If you’ve ever received a package from an online retailer, you probably didn’t give the protective packing material a second thought. You opened the box, removed your order, and discarded everything else.
Integrators love a good challenge, and automotive OEMs and suppliers never disappoint. Not only do these two groups expect integrators to meet increasingly high production goals and come in or under budget. They also rely on integrators for creative solutions to all types of automation problems.
Large companies and small towns are sometimes a perfect fit. The most well-known example of this is Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is the world’s largest retailer but is headquartered in tiny Bentonville, AR.
At some point during a philosophy 101 class, college students learn about Aristotle’s belief that the best way to understand something is to break it down to the smallest components. For an increasing number of manufacturers and integrators, however, the best way to assemble a product is to use a machine built with modular automation components that quickly and easily fit together.
In the nautical disaster movie, “The Perfect Storm,” three weather fronts converge off the coast of New England to create one of the fiercest storms in U.S. history. A similar convergence is occurring in the manufacturing world today. It’s called Industry 4.0 and it promises to transform the way that engineers design and build products over the next two decades.