The 2020s – A decade of transformation for the world economy

The 2020s – A decade of transformation for the world economy

January 27, 2020

Dominic Keen, CEO Britbots

Welcome to the 2020s, a decade that looks set to be shaped, in part, by the increasingly sophisticated robotics and artificial intelligence technologies that are set to proliferate in many areas of our economic lives.  As we start this new decade, it is a good moment for investors in robotics to take stock of where we are and to look ahead at the some of the themes which are likely to shape industry in the period ahead. 

The last few years have seen the initial signs of diversification from robots solely being used in high volume manufacturing processes, such as car-making, towards a broader set of application areas.  Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn-movers, whilst not yet widespread, have become more commonplace in households; and people are increasingly likely to be speaking to their electronic devices, in particular smart-speakers such as Alexa or Google Home.

It also appears that the era (since the mid-eighties) of largely unchecked flows of goods, people and capital may be coming to an end.  Globalisation, whilst having delivered lower consumer prices, is increasingly being perceived to have also resulted in slower growth, precarious employment and social disruption. If this is indeed the case, it is likely that the UK will continue developing explicit national industrial policies to boost spending on R&D and sharpen its focus on raising domestic productivity.  This could to lead to a more benign climate for the growth of embryonic domestic robotics businesses in the near-term but might limit their scope for the export-led opportunities in the long-run as well.

We anticipate many more robotics use-cases developing over the forthcoming years as the price of robots continue to fall whilst the cost-of-labour increases.  (The minimum wage in the UK is rising 6.2% this year to £8.72 per hour.) Increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities are allowing robotic platforms to act with greater autonomy and precision, addressing ever more nuanced and unpredictable tasks.   Further to this, continued advancements in computing-power and communication networks will support the increasing adoption of ‘plug-and-play’ robots by small and medium-sized businesses and open-up sectors that are currently untouched by widespread robotics adoption.

Trends which we believe drive growing levels of robotic adoption, namely falling global productivity, shrinking labour pools and increasing personal workloads, show few signs abating. We see some of biggest opportunities for robotics in markets where it is difficult to hire and retain labour.   Sectors such as construction, agriculture and elderly care seem particularly ripe for robotic disruption of this sort. We also expect that some categories of products and services which are currently scarce or uneconomic will become more abundant in the forthcoming decade because of their roboticisation.  Potential candidate areas for this type of transformation may include: chauffeuring and other types of domestic service; localised environmental interventions; and highly individualised product customisations.

Whilst stereotypes of a roboticised future tend often to be dystopian, it is our view that the forthcoming changes are likely to be gradual yet widespread and in many ways unremarkable.  Nonetheless, given the breadth of robotics invention currently underway, it’s safe to assume that capable autonomous devices will be playing a much greater role in everyone’s lives by the time the New Year chimes usher in the 2030s.  

Dominic Keen, CEO Britbots
Having successfully floated his mobile software business on the London Stock Exchange in 2013, Dominic founded Britbots in 2016 to support best in class UK robotics, ai and automation start-ups and capitalise from the UK’s technology prowess in these areas. Since then, Britbots has invested in 15 exciting, high-growth companies and helped support an exciting new generation of intelligent autonomous machines that promise to transform our world. 

Britbots are currently actively looking to fund pre-seed start-ups (pre-money valuations usually below £1.5m) in the UK robotics, ai and automation space. If you are looking for funding, please get in touch with [email protected] with your pitch deck.

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Healthcare Automation Trends to Look Forward To

Healthcare Automation Trends to Look Forward To

December 17, 2019

Written by: Annie Fuller

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The healthcare industry has seen a massive technological transformation across the globe and automation has inspired progress, innovation and efficiency. Similarly, digitalisation brought about by IoT technologies is enabling intelligent automation procedures which enhance productivity and allow for better healthcare outcomes.

The healthcare IT market is expected to top $390 billion (£302 billion) by 2024 and while it has been resistant to large-scale technological change, it is sensitive to the ‘butterfly effect’, where even small-scale changes can have dramatic effects. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the trends disrupting healthcare in the next few years.

3D Printing

Much like it has transformed other industries, 3D printing is enabling customisation, prototyping and in-house manufacturing for healthcare. The global market for 3D printing is expected to reach $2.3 billion (£1.8 billion) by next year, and it’s not surprising. From producing physical objects like a 3D printed model of a human heart to printing prosthetics, the technology has afforded much more patient-specific and personalised care for every individual. Additionally, many medical devices and surgical tools can be 3D printed cost-effectively and in less time. New 3D printing technologies like tissue engineering is revolutionising the industry and enables medical professionals to recreate intricate body parts and organs that were not possible a few years ago.

Marketing

Through effective patient engagement and personalisation, marketing automation can improve long-term customer experience and have a substantial return on investment. Medium explains that a marketing automation program allows marketers to be more strategic in creating an efficient targeted campaign to reach out to patients. It eliminates repetitive tasks and allows marketers to focus more on strategic thinking and learning. The process of automation is most effective, however, when used in conjunction with a comprehensive marketing strategy. This is why healthcare professionals should be leaning on SEO as a way to inform patients of their services, as well as gather and analyse the right data. Ayima Kickstart regards SEO as one of the most crucial aspects of digital marketing, noting how establishing a ranking presence in Google is no easy feat for any business or website. While a variety of factors need to be considered when creating a marketing automation program, the most important aspect is the digital marketers themselves, who’s effort will ultimately drive better patient outcomes and experiences.

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR)

The technology has made a huge impact in the gaming industry but it’s now being used for vital purposes in healthcare automation. With VR and AR in the healthcare market reaching $5.1 billion (£3.9 billion) in the next 5 years, the technology is becoming an indispensable tool for training and surgery simulation. While VR has helped patients with trauma, PTSD, depression, cancer, and autism, AR is helping surgeons during brain surgery and other complex procedures.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the rapid growth of AI, it’s potential in the industry is strong in the field of marketing automation, that we mentioned, but more importantly as an invaluable tool that can reduce and mitigate the risk of preventable medical scenarios. One of its most important uses is to discover those in need of medical intervention and generate alerts for medical staff to create custom care plans. AI-enabled robots can also act as physicians to diagnose and triage minor medical issues, while health practitioners and doctors concentrate on more serious cases. With AI in healthcare estimated to grow to a $6.6 billion (£5.1 billion) industry by 2021, it can help reduce the spread of disease and help populations stay healthier.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency.
October 22, 2019

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The automotive industry is an economic sector that involves designing, construction, supply, and trading of motor vehicles. It provides a mode of transportation in many countries like the use of commercial vehicles and collects huge revenue. The best and high automotive producer countries in the world enjoy a good income from this venture as compared to low-volume production or non-producing countries. Manufacturing is cost-effective and requires high levels of machinery. It is defined as the process of transforming raw material to construct motor vehicles and their construction parts.

Automotive companies

Automotive companies refer to groups or organizations that are involved in the automotive manufacturing sector. The creation of these companies can be described as progress for the companies to cope up with better advancements. There is a massive competition among the companies resulting in improvement in efficiency and the rise of new technologies to outdo each other. Better producers who come up with automobiles that are more advanced and more comfortable are going to compete better in business and make more sells. Besides producing the best automotive producers, the best companies entail the best framework to ensure they have the best marketing and even branding techniques an essential tool for marketing.

These companies have slogans to market their products and gain unique identification in the market. For instance, Volkswagen AG Company has a slogan that identifies its products. Volkswagen’s marque has helped the company to achieve the market globally. Some of these companies include ford that originated in the United States, Nissan, and Toyota that originated in Japan and the jaguar land rover. These producers are known to be among the world’s best producers and remain relevant in the market. They always come up with new productions or make even better advancements in their creations.

Automotive manufacturing techniques

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency. Some of the techniques used in manufacturing include:

Injection Molding

Injection moulding is a process that is useful in the formation of parts of motor vehicles by inserting molten material into a cavity. The equipment takes shape, size, and configurations of the mold after cooling. The molten material is injected into metal cavities or steel depending on the preferences in the construction material of the parts. Currently, it’s applied in the construction of plastic parts of motor vehicles. This can be molded to any required shape as the shape depends on the shape and size of material you are going to pour the hot mold into.

3D Printing

3D printing is a technology that involves the use of 3D printers to apply layers to products. The process is computer-controlled. It has enabled the production of finished products with complex shapes and improved accuracy. The application of this technology in the manufacturing sector has led to the creation of digital models on finished products. Most of the automotive in recent times digitalized. This helps to make their operation less complicated, comfortable, and updated; hence, technology plays a part and is very helpful.

CNC Machining

Computer numerical control machining is a technology that uses computers to control machines such as drills and lathes automatically. It involves feeding a computer numerical control machine with coded information that it uses to execute its functions without being handled manually. CNC is an automated technology and has enabled faster production of products as compared to the non-computerized machining. A computer numerical control machine is a free tool that is controlled by a computer. CNC is cost-effective and more convenient. This technology has helped in the production of more beautiful and more precise productions as it is more accurate as compared to manual handling.

Sheet Metal Fabrication

This technology is automated and applied in car modification sustaining and satisfying customer needs. Sheet metal is used because of its plasticity and elasticity. Sheet metal fabrication is also involved in the construction of unibody parts, car restoration, and roll cage work, thus improving the performance and safety of these components. The best producers also focus on the best ways of improving safety, whereby sheet metal can also play a role.

New technology

Advancement in the use of computer systems in this industry has resulted in rising of better techniques in the manufacturing of motor vehicles. The transition from old technology to new technology has posed a lot of benefits. Some of the advantages include faster production of products; they are efficient, convenient, and allow customization of products according to specifications. The technologies that are advancing include:

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing is a computer-based technique of manufacturing products that are currently used. It has enabled engineers to establish convenient manufacturing techniques to improve the finished product. The producers can give accurate information on the production period, and even durability as this type of manufacturing is entirely very reliable. On-demand is the following technologies

Addictive Manufacturing

It’s an automated process that applies a layer after a layer on the finished products. It has enabled the use of fewer workforces, and therefore the manufacturing cost is reduced. It has also resulted in the production of products at a faster rate, saving time, and a lower price. Every manufacturer aims to make profits after the sale of output. It means coming up with technologies that will save a lot in terms of production costs to make the difference, which is the profits.

Rapid Manufacturing

Rapid manufacturing has enabled the production of a large number of products over a short period. It’s also an automated process hence quicker. This has helped to match the demand in the market with the supply hence a stable economic state.

Cloud-based Manufacturing

Cloud-based manufacturing enables access to information from various sources used in the production of the products. It’s open to social networks and helps to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and facilitates good response to customers.

Three-dimensional Modeling

Three-dimensional modeling is a technology that enables engineers to modify tools to be used in the manufacturing process, thus reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping has accelerated the development of products, minimized errors, and led to higher accuracy in product manufacturing. It involves CNC applied in construction and soft tooling silicon modeling. Its a more efficient technology in manufacturing.

Advancement in technology has resulted in a reduction in the cost of manufacturing, improved accuracy of many processes, and minimum value used. It has also enabled autonomous driving. The independent driving of autonomous vehicles has improved safety on the roads, welfare, and reduced traffic congestion. Advanced technology has also enabled the construction of more sophisticated cars such as BMW, electric vehicles, and ford.

Automotive sector

This sector involves a lot of activities ranging from construction, supply, and marketing the products. It’s one of the leading industries in revenue earnings in many economies like the UK economy. The supply chain in this sector includes many relationships between the sales channel, suppliers, manufacturers, and the transportation sector. In the industry, low volume production occurs when there is a need for prototyping, manufacturing of niche vehicles, and initial production of new models.

Current six automotive trends in the automotive Industry

  1. Acceptance of autonomous vehicles in most parts of the world with less concern about safety.
  2. The use of internet in the sector enables the vehicle to vehicle communication, thereby enhancing efficiency in this sector.
  3. Sharing of automotive vehicles hence there’s a decline in ownership of cars, and this has helped reduce traffic congestion inroads.
  4. Digitization and automation of automotive products that have resulted in better efficiency and quicker action in production
  5. The improved requirement for social skills and is helping to reduce the unemployment rate in the economy.
  6. The emergency of hardware and software updates.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits

Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits

The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However,
September 19, 2019

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Everything You need to Know about Anodising

Anodising is a process that is used to convert a metallic surface into corrosion-resistant, durable, decorative, and anodic oxide finish. Aluminium alloy is the most suitable material for anodising. However, other metals such as titanium alloys and magnesium can be anodised.

The anodic oxide that is used in the process is retrieved from the aluminium substrate and only contains aluminium oxide. However, this oxide cannot be applied on surfaces like plating or painting; but is resistant to chipping since an aluminium substrate underlines it. Another feature of the substance is porosity. This particular feature allows it to be used for secondary processes such as sealing and colouring.

Why is Anodising Important?

Due to the facts mentioned above, it is accurate to mention that anodising process that can be employed to protect the surface of the metal from possible damages caused by abrasion. By anodising aluminium alloys, a protective coating of aluminium oxide is added, and it is resistant to rusts and other causes of wear and tear. Aluminium oxide is a durable, corrosion-resistant material. The electrochemical process also lets you colour the surface with dyes without the possibility of peeling and flaking.

Now let us go into the nitty-gritty of the benefits of anodising.

The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However, you will notice that anodised surfaces tend to pick up dirt and stains quite easily, but they are easy to clean using a piece of cloth or wool. Better still, you can do it using a mild detergent, and the surface will look as good as new.

Anodised surfaces can last up to 20 years before showing any sign of wear and tear. This is far much better than organic paints that peel off as soon as they get into contact with sharp and scratchy substances. Since anodised surfaces are far much harder than powder-coated surfaces, they are the best for areas with high traffic or even heavy equipment use where contacts are likely to happen. The surface will not easily take damages from contact, even when it is exposed to harsh chemicals.

Thankfully, the surface cannot be affected by the UV light, which is a common destroyer of many surfaces.

Key Advantages of Anodising Aluminium Alloys

– Corrosion resistance 

– Natural metallic anodised finish

– No risk of adhesion failure of the anodic film  

– No risk of surface finish fading

– No risk of chalking 

– No risk of filiform corrosion 

– Preservation of the original surface finish texture and design

– Optimal surface coverage  

– Anodic film is totally impermeable

– Exceptional abrasion resistance 

– Anodised Aluminium components are  100% recyclable

Are there Good and Bad Applications?

Yes, just like with any other product and application, there are wrong ways to anodise aluminium, and you should learn to avoid them at all cost. The main factors that must be considered in the process are the micron thickness and quality of the anodic element. Also, it is important to know that thinner coatings tend to provide minimum protection against destructive elements.

That said, the bottom line is that the higher the quality and the thicker the anodic material is, the better the protection it can provide against various damages. Aluminium products tend to be more susceptible to wear and tear, and the best way to ensure maximum protection is through the provision of high quality, thick anodic process.

What are the Downsides of Anodising?

While there are tremendous benefits linked with anodising, it still does not offer enough resistance to chemical damages. When exposed to corrosive substances for a long time, the surface of anodised material starts to break down. And when this starts to happen, you can lose the entire product.

This problem is mainly encountered in urban areas where there is a lot of chemical emission going on from active industrial activities. Most building materials in the urban centres tend to break down after long exposure of acidic chemicals.

Can Stainless Steel be Anodised?

Yes, though it does not have the kind of use that aluminium has, we can anodise stainless steel into different colours such as brown, black, white. However, compared to other substances such as titanium, stainless steel colours are not quite durable enough. This means that even when you manage to anodise stainless steel, you might not protect the surface long enough since it will peel and wear off faster compared to aluminium and titanium. If you want to make it more durable, there are special protective coatings that you might have to add to the mix. But that is a lengthy process which is unnecessary altogether.

 

If you are not sure whether you need soft anodising or hard anodising your aluminium, then you might want to contact an expert. It is essential that you protect the surface of your materials using the processes that guarantee longer effectiveness.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.