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Getting it right the first time

With digital twins helping to ward off manufacturing defects, maybe product recalls will soon be a thing of the past?

15 September is a date Samsung employees are unlikely to forget anytime soon. It’s the day U.S. safety regulators formally announced a recall of Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in response to an electrical fault that had caused several units to overheat and even catch fire during charging. At that time there were already over a million of the phones in circulation worldwide, making the recall action a hugely expensive exercise.

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The augmented reality – just a game?

The augmented reality appeared to be relegated to the shadows until just a few months ago. But thanks to the Pokemon Go smartphone app, virtual reality is suddenly on everyone’s radar.

Catching little creatures using virtual balls may not seem like the best or most clever way to use this technology – but it certainly is profitable: Creator Nintendo earns some USD 200 with the app – every second!

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Everything Comes Together

Materials like aluminum and carbon are making our cars, rockets and ships lighter and lighter. However, perfect materials alone cannot guarantee the best possible results.

The lightweight construction trend in the industrial sector continues unabated. By 2030, the annual turnover with lightweight components made of high-tensile steel, aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic is set to explode from roughly 70 to over 300 billion Euros . By far the most important market for this is the transport sector , followed by the aerospace and shipping industries. The legally-mandated CO2 reduction for automobiles by 2020 is one reason why the lightweight construction trend remains so dynamic. That makes electric drives – and lightweight construction – increasingly important for the automotive industry. Batteries are heavy, so manufacturers have to find other areas where they can save weight to improve the range of electric vehicles. However, lightweight construction is catching on more and more in other transport and industrial sectors thanks to the potential efficiency improvements and environmental benefits.

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Robot or cobot: The five key differences

Cobots are on the rise. How do they differ from conventional industrial robots?

The concept for cobots (collaborative robots) was born in 1995 as part of a research project spearheaded by the General Motors Foundation. The idea was to make robots so safe that they could literally work hand in hand with people. Now, twenty years later, cobots have found a place on many factory floors – and also in public awareness. And yet many don’t really understand how cobots are different from robots.