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Smart Manufacturing from CAD to Cobots to Cartons: A Must-See Demo at HPE Discover

By Steve Fearn

Distinguished Technologist, HPE Pointnext

We are fondly nicknaming this the Intelligent Factory – it’s a demo of some of the amazing things that are happening in manufacturing right now, and how HPE is helping companies get big results from the industrial Internet of Things. As we often say at HPE, the future of manufacturing is connected, automated, and digitally driven; if you’d like to see what that looks like, join us at HPE Discover 2018 Madrid, coming up November 27–29.GettyImages-163254331_super_800_0_72_RGB.jpg

The Intelligent Factory will demonstrate digital closed-loop manufacturing in action, from initial design, to assembly, to quality assurance and packaging for shipment. HPE Pointnext has master integrated an end to end demo that showcase HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems – powerful compute designed for a demanding life out on the shop floor – networking technology including location based services from Aruba, an HPE company, to get data flowing around the manufacturing cell and back to the data center when needed, and integrating partner solutions from ABB, PTC and Relimetrics to automate, troubleshoot and shorten product development cycle leveraging sensors, augmented reality and IoT.

Here’s what you’ll see in the demo:

  1. A computer-aided design desk. The familiar CAD family of technologies is evolving at a phenomenal pace in response to the rise of the IIoT. We will showcase our partnership with CAD software leader PTC and the capabilities of their Creo product design solution. We’ll demonstrate how engineers can very quickly render three-dimensional images of the physical products they want to create.
  2. An assisted manufacturing station. The product design now passes to the assembly stage. We’ll show how Vuforia, PTC’s augmented reality (AR) platform, helps workers on the factory floor understand how to complete an assembly, even for a product they’ve never seen before. As demands for customization at the point of manufacture increase, so does the need for more efficient ways to support line workers, especially for complex assemblies. Human eyes can supply only so much detail. But Vuforia’s AR platform can provide the detailed visual information and instructions that workers need, so they don’t have to go through a manual training exercise for every new product configuration.
  3. A packaging and QA station. We’ll be partnering with Zurich-based industrial tech leader ABB for this part of the demo, which features one of their YuMi human-sized, dual-arm robots. We’re going to train it to pick up the product, pop it into a carton, and close the lid – and hopefully give demo visitors a high-five! Not a common move for a robot, that last one, but I like to think of these devices as cobots – they’re really co-workers operating side-by-side with the humans, with incredible precision.

From there, the product moves to a quality assurance unit which checks that the packaging is correct, that the contents are correctly placed, that the box is closed properly, and so on. We’ll be running a video quality analytics system for this part of the demo. We’ll also show how you could manufacture boxes with the appropriate packaging information on them, on-demand. As a box at the packaging end becomes full, a signal goes back to the packaging manufacturing station, at the beginning of the process, to make another container.

Safe handling of industrial-strength data

Many of the processes that the demo illustrates are extremely data-heavy, of course, and the analytics should happen as close as possible to where the data is generated. The processing of video images for quality assurance, for example, should happen at the Edge, so you don’t have an enormous video feed streaming back to the data center, where most of it will likely be discarded. The HPE Edgeline systems provide plenty of compute muscle to handle the processing on-site, save an image to show that the product was assembled correctly, and provide structured data wherever it's needed via the Aruba solutions.

HPE Pointnext has the experience and expertise to help your company take advantage of these HPE technologies, as well as solutions from our extensive partner ecosystem. Many of the industrial leaders that I talk to are excited about a future where usage of their products is communicated back to them via the Internet, enabling them to improve the design for the next generation of output and produce it more efficiently. But they're not always entirely sure how to start building that cycle.

Which is not surprising, given the number of moving parts. Launching into digital manufacturing means thinking about solution configurations, and about integration with your existing shop floor systems. It means thinking about how you’re going to control your information flows, in much the same way you control your production flows.

That’s where HPE Pointnext comes in. We can support you at every level of your evolution as a digital enterprise. And we can bring the right partners. We believe that IoT is a team sport; no single player has all the answers. An open, collaborative approach to innovation is essential for delivering world-class manufacturing solutions, and that’s always been part of HPE’s DNA.

Join me in Madrid

I hope to see you at HPE Discover, November 27-29th in Spain. As mentioned, you’ll likely find me at the demo, officially titled “DEMO402: Accelerate Manufacturing: Advancing automation and collaboration at the Edge” (see description below). I’ll also be leading a theater session titled on Tuesday 11/27 from 13:00-13:30: “T6807: Can technology build technology? The DNA of your next server may have genes from video analytics, AI and robotics.” Looking forward to connecting.

To learn more about how HPE is helping our customers embrace IoT to drive smarter operations in manufacturing and other industries visit our HPE Industrial IoT page.

Smart Manufacturing at HPE Discover Madrid

  • DEMO 402: Accelerate Manufacturing: Advancing automation and collaboration at the Edge: The future of manufacturing is connected, automated and digitally driven. As plant floor technologies converge with IT, a host of use cases become possible to drive efficient operations, reduce downtime and improve worker productivity. Learn how HPE and our partners are teaming to create smarter factories through integration and process automation. This demo showcases a live production line and allows participants to donate a working solar light to a family in need, providing them safer, cleaner light through HPE’s partnership with SolarAid.
  • SESSION T6807: Can technology build technology? The DNA of your next server may have genes from video analytics, AI and robotics: The digital factory is not a dream of tomorrow. Today, Hewlett Packard Enterprise is using video analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence to improve server quality at the production facility in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. Steve Fearn, Chief Technologist on HPE’s Pointnext team, will showcase how HPE and Foxconn utilize Relimetrics video analytics and artificial intelligence from gantry-mounted cameras to improve and verify quality of HPE products.

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About the Author:Steve Fearn b&w.jpg

Steve Fearn is a Global Distinguished Technologist & IOT Industry leader he divides his time between working with customers and partners to integrate IoT Initiatives and solutions into their business strategies, developing solutions for HPE and its partners and as a technology evangelist. You can follow him on twitter for real-time updates and behind-the-scenes: @Fearnie.  


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