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News & Publications

Digital Smart Factory Open Day 2023

On the 19th and 20th April 2023, Applied Integration held their first ever Digital Smart Factory Open Day at our site in Stokesley, North Yorkshire alongside the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA).

The open day was a remarkable success and demonstrated how modular Robotic and Automation system architectures deliver KPIs and operational cost saving, enable flexibility to manage change, provide data for process transparency and facilitate disparate system technology interoperation.

We were also very proud to show off our new and continually evolving digital process innovation demonstration area and look forward to our next event highlighting smart integrated digital solutions for the automotive industry.

Some of the processes demonstrated included palletizing, line side feed, digital simulation, warehouse and stores operation, bin picking and data analytics.

We would like to express our appreciation to our global leading technology partners who supported the event:

Robots/AMRs/AGVs/Palletizing:

  • ABB, K.Hartwall, Geek+, MiR, UR, OnRobot, Fanuc, Robotiq

Vision and lasers:

  • Keyence, IDS

Stretch wrap/banding machines:

  • Lantech

Mesh network communications:

  • Rajant

Drive, sensor, Actuator suppliers:

  • SMC

Garry Lofthouse, CEO, stated “it was a pleasure and honour to host our first NEAA Digital Smart Factory open day at our HQ in Stokesley. Focused on areas of robotics and automation helping improve productivity, excellence and bridging the labour shortages seen across many industries. Our innovative demonstration centre shares our vision and focuses on our journey of digitalisation, the advancements made, and advancements we will continue to make. The sold-out two-day event, which was supported by our class leading digital partner network, was a fantastic success and feedback from attendees has been excellent. The open day is part of our digital vision strategy and will become a regular event in the NEAA calendar, each time showing improvements in digital technology”.

“Finally, I would like to thank all the visitors for taking time out of their busy schedules, our partners for their support and the Applied Integration staff helping make the event happen, showing that together we can achieve great things”.

Robotics and Automation and process digitalisation is fundamental in optimising process efficiencies, digital data driven operational management and continuous improvement planning. It is a fact that robot deployment is essential to remain competitive, adapt to change and meet the needs of rapidly changing demands. That said, there are a plethora of technology choices and many consequent pitfalls that can lead to disappointing KPI gains, months of production impact driven by the need to tweak technologies, and an explosion of disparate systems that do not inter-operate well and require multi support contracts. Robotic technology deployment & adoption needs a system engineering approach and to be carefully architected and planned to achieve business goals and build a foundation for future adaptation.

Peter Moore, Head of Robotics and Automation at Applied Integration says, “Proud to be part of the two-day sold-out event. The sun shone brightly for alfresco dining, lots of collaborative discussions and the BBQ was great! Thank you to our event partners NEAA and all our technology partners for their excellent support and contribution, we make a great team! A special thank you to all the visitors for taking the time and helping make the day such a relaxed, rewarding, and friendly affair! It was simply great to see partners and visitors sharing ideas, challenges and engaging in conversation. This was just the start, the first of many. Each event will show a progression to demonstrate our system engineering approach to effective step-by-step Robotics and digitalisation deployment. We look forward to inviting you back soon. We can promise interesting technology demonstrations but as for a repeat of the sunshine – fingers crossed”.

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) is an industry-led automotive cluster, established to support the economic sustainable growth and competitiveness of the automotive sector in the North East of England. Launched in March 2015, now with over 300 cluster participants, the NEAA is the largest automotive cluster in the UK and one of the fastest-growing clusters across Europe.

The NEAA’s aim is to build upon the region’s significant automotive capability and to firmly establish the North East as a true global automotive and electrification powerhouse – ensuring the North East is at the forefront of the Governments strategy to ensure the technologies of tomorrow are designed, developed, and manufactured in the UK.

Stuart McGivern, Project Manager at NEAA says, “Robotic and automation applications are and continue to be a driving force in achieving safe, reliable, and efficient manufacturing processes. It was great for our members to see a variety of applications demonstrated under the roof of a leading-edge technology integrator”.

Panel Shop Developments

In January 2023 we began major reconstruction work to our panel shop to not only improve our demo area space, but also our lab, defence, robot training room and an onsite gym for staff use.

We will be hosting many more events soon alongside the NEAA and with some of our other cluster partners. We look forward to hosting our next open day and hope you join us!

Applied Integration is a leading systems integrator, specialising in delivering the latest industry technologies with a focus on Industry 4.0, Digitalisation, Internet of Things (IoT), Analytics, Big data / Cloud Technologies, Safety Critical Systems (SIL1, SIL2, SIL3) and Robotics and Collaborative Robots (Cobots). Founded in 2005, AI has a dynamic, 50+ strong engineering team with many years of combined experience.

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