Industry News

Siemens And TRAK Machine Tools Pave The Way Towards Digitalization For Job Shops

Siemens announced today that its SINUMERIK ONE CNC platform has been selected by TRAK Machine Tools (Southwestern Industries, Inc.) as the control of choice for their new VMC-series milling and TC-series turning machines. These new machine tools are intended to work in the high-volume, price-sensitive job shop market.

According to company president Steve Pinto, “TRAK wanted to partner with a large, well-established CNC leader with a global footprint for a new line of production machines, aiming to reach a new level of digitalization – one that reflected that trend in every area of life today.”

Throughout the process, Siemens employed a consulting approach, selling the value of SINUMERIK CNC and the entire Siemens portfolio of product, software, communications and cloud-based data analytics. The transition to Siemens CNC was made easier, as conventional programming and HMI with SINUMERIK ONE had the same look-and-feel as the TRAK captive control. Wanting to offer automation in its portfolio, Siemens gave TRAK Machine Tools a wide range of possibilities, with the digital-native CNC.

Siemens is providing user support by ramping up its standard CNC offerings for the job shop market with SINUMERIK ONE, standard PLCs for mills and lathes, custom HMI screens and it has worked closely TRAK Machine Tools for training. TRAK staff including application engineers, sales, service and dealers were offered SINUMERIK online web-based training, in-person training, and time on the machines for benchmarking and test cuts. As always, Siemens is offering spare parts, 24-hour service and a quick repair turnaround to support its products and TRAK Machine Tools’ dealers.

In the future, TRAK Machine Tools also plans to develop a 5-axis and horizontal CNC offering with SINUMERIK ONE. The company is looking to brand-label a robot to automate their CNC machine with the SINUMERIK Run MyRobot application, integral to the SINUMERIK ONE CNC platform.

Brian McMinn, head of the Siemens Machine Tool Systems business, observed, “This development marks the first US-based OEM that has accepted the digital-native CNC concept of SINUMERIK ONE. At every stage of development – from concept to the Digital Twin of the machine known as Create MyVirtual Machine – to the prototype and runout, Siemens has collaborated with TRAK in a very unique way. The result is an exciting line of CNC machines that will significantly impact the job shop market, almost immediately. We are proud to partner with this forward-thinking machine tool builder.”

Steve Pinto concluded, “Having found the right technology partner in Siemens, we can now offer machine technology solutions to help TRAK customers confidently take the next step into digitally-enabled production.”

For more information about SINUMERIK ONE, please visit usa.siemens.com/sinumerik-one.

For specific product information and inquiries, send an e-mail to: cnc.marketing.us@siemens.com

Contact for journalists:

Siemens TRAK Machine Tools

John Meyer Steve Pinto

(847) 952-4158 (310) 608-4422 ext. 134

john.meyer@siemens.com stevep@trakmt.com

Siemens Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 75,000 employees internationally.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

About TRAK Machine Tools (Southwestern Industries, Inc.)

TRAK Machine Tools is well-known for its ProtoTRAK brand of CNCs and TRAK Machines. Founded in 1952 as a job shop serving the aerospace industry, it has been manufacturing ProtoTRAK CNCs since 1984 and selling them throughout North American and Europe. TRAK Machine Tools fields direct-to-customer Sales and Service Organizations throughout the United States in many of the areas that have high concentrations of manufacturing. Where it does not have its own field sales and service, TRAK Machine Tools serves customers via close relationships with independent distributors that share the core values of service to customers and community that has been the key to the enormous popularity of the ProtoTRAK and TRAK brands. The new initiative with SIEMENS will utilize the talents and reach of TRAK Machine Tools beyond the toolroom and into production and automation applications. For more information, please see www.trakmt.com.

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What’s the hype in hyperautomation?

Coined by Gartner to describe one of the biggest automation trends of 2020, the concept of hyperautomation has rapidly spread across the industry. But how does it differ from regular automation, and is it a viable option for manufacturers who don’t wish to revolutionize their entire production or assembly lines? Here Claudia Jarrett, US country manager at automation parts supplier EU Automation, explains the fundamentals of hyperautomation.

In its 2019 report Move Beyond RPA to Deliver Hyperautomation, Gartner pointed out a lack of guidance in how organizations should integrate robotic process automation (RPA) with other tools. The report also highlighted that business managers experience pressure to focus on automating simple routine procedures but lack a strategy to extend automation processes to the whole factory.

The solution, according to the global research company, is hyperautomation, defined as end-to-end automation that combines complementary technologies such as deep learning, advanced analytics, machine vision, natural language processing, RPA and artificial intelligence to augment business processes. 

Automation or hyperautomation?

The main difference between traditional automation and hyperautomation is that the first tends to focus on automating individual tasks — such as deploying a cobot rather than a human worker for repetitive pick and place applications — while the latter aims to optimize the whole production process with a holistic approach.  

Gartner predicted that hyperautomation would be one of the top strategic technology trends from 2020 onwards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that manufacturers must buy into the hype. To understand whether end-to-end automation can deliver substantial business value, it can be useful to create a roadmap that clearly aligns business goals with the automation tools needed to reach them.

Gartner suggests considering three key objectives — revenue, costs, and risks. With these parameters in mind, manufacturersmight want to think about which technologies can drive revenue by enhancing customer engagement, increasing output, and automating repetitive tasks. They should then redesign processes to reduce the cost of poor quality and streamline production. Finally, they might need to consider the compliance risks of inefficient processes — for example, feeding parts to a machine manually might be not only inefficient but also risky, and it might therefore violate safety regulations.

What about legacy equipment?

Hyperautomation is based on the latest automation technologies available, so manufacturers might think that it is not a viable business approach for factories that use legacy equipment for critical applications. 

Machines that form the backbone of factory automation, such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), might last several decades, and there’s no reason to replace them if they still perform adequately and comply to the most recent guidelines. However, legacy equipment usually lacks the communications capabilities required to implement a hyperautomation strategy. 

Luckily, if plant managers develop a solid business case for hyperautomation, there are ways to retrofit older equipment with smart sensors. In this way, the machines can be connected the to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and send valuable data that can be used to streamline operations, reduce costs, and increase productivity. An automation parts supplier that specializes in obsolete equipment can easily provide manufacturers with the hardware they need to retrofit their machines and make them fit for Industry 4.0. 

Another thing to consider is whether IoT-connected machines will speak the same language. For example, the factory’s PLC needs a communication protocol that is compatible with the field devices. Manufacturers don’t necessarily need a protocol from the same brand of their PLC — for example, ProfiBus can connect with all PLCs from the Allen Bradley family, but some protocols do not play well with others. This means that to implement hyperautomation, manufacturers will have to research the best protocols to make sure that all their equipment can communicate. 

When possible, developing systems based on an open-source architecture — such as the Robot Operating System (ROS) — rather than proprietary software, can help minimize frictions and ensure interoperability. 

To find out more about the latest trends in automation and manufacturing, visit EU Automation’s online Knowledge Hub

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FourKites Recognizes Global Supply Chain Leaders at 2021 Visibility User Conference

CHICAGO, Oct. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FourKites, provider of the world’s leading real-time supply chain visibility platform, today announced the recipients of its annual Golden Kite Awards. The Golden Kite Awards recognize best-in-class companies that are leveraging the FourKites® real-time visibility platform to achieve breakthrough results in five categories: Supply Chain Agility, Collaboration, Customer Experience, End-to-End Optimization and Green Earth. This year’s Golden Kite Award winners include Armada, Kimberly-Clark, Ingredion, T-Mobile and GlobalTranz.

  • Armada, a creator of innovative, fully integrated supply chain solutions for the restaurant industry, received the Golden Kite Award for Supply Chain Agility in recognition of its use of FourKites’ AI/ML predictive ETA capabilities to predict disruptions with 96% accuracy and triage order resolutions 75% faster than pre-implementation. The award was accepted by the Director of Innovation and Commercial Program Management, Phillip Lakomy.
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation was awarded a Golden Kite for Collaboration. “Achieving goals as a team allows us to communicate more effectively with one another, with our clients and more importantly with our carriers and customers, shortening decision-making cycles and boosting productivity across the teams,” said North LAO Transportation Management Analyst Valeria Ochoa, in accepting the award.
  • Ingredion, a leading global ingredients solutions company, won the Golden Kite Award for Customer Experience, which recognizes achievement in using FourKites to continuously improve customer service. Prior to implementing FourKites, Ingredion’s average response time for customer inquiries averaged between 30 to 60 minutes, due to the large quantity of shipments managed daily. After the FourKites implementation, the average response time for customer service inquiries plunged to just one minute. The award was accepted by Logistics Engineer Alberto Machuca.
  • T-Mobile, the multinational wireless communications company, won the Golden Kite Award for End-to-End Optimization, which recognizes achievement in using FourKites to connect modes, regions and unmanaged freight across the lifecycle of shipments. T-Mobile implemented an end-to-end process that evaluated its transportation performance based on FourKites data and geofencing capabilities, thereby significantly increasing the visibility and accuracy of its operation. The award was accepted by Marshall Wang, data scientist, T-Mobile procurement and technology.
  • GlobalTranz, a leading, technology-enabled, full-service transportation and logistics provider, won the Golden Kite Award for Green Earth, which recognizes customers who use FourKites to identify and advance sustainability initiatives. GlobalTranz is using FourKites data to provide detailed transportation routing optimization strategies that can reduce the number of trucks used on an annual basis, and consequently their environmental impact. Working with a large consumer packaged goods customer, GlobalTranz reduced annual truckload shipments by an estimated 30%, resulting in 26 million fewer miles driven, 5 million gallons of diesel saved and an estimated 58,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The award was accepted by Senior Marketing Manager Annie Graupner.

“Supply chain disruptions and challenges continue unabated, but the FourKites community is rising to the occasion,” said FourKites founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal. “This year’s Golden Kite Award recipients continue to raise the bar when it comes to widespread collaboration and the smart application of real-time visibility technology. Congratulations to all, and thank you for your continued partnership.”

The world’s largest supply chain visibility platform, FourKites has continued to see unprecedented growth in the year since Visibility 2020. Over the last 12 months, FourKites has seen over 50% customer growth; 126% increase in carriers onboarded; and over 100% growth in load volume. Year over year, the platform is now tracking over 350,000 more loads per month. In addition, FourKites introduced several industry-first innovations over the last 12 months, including the Order Intelligence Hub, a new single-pane-of-glass view of the entire lifecycle of every order; Dynamic ETA for Air®; its patented Smart Forecasted Arrival capabilities; and Dynamic OceanSM, amongst many others.

About FourKites
FourKites® is a leading global supply chain visibility platform, extending visibility beyond transportation into yards, warehouses, stores and beyond. Tracking more than 2 million shipments daily across road, rail, ocean, air, parcel and courier, and reaching 176 countries, FourKites combines real-time data and powerful machine learning to help companies digitize their end-to-end supply chains. More than 620 of the world’s most recognized brands — including 9 of the top-10 CPG and 18 of the top-20 food and beverage companies — trust FourKites to transform their business and create more agile, efficient and sustainable supply chains. To learn more, visit https://www.fourkites.com/.

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Support and Inspire the Future of Manufacturing: Honor a Manufacturing Innovator, Advocate, or Educator in New Exhibit

[Windsor, VT – October 2021]   The American Precision Museum recently launched an exciting new interactive digital exhibit called “The Manufacturing Ledger” that is accessible online and will soon be integrated into an engaging physical exhibit at the museum. The Manufacturing Ledger is a dynamic collection of stories and profiles about individuals whose career was spent in manufacturing – whether the person’s career was spent on the shop floor, engineering department, sales department, or in the corporate boardroom. 

The Manufacturing Ledger embraces the “people” aspect of the manufacturing history, which will allow the American Precision Museum to tell the full narrative of manufacturing by providing a well-designed framework and functional platform to relay sponsored profiles and pictures of an infinite number of individuals. The museum welcomes anyone from a variety of manufacturing career categories to be included in the Ledger: Machine Tool Builder, Machine Tool Distributor/Importer, Manufacturer, Educator, and Industry Advocate (such as Associations, Media).

Interacting with the exhibit is easy and cross-referenced allowing visitors to sort profiles by industry sector, job function, name, and company so visitors can find former co-workers and learn more about their career path. There are also search functions to locate those who founded a company and those who invented a technology used in manufacturing. Visitors can also search by various lifetime achievement awards from participating associations, such as the AMT (Association for Manufacturing Technology), NTMA (National Tooling & Machining Association, PMPA (Precision Machined Products Association) and WiM (Women in Manufacturing) as well as members of the Machine Tool Hall of Fame.

Participating in The Manufacturing Ledger supports the American Precision Museum financially and physically. Contributing your story, or that of a family member, friend, colleague, mentor, or educator enriches the content of the exhibit itself, while financial donations sponsoring each profile helps fund the museum, which holds the largest collection of historically significant machine tools in the nation, housed in an 1846 armory building, designated a National Historic Landmark. The museum’s goals are to preserve, present, and interpret its artifact collections and property; to inspire new generations of innovators; and build communities that foster a strong manufacturing future. 

“The American Precision Museum is home to remarkable manufacturing breakthroughs,” states Lee Morris, Chairman of Morris Group, Inc. “To produce precise, interchangeable rifle componentry, engineering innovators replaced manual filing and fitting with water-powered, metal cutting machine tools of their own design. It is doubtful that these engineers had any idea of the impact of their creativity. They were at the forefront of a manufacturing revolution, but their individual stories are mostly lost. The progress of every decade since, is the product of people thinking, creating, and improving in response to perceived opportunity. The story is repeated time and again. It’s the people behind manufacturing innovations who are so compelling. Along with the machinery that they have created, we also need to collect, share, and preserve personal stories of the manufacturing innovators who have so strongly influenced the United States throughout the years.”

To begin the process of contributing your unique manufacturing story, or to honor someone you know who put their heart and soul into their career –  go to The Manufacturing Ledger at ledger.americanprecision.org. For further information, contact Steve Dalessio, 802-674-5781, ledger@americanprecision.org at the American Precision Museum.

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The race to dominate the EV market

Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada, producing batteries on a huge scale for the company’s electric vehicles (EVs), is bound to be the building with the largest footprint on Earth once fully completed. In contrast, British start-up Arrival is turning ex warehouses into microfactories, with plans to build a second microfactory in the United States that offers ultra-flexible production. What’s the best approach? Here Claudia Jarrett, US country manager at automation parts supplier EU Automation, delves into the pros and cons of both gigafactories and microfactories.

With an astounding floorspace of 5.3 million square feet and an impressive array of cutting-edge production technologies, Giga Nevada, also known as Gigafactory 1, stands in sharp contrast with the desert landscape in which it’s situated. In perspective, its total floorspace distributed on several levels occupies the equivalent of about 90 football fields — and the already built portion represents only 30 per cent of the final project. 

However, it’s not size alone that makes this gigafactory remarkable. Giga Nevada can take care of all aspects of battery production in-house, from processing raw materials to shipping the final products. Effectively, it can gather all the nodes of one of the most complex supply chains in the world under one roof. 

The gigafactory will also be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, with the ability to recycle legacy batteries and plans to rely entirely on on-site solar, wind and geo-thermal energy to power its facilities. Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, strongly believes in going bigger and even stated that 100 such facilities could power the entire world and complete the global transition from fossil-derived to sustainable energy. 

Is bigger, better? 

Gigafactories have several advantages over smaller facilities. They can eliminate some of the risks of complex supply chains, they are built with sustainability in mind from day one and they spur economic growth by creating employment opportunities for thousands of people. 

However, these facilities perpetuate the linear manufacturing approach introduced in the meatpacking industry and applied on a large scale by Ford Motor Company more than 100 years ago. In this sense, gigafactories are not different from other standard manufacturing facilities — they’re just much bigger. While offering many advantages in terms of efficiency and optimised logistics, the linear assembly model has limited flexibility. For example, if a new station is to be added to the current set up, production needs to stop, and the factory layout would likely need to be revised. 

This is one of the reasons why Arrival is favouring agility and innovation over sheer size. In fact, the company is investing in a multitude of microfactories, that are small facilities with flexible set ups that are built closer to where the final vehicles will be distributed and used. 

Smaller in design

The concept of the microfactory was first developed in 1990 in Japan by the Mechanical Engineer Laboratory (MEL). It typically involves highly automated processes along with the miniaturisation of equipment and systems, with the goal of cutting costs and saving energy. 

While Arrival has embraced the microfactory concept, its final products are not small as the theory suggests. The company specialises in vans and buses that are produced in highly automated facilities, occupying about 200,000 square feet and where stations are arranged modularly instead of linearly. 

This means that if they want to add an additional station, they can simply install it anywhere in the facility without interfering with the current set up. Plant managers just need to modify the software to send vehicles to that station before they continue their journey to the next one. 

In fact, from the success of these microfactories, Arrival’s second US microfactory will be producing two different classes of EV vans for U.S. customers, with the company’s first U.S. microfactory being used to assemble electric buses. Arrival is investing about $41.2 million in the production center, which will have the capacity to assemble up to 10,000 electric delivery vans each year. 

The reason why Arrival’s vehicles can be built in a microfactory is simple — they’ve been designed alongside the manufacturing process. For example, instead of using traditional welding processes, they rely on fixing methods from the aerospace industry, such as adhesives and mechanical fixings, which allows the company to eliminate welding stations entirely. 

Moreover, Arrival has eliminated one of the most crucial steps of automotive manufacturing — painting. Instead, the colour is moulded into the material itself, removing not only the cost of fixing cosmetic damage such as scratches, but also the need for a paint shop. 

It is still early to determine who will win the race to dominate the very profitable EV market, but one thing is sure — Arrival’s tiny factories demonstrate the potential of thinking outside the box. By completely reinventing such an established process as vehicle manufacturing, the start-up has managed to emerge in a landscape dominated by corporations with virtually unlimited cash flow. 

Another conclusion we can draw by comparing these two antithetical models is that, regardless of size, automation is the key to efficiency. In the case of gigafactories, for example, autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) are essential to move materials and finished products efficiently in such a vast space. In Arrival’s microfactories, modular clusters — known as cells — contain four robots running on the company’s proprietary software that can be easily set up to complete a wide variety of tasks and can be quickly reprogrammed to meet changing production needs.

Whether manufacturers decide to invest in a gigantic facility or prefer to reinvent traditional processes to favour flexibility and scalability, end-to-end automation is crucial to streamline production, cut waste and increase efficiency. To learn more about the benefits of automation and to have access to a wide range of new, reconditioned and obsolete automation parts, visit the EU Automation website.

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Mike MacArthur Selected to Lead RobbJack Corporation

Lincoln, CA – October 1st, 2021 – RobbJack, the United States leading Premium Rotary Cutting Tool company, is pleased to announce the selection of Michael MacArthur as RobbJack’s new President.

Mr. MacArthur is a 26-year veteran of RobbJack.  During his tenure as sales manager, he developed a reputation for building relationships and providing innovative solutions to meet customer challenges in the machining of myriad components for manufacturers and subcontractors alike.  Mike has a clear vision for RobbJack’s future and a unique knowledge of RobbJack and its products.

David Baker, former President and Chairman of the Board, commented, “The Board of Directors, who comprise the successor search team, believes that Mike’s vision for RobbJack, knowledge of the cutting tool industry and his ability to identify cutting tool opportunities make him the choice to provide the strongest path forward for our company.  I am confident that Mike will continue the tradition started by Bob Eitreim and Jack Petersen and encouraged by me; a responsive and innovative business supported by the highest quality products and dedicated owner-employees”.

Mike and the RobbJack team congratulate Dave for 47 years of service and wish him the best in retirement.

RobbJack and its subsidiaries Crystallume and Crystallume PVD, are in their 61st year as a manufacturer of premium rotary cutting tools, coatings, and accessories.  Founded in 1960, its acquired experience and expertise in the industry are unmatched.  RobbJack employees pride themselves, as a 100% employee-owned company, on their dedication to their products, their industry, and their fellow employees.  RobbJack will continue to be a forward-looking company, providing excellence in quality, performance, and service to all our customers.

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Global Automated Trucks Market Sales to Surge, LiDAR Trucks to Expand at 10% CAGR: Fact.MR Study

The global automated truck market is projected to grow at a healthy CAGR of over 22% from 2021 to 2031, touching an impressive valuation of over US$ 1.5 Bn, concludes a recently published market intelligence report. Rising concerns regarding road safety is prompting increased automation in the automotive industry, stimulating growth.

From 2016 to 2020, sales of automated trucks recorded an impressive surge, closing in at US$ 210 Mn by the end of the historical period. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, prospects further inclined, as mandatory social distancing norms prompted automotive manufacturers to invest a considerable portion of their funds to develop driverless systems- a trend which is expected to become the new normal in forthcoming years.

The technology is hailed by the automotive sector since it has helped in significantly curbing the risk of accidents caused due to negligence. An ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firms recent market intelligence study has identified that automotive trucks will be a thriving market. The demand for automated trucks is forecast to surge in the coming years especially because they are in-built with advanced technological systems such as improved cameras and sensors for quick response.

Key Takeaways from Market Study

  • Global automotive trucks market to expand 7x from 2021 to 2031
  • Logistics to remain primary end user, capturing approximately 1/3rd of the revenue
  • LiDAR based automated trucks to hold considerable sway, expanding at a CAGR of 10%
  • Class 8 & Class 9 trucks to be top selling, capturing half of the global sales
  • Level 3 autonomy automated trucks to capture majority share, accounting for 3 out of 5 sales
  • U.S to register staggering growth, expanding at a CAGR of 15% through 2031
  • 35% of global automotive sales likely to be spurred by U.K
  • Asia to be a highly opportunistic market, China to be the vanguard of regional demand

“Rising penetration of automation in the global automotive industry and the increasing need to streamline logistical operations by reducing delays due to unforeseen circumstances such as accidents is heightening automated trucks adoption,” comments Senior Research Analyst.

Competitive Landscape

Some of the prominent players in the automated truck market include Uber Technologies Inc., Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., AB Volvo, BMW AG, Tesla Inc., Google Inc., IVICO, MAN, DAF, Scania, among others.

These players focus on adopting various strategies to expand product offerings and strengthen geographic presence. With the advancement in technology, new players are expected to enter the market.

For instance, in May 2021, TuSimple – a provider of autonomous freight semi-truck solutions – announced that their technology will be operational by 2024. For the same, over 5,700 vehicles have been reserved by sophisticated shippers or carriers in just the first four months, which makes TuSimple’s timeline look more realistic.

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ServiceNow’s Latest Now Platform Release Helps Businesses Workflow the Biggest Challenges of the Hybrid Work Era

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — September 16, 2021— ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the leading digital workflow company that makes work, work better for people, today announced the Now Platform Rome release. The latest version of the Now Platform delivers hundreds of innovations designed to empower organizations to adapt to the hybrid work era – evolving business models, managing the employee fatigue crisis, and scaling automation and app development across the enterprise.

With a customer base representing nearly 80% of the Fortune 500, ServiceNow helps organizations across industries and geographies meet the challenges and opportunities of a new world of work. As the global economy expands at its strongest post‑recession pace in 80 years, the Now Platform Rome release gives organizations the tools they need to quickly create agile work environments, deliver compelling customer and employee experiences, and accelerate innovation, so they can thrive in a new economy.

“The rapid onset of hybrid work has accelerated the digital imperative and forever changed 21st century business models,” said Chirantan “CJ” Desai, chief product and engineering officer at ServiceNow. “Our customers need digital platforms that enable seamless, compelling employee and customer experiences in any environment, and help them stay agile, resilient, and productive. With our latest release, ServiceNow is workflowing solutions to help businesses navigate work moments that matter in a new economy.”

Reducing employee fatigue with simple, engaging experiences

With the Now Platform Rome release, new employee‑focused solutions delivered via a unified employee experience platform allow organizations to create simple, engaging employee experiences from anywhere, so employees can navigate work moments that matter with ease and confidence. New and enhanced solutions include:

  • Employee Center serves as the digital command center for the hybrid workforce. It provides a single, connected interface for employees to quickly and easily find personalized information, complete tasks, get help and request services across departments – including IT, HR, facilities, procurement, and legal – all in one place. Employee Center reduces the time it takes employees tolook for help and reduces application fatigue by integrating necessary information in one place. Organizations can easily curate information and services into dynamic, personalized topic pages that make it easy for employees to find the answers they need. Employee Center will also integrate with Microsoft Teams to meet employees where they are.
  • Employee Journey Management guides employees through the moments that matter with connected experiences for cross‑departmental journeys like onboarding, work transitions, and offboarding. It also empowers HR teams and managers to personalize resources, plans, and needs – all on the same platform.

In today’s increasingly challenging talent environment – 3.6 million Americans quit their jobs in May 2021 alone, with fatigue a likely factor of departures – digital transformation is no longer only a driver of growth and productivity. It is an imperative to help employees find better balance in the hybrid world of work and keep them creative, productive, and engaged.

“In the transition to hybrid work, organizations will be tasked with making the holistic employee experience efficient, frictionless, and collaborative, which will in turn spur engagement and productivity increases,” said Phil Carter, GVP and WW CIO Suite Tech Agenda Lead at IDC. “Simplifying the employee experience will be vital in achieving this, making sure employees have access to work solutions in one place, from anywhere, and in multiple ways. We anticipate that ServiceNow’s new solutions will offer more resources for employees in an effort to make their lives easier for a new era of work.”

Accelerating automation across the entire enterprise  

The shift to hybrid work, compounded by widening talent shortages, is accelerating automation across the enterprise. Automation at scale will be an imperative for 21st century businesses to alleviate employees from managing mundane tasks and free them up to focus on projects that drive business value.

With the Now Platform Rome release, ServiceNow brings powerful new AI and automation capabilities that empower IT teams to work smarter, simpler, and more efficiently from anywhere:

  • Automation Discovery identifies the top ten opportunities for automating work from more than 180 topics with ServiceNow applications, such as Virtual Agent, Auto Routing, and Agent Assist.
  • Health Log Analytics Enhancements helps detect issues before they occur and impact users, as well as automates issue resolution, by using ITOM Predictive AIOps. This extends ServiceNow ITOM Predictive AIOps – previously launched with the Now Platform Quebec release – and is built on Loom Systems’ innovative technology.

Enabling rapid development of modern, on‑the‑go mobile experiences

Every company is now a software company, reinventing and creating new business models with digital products and services. In the hybrid world of work, employees and customers need access to critical business apps from anywhere via mobile.

To address the needs of an increasingly on‑the‑go workforce, ServiceNow is introducing Mobile App Builder, allowing developers to rapidly build and configure engaging mobile apps for iOS and Android with a single intuitive interface, enhanced functionality, and guided experiences.

Creating seamless customer experiences that solve issues quickly

Organizations must be able to scale service operations to deal with heightened customer expectations and requests, providing customer service agents and teams with the information they need to resolve customer requests quickly, from anywhere and on one platform.

The Now Platform Rome release helps businesses across every industry solve issues fast and deliver better customer experiences, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. The new Customer Service Playbooks: Focused Layout enhances the user experience and allows agents to resolve issues fast, so they can focus on key process tasks and data that drive better business outcomes.

What customers and partners are saying about the Now Platform Rome release:

“We use ServiceNow to provide twenty‑first century services to citizens in the way that they need them today, especially post‑COVID when digital customer service is key,” said Joseph Cevetello, CIO, City of Santa Monica.

“Our organization continues to drive greater agility, while simplifying and standardizing workflows across the globe to offer 350,000+ employees a central place to access everything they need. The significant increase in hybrid work has only accelerated the need to address complex business processes. Employee onboarding and return to workplace are great examples of how the Now Platform is helping to transform our employee experience while providing tangible benefits,” said Stephen Mansfield, CIO Deloitte Americas. “ServiceNow is enabling us to consolidate siloed employee systems and processes, transforming work into digital workflows and creating great experiences for our people and for our clients, ensuring they too are delivering personalized experiences and keeping their employees connected across the enterprise.”

“The new capabilities for monitoring our Instances Health have been instrumental in helping me identify discrepancies, issues and to enhance the awareness and how to follow ServiceNow best practices for our ServiceNow developers,” said Christian Ring, ServiceNow Technical Platform Architect at DnB Bank. “A task that previously took hours and involved a large amount of manual work on my part is now an automated process and a part of our developers’ workflow. This enhances the quality for future implementations and strengthens our ServiceNow instances overall health. The Now Platform Rome release will give us additional opportunities to automate our development pipelines within ServiceNow, something that I’m very excited about.”

“In the last few years, ServiceNow has become one of the main platforms to drive digital transformation and to consume digital processes at Mercedes‑Benz,” said Mishel Podolskis, Head of the Mercedes‑Benz ServiceNow Platform. “The user experience of our employees is of central importance for a goal oriented, efficient transformation. Employee Center will take us to a new level of evolution and allows employees a single view to consume a variety of company services.”

“At Kiwibank, our purpose is to make Kiwi better off. We live this by focusing on creating insanely simple experiences for both our customers and our own employees. This can be complex with disparate systems and manual processes,” said Nathan Hopkins, Product Manager, Digital & Technology at Kiwibank. “We’re seeing significant value from the Now Platform as we continue to streamline, standardize and digitize processes across the organization, and are redistributing saved productivity minutes into higher value activities daily with ServiceNow. We’re looking forward to ServiceNow’s continued investment in Playbooks and our future use of these, especially in Customer Service Management to help drive growth, increase productivity and strengthen business resilience.”

“The COVID‑19 pandemic presented an enormous challenge and opportunity for SnapNurse. We are proud to provide greater access to education and COVID vaccines through our SnapClinics in underserved urban and rural communities in the U.S.,” said Cherie Kloss, founder and CEO of SnapNurse. “The ServiceNow Platform and ServiceNow Vaccine Administration Management solution has helped us manage scheduling, inventory and reporting of COVID vaccinations, ensuring the flow of data is secure, consistent, and up to date. We see ongoing value in the ServiceNow Platform to continue to deliver healthcare to citizens across the U.S.”

Availability

The Now Platform Rome release is generally available today.

Additional information:

  • Watch a demo of Employee Center.
  • Read blog detailing new innovations designed for manufacturinghealthcare and life sciencestelecommunications and financial services also being announced with Rome.
  • ServiceNow’s Chief Product and Engineering Officer, CJ Desai, shares additional insights and innovations in his blog.

About ServiceNow:
ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is making the world of work, work better for people. Our cloud‑based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.

© 2021 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

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Contacts:

Jacqueline Velasco
(408) 561‑1937
press@servicenow.com

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Overcoming the rare earths shortage with the circular economy

A report by Adamas Intelligence predicts that if the global rare earth industry continues to exploit these resources in the same way, in three to five years demand will outgrow supply. This is worrying news for manufacturing, as a scarcity of rare earths would affect the production of high-tech products like electric vehicles and robots. Here, Claudia Jarrett, US country manager at automation part supplier EU Automation, discusses the importance of rare earths in manufacturing and how a circular economy model can help limit their use. 

According to the author of The Structure of Rare-Earth Metal Surface, rare earth elements that we use today were born in a supernova explosion around ten billion years ago. They are in many products that are part our daily lives — inside fluorescent light bulbs, in the hard drives of PCs, mobile phones, electric vehicles and many other everyday products.  

Physically, rare earths are not scarce. They are even more common in the earth’s crust than many other metals such as gold, uranium, or tin. However, they are considered rare because their mineable concentrations are less common than for most other ores. Since there is no way of reproducing them artificially, we have only a limited supply of these materials and no alternative to them can be found.

Applications of rare earths 

Featured with unique magnetic, catalytic and optical properties, rare earths are widely used in many high-tech and low-carbon technologies, from hard disk drives, electric vehicles and fibre optic cables to missile guidance system, medical devices, and clean energy technologies. 

Five rare earth minerals, tantalum, silver, lithium, gallium and indium, are widely used in modern technologies. For example, tantalum has been commonly used in the electronic capacitors in computers and mobile phones for its energy-storing capacity. Owing to its low failure rate, it has also been used in automotive and aerospace electronics, atomic energy and wind turbines. 

Another important rare earth mineral, gallium, is used in its liquid form for human machine interfaces (HMIs), screens and solar panels. Since it has a low melting point but a high boiling point, it is used in gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN) compounds in semiconductors for its heat-transfer and cooling properties. 

In short supply

The complicated recycling process and environmental impacts of these materials is one of the reasons why rare earth minerals are in short supply. Some minerals like gold can be extracted from legacy technology through recycling. However, it’s more difficult to recycle rare earth minerals because the process, known as smelting, is very energy-intensive, may produce harmful emissions, and requires further downstream separation processes. 

The fact that nowadays people own more technology items but don’t know how to reuse or recycle them is also contributing to the scarcity of rare earths. According to an Ipsos MORI survey commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry, 51 per cent of UK households have at least one unused electronic device. Of these, 82 per cent have no plans to recycle or sell their devices. Hoarding redundant tech has become even more common during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people shifted to remote work and education. 

Rare earth elements are used to produce high-strength permanent magnets that have enabled the production of consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and laptops, as well as automation technologies adopted in manufacturing. For example, servo motors rely on magnetic materials containing neodymium and dysprosium. If no measure is taken, the rapidly growing demand for magnet rare earths like neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium might exceed their supplies in the next two decades.

Circular economy 

To contribute to limiting the global use of rare earths, manufacturers could consider replacing their traditional linear economy model with a circular model. In the circular economy model, products and materials are recovered and regenerated at the end of their service lives. That being said, when automation parts that contain rare earths break down, sourcing obsolete or reconditioned parts could be a more sustainable solution. 

EU Automation offers a comprehensive supply of refurbished and obsolete automation parts. For more information, please visit the website here

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KraussMaffei supplies highly efficient extrusion technologies for ground-Breaking PureCycle recycling process

(Hannover, 2 September 2021) Stock market listed PureCycle Technologies (Nasdaq: PCT) launches a multi-million dollar recycling project in the USA.

PureCycle uses a highly innovative process to convert carpet scraps based on polypropylene (PP) composite material into high-purity pellets that are equivalent to virgin material. The company’s flagship plant is underway in Ohio and is scheduled to begin operating at scale in 2022. The plant will be equipped with several extruders delivered by Hannover-based KraussMaffei Extrusion, based primarily on its unparalleled expertise and uncompromising customer support.

“We are extremely pleased about this order and the trust PureCycle has placed in us,” says Carl Philip Pöpel, Director of Product Management at KraussMaffei. “Acting as a full-line provider of various extrusion technologies, we are in a position to deliver an outstanding high-performance package solution that enables efficient and resource-conserving plastics recycling and offers substantial added value.”

PureCycle sets new standard in plastics recycling
PureCycle uses proprietary technology licensed from The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) to recycle waste PP into ultra-pure recycled-PP for applications spanning consumer goods, automotive, building and construction, and industrial uses.

“Thanks to PureCycle’s technology, we have succeeded in removing all impurities, odors, and dye residues from carpet remnants so that the PP pellets produced are equivalent to virgin material, both in terms of appearance and mechanical properties,” explains Brett Hafer, VP Manufacturing at PureCycle. “Now that PureCycle has passed the pilot phase successfully, we are building the world’s most modern PP recycling line.”

Processing of up to eight metric tons of PP waste carpet per hour
The core component of the new PureCycle line is the extraction process. The technique cleans melted PP composite material from dye residues, foreign plastics and odors, providing for a pure PP melt and a recycled, re-usable co-product. The circulating solvent is then purified and returned to the process.

Two twin-screw extruders from KraussMaffei serve for melting the dry PP carpet scraps that are used as feedstock for the PureCycle process. These extruders are characterized by their ideal ratio between free volume and high specific torque, which makes them the first choice for processing the large-volume carpet scraps. Thanks to the high torque density of up to 16 Nm/cm³, they plasticize the starting material even at moderate temperatures and low speed and thus ensure optimum material homogenization and minimum energy consumption. Both high-performance extruders supply up to 8 metric tons of processed feedstock per hour via a melt pipe into the PureCycle process.

After passing PureCycle’s first processing stage, the cleaned melt is fed into the degassing extruder specifically designed to effectively remove any high-molecular residual monomers. Volatile matter like solvent residues and other impurities, such as adhering odorous substances and low-molecular compounds, are gently separated from the melt. The result is pure PP pellets that can easily be used to manufacture a wide variety of products by injection molding or extrusion coating processes.

“The collaboration and support we received from KraussMaffei has been exceptional. Collectively, we achieved real technical innovations and developed an exceptional solution for our process. We look forward to continuing this relationship as we scale our Ultra-Pure Polypropylene Technology globally,” said Scott Brown, Vice President of Program Management at PureCycle.

“We are exceedingly proud that – based on the tests carried out in our R&D center and the jointly developed modular concept – PureCycle has opted for KraussMaffei’s extrusion technology and that we can now make a decisive contribution to the world’s most modern PP recycling plant,” says Carl Philip Pöpel.

The complete installation of the plant will be an important milestone in the history of plastics recycling.

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