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Technology That’s Changing the Manufacturing Sector

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Technology That's Changing the Manufacturing Sector


Manufacturing is changing, as you might expect since the world is becoming more programmable and efficient.

The German government has coined the term manufacturing 4.0 to account for some of the significant changes happening in the sector. The changes in manufacturing are likely to enhance production by making it cheaper and more efficient. 

Ultrafast 3D Printing

3D printing has been around for a while now, but it is not extensively used in the manufacturing sector due to productivity constraints. In comparison to traditional injection molding techniques, 3D printing is time-consuming and expensive as layer upon layer of plastic must be printed out. 

That’s not the case with ultrafast 3D printing. This technology is called high-speed sintering, and it’s revolutionizing the manufacturing sector. Instead of waiting for plastics to be printed and fused, the sintering process uses inkjet heads to print faster and an infrared lamp for fusion.  

Internet of Things 

3 Tools To Ensure End To End Security During The Implementation Of Your IoT Project

The Internet of things is slowly taking over the factory floor as well as many modern homes. There are clear advantages to having everything integrated, such as efficiency, security, flexibility, and productivity. But the IoT also allows manufacturers to enhance their products. 

Uses AI technology and IoT companies can offer a more bespoke service to customers. Take the auto industry as an example; if the spec of order changes during the production process, changes can be carried out during manufacturing by updating the modeling system on the IoT.    

Lifting Gear 

When it comes to the manufacturing sector, some things never change; there will always be some need for lifting equipment in this sector. Lifting equipment includes things such as winches, hoists, beam clamps, and trolleys, lighting chains, hydraulics, and lifting jacks. 

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If you operate a business in the manufacturing sector, you need a reliable supplier of Lifting Gear. The reason is two-fold. Quality lifting gear is needed to ensure you provide the best service to customers, but reliable lifting gear is also needed for safety and compliance reasons.   

Light-Based Manufacturing

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Presently, robots are required to create circuit boards used in computers, devices, and other products. These robots are good at soldering small parts into place for circuit boards, but they can be expensive to operate. Now, there is a new technology called Light-Based Manufacturing. 

Light-Based manufacturing describes the process of using light to manipulate components in liquid. You might have to use your imagination a little bit until you encounter this technology for yourself, but rest assured that it facilitates the large-scale production of parts at far lower costs. 

Embedded Metrology 

Quality control in the manufacturing process is very important; unfortunately, it is also an expensive process that requires time, attention, and dedication. Presently, machines are programmed to select items at random for testing, and then the entire batch is validated. 

Embedded meteorology is a fast and convenient solution that measures parts within the production process without human interference in the production line. This technology is still somewhat manual, however, but things are changing with more automated factory solutions.



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TECHNOLOGY

Why it’s time to ‘embrace the discomfort’ with cloud vendor lock-in

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Why it’s time to ‘embrace the discomfort’ with cloud vendor lock-in


Vendor lock-in, alongside security, are issues that have pervaded IT and software procurement, whether computing has been centralized or not. In the era of the cloud, with benefits ranging from scalability to speed, the hoped-for panacea has turned out to be less than expected.

For a while, the vendors and analysts thought they’d cracked it with the gloss of multi-cloud. At the start of 2018, Cloud Academy issued a whitepaper that looked to separate multi-cloud strategy from the hype. More than 80% of enterprises reported ‘moderate to high’ levels of concern about being locked into a single public cloud platform, according to a Stratoscale survey of the time.

Cloud Academy’s conclusion: it can help, but it is not a requirement. “The key to staying flexible even within a single platform is about the choices you make,” the company noted. “Building in degrees of tolerance and applying disciplined design decisions as a matter of strategy can ensure flexibility and portability down the road.”

For Dave Moore, chief innovation officer at technology consulting firm Growth Acceleration Partners (GAP), many companies are thinking about vendor lock-in from the wrong angle. The key concerns include the data themselves, flexibility and portability, but perhaps the most important is speed.

Moore emphasises a quote attributed to the late Eric Pearson, formerly chief commercial and technology officer at Intercontinental Hotels Group: it’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow. 

“If you can go ahead and commit to one [provider], and not worry about being locked-in, go for the speed,” he says. “Let’s start making mistakes because we’re going too fast, not because we’re going too slow.”

Moore takes aim at the idea of “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) for cloud in a blog post, seen as a viable way to move workloads across vendors. When it comes to the portability of Java – about which the original slogan was coined in the 1990s – then no problem. But while your code can be portable if it’s running in containers, the database service, distributed cache or message queue on which your stack also relies is more difficult to sort.

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“This idea you can write once run anywhere – good luck with that,” says Moore. “If you manage to accomplish that, it’s going to take you three times as long anyway for that to work.” He adds, in a not entirely unserious manner, that if you are able to achieve true WORA for cloud, then you must pivot to that solution as your main product as it will be much more valuable than your current one.

If you are a startup, then the multi-cloud approach is likely to be a non-starter due to lack of resources and time anyway. But if you are a larger organisation, then the call may come to explore more than one of the big three – AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform – if not all of them.

Moore tells a story of his time at EA, who was all-in on a single provider, when his studio was in the final stages of a releasing a game seven years in the making. EA, as the overall publisher — who tends to mandate which technologies can be used — sent a diktat to explore being able to run in other providers. Moore’s response? Sure — just add another three years to the timeline.

Scalability is the cornerstone for cloud customers, being able to spin up VMs and workloads at will. For the providers, it is this data play that is their cornerstone. Ingress is free, but egress incurs a charge. 

According to a 2018 survey taken at the Gartner Symposium, up to 95% of business and IT leaders said they saw cloud billing as the most confusing part of public cloud adoption. To give a simple example, if you wish to transfer 25 terabytes of data, this would be in the ballpark of $2,500 per transfer. 

For those looking at egress charges and squirming, Moore notes there is little that can be done. “They’re not stupid,” Moore says of the cloud providers. “They’ll say ‘give me your data’, because moving that out is going to be ‘kerching’, and so that’s where they’re going to get you.

“The sad part of that is there’s no real solution, other than keeping your data on-prem; then you’d have latency issues and all sorts of problems like that,” Moore adds. “So that’s one of those where you just think ‘we’ll have to pay for that when we get there.’ But look at it this way – the costs of doing that are minuscule compared to trying to create something that would work in multiple providers.”

Ultimately, there is no true panacea, just a series of not perfect options. Contrary to popular belief, Moore believes, going all-in with cloud-native is the least-worst of these options.

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“The main thing is to just embrace the discomfort,” adds Moore. “At some point, you’ve got to decide who you’re going to marry.”

For more information about Growth Acceleration Partners, please visit www.wearegap.com.

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