is no exception. “As we enter a period of economic uncertainty, manufacturers are recognizing the need to find new efficiencies and ultimately make more with less,” Sundblad continues.

Featuring both data analysis and insights from industry experts, Sundblad’s report examines current challenges in manufacturing, takes a look at the future, and reflects on the state of digital transformation in the sector.

Challenges facing manufacturing

One of the key findings is that 94% of manufacturers have seen significant changes in demand. Production schedules have no-doubt shifted in the short term, and these companies are “leveraging new technologies to streamline production and maximize capacity.” 

Manufacturers are also feeling the pressure of market uncertainty, as well as making profitability sustainable for the long term.


“Lean startup mentality and incremental growth with a return to fundamentals are crucial in battling through a changing marketplace as well as tsunami-like risks,” said David Rosen, CEO and founder of Kira Labs.  

Looking ahead

When looking to the future — an uncertain one that has been drastically altered by COVID-19 — the report identifies three main areas of focus for manufacturers:

  1. Optimizing production processes
  2. Improving workforce effectiveness
  3. Decentralizing the supply chain

How will they approach these? According to the numbers, 63% of manufacturers say “enabling more remote employees through digital technologies will be an outcome of the pandemic.” Another big focus? Cross-training and streamlining.

“Digital transformation will drive new processes and business models as manufacturers look toward the future,” explained Joe Morgan, founder & CEO of siY. “On the supply chain side, we will likely see a trend toward less globalized supply chains and more focus on local sourcing.”

DX in manufacturing

As we’ve previously reported (here, here, and here), COVID-19 has added major fuel to the digital transformation fire of organizations. And manufacturing is no different. 71% of respondents saying the pandemic has accelerated their DX journeys. 86% report having a designated DX leader — which is great, considering the critical importance of strong leadership to transformational efforts.  

“Embracing these new systems are all indicators that technology continues to be a space that has untapped opportunity for growth,” said Julie Copeland, CEO of Arbill. “I think that manufacturers will also investigate other emerging technology, including finding ways to utilize augmented reality.”

Share this:
Continue Reading

Manufacturing

What you need to know if you’re attending MWC Los Angeles 2019

MWC Los Angeles 2019 is one of the newest and fastest growing events in the U.S. that brings together leading companies and influential experts from all sectors within the mobile technology industry to advance Intelligent Connectivity – a fusion of 5G, IoT, AI and Big Data.

Published

on

Share this:

MWC Los Angeles 2019 is one of the newest and fastest growing events in the U.S. that brings together leading companies and influential experts from all sectors within the mobile technology industry to advance Intelligent Connectivity – a fusion of 5G, IoT, AI and Big Data.

The event is an opportunity to discover how leaders like Cognizant are looking into the future of connections, content and commerce.

To help you prepare, here is a selection of articles, case studies, ebooks, and clips from Cognizant, discussing digital transformation:

  • Learn Cognizant’s 4 key success factors to Industry 4.0 transformation. For starters, lead with strategy, not the technology. Watch the video here.
  • AI, Machine Learning, and IoT are ensuring the efficacy and efficiency of one of the most demanding engineering projects in the world. Learn how Cognizant helped Norwegian offshore engineering firm Kvaerner adopt these digital technologies.
  • The promise of Industry 4.0 is compelling, but for many traditional manufacturers, the reality is less than ideal. In this new Cognizant report, find examples of manufacturers that are navigating the shift.
  • It’s all about speed: Insight from Cognizant on how 5G will transform the business sector and create a leadership race for data intelligence.
  • Not all smart factories are created equal: Cognizant takes stock of the state of IoT intelligence, and what industrial organizations need to ensure both digital maturity and success. Read more here.
  • The many touchpoints of IoT connectivity allows AI to really shine, and prove its value to manufacturers in the form of proactive preventive maintenance, says James Jeude, VP in Cognizant’s Digital AI & Analytics Strategic Consulting Group, in this piece.
  • The human factor in IoT intelligence is key: Connected employees can “dynamically manage situations as they change,” explains Cognizant’s AVP of engineering and IOT solutions Phanibhushan Sistu.
  • The leap to IoT is a necessary one for your organization. This Cognizant ebook looks at 14 such businesses that jumped confidently into the digital future.
  • It took less than 12 weeks for Cognizant to implement an IIoT platform for a leading global industrial manufacturer. Get the case study here.
  • Without the duo of IoT and the Digital Twin, your organization is living in a black-and-white outlined world, in terms of operational intelligence. Color it in, get more accurate predictions, and fully realize potential.

One session to highlight? “5G and IoT – Understanding the Relevance to Your Business,” featuring Senior Director, Cognizant Digital Business, Prashanth Bhushan. This session will examine how the impending mass availability of 5G networks is set to mark a major step forward in extending 5G applications to various vertical industries and fields beyond traditional telecom and mobile internet.

MWC Los Angeles 2019 takes place October 22-24, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. 

Share this:
Continue Reading

Manufacturing

IoT + PLM = Product Intelligence: An equation that delivers monetization opportunities

In the equation IoT + X = Intelligence, what role does product lifecycle management play as the X factor?

Published

on

Share this:

Consumers are fickle. 

Today’s hot must-have can easily fade into obscurity tomorrow. Most products don’t even make it out to the playing field, and instead languish on the sidelines. The B2B world is not much different. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) however, manufacturers are gaining a better peek at the product lifecycle beyond their distribution warehouse and leveraging that intelligence to their advantage.

Case Study: Advancing Smart Manufacturing Operations Value with Industry 4.0 Platform

PLM matters

More often than not, manufacturers make educated guesses at what consumers want. Sure they rely on surveys and calibrated focus groups but too often they’re still skating on thin ice with data snapshots. Product manufacturers rely on past sales records, future trend forecasts and hope design comes up with a nifty new gadget. They then execute strategic marketing and finally keep fingers crossed for best outcomes. 

The problem with such an iterative pattern is that the process is more or less opaque once the product leaves the manufacturer. Today’s product lifecycle management delivers much-needed transparency to the trail a product follows not just from concept and design and sales but on to how the consumer actually uses and disposes of it. 

And it does so through IoT. An IoT-embedded device relays product information to the mothership long after it has left the point of sale so manufacturers can gain insight into usage patterns and other data. While PLM has always followed the trail of breadcrumbs that products leave, IoT now allows for a longer and more useful trail. 

[Download]: A New Approach to PLM

IoT + PLM

“With IoT live product feedback has become possible. The [data] gap that existed between when we have sold a product and when someone discards that product…that gap has now been connected by IoT,” says Jagmeet Singh, Director, Connected Products, at Cognizant. 

Businesses use cloud technologies to analyze the data that IoT-embedded products spit out and reap a whole host of benefits. Manufacturers access instant feedback about feature design – in an age of user-centered design, this is a big deal – and price points. Product design now needs fewer reboots and manufacturers can produce with more confidence.

The introduction of IoT and associated data analytics expanded the use of Product Data as a Service (PDaaS), where larger sets of metadata about products are now available to be harvested, right from raw materials used, to manufacturing processes to quality control and beyond.

Simply by following the IoT trail (and obtaining all-important user permission), manufacturers can monetize information about product usage to secondary vendors who might benefit from related information. A computer manufacturer, for example, can sell valuable information about the heat exchanger, the battery, the Bluetooth connection to satellite providers who can use this as intelligence for their own sales and marketing promotions.

IoT breathes new life into PLM extending the line beyond the four walls of the warehouse to the real world where live data from every user shapes future product iterations.

IoT + PLM = Customer intelligence. With sharper data based on usage patterns, manufacturers can anticipate customer needs better and deliver they want. The result is more revenue and less waste. IoT lets PLM realize its full potential.

[Download]: Advancing Smart Manufacturing Operations Value with Industry 4.0

Share this:
Continue Reading

Featured