GAMS preview: A Vision of the Future, Part 1

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference on Sept. 14 in Chicago, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles.
By CFE Media September 7, 2016

The Industrial Automation North America pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago will feature exhibitors and speakers focused on the Industrial Internet of Things. Image Courtesy: IMTSThe 2016 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), presented by CFE Media, will bring together experts from all areas of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to look at not just the current state of IIoT but also at the potential benefits of deployment for the manufacturing industry.

The third GAMS conference takes place Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at noon. It is held in conjunction with the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event is co-presented by Hannover Fairs USA.

In this age of manufacturing globalization, things can change quickly. We asked our panelists at this year’s Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit to look into their crystal ball and imagine how manufacturing may change when IMTS convenes again in Chicago in 2018:

Aurelio Banda, Beckhoff Automation: I’m confident that by IMTS 2018, pervasive IIoT in maintenance and all other disciplines in manufacturing will yield interesting results in the form of new case studies and testimonials from the early adopters. There will be less opposition to cloud-based systems and fewer questions about the real value of IIoT from maintenance perspectives. While already discussed at length here, I think IIoT data analytics will become the more dominant conversation among manufacturing professionals of all stripes, while questions about how connected the enterprise should be will fade into the background.

Rich Carpenter, GE: As companies start to lose competitive advantage by not leveraging the new technologies, we could start to see the beginnings of the disruption taking its toll on traditional players much like we did with brick and mortar stores that did not make the transition to digital.

Franz Gruber, FORCAM: Predictive maintenance will be a big topic. Machinery firms like Toyoda realize that the only way forward is through technology and customer service. Sending customers parts that will break down in advance because of insight into the machine is a competitive advantage you need to hold on to your market share. In the future this intelligence will be more globalized, and supply chains will grow digitally closer and closer.

Chris LeBeau, ATS: My personal hope is that we’ll be talking about sensor and machine interoperability and communications standards. If not, we will be talking about the need for them.

Dave Lindley, Concept Systems: There are three areas:

1. Growth of IIoT within manufacturing. The amount of equipment that needs to be replaced or updated within the next decade is staggering. There will be continued growth and opportunities for IIoT.

2. The use of 3-D printing and flexible manufacturing environments, specifically with on-demand prototypes and machine parts for corporate consumers.

3. Advanced robotics, including vision-enabled solutions and collaborative robotic work environments.