Mark Swift, Head of our SME Programmes and Robert Harrison Professor of Automation Systems, talk to New Manufacturing about the digital futures and the challenges posed by Industry 4.0.
WMG has always stood for championing innovation that will have a real-world impact in industry. When it comes to Industry 4.0 that mission is no different.
Since its establishment in 1980, WMG has sought to add value to industry through the development of innovative technologies and the fostering of new skills. A department of the University of Warwick, WMG has successfully brought an academic rigour to the tackling of real world industrial problems.
It should be no surprise therefore that WMG is leading research into many facets of Industry 4.0 practice. As an academic department, applied research group, and host of one of the UK's seven High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult Centres, WMG is instrumental in developing tools and methods to prepare industry for a digitised future. Projects vary from the wholly commercial, in which WMG is funded by a particular company; to matched funded (part government, part private sector) initiatives organised by bodies such as Innovate UK or the Advanced Propulsion Centre; to the research-orientated end of the spectrum where projects may be funded entirely through the national or European research councils.
We have all experienced first-hand how easy it is to perform a routine task rather than a new one. The repetition allows us to gain all the skills needed to accomplish it, and the opportunity to learn smarter ways to complete it. Looking for similarities and addressing them in the same way is a simple form of resource management. Companies could apply the same principle to increase productivity too, but they often miss the opportunity.
The Infrastructure industry is a good example. Infrastructure companies build the fundamental facilities and systems serving countries. They operate by projects, and for each one they have to perform a set of repetitive activities such as design, purchase of material, and construction. Each project is considered unique, and therefore these companies repeat the same each time to recreate supply chains or purchase a set of materials. Doing this can result in project overruns and low productivity. What these companies haven't recognised is that there is a simple underlying, repetitive level of demand within each project. Therefore, they should look for similarities and address them in the same way to save time and effort.
In conjunction with Costain Concentra we have explored ways in which the effectiveness and efficiency of infrastructure portfolios could be improved. The objectives were to identify the repetitive and predictable levels of demand in projects, and the development of tailored supply chain strategies.
In the build up to Valentine's Day, and with hundreds of dating sites promising to find your perfect match, online dating is big business. But it would seem not everyone has the best intentions.
Our Cyberpsychologist Professor Monica Whitty has been studying the way people behave in cyberspace over the past 15 years, examining identities created in cyberspace, online security risks and ways of detecting and preventing cybercrimes.
Here are Monica's tips to ensure you don't fall victim to the romance scammers this Valentine's Day.
Avoid spending too much time online getting to know a potential date, arrange to meet them face-to-face in a safe space as soon as possible - be suspicious if they give excuses as to why they can't.