L.S. Starrett's DataSure 4.0.Click image to enlargeby staff writer

Advances in Industry 4.0 technology make it easier for smaller shops to get on board

Industry 4.0 has been a hot topic for years, but there is ambiguity about if small and medium-sized businesses can leverage the technology in meaningful ways. 

The main advantages gained through Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology come from optimization. With margins tight and contracts competitive, optimization helps smaller shops improve scheduling, quoting and costing in ways that were once only available to much larger firms. And it doesn’t require a massive retooling—it can often come incrementally through planned upgrades, and it’s available from products you may not expect.


Liquidtool Systems' Liquidtool Manager, an intelligent solution for monitoring coolants.Click image to enlarge
A cut above
L.S. Starrett has launched a system of remotely reporting sensors and gauges. It operates on the latest wireless networking technology using short-wave radio frequencies to connect cell phones, computers and wireless electronic devices, enabling the speed, bandwidth and range a manufacturer would need when retrofitting an operation as opposed to revamping the shop floor. Known as DataSure 4.0, it uses multiple gateways for data collection, where conventional systems generally use just one. This flexibility will come in handy for any shop looking to avoid a massive investment in digital infrastructure.

Coolant management
Another area that small and medium-sized shops can see significant ROI is in coolant management. A machine’s coolant can tell you a whole lot about your process efficiency, machining accuracy and tooling choices—it’s like reading tea leaves, except wetter and not safe for consumption. 

CoroPlus Machining Insights platform from Sandvik Coromant.Click image to enlargeWith this in mind, Swiss company Liquidtool Systems has introduced Liquidtool Manager, an intelligent, IoT-based solution for monitoring coolants. It’s unique in that it combines a plug-and-play sensor with a cloud-based platform for intelligent, automated measurement. This kind of innovation can help many smaller metalworking companies take a crucial step to Industry 4.0.

Wear and tear
Speaking of tooling, many tooling companies now provide tooling data management systems. Better tooling management has a significant impact on machine uptime. Sandvik Coromant’s research has found a 20 per cent increase in machine utilization can provide a 10 per cent higher gross profit margin. Manual tool monitoring can only get you so far, which is why Sandvik developed its CoroPlus Machining Insights platform.  The software connects CNC machines  and transmits more information than a machine itself is capable. This includes manufacturing data to improve workshop efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). What makes this kind of innovation so valuable to smaller shops is that it isn’t limited to new machinery. Most machines are able to connect to the network, and adapters make older machines compatible. Integrating this level of Industry 4.0 technology with legacy hardware is the kind of game changer smaller shops need to make the leap into Industry 4.0. SMT

In-line measurement: Assessing the benefits

by Mary Scianna

In most instances, the type of measurement system you use in your manufacturing operation is determined by your production parameters.

Metrology: Hand and Eye

by Andrew Brooks

3D quality inspection benefits from optical and contact metrology

Nikon Metrology: Anti-mould microscope design

Nikon Metrology Inc.'s latest stereoscopic microscope, the SMZ-745, is an airtight, anti-electrostatic and anti-mould designed microscope that prevents samples from being damaged by electrostatic discharge, as well as contaminants such as dust and water.

Multisensor measuring for complex parts

Carl Zeiss's O-Inspect multisensor measuring machine offers easy, accurate and efficient measurement of complext parts, claims the company.

Washers eliminate oil and contamination on metal parts

Automatic Feed Co.’s coil-fed high-pressure hot water washers eliminate oil and contamination on aluminum and various metals that can cause visible part defects during the stamping process. 

ERP in the cloud

Cloud computing continues to transform the ERP landscape

By Andrew Brooks

In the early days of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, one of the main complaints customers had was that the sheer scale and complexity of the software made implementation difficult and error-prone. Early failure rates were high. And small to mid-sized enterprises were left out; these costly, massive, one-size fits-all solutions were beyond the reach of all but the largest customers.

A quality edge

by Mary Scianna

Multisensor technology gives Ontario blow mouldmaker a competitive edge

Mistakes are costly in manufacturing, and in today's competitive environment, your mistake may mean a new customer for your competitor.

Mark Cadogan joins Renishaw Canada as machine tool product business manager

Effective January 2019, Mark Cadogan is joining Renishaw (Canada) Limited as machine tool product business manager. Mark has long experience in manufacturing, specifically in CAD/CAM. Although based in Windsor, Mark will be responsible for managing the Renishaw machine tool probing business throughout the whole country.

Great Expectations

by Noelle Stapinsky

Using R&D to go beyond demand to supply future needs 

A Lean Culture

by Noelle Stapinsky

Simple lean strategies keep small to medium shops flowing and competitive

Linear measurement on long machine tool axes

Heidenhain’s new LC 200 linear scale sets new standards in linear measurement on long machine-tool axes. 

Test Flight

by Mary Scianna

Quebec aerospace centre focuses on productivity solutions for SMEs

Energy grab

by Tim Wilson

Seizing opportunities in the energy and resource markets

Fueling Future Demand

by Noelle Stapinsky

Will pent-up demand give a spark to the energy and resources value chain?

Untapped Talent

by Noelle Stapinsky

Canadian manufacturers need to diversify to answer the need for more skilled workers

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn