Advanced Factories 2018: This is digital manufacturing


CATEGORY: Fairs, events BRAND: Advanced Factories

Machine-tools, robotics, digitalization and Industry 4.0 will be the stars of the next edition of Advanced Factories. This first date with the industrial sector in 2018 will offer, in addition to an interesting mix of exhibitors, the Industry 4.0 Congress, which includes conferences by executives from Airbus, Arcelor Mittal, Amazon, Ariane Group, Bosch, General Electric and Swarovski.

Advanced Factories, the industry’s date with the automation sector and new digital solutions, is scheduled in Barcelona’s CCIB International Conventions Centre from the 13th to the 15th of March. For three days, Barcelona will host the most innovative exhibition of machine tools, robotics, additive manufacturing, technologies and software for the industrial sector, focussed on improving competitiveness and the path to its digital transformation.  This event will also host the Industry 4.0 Congress, where you will find technological innovations for factories of the future, from advanced technologies to new business models, based on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things or cybersecurity. As Albert Planas, the Director of Advanced Factories, says, “The European Industry 4.0 Congress is preparing a program aimed at exposing the innovations that will allow industrial companies to reduce production costs, expand their portfolio of products and services and improve competitiveness in the context of interconnected industry”. The program includes groups of sessions centred on different themes, of which the most important are those related to industrial equipment and new production processes, applied digital technologies and product personalisation, which will be presented simultaneously in three different auditoriums, allowing a broad range of concepts to be treated covering the latest trends in industrial technology.



Among the most significant speakers in the Industry 4.0 Congress are Xavier Ferras (ESADE -UVIC), who will talk about the social implications of Industry 4.0; Thierry Rayna (Polythecnique Paris), who will speak about Design Thinking and how it opens the door to new business models; Arnd Schirrmann (Airbus), who will cover systems in production technologies and digitisation of one-off elements; Claudio Kanter (GE), who will explain how a world player like GE is embracing Industry 4.0; Nicolas de Abajo (Arcelor Mittal), commenting on the application of digitisation in a traditional sector such as iron and steel; or Hans Michel Krause (Bosch), on how innovation impacts the components industry in an advanced digital factory.

The show, which attracted 9,745 professional visitors last year, expects an increase of 20% this year, and has increased the exhibition area and designed a program of activities that make it an obligatory date for all professionals in the industrial manufacturing sector. Apart from the Congress itself, the program of activities includes key items such as the Leadership Summit and the Factories of the Future Awards, that offer recognition to the work, leadership and transformation of business that seek to innovate and adapt to the new era of Industry 4.0.



The new digital tendencies with most impact in the manufacturing sector

The industrial sector continues to evolve in giant steps driven by the digital transformation, and industrial factories must adapt to this rhythm immediately to keep up with the demands of the market. Companies are developing new industrial automation systems, more digital, more advanced, riding the wave of the current technological revolution in the sector in an on-going transformation process.

According to IDC Manufacturing, the biggest global analyst in the industrial sector, the six technologies that will have most impact in the short term are:


1. Advanced Digital Manufacturing. Automation, machine tools, control systems, predictive maintenance and intralogistics should be based on the new digital environment to improve productivity and product personalisation.


2. The Internet of Things (IoT). The epicentre of the industrial transformation. The manufacturing industry is a leader in the IoT because of the way this connectivity technology has simplified and improved many manufacturing processes. The vision of an interconnected factory with more intelligent machines, more innovation by product manufacturers, or quick, constant service are some of the more competitive advantages.


3. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Factories with integrated Artificial Intelligence systems are more efficient in providing relevant data for both sides of the supply chain, increasing production capacity by 20%. With integrated AI systems, quality of service is no longer affected by the efficiency, production costs are reduced and the results obtained are optimised.


4. Robots. In today’s world, robots are increasingly able to imitate human abilities such as dexterity or memory, becoming ever more useful in industries such as manufacturing. Robots also provide safer working environments for humans, since they can be used in situations that are hazardous or unsuitable for humans, and can also take over routine or unpleasant tasks. Robots, and automation in general, are essential to improve speed and efficiency, allowing companies to optimise work flows.


5. Industrial Big Data & the Cloud. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be 50 times as much digital contents as there is now. To increase flexibility and administrate Big Data and analysis processes, many companies are opting to move content into the cloud and optimise their requirements for storage, administration and processing. In the digital era, data is simplified and IT processes become faster and more productive.


6. Additive Manufacturing – 3D Printing. This offers new possibilities in the design and manufacture of parts and moulds. The reduction in production costs and inventories is also very significant, with the possibility of reproducing any shape, and with minimum investment for short production runs.


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