Smart Factory Expo 2018: Top tech showcase

On 14-15 November, some of the best tech in the world will be on view inside Exhibition Centre Liverpool at the Smart Factory Expo – part of The Manufacturer’s Digital Manufacturing Week.

We asked some of them to describe what they are most proud of exhibiting. This is but a small sample of the technology that will be on display, to help UK manufacturers improve efficiency, productivity and profits.

CNC Robotics

Visit CNC Robotics at the Smart Factory Expo on stand B34
Visit CNC Robotics at the Smart Factory Expo on stand B34.

Despite the enormous economic potential of automation, only a small percentage of UK manufacturers have a strategy to embed robotics in their businesses due to the significant financial investment required.

Many small-to-medium manufacturers don’t require a vast automation system. The nature of their business is high tech, small volume with fast turn-around times. A large investment and setup costs for a bespoke robot system often makes implementation prohibitive.

To that end, CNC Robotics have launched Multi³, a new smart product for smaller manufacturers to embrace robotic technology into their workshops. It is a brand-new concept in industrial robots.

Essentially, it is a simplified, ready-to-use automated system that can be introduced into any manufacturing workshop in the UK and overseas. This new ‘plug and play’ machining and trimming solution improves productivity and accuracy at a fraction of the cost of a large bespoke robotic system.

The Multi³ is a flexible product whose shape can be configured to fit a workshop space. Its design allows for it to be either a standalone product or to be incorporated into multiple modular options creating a full streamlined production process.

This customisable, movable and adaptive system enables production processes to be more efficient. It is also more cost effective than traditional machining tools, thereby transforming productivity for a relatively low outlay.

We are also offering this unique robotic solution through a hire option. This allows small businesses to manage cash flow, have less upfront capital outlay and peace-of-mind maintenance and support included in one price.

‘Robots-as-a-service’ lowers the technical and financial barriers to implementation and provides a route to scale and embed automation with ease.

Visit CNC Robotics at the Smart Factory Expo on stand B34

Digital Manufacturing Week - The Manufacturer Smart Factory Expo 2017 - image courtesy of The ManufacturerSee for yourself how digital technology could future-proof your operation and drive better business decisions by attending Europe’s largest digital manufacturing event – Smart Factory Expo.

14 – 15 November | Exhibition Center Liverpool

Last year, the two-day event attracted more than 4,000 industrial decision-makers. This year, we’re on track to host 6,000!

Secure your free ticket today

Pryor Marking

Visit Pryor Marking on stand B12
Visit Pryor Marking on stand B12.

Pryor will showcase High-Speed Production Line Laser Marking with the innovative Non-Stop ‘Marking-on-the-Fly’ System.

Pioneered with the UK automotive industry, components moving along a production line are precision laser engraved with a unique ID in as little as 0.5 seconds. Camera verification can be used to ensure the laser mark, such as a Data Matrix code, meets industrial standards.

The Pryor software used to achieve this high-speed ‘Marking-on-the-Fly’ automatically adjusts the marking position on the component, relative to the current speed of the production line, resulting in a mark quality identical to a stationary mark.

Component marking without stopping the production line flow has a huge impact on cycle time; maintaining critical cycle times is a massive advantage to customers.

The Pryor team have extensive experience designing and manufacturing advanced laser marking systems, as a key partner to a number of major automotive brands, which are integrated with existing production lines.

At the show, Pryor will demonstrate the new laser application by personalising pens for visitors to take away. Visitors to the Pryor stand will see how Data Capture Software and Precision Marking Equipment can be used to quickly and easily implement an Industry 4.0 solution to production processes, asset tracking and traceability.

With unique IDs marked on assets, components, work stations or tooling, manufacturing data can be quickly collected and collated. Items can be tagged with production information, monitored for process improvements or updated during service.

Pryor software achieves data capture, process control and production monitoring with fully networked ‘big data’ records for every component, assembly or product. This level of control cuts money, waste and time associated with recalls.

Pryor’s range of UK-manufactured precision marking equipment will be demonstrated on the stand. Pryor leads the market in providing dot peen marking equipment for traceability in every part of the factory or in-the-field work; from portable hand-held units to industrial bench-top and integration units.

Pryor specialises in delivering solutions, which integrate with existing shop-floor and production line environments.

Visit Pryor Marking at the Smart Factory Expo on stand B12

ProGlove

New Index Trigger - image courtesy of ProGlove.
Visit ProGlove on stand P65.

ProGlove creates smart gloves for the manufacturing and logistics industries. These smart gloves help the worker in the warehouse or at the assembly line do their job faster and safer.

Workers can act in a safer, easier, and more efficient way, increasing the overall quality and efficiency of what they do. The integration of the scanning processes into natural hand movements also leads to a more ergonomic way of working.

The Mark One S system consists of two parts: the glove (or wearable), the mark (the scanning device), and an access point. There are three different wearables: the Standard glove, the Longlife and the Index Trigger.

All three are available for left- and right-handed workers and come in sizes from small to large to make sure that everyone can comfortably work with them.

The mark is a detachable device that is placed on top of the glove. This robust industrial-strength module with a 2D barcode camera offers the worker instant feedback. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours and weighs a mere 35 grams.

Automotive and manufacturing companies across Europe are already using ProGlove’s smart gloves to improve their efficiency. The Mark One S is used by companies such as BMW, IKEA, and Porsche in their plants, and saves their workers four seconds per scan.

Visit ProGlove at the Smart Factory Expo on stand P65

Sorion Electronics Pick-to-Light system

Sorion Electronics will be showcasing their Pick-to-Light system. Reliable and flexible, Pick-to-Light is an effective error-proofing solution designed to maximise quality and prevent mistakes in manual parts picking, kitting and assembly tasks.

It utilises light-directed picking modules to guide operators to the correct parts, quantities and pick sequences with significantly higher levels of accuracy than paper-based picking methods.

Pick-to-Light allows for integration with guided assembly systems and assembly jigs to help improve production efficiency through a system of visual and intuitive work, ensuring the quality and traceability of assembly operations. Another key benefit of the system is its flexibility to adapt to constant changes in production systems.

The Sorion team will also be on hand to share insights from their experience in designing and building electrical test and guided assembly systems for major OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers around the globe.

Visit Sorion Electronics at the Smart Factory Expo on stand F2

Croft Additive Manufacturing

Visit Croft AM on stand P20
Visit Croft AM on stand P20.

We specialise in the additive manufacture (AM) of complex metal components. The component is built, layer by layer, which delivers design freedoms enabling components to be built to add value such as improved performance, light weighting, multi-part-to-single-part simplification and supply chain value.

Croft has delivered prototypes, low-volume production runs, sets of parts, complex parts and tooling, as well as delivering cost savings to customers through decreased lead times and the production of parts without tooling.

We have supplied to food and beverage, pharmaceutical, bespoke manufacturers, oil and gas, chemical, motorsport and aerospace industries.

Croft specialises in the design of bespoke industrial AM filters. When filters are used in a process they create resistance and therefore more pumping energy is required.

We have used AM design freedom to deliver novel innovative filters that have decreased resistance by aligning the holes in the filter to the fluid flow, in an arrangement that cannot be manufactured conventionally (component A).

This Straightliner filter has decreased pressure drop across the filter across all flow rates compared to a conventional filter design and so has decreased pumping energy requirements, thereby delivering lifelong cost savings and decreased carbon footprint to the end-user.

We have used latticework to create filters that have both support and apertures formed at the same time to increase filtration efficiency (component B). Metal AM manufacture has allowed a new method for the production of wedge wire filters, which have a long lead time worldwide.

Croft’s innovations here are in the design of the wedge and support to include shapes that add value to the flow through the filter that are not achievable conventionally (component C).

Alterations in design using AM can increase the functional areas of the filter and this increase leads to a larger open area for filtration, which increases filter efficiency (component D).

Our innovative range of AM-fabricated filters has improved function and combined complex multi-part designs into single-part ones. This resulted in decreased weight and lead time to deliver benefits to end users through costs savings in their use, maintenance downtime and rapid delivery within the supply chain.

This added value has arisen through the layer-by-layer manufacturing process of metal 3D printing. The opportunity is now here for customers to ‘Design for Additive Manufacturing’ to gain fromthis technology.

Visit Croft AM at the Smart Factory Expo on stand P20