Apparently, Chipzilla wants to show new ways to use old gear and boost automation and will be telling visitors about all the research it is doing on the challenges and complexities of today's factories.
Intel vice president of the Internet of Things Group Christine Boles said: "In this age of rapid digital transformation, we need to reimagine manufacturing and factories as we know them. Intel, with a strong partner ecosystem, is supporting manufacturers on their journey to the intelligent factory. By providing products transforming the computing technology from the factory floor to the cloud at the edge for driving industrial process automation, Intel is empowering manufacturers to deliver on the promise of intelligent factories now."
Intel said that as new factories are interconnected and data-driven, they are becoming more intelligent and responsive, with greater machine automation, increased machine-to-human interaction, and the ability to nimbly adjust and control all aspects of operations in near real-time with advanced edge computing. These factories support collaboration among humans, machines and production systems throughout the manufacturing ecosystem.
For example, Beckhoff Automation's TwinCAT Vision for quality assurance (QA) brings near real-time image processing to the factory floor to proactively detect mechanical anomalies along the production line. QA processes are streamlined, minimizing downtime and defects and increasing production. Powering this are Xeon processors, which brings server-grade compute to the edge. Hikvision's computer vision-guided robots, powered by Intel's Movidius Myriad 2 VPUs, are currently being used by both JD.com in its unmanned sorting centres and Mattel in its smart factory. These robots increase efficiencies and safety as they move products across the production line through final staging and warehouse areas.
Boles said that as factories become more digitally connected, the question arises what to do with legacy equipment, which is often custom-built and expensive and wasn't built with IoT in mind.
At Hannover, Intel and its partners are demonstrating how to evolve condition and performance monitoring of legacy machines from hands-on human intervention to an automated process. IoT solutions can optimise legacy assets and access fresh data insights. Connectivity is just the first step. Using advanced software and analytics tools unlocks opportunities and enables more compute by consolidating systems at the edge and drive software-defined process automation.