Feb 21 2018

The Future of Work

With automation poised to put millions out of work, economists debate if growth can create enough new ones.

Since the 1970s, automation has eliminated the jobs of millions of bank tellers, retail cashiers, travel agents, airline front-desk workers and manufacturing employees. With the jobs of truck drivers, airline pilots and even medical doctors now at risk as well, it sometimes feels as if every human job except those of computer coders is destined to disappear. Compass examines the jobs at risk and the forces at work.

Gantry cranes load containers onto automated guided vehicles (AGV) during the testing phase of the Long Beach Container Terminal in Middle Harbor at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Next year, deckhands on ships docked at Middle Harbor on Californias San Pedro Bay won’t see many people on the wharf. Remote-controlled cranes towering 165 feet overhead will pluck containers from vessels’ holds, and driverless trucks guided by magnets embedded in the asphalt will carry cargo to robotic hoists in a sorting yard. Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pair of unusual trucks plies the highways in the US state of Nevada and along the German autobahn near Stuttgart. Although they look similar to most 18-wheel rigs on the road today, these trucks have a unique driver in the cab: an autonomous, computer-guided system dubbed Highway Pilot that steers the trucks without help from the human in the front seat.

Freightliner; Daimler Trucks; Daimler; Daimler Trucks North America; DTNA; autonomous driving; autonomous; autonomous vehicle; licensed; street legal; autonomes Fahren; autonom; zugelassen; Nevada; Las Vegas; USA; Inspiration Truck; Inspiration

So far, these ultramodern trucks made by Germany’s Daimler Trucks are only test vehicles; the humans are there in case anything goes wrong. Most highway regulations still only permit fully autonomous vehicles on the open road with humans near the controls. Once enabling legislation is passed, however, Daimler expects trucks based on these prototypes to be operational by the end of the decade, Stuttgart-based Daimler spokeswoman Uta Leitner said.

Repercussions for the future employment prospects of the approximately 7 million truck drivers now working in the US and Europe remains an open question: Will self-driving vehicles cause these jobs to disappear, following in the wake of elevator operators replaced by push buttons, bank tellers displaced by ATM machines and travel agents made redundant by online booking services? And what of other jobs that can be done by powerful computer algorithms, from medical diagnosis to automated coordination of rooftop power generating stations?

Read the rest of this story here, on COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine

Continue the conversation by joining our DELMIA Communities on SwYm. Membership is free.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/02/the-future-of-work/

Feb 14 2018

TARA DONOVAN – Making the Mundane Marvelous

Known for her large-scale, site-specific installations, New York-based artist Tara Donovan has earned acclaim for transforming how people view everyday objects and for making the ordinary extraordinary.

Toothpicks, drinking straws, plastic cups, plastic sheets and pencils. To many, these items are simply the mundane objects of everyday life. For Tara Donovan, however, they offer untapped potential to create monumental sculptural compositions inspired by the complex geometries found in nature.

“Everyday materials are often connected to personal experience, so people viewing my work often experience a kind of evolving gestalt, where the sculpture breaks down into discrete, recognizable units,” Donovan said. “I began working with everyday materials because they were cheap and mass-produced, but I’ve always been interested in how materials behave visually in a population. Many of my early works explore this concept.”


SOUTHAMPTON, NY – JULY 11: Tara Donovan in front of her art installation at the Parrish Art Museum Midsummer party on July 11, 2015 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)

Donovan, who said she is motivated “materially and aesthetically” by the generative aspects of process art and by post-minimalist sculptors including Jacqueline “Jackie” Winsor, Richard Serra and Eva Hesse, knew she wanted to be an artist from an early age. However, she does not believe that artists are “suddenly struck with a divine vision” when creating art. Instead, she likens her process to that of a scientist or an architect.

“It’s very satisfying to indulge myself with problems only I can solve, so I let the inherent qualities of the materials dictate the entire creation process,” she said. “Initially, I explore the physical properties of a single material, then I assemble a basic unit that can be reproduced and aggregated with other materials. This helps me develop an almost mechanical process for producing an installation at immense scale. I rely heavily on the architectural and contextual parameters of the exhibition site to complete each installation.”

Read the rest of this story here, on COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine

Continue the conversation by joining our DELMIA Communities on SwYm. Membership is free.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/02/tara-donovan-making-the-mundane-marvelous/

Feb 07 2018

Talk to Your Factory?

Many of us are now talking to our digital companions at home and on the go. “Alexa, what the weather going to be like today?” “Okay Google, find me a recipe for pancakes.” “Siri, how’s the traffic on I-495 around Boston this morning?” Soon you will be talking to your factory – if you aren’t already.

Voice technology, which includes both voice recognition (talking to your system) and voice response (system talking to you) are not new technologies. Voice systems have been in use for decades, but generally limited to data collection type tasks. In warehouse or production areas where barcode scanning is inconvenient either because of environmental factors (too wet for the labels) or to free up both of the user’s hands, audio instructions can replace looking at a screen and voice input confirms the transaction or ‘enters’ the needed data such as part number, bin location, serial or lot number, quantity picked.

The next wave of voice technology to enter the plant follows the Siri/Alexa/Google model of a robust interface with the system – that can be much more than simple input/output. Before long, we will routinely ask for instructions and information, tell our systems to execute plans, change orders, display instructions, and solve problems or make recommendations using artificial intelligence. Instead of asking about the traffic on I-495, we might be asking which job to work on next, if it would be a better idea to recalibrate the tooling now or later, or which line to run a new job on and when.

Voice interface promises to be quicker, more reliable, and less invasive – not the least because it does not require taking eyes or hands off the job. And it feels natural, too. One of the big developments in robotics these days is the evolution of the more human-compatible robot, one that can work side-by-side with its human compatriots (not in a cage to keep it from harming the delicate human standing next to it) and learn a task by being led through the process rather than by generating arcane computer code. We’ve all grown up with Star Trek and other entertainments set in the future where there isn’t a keyboard in sight. And let’s face it, typing is an unnatural, difficult to learn skill whereas we talk and listen from toddlerhood.

We’ve known for decades that voice interface is the right way to interface with our computers but voice recognition and voice generation software has not been up to the task – until now. Voice interface only became good enough and reliable enough in the last few years, and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have moved it from a novelty to an industrial-strength tool.

Voice will never be the only interface medium – think Tom Cruise manipulating holographic images in the 2002 movie Minority Report – but it will all but replace keyboards in the very near future. And we will all be the better – happier and more efficient – as a result.

This post originally appeared on Navigate the Future, the Dassault Systemes North America blog

Continue the conversation by joining our DELMIA Communities on SwYm. Membership is free.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/02/talk-to-your-factory/

Jan 31 2018

THE LAST MILE OF DISTRIBUTION – Retailers focus on the final leg of a product’s journey to deliver improved customer value

The distance between the retailer and consumers’ hands is a rich source of engagement and the focus of intense competition as both online and brick-and-mortar merchants work to deliver the experience consumers want.

STUTTGART – SEPTEMBER 23: Woman receiving a parcel by Amazon.com delivered by the mailman in front of her flat on in Stuttgart, Germany. Amazon.com is delivering thousands of parcels every day to German households.

The ‘last mile’ of distribution – the journey of products from the retailer to customers’ hands – holds a number of challenges and opportunities for retailers. “Consumers increasingly want to choose their own scenarios when it comes to online ordering, in-store experience, home delivery and click-and-collect services,” according to the authors of “Rethinking the Value Chain,” a report produced by Capgemini and the Consumer Goods Forum. “Meanwhile, alternative distribution models are rapidly emerging. Companies such as Amazon are forcing the industry to rethink the last mile distribution model.”

Retailers need to consider factors such as local culture, geography, climate, and tariffs to find the optimal way to deliver purchases and satisfy each consumer’s requirements. For example, while cost is the main challenge when it comes to last mile deliveries in the US, issues such as infrastructure and postal services are key concerns in other parts of the world, according to Chris Cunnane, a senior analyst in the supply chain and logistics team at ARC Advisory Group, a global technology research and advisory firm headquartered in the US. “In India … the difficult part is figuring out the infrastructure to make home deliveries viable,” Cunnane wrote on ARC’s Logistics Viewpoints blog. “Trucks have a difficult time navigating the crowded streets and the postal service is notoriously slow. One new option in India is the use of couriers to deliver goods purchased from Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon India.”


Cost is a key concern for retailers and consumers, especially when there is a lot of distance to cover. “The last mile on average makes up nearly 30% of transportation costs, and it is very hard to bring down,” said Brittain Ladd, a supply chain consultant.

Retailers are responding to the challenges with flexible distribution models that can shorten the last mile and improve efficiency while enhancing the consumer experience. Local warehouses, combined with innovative technologies, are helping to optimize journey planning, while a range of purchasing and collection choices offer convenient options for consumers.

For example, Peapod, an online grocery delivery service that operates in 24 regions of the US Midwest and East Coast, operates three different warehouse formats depending on local market size and density. Consumers can purchase their goods at virtual grocery stores in locations including commuter rail stations. As well as delivering to homes and businesses, Peapod also provides pick-up points in convenient locations.

Read the rest of this story here, on COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine

Continue the conversation by joining our DELMIA Communities on SwYm. Membership is free.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/01/the-last-mile-of-distribution-retailers-focus-on-the-final-leg-of-a-products-journey-to-deliver-improved-customer-value/

Jan 24 2018

A UNIQUE EVOLUTION – XYT’s new approach to mobility offers personalization and easy upgrades

XYT, originally founded in 2007 as France Craft, builds light modular vehicles that consist of only 600 parts, versus the typical 6,000 to 10,000. Using a modular design approach, the vehicles can be personalized and upgraded simply by replacing the modular components. Compass spoke to Simon Mencarelli, CEO and co-founder of XYT, about what makes the startup and its vehicles unique, and what they may indicate about the automotive market’s future.

COMPASSHow did XYT start?

SIMON MENCARELLI: It began with a goal of making cars more cost effective to repair and maintain over the long run. Marc Chevreau, the founder of France Craft and co-founder of XYT, had owned body shops. As an engineer, he was always transforming cars and working on them. He faced the evolution of cars, which were becoming more difficult to repair. He had in mind a modular approach that would simplify the car to where you repair them with a simple toolbox.

What does XYT offer that traditional car manufacturers don’t?

SM: We want to give the consumer the ability to upgrade the car. The design has been thought out in ways where you can remove some parts and add new ones without damaging the car. Since a car is often linked to your status, we want it to be close to your identity. As with shoes or clothes, we want to personalize the automobile.

Marc Chevreau, founder and president of XYT

How so?

SM: It is important to make the right fit between the mobility needs of our customers and what we can provide. We want to make sure we bring the right experience for the right clients and customers. Currently our vehicles can go 100 kilometers (62 miles) in one charge and have a maximum speed of 100 km/hour (62 miles/hour). So, our cars would likely not be a good solution for a traveling salesman.

How much is the consumer involved in the design of their car?

SM: We say that with our vehicles, you can really design it as you like. That’s also part of the value: to open up our business platform through mobility development kits. If consumers want to build their own seats, they can have a maker’s kit and create their own material for those seats. This approach enables us to sell licenses and services to manufacturers, designers and makers for developing new variants and accessories. Our designer is also a street artist who is really famous in the graffiti scene. We want unique designs for our cars, which might be done by him or some of his colleagues, who have different styles.

Read the rest of this story here, on COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine

Continue the conversation by joining our DELMIA Communities on SwYm. Membership is free.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2018/01/a-unique-evolution-xyts-new-approach-to-mobility-offers-personalization-and-easy-upgrades/

Older posts «