AI in Real-World Robotics

While experts debate the finer points of what constitutes a true general artificial intelligence (AI) and the various steps that can get us there, it isn’t in any doubt that robots are getting smarter –and learning how to make better decisions-- thanks to various AI-related systems.

From the autonomous cars on our roads and the autonomous mobile robots in the world’s warehouses through to AI-powered machine vision systems, edge computing in manufacturing environments, and agricultural drones that can process huge amounts of data on the fly, AI greatly enhances robot performance by providing bots with intelligent decision-making capabilities based on an analysis of billions of data points coupled with neural network and deep learning strategies. Crucially, AI enables robots to be more flexible, while at the same time enhancing traceability across all types of automation processes.

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Binkley & Barfield

Binkley & Barfield, Inc. (BBI) is an employee-owned multi-disciplined engineering consulting firm with headquarters in Houston and fully staffed regional offices in Austin, College Station, Richardson, Round Rock, and San Antonio.

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Engineering Tech

Where we are now: reflecting on 5 years of State of the Nation

Article | August 25, 2021

The UK has undergone five years of unprecedented change while facing up to long-term challenges, such as reducing regional inequalities and mitigating the impact of climate change. Over that period, ICE’s annual State of the Nation reports have set out a range of policy interventions aimed at ensuring the UK has the high-performing infrastructure needed to meet those challenges. Each report has focused on major cross-cutting infrastructure issues, including devolution and reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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Market, Engineering Tech

Why infrastructure policies need engineers' 'bigger picture' view

Article | July 11, 2022

One way or another, we all work on infrastructure; whether design, construction, operation or maintenance. We solve problems and make things work – often without the public realising the complexity of our task. We sit in the background and don’t make waves. We are good at the technical challenges, but how often do we take a step back and think about how our work or project fits into the ambitions of wider society? Who is commissioning it? Why are they commissioning it? What are the political drivers? What do they want the outcome to be? What has changed since we started work on it? This sort of questioning will help us deliver better projects, as we see the bigger picture, beyond our technical solutions. With so much of our infrastructure delivered through public bodies, it is important that civil engineers understand, and give professional advice to, the political process that drives infrastructure investment for our communities.

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Engineering Tech

How Engineering Answers to Why Cybersecurity is Critical to Realizing the Full Potential of 5G Networks?

Article | July 13, 2022

5G is the next quantum leap in mobile and wireless communication, providing unprecedented speed, capacity, and capabilities. In the 5G world, networks will serve trillions of connected things, and each person will be supported by hundreds of connected devices. In addition to these opportunities, the combination of new capabilities and virtualisation in 5G introduces new threats. 5G has significantly more network end-points that cyber criminals can exploit, and 5G virtualisation means that the entire connection is based on software, which is inherently hackable. Transforming society by reconceptualising the “network” Understanding where the vulnerabilities exist is a critical first step toward protecting 5G networks from cyber threats. This entails implementing a process that involves identifying, profiling, and assessing the health of each component before allowing it to connect to the network, and, if necessary, restricting access to the 5G service based on this assessment. It's known as a zero-trust approach, and it will assist organizations throughout the 5G ecosystem in striking the right balance between business risk and 5G security. 5G Expands Cyber Risks The network is transitioning away from centralized, hardware-based switching and toward distributed, software-defined digital routing. However, in the 5G software defined network, that activity is pushed outward to a web of digital routers spread throughout the network, removing the possibility of chokepoint inspection and control. 5G adds to its cyber vulnerability by virtualizing higher-level network functions previously performed by physical appliances in software. These activities are based on the Internet Protocol common language and well-known operating systems. Even if it were possible to secure the network's software vulnerabilities, the network is also managed by software—often early generation artificial intelligence—that is vulnerable. The dramatic increase in bandwidth that enables 5G opens up new attack vectors. Low-cost, short-range small-cell antennas deployed throughout urban areas become new physical hard targets. Finally, there is the vulnerability created by connecting tens of billions of hackable smart devices (actually, small computers) to the Internet of Things network. Plans are in the works for a diverse and seemingly endless list of IoT-enabled activities, ranging from public safety to battlefield to medical to transportation—all of which are both wonderful and uniquely vulnerable. In this paper, we argue that a zero-trust approach, combined with company leaders focusing on three key pillars—trust, resilience, and enablement—will form the foundation of a sound cyber strategy, allowing companies to roll out 5G quickly and safely.

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Construction

IFS CLOUD FOR CONSTRUCTION – THE TIME TO TRANSITION IS NOW

Article | May 13, 2021

Theconstruction industryhas long been challenged by a number of inefficiencies. As countries across the world look to stimulate their economies into recovery, investment in infrastructure and construction projects is at the forefront for many—meaning now is the time for construction companies to face and resolve their inefficiencies. In an earlier blog I looked atkey trends in the industry for 2021and noted that increasing productivity is still one of the major hurdles that the industry needs to overcome. However while there is no one-size-fits all to resolving this, there are some general themes that can be adopted by all who are ready to transition to a more dynamic, agile and profitable construction company which is centered around the adoption of best practices.

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Spotlight

Binkley & Barfield

Binkley & Barfield, Inc. (BBI) is an employee-owned multi-disciplined engineering consulting firm with headquarters in Houston and fully staffed regional offices in Austin, College Station, Richardson, Round Rock, and San Antonio.

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Market, Engineering Tech, Construction

JRM Construction Completes New Headquarters for Rémy Cointreau at 3 Times Square

PR Newswire | January 30, 2024

<p>JRM Construction Management is proud to announce the completion of a sophisticated project for Rémy Cointreau, a leading international premium spirits distributor. Their new headquarters, spanning 29,850 square feet, is located on the 20th floor of Rudin Management's 3 Times Square tower in New York City.</p><p>Under the guidance of JRM, and in collaboration with TPG Architects, RDA, and Cresa Project Management, the team crafted a full-floor headquarters that embodies Rémy Cointreau's signature luxury brand. The space includes state-of-the-art collaborative work areas, and features high-end bars, perfect for hosting company events and entertaining clients, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and hospitality. Additionally, the new conference rooms are equipped with cutting-edge presentation capabilities, enhancing communication and collaboration among Rémy Cointreau's team members.</p><p>Marc Reissman, Executive VP at JRM, expressed his pride in the project, stating, "Collaborating with Rémy Cointreau to bring their vision to life was a true pleasure. The attention to detail and seamless integration of artistic elements in the design reflects the brand's essence perfectly. This project stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence and our ability to transform visions into inspiring realities."</p>

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Design, Mechanical and Motion Systems, Engineering Tech

SPX FLOW Launches Universal 2 ND Pump Series Designed Uniquely for Industrial Market

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

SPX FLOW, has released the Universal® 2 ND Positive Displacement Pump (U2 ND) Series designed with industrial users in mind. The pumps offer the quality and durability the Waukesha Cherry-Burrell brand is known for while optimizing cost and suitability for the industrial market. The U2 ND series significantly expands the WCB pump range, aimed at enhancing reliability and performance across industrial applications while outperforming other pump styles, such as industrial lobe, gear or progressive cavity pumps.The design features improvements uniquely suited for industrial applications, including: Total cost of ownership: The pumps ensure a long running life, given their robust construction materials and designs tailored for each application. Because of its high volumetric efficiency, the pumps can be used to dose fluids, eliminating the need for an additional metering pump.  Efficiency: The U2 ND pump reduces slip, which occurs when fluids move backward from the liquid flow due to internal clearances. Lower slip means more efficiency, reducing the need for higher horsepower motors. Also, the series can process fluids over longer spans due to its high-pressure capability, which reduces the need for multiple pumps in these applications. Reliability: WCB is a proven and trusted global brand dating back to the 1880s. The pumps are made with durable, corrosive-resistant materials compatible with industrial environments. A robust design, equipped with industrial flanges or sanitary fittings, ensures manufacturers can choose the configuration to meet their needs.  Additionally, an extensive sales channel and domestic manufacturing footprint support this pump series, enabling quick deliveries on standardized parts across the entire Universal pump product line. The U2 ND series is complemented by the Universal Industrial 5000 series, which is tailored for users who require OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) seals for their industrial pumping operations. Julien Bassett, Pumps Global Product Manager: "Waukesha Cherry-Burrell has extensive experience offering pumps to customers built with their needs in mind. We wanted to expand our offerings to provide quality and durability of the SPX FLOW brand while catering to the unique needs of industrial manufacturers and their applications."

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Engineering Tech, Construction

PirTano Construction acquires Powerlink Electric

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

PirTano Construction Company, Inc. ("PirTano"), a leading Midwest-based infrastructure and utility services-focused underground construction company operating in the communications and sewer & water sectors, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"). The transaction closed on November 17, 2023. Mike Piraino, President of PirTano, said, "The acquisition of Powerlink will operate as a new electrical division, and brings additional service offerings and bench strength of employees as we look forward to continuing to support our customers while capitalizing on additional opportunities." Founded in 2006 by Doug Pantle and Steve Lipinski, Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"), is a full-service electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Vernon Hills, Illinois with an outstanding reputation in its regional marketplace and is well known for the reliability and quality of its service. Powerlink primarily focuses on commercial and industrial projects and operates in Northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Powerlink will continue to operate under the current leadership as a wholly owned subsidiary of PirTano. Rising Point Capital ("RPC"), commented on the transaction, "Doug and Steve have built a tremendous reputation in its marketplace. We are very excited to partner with them to help accelerate their growth and with leading a new division at PirTano."Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, served as the exclusive advisor to Powerlink. Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Central Region, Michael Goss, Stephen Dinehart, a Generational Group Authorized Affiliate, with support from Vice President, M&A, Lance Thomasson successfully closed the deal.

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Market, Engineering Tech, Construction

JRM Construction Completes New Headquarters for Rémy Cointreau at 3 Times Square

PR Newswire | January 30, 2024

<p>JRM Construction Management is proud to announce the completion of a sophisticated project for Rémy Cointreau, a leading international premium spirits distributor. Their new headquarters, spanning 29,850 square feet, is located on the 20th floor of Rudin Management's 3 Times Square tower in New York City.</p><p>Under the guidance of JRM, and in collaboration with TPG Architects, RDA, and Cresa Project Management, the team crafted a full-floor headquarters that embodies Rémy Cointreau's signature luxury brand. The space includes state-of-the-art collaborative work areas, and features high-end bars, perfect for hosting company events and entertaining clients, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and hospitality. Additionally, the new conference rooms are equipped with cutting-edge presentation capabilities, enhancing communication and collaboration among Rémy Cointreau's team members.</p><p>Marc Reissman, Executive VP at JRM, expressed his pride in the project, stating, "Collaborating with Rémy Cointreau to bring their vision to life was a true pleasure. The attention to detail and seamless integration of artistic elements in the design reflects the brand's essence perfectly. This project stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence and our ability to transform visions into inspiring realities."</p>

Read More

Design, Mechanical and Motion Systems, Engineering Tech

SPX FLOW Launches Universal 2 ND Pump Series Designed Uniquely for Industrial Market

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

SPX FLOW, has released the Universal® 2 ND Positive Displacement Pump (U2 ND) Series designed with industrial users in mind. The pumps offer the quality and durability the Waukesha Cherry-Burrell brand is known for while optimizing cost and suitability for the industrial market. The U2 ND series significantly expands the WCB pump range, aimed at enhancing reliability and performance across industrial applications while outperforming other pump styles, such as industrial lobe, gear or progressive cavity pumps.The design features improvements uniquely suited for industrial applications, including: Total cost of ownership: The pumps ensure a long running life, given their robust construction materials and designs tailored for each application. Because of its high volumetric efficiency, the pumps can be used to dose fluids, eliminating the need for an additional metering pump.  Efficiency: The U2 ND pump reduces slip, which occurs when fluids move backward from the liquid flow due to internal clearances. Lower slip means more efficiency, reducing the need for higher horsepower motors. Also, the series can process fluids over longer spans due to its high-pressure capability, which reduces the need for multiple pumps in these applications. Reliability: WCB is a proven and trusted global brand dating back to the 1880s. The pumps are made with durable, corrosive-resistant materials compatible with industrial environments. A robust design, equipped with industrial flanges or sanitary fittings, ensures manufacturers can choose the configuration to meet their needs.  Additionally, an extensive sales channel and domestic manufacturing footprint support this pump series, enabling quick deliveries on standardized parts across the entire Universal pump product line. The U2 ND series is complemented by the Universal Industrial 5000 series, which is tailored for users who require OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) seals for their industrial pumping operations. Julien Bassett, Pumps Global Product Manager: "Waukesha Cherry-Burrell has extensive experience offering pumps to customers built with their needs in mind. We wanted to expand our offerings to provide quality and durability of the SPX FLOW brand while catering to the unique needs of industrial manufacturers and their applications."

Read More

Engineering Tech, Construction

PirTano Construction acquires Powerlink Electric

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

PirTano Construction Company, Inc. ("PirTano"), a leading Midwest-based infrastructure and utility services-focused underground construction company operating in the communications and sewer & water sectors, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"). The transaction closed on November 17, 2023. Mike Piraino, President of PirTano, said, "The acquisition of Powerlink will operate as a new electrical division, and brings additional service offerings and bench strength of employees as we look forward to continuing to support our customers while capitalizing on additional opportunities." Founded in 2006 by Doug Pantle and Steve Lipinski, Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"), is a full-service electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Vernon Hills, Illinois with an outstanding reputation in its regional marketplace and is well known for the reliability and quality of its service. Powerlink primarily focuses on commercial and industrial projects and operates in Northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Powerlink will continue to operate under the current leadership as a wholly owned subsidiary of PirTano. Rising Point Capital ("RPC"), commented on the transaction, "Doug and Steve have built a tremendous reputation in its marketplace. We are very excited to partner with them to help accelerate their growth and with leading a new division at PirTano."Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, served as the exclusive advisor to Powerlink. Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Central Region, Michael Goss, Stephen Dinehart, a Generational Group Authorized Affiliate, with support from Vice President, M&A, Lance Thomasson successfully closed the deal.

Read More

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