Recent Factory Automation News for July 18, 2023

, by Jim Ryan, 1 min reading time

Steel prices are being discussed this week, as their months long decline seems to have stopped about three weeks ago. Steel news explains here and here, invoking increased nickel prices and stainless steel scrap prices, along with production restrictions in the Tangshan province of China (restrictions of 30% to 50% on sintering intended to reduce smog levels in the summer months). An article at Oil Price offers other insights, and Michael Cowden at the Fabricator discusses further (linking back to this Fabricator piece by David Schollaert written just before prices stopped their decline.)

Speaking of steel, distributor Alro Steel, which bought Klein Steel Service (Rochester, NY) last year, has just bought metal services provider Heimansohn Steel (Clarksville, TN).

OMR Global predicts a steep increase in the market for industrial wireless communications for industrial automation over the next six years, owing to the Industry 4.0 and smart factories trend (on which, follow links in this post). The article sports a photo of robots doing some welds on an automobile. This news should be evaluated only after thoroughly considering detailed reports on the steep rise in cyber attacks on manufacturers, such as this one by Anna Ribeiro. For instance, 2022 saw an attack on Toyota supplier Kojima Industries that caused Toyota to shut down 14 plants in Japan.

On that note, Audi intends to reduce the likelihood of such attacks by moving to more centralized, server-based system for worker-support software, instead of the more decentralized architecture. More on this system - Edge Cloud 4 Production (EC4P) - here. If you noticed the term "edge," then perhaps you're guessing that EC4P is edge computing; it is.

A sheet metal fabricator in Ohio is reporting 200% increase in production after turning to cobots for its TIG and MIG welding.

In case you missed it, robotic welders will be sealing nuclear waste containers.

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