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Industry 4.0 and its Implications on the Design Process

Industry 4.0 is the term that represents the next stage of automated manufacturing that includes cloud computing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and advancements in other digital technologies. These developments have led to what is being called ‘Smart Factories’; factories in which all the machines, devices and sensors are able to communicate, share information and make simple decisions autonomously. This next phase of manufacturing will allow the process to become more reliable, more flexible, will reduce labour costs and improve productivity.

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ITERATE TO BENEFIT FROM £1M 3D PRINTING PROJECT

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded an InnovateUK grant in order to develop an advanced 3D printing technology. The collaborative research project between the University of Warwick; Printed Electronics Ltd; and C Enterprise (UK) Ltd, makers of the CEL Robox, will focus on combining deposition of polymer based materials with electrically conductive inks; potentially replacing the need for wires to be used in electro-mechanical product assemblies.  Read more

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The Influence of Arduinos in New Product Development

Arduinos and similar microcontroller boards are having a huge impact on the way modern products are developed. The low cost and easy to use systems mean that designers and engineers are able to prototype and test ideas in a short period of time, allowing them to make design decisions based on rapid feedback.

By ‘hooking up’ simple electronic components, one is able to test: interfaces, interactions and record data; allowing designers to make changes and improve the quality of a final product. There are a number of ways Arduinos have accelerated the new product process, which are explored below:  Read more

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Event: When The Internet of Things Goes Wrong

On Tuesday 11th July, our Managing Director, Gethin Roberts, will be talking at the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), which is part of The University of Warwick. The light hearted Internet of Things (IoT) event will look at when things go wrong and what to avoid when developing such products, as well as speculating about what may happen in the future. Read more

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How Amazon Launchpad Is Helping Start-Up Companies

Amazon Launchpad is a platform setup with the intention of helping start-ups to grow by taking advantage of Amazon’s pre-existing network of fulfilment and marketing. Applicants are generally accepted from a pre-approved list of funding sources such as Kickstarter, venture capitalist firms and other types of start-up accelerators; but they also consider applicants who raised finance using alternative methods. Once accepted onto the Launchpad, Amazon offer a range of marketing and PR tools to help grow a business. Read more

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The Intelligence of Biomimicry in Engineering Design

Biomimicry is an innovation technique that draws inspiration from the natural world to create sustainable solutions by emulating natures tried and tested methods. As our world becomes more advanced and we face ever increasing challenges, from climate change to crippling traffic; how has the natural world managed to survive since life first arose 3.8 billion years ago? As we strive for more technological breakthroughs how can this natural world influence us and provide solutions to our problems? In the past we have taken advantage of the natural world to create highly effective technologies. For example, sonar was developed in the early 1900s – this has been used in the natural world for thousands of years by creatures such as bats and dolphins. Some other fascinating examples of biomimicry include: Read more

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Funding for Early-Stage Design

Design Foundations is a new £3m grant funding programme from Innovate UK to help businesses identify innovation opportunities and generate better propositions for desirable, useful and feasible products, services and business models.

The aim is to build collaborations between businesses looking for new ways to innovate, and designers with the creative tools to provide this insight. It means using design interventions to address critical business challenges such as:

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How Wearable Tech Could Influence Medical Services

‘Wearables’ have exploded over the last 10 years with many companies realising success by integrating off-the-shelf technologies in to their service or product range. These have tended to focus on monitoring personal health and wellbeing; however, wearable technologies could solve many of the problems that currently existing within the public health sector. Read more

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ITERATE Support Group-Muv at CES 2016

This month we supported our client, Group-Muv, at the 4 day Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which ran 6th – 9th January. Over 3,600 businesses and 170,000 delegates attended the event that spanned 2.4 million square feet across venues that included: the Las Vegas Convention Center; the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino; and the Sands Expo & Convention Center. CES is a leading annual technology event that allows businesses from all over the world to showcase the latest consumer innovations.

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Why you should ditch that off-the-shelf enclosure

I recently visited a manufacturing company in the Midlands who produced electronic control systems for the utilities sector. My understanding of such control systems is limited but it was clear that the company had developed a unique product that was proving very popular with their customers.

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