New Hackathon – Shaking things up from the Inside

By AdamDales

It’s accepted that companies leaning to Agile, will hold rites of passage to innovation from time to time. Hackathons play a big part in this. These days at Tecnomatix, we’re getting ready for our 3rd one – Hackathon 2014 with the subtitle, Manufacturing 2020. Of course we hope our vision of the trends in these coming years will prove to be with 20/20 foresight.

So what are we going to be hacking about this time? Thinking about the advances of the coming 5-6 years gets very interesting. Heard about “cyber-physical”? That’s an adaptive factory system that will react autonomously to unanticipated events and changes in the flow of operations. Now how do we build that cyber-physicality into our planning and simulation software? How do we start to model automated “on the fly” reactivity in our solutions? Possible hint – the internet of things.

Another big push is towards energy sustainability in the digital factory. There is a complex skein of factors to adjust for, like placement of the robots, best efficiencies in robot shutdown and restart. And knowing how to utilize periods of favorable market prices for energy.

A third push is in the direction of new generation robots – smaller, with more refined operation capability, faithful assistants to human workers in the Final Assembly cell. These Intelligent Worker Assist (IWA) robots will be specially enabled to collaborate with their human counterparts while not endangering those guys and gals with their mechanical movements.

Hackathon 2014 is ready to strike later this month – stay tuned to hear about some of the over-the-top solutions that will come out of the event, that are bound to innovate the future!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at