Thursday, September 21, 2023

We asked people on the front lines of manufacturing about the latest trends: here's what they said - part 3

Industry Insiders Identify Industrial Engineering Trends

By Sandia Harrison, Director of Marketing, FPE Automation

You Asked: We Answered - Part 3

Thanks for staying tuned to our You Asked: We Answered series of blog posts. This week, we have a whole new group of industry insiders weighing in on what they see as the latest trends in industrial automation. Let's dive in!

Stacey Stowell
QC Conveyors

One of the most impressive trends in automation is the innovation the automation industry continues to show in responding to labor shortages.  

From repetitive assembly tasks to packaging and palletizing, QC Conveyors has been a leading performer in creative labor shortage solutions. 

Stacey Stowell is in the impressive position of having risen through the ranks at QC Conveyors over the past 20 years to become Director of Channel Sales. That journey has given her a front-row seat as automation has evolved over the past two decades. Stacey has worked with some of the best and most innovative partners in the industry, giving her an excellent perspective on industry trends like these. 

Leena Antony
FPE Automation

A trend I have seen is an increased interest in product traceability. It is now easier than ever for customers to have a complete record of their product through every step of the manufacturing process. Zebra’s industrial scanners, RFID technology, and industrial barcode readers have given our customers the flexibility to upgrade their current processes with little to no downtime.

Leena Antony is an applications engineer for FPE Automation. It's a role that regularly puts her on the cutting edge of automation as she helps companies engineer next-level robotic and vision systems. Leena is also a certified Universal Robots CORE training instructor and has a Master's degree in industrial technology and operations from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Nick Hobbs
Apera AI

The big thing Apera AI is seeing right now is making existing robotic cells or manual processes better with AI-powered vision. Major automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers we’re working with have achieved significant productivity gains and ROI. This extends to replacing older vision cameras with processes trained using AI. Manufacturers love these automation projects because production is being interrupted by robot faults or labor shortages, and they don’t have to think about it anymore.

Nick Hobbs has 13+ years of experience in automation sales and leads sales activities for Apera AI. Before joining Apera, he started the Indiana branch of a major systems integrator and grew the territory to be the largest in the company. Nick has a world-class collection of Air Jordan sneakers and is the winner of the Apera golf long drive competition.

Andy Zaske

Manufacturing will continue to require increasing levels of accuracy, repeatability, control and be environmentally friendly. This will increase the use of electric actuators to replace hydraulic and other fluid power actuators in many aspects of manufacturing. Further accelerating an already growing trend. At Tolomatic, we are also seeing an increasing interest in multi-axis actuator solutions that can be used in applications that require longer reaches or lifting larger loads or faster precision than more typical robots can. This will prove increasingly useful as automation of manufacturing continues to grow and evolve in North America.

Andy Zaske is a seasoned automation professional on the front lines of all things automation. He's not your typical engineer. Friendly, outgoing, knowledgeable and creative, having Andy on your team instantly elevates any project. He is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Tolomatic, Inc

Michele Leoni
Datalogic Automation srl

Machines are becoming more flexible and able to handle a wider variety of products. As a result, machine builders are looking for devices that can handle multiple scenarios and are easy and intuitive to configure. Datasensing offers superior, easy-to-use products such as the brand new SH4 Series, the world's first Safety Light Curtains that can be programmed wirelessly with an APP

Michele Leoni sends his thoughts from Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. His perspective, combined with the experience he has gathered as Product Marketing Manager (PMM) at Datalogic, provides us in the midwestern USA with a global view of automation trends.

Read what others had to say.

This is part of the "You Asked: We Answered" series of blog posts, brought to you by FPE Automation. If you missed the others, you can view part one here, and part two here

Do you work in industrial automation? If so, you probably have your own ideas about where smart manufacturing is headed. Would you like to contribute next time? If so, feel free to reach out to me @sandiaharrison with your brief, two or three-sentence statement and a lighthearted bio like the ones you see here. I'd enjoy hearing what you have to say! 

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