SOURCE: IGear Online, LLC

IGear Online, LLC

November 14, 2016 09:01 ET

IGear, Komatsu and Genesis Systems Group to Showcase Human-to-Machine Real-Time Collaboration at FABTECH 2016

Show Attendees Will Witness Machines Conversing with Supervisors Armed with Apple Watches via SQUEAKS Mobile-First Industrial IoT Messaging Platform

LOUISVILLE, KY--(Marketwired - Nov 14, 2016) -  IGear, a leader in smart manufacturing and supply chain solutions, today announced it has teamed with industrial machinery powerhouse Komatsu America Industries and industry-leading robotics systems integrator Genesis Systems Group, LLC, to showcase IGear's innovative SQUEAKS Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) messaging platform at FABTECH 2016. The show -- North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event -- takes place Nov. 16-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The SQUEAKS platform will be running live on the FABTECH show floor. Show attendees will be able to see next-generation stamping presses from Komatsu and innovative robotic systems from Genesis Systems Group, LLC communicating by "squeaking" in real-time with human supervisors equipped with Apple Watches.

These high-tech robots and machines will "squeak":

  • when raw material, such as welding wire, is running low or out;
  • when help is needed -- i.e. requests for engineering and maintenance support;
  • to relay real-time performance information such as: strokes per minute, die height, tonnage, production target and pieces produced;
  • to communicate operation modes -- running, idle, faulted; and,
  • in instances of other critical alerts -- such as die change, e-stops, and robot collisions.

Genesis (Booth N2729) and Komatsu (Booth C17070) will have instances of SQUEAKS running simultaneously -- providing a single pane of glass view for optimal visibility and control across the virtual manufacturing floor.

The density of robots and self-aware industrial control systems on the manufacturing floor continues to climb. According to the International Federation of Robots, there were approximately 1.6 million operational industrial robots worldwide at the end of 2015. Getting machines and robots to be 'team players' and communicate effectively with their human manufacturing floor stewards is essential as the demand for industrial robots has accelerated considerably due to the ongoing trend toward automation and the continued innovative technical improvements in industrial robots.

SQUEAKS is a mobile-first industrial messaging app that facilitates quicker, better decision-making, and closed-loop collaboration, with machines as part of the conversation. It integrates messaging across machines and personnel, and enables algorithms, rules and analysis to be applied across multiple data environments to formulate insights and prescriptive actions. This keeps front-line workers and management in the know on events driven by both simple conditional alerts, and complex event triggers. And enables workers to respond quickly to broaden the understanding of an event root cause, and validate ownership and closure, with timestamps.

"We believe the true power of IIoT messaging comes from a combination of generating insightful data from industrial equipment, and its ability to share this data among selected individuals, via mobile technology, to ensure clarity, ownership, accountability, and interaction," said IGear President and CEO Don Korfhage.

The result, Korfhage says, is increased productivity of both machines and people. When people and machines communicate as one and in real-time, manufacturers benefit from:

  • improved uptime and overall equipment effectiveness;
  • Six-Sigma product quality resulting in less scrap and rework:
  • lower operating costs (personnel, material management and flow, floor space utilization); and,
  • continuous improvement and heightened workforce engagement.

"The Industrial Internet of Things has the potential to usher in a new wave of innovation and reinvention of manufacturing as we know it. But it's also creating a data explosion, with some 20 billion connected devices expected by 2020.

"In today's era of smart factories and connected manufacturing, SQUEAKS gives manufacturers the means to rise above the 'data deluge' to improve collaboration for greater responsiveness. By making sense of business data quickly, manufacturers can understand opportunities and threats that must be addressed to support growth and profitability. SQUEAKS supports improved communication and a laser-focus on what's really critical on the factory floor, for improved business outcomes and competitive advantage," said Korfhage.

About IGear: Real-Time Manufacturing Realized
Over the past 30 years, IGear has been at the forefront of innovation in smart manufacturing and supply chain solutions. We provide solutions that connect the enterprise, streamline data gathering and analysis, and empower teams through improved communication and collaboration. The world's leading organizations in the manufacturing and supply chain industries rely on our solutions to solve their most complex, mission-critical operational challenges by unlocking the power of their data to support better, faster decisions, improved performance and exceptional responsiveness. Learn more: www.igearonline.com