ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Showing News Filtered By Date from: 2016-12-01 - 2016-12-31

  • Dec 22 2016

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    The future of food will be automated

    Automation is the use of various control systems for operating equipment with minimal or reduced human intervention. Many industries have seen the benefits of automation, with completely automated systems providing far greater accuracy and precision over time than humans are capable of.Take the automotive industry, for example, where robotics are put to great use and have removed much of the need for human labour in vehicle manufacturing. Assembly line robotics are just one example of automation improving quality while reducing or eliminating the need for humans to put themselves at risk. Furthermore, the accuracy of robotics ensures limited wasted materials, and allows human workers to take on positions in less hazardous areas.One of the biggest impacts in the coming years and decades will be on the food industry. Already, automated robotics are being put to use in the agricultural sector to monitor crops and distribute liquid, while 3D printing is changing the face of fast food by creating processed meals for the elderly.3D printing makes the most of out meatFor those who have trouble chewing, or swallowing in the case of dysphagia, 3D printed meals offer an appetising solution to traditional pureed food - creating authentic, realistic-looking meals. Recently, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) examined the benefits of 3D printing red meat, saying the benefits to the consumer would be disease prevention, convenience, appearance and decreased malnutrition for elderly aged care patients. 3D printing food could lead to lower food waste and a greater level of happiness for aged care residents. In aged-care facilities, the use of 3D printers to generate meals for the elderly reduces the strain on staff and creates a greater number of meals than a human chef would normally be capable. Due to the need for food safety, much of the food in aged-care facilities can be tough due to being overcooked. The limited resources of such a facility can then mean that many patients slowly develop malnutrition and, most importantly, don't experience a high quality of life. 3D printing, and automation of food processing, eliminates much of the dependence on human chefs, and maximises the use of a facilities' resources, which could lead to lower food waste and a greater level of happiness for residents. In the world of production and automation, however, robotics are being put to use in the agricultural sector - where a solar-powered farming robot from the University of Sydney is making life easier on the farm. The robot caretaker changing agricultureRobotics specialists from the University of Sydney have created RIPPA - Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application - a robot capable of detecting weeds and eliminating them using a directed micro-dose of liquid. RIPPA is an example of how automation is generating higher levels of efficiency in commercial food production, and quite possibly just the first in many future farming robots.  Could robots one day help manage our land? Systems engineering and operations specialist Mark Calleija, who built the solar-powered farming robot, believes their creation is the key to farms of the future. "The technology can be used to automatically apply the correct dose of fluid required anywhere on the farm at high speed," he said."It will enable farmers to capitalise by minimising application input costs and improving information quality for better high-level decision making. This type of new technology will assist growers in taking their farms into the future."Automation is the key to future manufacturing and food production and, in a few cases, the future is already here. Automated accounting software with ABMAdvanced Business Manager is software comprised of a core accounting system that can be custom-tailored to your suit the specific needs of your business.

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  • Dec 21 2016

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    The building blocks of future manufacturing

    The Australian manufacturing sector has fallen from the high point it experienced 20 years ago, with significant drops in both gross domestic product (GDP) and employment contribution.In 1995, Australian manufacturing employed more than a million individuals, and contributed to 14 per cent of the GDP. Now two decades later, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) reports the industry has dropped to an employment figure of 856,000 and a GDP contribution of just 6.05 per cent.The manufacturing industry has dropped to an employment figure of 856,000 and a GDP contribution of just 6.05 per cent.Rebuilding the manufacturing industryBut is Australian manufacturing set to experience a further decline or a revival? Currently, industries all around the globe are experiencing a state of disruption, from both advancing technology and a change in workplace culture.CSIRO recently released "The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap", a plan that highlights significant growth opportunities in manufacturing emerging technologies such as 3D printing, sensors, augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and robotics.The success of this plan will largely be dependent on matching global and local appetites for new technologies, and supplying market-leading products that will see worldwide adoption. Two markets that have shown demand for emerging technologies, specifically in the area of robotics, are Japan and Korea.Strong trade agreements will support exportsIn the Australian Industry Report 2015, the successful future of manufacturing was highlighted by two recent trade agreements, with Japan and Korea, which will provide almost entirely duty-free entry of exported goods into both countries.The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force in 2014 and 2015 respectively. For Korea, 88 per cent of Australia's exported resources, energy and manufacturing products will receive duty-free entry, with all remaining tariffs set to be removed by 2023. The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force in 2015. The Japan agreement allows for an even higher rate of goods access, with 97 per cent of exports being giving preferential access or allowed to enter Japan dutyfree.Future materials and production linesOne of the underlying themes of the market transition for manufacturing is digital disruption. To illustrate this point best is to look to the 1980s and 90s - when the personal computer was introduced. This change led to the closure or sale of many microcomputer manufacturers, as they were unsuccessful in forecasting how the market would change - and how soon. Advanced Business Manager is a powerful and customisable accounting system, capable of adapting to the changing needs of your industry. To find out more about what our software can do for you, reach out to our team today.  

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  • Dec 20 2016

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    Are you prepared for advanced manufacturing?

    In an effort to revitalise the Australian manufacturing industry back to the days of its former glory in the mid-90s, in 2015 the Queensland government created the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap.The 10-year plan is to invest nearly $200 million across a range of industries. But what exactly is advanced manufacturing, and why does the government believe that pursuing it is the key to turning the Australian manufacturing industry around?The current and next generation of advanced robots will find use in a number of customer-facing roles.What is advanced manufacturing?Advanced manufacturing entails more than just building emerging technology, and incorporates everything from the design stage through to research and development and beyond into distribution and after-sale support services. This ensures that value is increased across the entire lifecycle of the product.However, the real excitement comes from the products themselves, four of which are detailed by in the 10-year plan:Advanced robotics - the current and next generation of robots will be used in a number of customer-facing roles. Already, many are being deployed at ports and airports, with interest increasing each year. Nanoelectronics - our reliance on computers, smartphones and communications technology has furthered research in nanoelectronics; advanced materials that will enable products to be thinner, lighter, store a greater amount of information and use less power. Biomanufacturing - the world of advanced medicine is expanding through the use of cells and living organisms to create vaccines, organic clones and medical proteins. Materials by design - aerospace, transportation and electronics will be reliant on creating materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and promote energy efficiency. In their 10-year plan, the Queensland government lay out expectations for advanced manufacturing, the focus required by businesses to achieve the goals and the potential challenges they will face. Nanotechnology will allow for flexible, lightweight screens. The challenges faced by future businessesThe first challenge to overcome for the food industry, according to the discussion paper, is a lack of integration into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or control system, either due to cost complications for businesses, or a lack of trust that software will work effectively. The second, and interlinked, challenge is a low number of smaller businesses developing into medium, globally-focused enterprises. This, the roadmap states, has widened the gap between local business practices and the international standards for technology and design.Advanced Business Manager provides not only a reliable and powerful core accounting platform, but a number of additional modules that be tailored to suit the needs of your evolving or growing business. To learn more about our additional software modules and what they can do for you, get in touch today.

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