Advanced Engineering 2017 attracted an impressively broad selection of manufacturing industry leaders and innovators. There was certainly a strong sense of excitement about the great things the industry will achieve in the not-so-distant future – not least the challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital revolution.

In some ways, it feels like the future of digital manufacturing is already here – and it’s imperative that companies like BOC continue to anticipate trends and deliver the innovations required to exploit them.  To this end, we’ve distilled the show’s (many) highlights into five key themes:

Advanced Engineering 2017 – five key takeaways

1: Automation – from device level to population level, this was the show’s overarching theme. We saw an impressive range of live applications and prototypes.

2: Robotics – it’s an undeniable reality that robots are the future of engineering, but they’re not necessarily going to replace human engineers any time soon.

3: Digitalisation – This will play a key role in process automation and compliance, especially in relation to how we gather and manage data.

4: Industry 4.0 – As technologies converge, the possibilities multiply.  We expect to hear a lot more about ‘smart factories’ using connected manufacturing, and cyber-physical tools very soon (research by The Manufacturer suggests 64% plan to invest in ‘Industry 4.0’ within the next 12 months).

5: Data – How we gather, store and use data now influences almost every part of our business, from cutting costs to winning contracts.

I was lucky enough to speak at the event, around the importance of welding data automation and the benefits of our new cloud-based process management tool; AVANTO™. Welding data automation is becoming critical – particularly as compliance with industry best practice is becoming the difference between winning and losing contracts. But the way you gather, store and access your process data isn’t just about meeting industry standards, it can drive significant efficiency benefits across your business, saving time, money and labour.

You can find out more about AVANTO™ here – including a six-month free trial offer we’re currently running for businesses who need to comply with EN 1090 standards.  As well as showcasing AVANTO™, the BOC team previewed a number of other latest innovations, including:

ADDvance™, a pioneering tool for metal additive manufacturers (3D printing), that measures and modifies the level of O2 and humidity within a laser metal fusion printer chamber.

CRYOCLEAN®, an innovative, fully-automated cleaning process which produces CO2 snow particles on demand, for effective dry cleaning of plastic components.

EVOS™ DCi, a smart digital valve, cylinder and guard package, which vastly improves efficiency and safety through data intelligence.

You can discover more about our work in the manufacturing sector here.

 

Stuart Wilders

Advanced Manufacturing Specialist