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3D printing and IoT: Building ‘digital enterprises’ of the longer term 



3D printing is constant to collect momentum and grow in demand as demonstrated by many recent headlines. Companies and individuals across a variety of industries are experimenting by extruding various different materials, including plastic and metal for prototyping their products and parts.

Whilst a big value of 3D printing comes from enabling designs or design cycles which were previously challenging to realize using conventional methods, extra capabilities resulting from the event of the web of Things (IoT) promise to form 3D printing useful in many new and more exciting ways.

In fact, manufacturers utilising IoT solutions saw a mean 28.5 per cent increase in revenue between 2013 and 2014 consistent with a TATA Consultancy Survey. subsequent generation of talent has the chance to ‘digitally connect the dots’ of a contemporary factory floor to realize smarter ‘real-life’ insight over their competition, linking 3D processes through the utilization of IoT.


A new array of business opportunities

If a baron isn't considering implementing fundamentally different processes or part designs, then they're going to miss out on much of the benefit and opportunities for overall cost reduction and value enhancement.

3D printing fundamentally allows for rapid design cycles which may either reduce design time, or can improve designs during a given time, or often both. Moreover, this innovative printing can reduce the general costs of producing , albeit the top process implemented isn't 3D printing itself.

Looking ahead, extra capabilities resulting from the mixing of the IoT with 3D printing promise even more exciting opportunities. With the arrival of massive data and therefore the idea of remote printing, we'll soon be ready to gain smarter ‘real-life’ insights over the competition and meet up 3D processes like never before.


Industry-specific examples

Businesses operating within the aeronautical and healthcare sectors function good illustrations of the how 3D printing and therefore the IoT are often combined to deliver tangible business benefits.

To keep pace with an increasingly competitive international market, it’s crucial that the UK’s aerospace industry continues to seek out ways to enhance passenger experience whilst scaling back costs and becoming more energy efficient. For this reason, many businesses within the aeronautical manufacturing industry are already considering new design, manufacture techniques and technologies like 3D printing which will help them meet demands for greater efficiency and innovation while, at an equivalent time, enabling them to figure within ever tighter budgets.

In the recent United Launch Alliance between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for instance , a move to 3D printing technology for the manufacture of components saved the businesses a reported $1 million during a year.

However, with 3D printing still being a comparatively new technology, engineers got to create adequate internal control methods and therefore the IoT can play a crucial role during this .

GE Aviation, for instance , now connects big data to 3D printing using strategically placed sensors to gather and analyse manufacturing information to detect production problems in real time. The technology identifies factors like temperature and structural integrity and therefore the data gathered helps improve the standard of outputs from many manufacturing products.

In the healthcare industry, the utilization of 3D printing is currently helping to enhance the standard of the many patients’ lives. for instance , individuals with only one finger can now use personalised joysticks to regulate their wheelchair, whilst the existence of customised bionic eyes helps people with profound vision loss to recover some sight employing a retinal implant.

At an equivalent time, the info revolution is empowering the healthcare industry by enabling the event of connected devices like wearables and tailored apps which are helping consumers take hold over their own health during a highly personalised manner.

Combining these two revolutions – digital manufacturing and large data – will equip the industry with tools which will revolutionise the way health is monitored, analysed and improved so as to reinforce everyone’s quality of life.


What next?

With an ever increasing demand for fast and quality produced parts and therefore the convergence of software and hardware, the importance of 3D printing techniques is probably going to continue growing and developing further.

To plan the journey towards realising the aspiration of being a real ‘digital enterprise’, on-demand manufacturing is vital , and innovative manufacturing companies got to differentiate themselves by always looking to travel one step ahead.

For this reason, manufacturers are likely to not only adopt 3D printing technologies that allow them to rework their operating models but also to digitally connect the processes in order that information about product usage, production capabilities and market and customer requirements are often shared and analysed much faster than ever before.

Ultimately, IoT solutions are during a great position to merge with the new digital manufacturing processes, to digitally connect the dots within the manufacturing floor and help compile the new ‘digital enterprise’ of the longer term .


Q&A with KRCS Group


Compare the Cloud has been interviewing cloud experts and learning about their companies and today the spotlight is on KRCS, a retailer and Apple expert partner. We sat down with Philip Woods, Director at KRCS Group, to seek out out a touch more about his business.

Tell us about yourself and your experience within the cloud computing industry?
KRCS has worked with all sizes of business and academic establishments since 1983, but our add recent years with larger organisations has shown us that a move to cloud based services on mobile technologies features a huge impact on productivity. At the beginning of 2015 we identified that smaller businesses can really struggle with the migration to cloud technologies, particularly the first stages of the method that involve transferring from traditional infrastructure products. It are often daunting for businesses without in house IT knowledge.

Who are KRCS and what's your differentiator during a crowded ERP market?
KRCS may be a retailer and an Apple expert partner. Our expertise stretches to cloud based POS solutions like Vend.

We take an extended term consultative approach to our business relationships with retailers, and that we genuinely desire we provide a singular perspective on their challenges. A successful account for KRCS is based upon the success for our customers. we'll do everything we will to share the knowledge that we’ve built up over 15 years trading as an Apple retailer to help in any area of a retailer’s business, not just POS.

What countries have KRCS deployed into?
KRCS has only worked with UK based retailers, and primarily those in and around our home territories, particularly the Midlands and north of England.

What are the event plans for VEND KRCS?
One of our key USPs as a Vend expert is that we’re local to our customers. a big development plan for the remainder of 2016 is to expand our agenda of retailer ‘meet up’ events in our stores. We are getting to run one per month as a showcase for what’s new within the world of Vend, but also as a general business networking event for like-minded local business owners.

Where did the name KRCS originate from?
KRCS was initially registered as KR Computer Services in 1983. K and R ask the Christian name initials of our two founders and Directors, Ken Woods and Rod Bishop.

What are the trends your organisation is noticing within the marketplace?
Currently the trend is towards subscription-based cloud solutions that don’t require an enormous upfront investment. We also are seeing a real desire from retailers to form their solution scalable. All begin retailers have a dream of owning multiple stores at some point , and because of cloud solutions like Vend they're ready to work towards this goal from day one. during this way their operation can scale seamlessly as their business grows.

How does one shall attract new customers onto your platform?
The answer to the present question might be a lengthy one, so I’ll just mention a couple of key points:

We offer an entire range of advanced cloud-based solutions for retailers, including Vend for POS, Deputy for workers scheduling and Xero for accounts and payroll
We specialize in supplying and servicing iPads, the simplest platform to run these systems on
We aim to exceed every single one among our customers’ expectations, and when people receive excellent service, they have a tendency to inform both their friends and their business allies
We don’t attempt to flood the market with pointless marketing messages. We keep it personal!
A question we ask everyone: “What is your definition of cloud computing?”
Cloud computing may be a software solution that’s available from anywhere with an online connection. The definition then splits into two, because larger organisations may very well host the system in house, while for smaller businesses instead access the software remotely on a securely managed shared server platform to make sure low cost and high reliability.

Tell us what your average day entails?
I’m a Director of an SME, so no day is average. My day can involve planning for a big new business venture, like our relationship with Vend, or trying to seek out an emergency technician to open a failed security shutter.

Who is that the team behind the KRCS Group?
KRCS is actually a family run business. My father (Ken Woods) is our director and still actively involved within the business on a day to day . My brother (Robert) and that i effectively run the operational side of our businesses, but our senior leadership team includes four people without the Woods surname, so we will ensure an independent opinion is heard.

And finally if you'll change one thing within the cloud computing industry what wouldn't it be?
I think it might be the vast array of solutions seemingly available to try to to an equivalent thing.information technology schools In time I hope that the market rationalises, but immediately it’s a nightmare for owners looking to navigate to the proper solution for his or her business, as independent advice like ours is extremely hard to return by.The rise of the robots – a networking perspective

When a switch is worth 1,000 robots!
Cutting-edge robots and other advanced smart machines are set to be added into the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, which is projected to succeed in 25 billion devices by 2020. Robotics has already been utilized in manufacturing to great effect for over a decade, performing delicate and precise tasks with a better success rate than humans. With advancements like ‘deep learning’ robots, delivery drones and ubiquitous knowledge-sharing between machines, widespread robotics adoption is becoming much more feasible.

In healthcare, there are already robotic services operational with automated pharmacy dispensing and robotic trolleys – robots which will navigate between floors and even call the lift employing a Wi-Fi sensor. The hospitality sector has also been a keen adopter of robotics to deliver services and in education, robots are being deployed successfully as a teacher , tool or peer in learning activities, providing language, science and technology education.

Balancing risk and reward
We must exercise caution when considering a broad introduction of robots and smart ‘Machine to Machine’ (M2M) devices. Robotics delivering such essential services will create a huge involve greater bandwidth and prioritise on-demand connectivity – but can these be fulfilled with legacy IT systems? Without a robust and capable network as a backbone, individual smart devices won't flourish within the workplace, bottlenecked by capacity limitations.

How can businesses that operate in traditional IT environments hope to successfully exploit and integrate this advanced automation? Can their networks ever meet the stress for smooth interoperability, large amounts of bandwidth, and continuous reliability so as to support constant data streams? the solution is yes – new developments in network technology are enabling businesses to develop the proper infrastructure to support the adoption of robots.

When a switch is quite just a switch
Adequate bandwidth must be available to make sure time-sensitive tasks with little margin for error aren't interrupted. this is often where the network truly shows its worth – the appliance Fluent Network that's comprised of strong switches capable of withstanding heavy demand for bandwidth and connectivity are going to be best poised to adopt automation to maximum effect.

The most advanced generation of SDN-ready, Application Fluent Network switches incorporate features like embedded network analytics and deep packet inspection. These application and device aware switches will leave data prioritisation and smart machines and robots to work unhindered by bottlenecks.

Industrial-grade switches also are now available, capable of operating 24/7 at the network edge up challenging industrial conditions like heat , dust and humidity and are a necessity in many of the differing workplace environments where robots are going to be deployed. If a switch isn't robust or tends to urge damaged or made ineffective often it means many Pounds worth of robotic automation might be rendered useless. These rugged switches are already available, and may be found in challenging environments starting from offshore wind farms to underground tunnel infrastructure.

But the challenges are twofold – physical and digital. By introducing Intelligent Fabric technology, enterprise networks can dynamically adapt to the wants of virtualised workloads and simplify network operations through comprehensive automation. An Application Fluent Network strategy on which Intelligent Fabric networking is predicated provides the agility and adaptability that's vital for integrating robots into a network of any size, prioritising data & applications 24/7 in order that service is usually delivered within the right place at the proper time.

A cloud-centric future?
Developments in cloud computing with the potential to harness the advantages of converged infrastructure for robotics appear highly promising in early stage testing, like cloud-based processing of complex data within the sort of speech and face recognition . Yet practical deployment of this advanced technology is formed possible by developments in networking like high data transfer rates and improved interoperability. the increase of cloud-based, on-demand computing has brought with it the power to incrementally deploy robots for greater cost-efficiency.

As 2016 moves onwards, we should always be observant of how networking and cloud technology develop alongside robotics. Smart machines won't perform effectively when served by an unintelligent network. Enterprises will need intelligent, automated network prioritisation in the least levels, to make sure the proper data is delivered to the proper location without interruption.


Artificial Intelligence might be Set to form Security Smarter


The future of online security is within the hands of AI (AI); that’s the prediction many industry experts are currently making. Although the event of computers capable of intelligent thought is nothing new, AI experts are now beginning to expand the capabilities of their technology.

Indeed, back within the 1950s breakthroughs like alpha-beta pruning were hugely important, but mainly because they allowed computers to play chess at a more advanced level. While it’s true that chess has been one among the benchmarks for the capabilities of AI machines over the years, developers have moved on to new pastures ever since Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in 1996.

AI’s Gaming Skills Could Provide Smart Security Solutions

Today, researchers like those at Carnegie Mellon University are working to unravel games like No Limit Texas Hold’em. Unlike chess where all the variables are known (each player knows the spectrum of possible moves in any situation), No Limit Texas Hold’em may be a game of unknown variables.

Because the betting is unrestricted and a player’s cards aren’t on display, the amount of possible hand combinations and moves makes it almost impossible to predict what’s getting to happen.information technology degree For AI researchers this poses a tantalising opportunity to develop the skills of AI machines and in 2015 Claudico took on a number of the simplest players within the world.

Developed by Tuomas W. Sandholm and his team at Carnegie Mellon University, the AI program narrowly lost the match but proved that computers can now make optimal moves against unknown variables. In fact, it’s this result that’s promoted Sandholm to suggest AI could soon be wont to tackle cybercrime.

Using an equivalent level of study that allowed Claudico to play No Limit Hold’em, security systems of the longer term could detect the strategies of an opponent (i.e. a hacker) then find out how to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses.


Modern Security is that the Product of Evolution


While this technology might not be perfected for an additional decade, the roots are already there. If we glance at the evolution of online security we will see a movement faraway from static systems towards programs that provide a more dynamic sort of protection.

It wont to be the case that tiny businesses would need to believe stock security hardware to guard their systems. However, with small businesses now a target for hackers, something more is required . This increased threat level has given rise to the utilization of cloud-based security solutions like web application firewalls (WAFs) within the tiny businessmen .

Offering a dynamic, cost-effective compliment to any hardware a business may own, cloud-based WAFs protects from common web application threats and vulnerabilities. From cross-site scripting to remote file inclusion and SQL injections, WAFs are currently the simplest way for businesses of all sizes to guard their data.

What’s more, this technology is both a product of the days and of the safety industry’s evolution.technology credit union Indeed, because cloud technology is now a mainstream product (rather than the niche projects like Salesforce.com were in 1999), industries are now ready to tap into its capabilities and this is often what the safety industry has done over the last decade.

Instead of sticking to the hardware solutions of the past, leading security companies are now combining this technology with WAFs so as to supply multiple layers of protection. However, like all things within the tech world, things will still evolve and that’s where AI could inherit the combination . Whether it’s some sort of standalone protection or the mixing of AI with current solutions like WAF, it's as if that’s the way the industry is heading which, for consumers, should be seen as a positive.