Stanley Black and Decker recently became the first company internationally to open up their brand new “Manufactory 4.0” at Constitution Plaza in Hartford, CT. This 23,000 square-foot center will serve as a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing center and training center for the company’s international industry 4.0 “smart factory” initiatives. This new facility will also help to highlight Stanley Blacker and Decker’s success with integrating industry 4.0 practices into their company’s policies, such as how they have improved communication between humans and automated technology, used interconnected systems to improve the collaboration between plants and solve problems, and utilize big data analytics to improve productivity and efficiency world-wide. Operated by a team of experts in the field, the facility not only aims to showcase the company’s continued work with integrating technologies and practices of the future into their current manufacturing technologies, but also to provide an interactive space where young professionals and younger children can see what types of career opportunities are available in advanced manufacturing.
Based in New Britain, CT, Stanley Blacker and Decker operates and maintains approximately 30 manufacturing facilities across the US, and more than 100 facilities worldwide. Out of these locations, three facilities have been designated as “lighthouse factories”, which have been working to partially implement industry 4.0 techniques into their facilities and into other technologies, such as manufacturing execution systems (MES), artificial intelligence systems, 3-D printing, and virtual reality. Now, with the opening of the new Manufactury 4.0 facility, the company plans to integrate another 25 “lighthouse facilities” into their global base by the end of the 2019 year.
The opening of the Manufactory will make Hartford the epicenter of the company’s industry 4.0 efforts. Not only will this help to integrate smart factory 4.0 technologies into Stanley Black and Decker locations world-wide, but it will also help to catalyze Connecticut’s evolution into the leading market for advanced manufacturing in the United States. A Manufactory is described as a training center, that utilizes industry 4.0 technologies such as digital thread, digital twin, IoT, ARVR and big data analytics to help connect manufacturing facilities world-wide and integrate new and innovative industrial technologies into the workforce on a united front. Through their virtual reality techniques, the center will work to assist other facilities world-wide in adopting leading edge-technologies and ensuring that the global workforce is adequately prepared for the new industry. One of the highlights of this facility is the demo shop floor, where the all the technologies and equipment are part of the facility’s digital thread. These fully specified machines, along with are used to train operators and mechanics around the world.
Dr. Bollas and Dr. Thompson with the University of Connecticut UTC Institute of Advanced Systems Engineering attended the Stanley Black & Decker (SB&D) Manufactory Grand Opening last Thursday in Hartford with a contingent of faculty and staff from the University of Connecticut. SB&D’s CEO, Hartford’s Mayor, and Connecticut Governor Lamont all attended and spoke at the opening. This news clip captures Dr. Thompson discussing the capabilities of Infosys technologies with an Infosys representative. The Infosys technology monitors a parts orientation process and determines raw material, process, or machine errors and defects, real-time, with an intuitive, graphical user interface. The machine operator has the ability to determine problems with a better data set and with built-in AI that aids in the diagnosis of errors and faults. This data can then be used to better design the parts, improve the process and machine, or resolve supply chain quality issues.
The SB&D Grand Opening was a culmination and celebration of a multiyear effort to launch the Industry 4.0 initiative at SB&D. The manufactory space’s purpose at this one-of-a-kind facility is to implement new augmented reality, virtual reality, AI, IoT, and Big Data technologies to support its development of digital threads and digital twins and improve product and manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies that coincides with the work being done at UTC IASE. The Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering looks forward to the opportunity to support them in this effort and to partnering with them to help make industry 4.0 a reality.