A recent report from ABI Research, presented this year at Hannover Messe, shows the major changes in industrial trends through 2018. Here are the key takeaways:
The marketplace is still focused on step one of connection—bringing assets online and retrieving data—not the second step, analyzing that data and using it to make decisions.
As often happens, automotive technology is moving into the industrial space, acting as a “lighthouse segment” for digital platforms. Technology utilized in automotive is trickling down to tier 1 and 2 providers.
5G and LTE are considered more beneficial than wireless, but 5G is among the many technology solutions which are in beginning stages rather than anywhere near practical use.
Customers are torn over whether cloud or edge computing are effective for mission critical data, but it is slowly becoming more trusted and integrated.
Artificial intelligence is still a big part of conversation in industrial applications. Intelligence for most of these companies is defined as machine learning, complex automation, and predictive maintenance, areas in which traditional industrial providers are bumping up against new companies dedicated to the AI space specifically.
The future of modern manufacturing relies on more than next-generation technologies to optimize the factory floor. Engaging and empowering the next-generation workforce is the key to undergoing a successful digital transformation, and it starts with rethinking underlying business processes and human resources (HR) policies.
The workforce is a critical part of the digital transformation, not just a beneficiary of it. Manufacturers can digitize their plants with all the technology they want, but unless business leaders consider the expectations and needs of employees—both hourly and salaried—as part of a holistic digital transformation strategy, manufacturers may find their workforce uninspired and unprepared to drive innovation and deliver the business results they expect.
It’s vital for manufacturers to understand the dual-importance of fostering a tech-friendly work environment and investing in their people resources.
Additive manufacturing is as guilty as any industry of guzzling its own Kool-Aid and giving people the idea that it’s all very, very simple: put in your CAD file, press a button, wait a bit, and here comes your finished part.
But as with all new technologies there is always a learning curve required to be able to apply the technology to its fullest.
It helps if we remember the value of any new innovation is directly proportional to the problems it solves, the efficiencies it brings to a process, or the opportunities it makes possible.
From that perspective 3D printing is one of the biggest bonanzas of all time. But while many of the companies I’ve worked with have 3D printers, they were bought in a kind of piecemeal fashion.
The engineers have their printer, the production people have another printer, and maybe the designers have still another.
A genuine three- to five-year additive manufacturing strategy doesn’t exist for most companies; certainly not the smaller ones.
And while it’s easy to interpret that as a criticism, it’s not. It’s a reflection on the complexity of the technology as it is today and what it takes to transform your business to fully leverage the benefits of 3D.’
The ionization energy of carbon is, however, 11.3 eV (reminder: we are carbon-based lifeforms).
That’s a factor of nearly 10,000 higher than the highest energy mmWave photon. Indeed, the NYU study concluded, “Unlike much higher frequency ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma radiation, mmWave radiation is non-ionizing.”
A paper from Infineon also concluded, “The highest photon energy of a mm-wave photon is 1.2 meV while the photon energy needed to remove an electron from its atom is around 12 eV, meaning that mm-wave photon energy is 10,000 times less than what is needed to be ionizing.”
My first conclusion is that we can eliminate any deleterious effects caused by ionization.
Like life, our industries tend to run in rhythms, and right now, we are in a good rhythm. We are working on some “meaty” projects that the optical communications industry needs now.
Although membership is strong right now, I believe in maintaining a “healthy paranoia” about the future. I’m personally always worried about what to address next, and we’re currently holding conversations and looking at what we should identify as future work.
We need to identify projects at the right time because once you have pent-up demand for a standards project, it’s almost too late.
Being too late creates competing efforts by other organizations and, in addition, companies will start to develop their own solutions rather than wait for an industry standard.
That results in fracturing of the industry and confusion for the users. If you work on something too soon, then the definition or project assumptions may not be quite right.
While we work hard on current projects, we also need to keep an eye on what’s coming next.
Researchers have successfully 3-D printed a miniature heart complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers. The engineered organ—crafted using “ink” made from the patient’s cells and biological materials, according to Bloomberg’s Michael Arnold—marks the first time scientists have moved beyond printing simple tissues lacking blood vessels.
The impressive prototype, newly described in Advanced Science, is roughly the size of a rabbit’s heart.
Still, lead author Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University explains in a statement, “larger human hearts require the same technology,” raising hopes that the technique can eventually be adapted to create functional heart patches or even power full organ transplants.
The Satellite Navigation (SatNav) market has seen tremendous growth in recent years with our constantly-connected, Google Maps-driven society contributing to a huge increase in the number of devices connected to navigation satellites.
A combination of technological development, increased proliferation of SatNav-enabled devices, and the ever-growing frequency with which we are connected will contribute to new ways in which SatNav is utilized.
Historically having played a crucial role in military applications, SatNav has increasingly become an important part of the civil and commercial markets.
SatNav will also see geopolitics play an increasingly important role, particularly between the United States and China.