The advent of 5G technology is a highly anticipated tech innovation, particularly in the manufacturing sector, which is poised to benefit greatly from this development. With promising benefits such as super-fast connection, low latency, ultra-reliability, more bandwidth than Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, and support for thousands of devices in one location, no wonder everyone is excited about 5G technology.
With 5G, you can browse the Internet ten times faster, download a full-length movie in less than a minute and stream crisp, clear 4K video. However, the full potential of 5G technology can only be realized when the extent to which it can fundamentally change the manufacturing sector is established.
To understand how 5G technology can revolutionize manufacturing, we’ll talk about how 5G is set to transform the industry.
Asset management is a broad term that can be applied in numerous contexts, from facilities to finance. In a manufacturing context, it includes all efforts to ensure that tangible assets — including buildings, equipment, tools and so on — are properly operated and maintained throughout their whole life cycles.
Blog Transcribed from Video by Ryan Neuman for Radwell International
My name is Paul Fashaw and I’m a Logistics Breakdown Specialist. I am assigned to ensure that the orders that our company receives from their vendors are accurate and that they match their purchase order. I also need to make sure that the material that we receive is in good condition and acceptable.
How did you develop your work ethic?
My work ethic developed as a child. I started a job at 9 years old as an order boy at Acme markets. At the of 21, in 1954, I entered the military and served for four years before I was honorably discharged in 1958. At that time, I started in the workforce as a computer operator. I continued to work in that capacity in the data processing field for 55 years. After I retired I began working at Radwell International. I’ve been here 13 years and I continued to use my work ethic at Radwell as a Breakdown Specialist. I need to ensure that all the orders and materials that the company receives are according to our specifications. It’s very interesting and I enjoy my work.
My name is Matt Gingell and I’m Radwell International’s Building & Aquarium Maintenance Associate.
My main responsibilities are taking care of over 40 fish tanks. Right now we have 42 that are up and running. That's a total of 7,300 gallons of water.
One of the larger fish tanks is the one embedded in the wall of Brian Radwell’s office. It’s a 650 gallon fish tank that features South American, African, and Central American Cichlids. However, there is also one huge Gourami who is a community fish but is definitely in charge of the tank.
Video Transcribed by Ryan Neuman for Radwell International
A Day in the Life is an ongoing series featuring a glimpse into a typical work day for a Radwell employee. Get a behind the scenes look at Radwell headquarters through the eyes of different employees in various departments.
Our first episode features Sean Boyce, a Centralized Receiving Support at Radwell International headquarters in Willingboro, NJ.
Robots are a critical part of today’s manufacturing. Keeping them running is a high priority, while minimizing downtime for repairs is essential.
In places like automotive plants, the robots can be massive, so sending them out for repair is not an option. Typically, when something goes wrong with one of these large machines, the problem can be traced back to a single component—a board or drive, a human-machine interface (HMI), a programmable logic controller (PLC) or a touchscreen, for example. Once the customer identifies the component that has failed, the next step is sending it out for repair or replacement.
Radwell International, a leader in industrial repair, distribution and surplus automation, maintains a $2-billion surplus, which is a great cost-effective alternative for a customer with a machine down. This this surplus also allows for their Engineering Department build efficient test fixtures. This huge on-site inventory of parts and robots means technicians can put the part in question through a full-load test in the same model robot as the one the customer uses. As a result, Radwell’s customers have confidence in the repairs and replacements because they know their components have been thoroughly tested. Radwell can also repair or replace teach pendants, control panels and any of the control components, as well as other parts such as servo motors.
This surplus and testing capability sets Radwell apart from its competitors and greatly enhances its capacity to quickly test components and replacement parts, so that its customers are up and running again as soon as possible. The extensive testing enables Radwell to offer its customers a two-year warranty (compared to the industry-standard of 12-18 months), and also keeps the warranty rate very low (4 percent versus the 6 percent industry average).
Watch a short video about the company’s robotic repair and test capabilities featuring the Kawasaki UX120F, a robot that improves production line efficiencies and general industry and automotive applications. The Kawasaki UC120F is just one of the many robots Radwell has available to test components.
In the business climate of today, it’s no longer an option to run a manufacturing facility as greenly as possible- it's a necessity. With the rising cost of doing business, finding ways to help the environment and reduce costs is a new standard. It's a standard that many are working hard to achieve in their daily business operations.
For manufacturing facilities, with their large working spaces and equipment-driven operations, going green can be even more critical. Finding ways to help the environment can be challenging but there are four simple ways to make a decent level of “green” impact:
A collaborative robot or cobot is a robot designed to assist humans as a guide or helper in completing a specific task or set of tasks. A regular robot is designed to be programmed to work mostly autonomously. In contrast, a cobot is programmed to work alongside a human in a helpful capacity. Depending upon the capacity, having a robotic "helping hand" can make a big difference in terms of productivity.
Non collaborative robots are designed to work autonomously. In fact industrial robots are far too dangerous to share space with humans and have been linked to many fatal accidents. They are great at performing monotonous jobs and complete heavy lifting but when they make contact with humans they can cause serious injury.
Collaborative robots, on the other hand, are designed to work alongside humans and can even complete tasks that help prevent injuries with the humans they work alongside. The most advanced cobots are functionally flexible so they can switch quickly between a range of tasks. They even emulate humans and, in some instances, respond to facial expressions to understand what is expected. It's fascinating to consider that technology has progressed to the point where a human facial expression can help a robot "think" and respond to a given task.
Technology has evolved beyond merely driving efficiency in the workplace and has moved towards enhancing the capabilities of a workforce by becoming a collaborative partner. Wearable robotic devices and smart machines have enabled man and machine to work together. The teamwork approach leverages capabilities of both humans and machines to create a most effective and efficient partnership. Cobots fit well into this equation. In fact, for some organizations, cobots can literally transform an entire operation.
How do you know if cobots are a great fit for your company?
Cobots are mostly used to boost performance, and this can be valuable in just about any industry that exists. Any type of environment in which things can be automated with human/cobot collaboration would be suited to introducing or building collaborative robots into existing workflow. Based on technological advances, cobots seem suited to both repetitive tasks, as well as, a series of changeable tasks. Odds are good this will only improve over time.
Companies that produce cobots are even planning for future needs. What works in an environment today may need to be greatly expanded in the future. By producing robots that can gain expanded capabilities to match growth and future need, robot manufacturers can help companies in any industry save time and money. They can also gain efficiency as it is required. A company that invests in cobots for their organization today will continue to benefit from expanded capabilities moving forward because of today's designs with the future in mind.
Collaborative robots are manufactured today in a way that is very effective. They are built so that they are easy to set up, flexible to work with, safe, and cost effective for various business types and sizes.
Once cobots are well established in industrial environments, they'll probably begin to appear in domestic environments too. Of course, this will present new challenges that will have to be overcome. Some day robots may serve humans breakfast, but while the challenges are being overcome, breakfast may end up in a human's lap until the kinks are worked out (see "The Breakfast Machine" below). Progress takes time. It will be interesting to see how things evolve.
It’s been 51 years since the birth of the Programmable Logic Controller. We look back at the history of the PLC and how replacing hard wired relay systems changed the world of manufacturing.
It was the year 1964 when a young cunning engineer, Dick Morley, was unemployed, had a new baby, a mortgage to pay and only $1,000 in the bank. Morley had previously worked a desk job designing atomic bombs, aeroplanes and communication systems performing the duties he was instructed to do. Morley did not enjoy his job, and, at that time, he had no plans in the pipeline to create such an influential piece of automated equipment. After finding his passion for skiing, Morely quit his job and focused on his hobby which eventually lead him to engineering ideas.
Morley eventually opened up his own professional consulting firm with friend Geogre Schwenk under the name ‘Bedford Associates’’ located in Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. Morley and Schwenk worked with local machine tool firms to help them evolve into the new, solid-state manufacturing sphere. Unfortunately, as his firm progressed, he began to notice that each project he worked on was practically the same; the manufacturing industry was using similar minicomputers and Morley found himself bored.
With his creativity and his engineering motive to ‘make things work’, Morley started to wonder if he could invent a controller which could automate industrial process with multiple input/output arrangements in real time. This would alternately replace the likes of hard wired relay control systems.