CHICAGO — A noticeable influx of people and activity fueled the second day of IMTS 2018 at McCormick Place. The increased foot traffic also generated palpable buzz around cutting-edge topics like model-based enterprise (MBE) and Industry 5.0.

In the Quality pavilion, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) software that supports model-based definition (MBD) stood out. Kotem, a leading GD&T software provider and subsidiary of Quality Vision International (QVI), showcased their EVOLVE suite of software products that enable MBD: the practice of using 3D models within 3D CAD software to define a product's specifications. MBE is the strategy by which a 3D model can serve as the authoritative information source for all activities throughout a product's lifecycle, echoing other industry trends like the digital thread and closed-loop manufacturing.

Across the hall, industrial manufacturing company Siemens showed how their open cloud platform, Mindsphere, allows the user to create their own versions of an Edge app to transmute mined data into actionable insights. Siemens also demonstrated closed-loop quality solutions for the digital enterprise, such as a real-time quality management system (QMS) that links to other business applications (PLM, ERP, MRP and MES) and connects failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMEA) to control and inspection plans.

Elsewhere in the Quality pavilion, longstanding instrument and tool manufacturer Starrett displayed an untapped area for engineering solutions with their Tru-Stone Technologies Division. By providing custom granite bases in any size or shape for machines and metrology components, Starrett carves out its own space in the market, with granite being the only "true stone" to reliably hold its shape.

Advanced metrology solutions, like multi-sensor systems that offer six degrees of measurement freedom, attracted visitors to other Quality pavilion booths like Hexagon, Renishaw and ZEISS. 

Robotics dominated the north building, sparking lively discussions on the show floor about an inchoate Industry 5.0.

The outgoing paradigm of Industry 4.0 prioritizes "lights out" factories to save money, says Universal Robot’s CTO and co-founder Esben Østergaard. But with this approach, "you're not creating new products," Østergaard says. "You need that human craftsmanship and ingenuity." The new paradigm is a "lights on" approach, he says, centered on collaborative robots and human visionaries working in concert to achieve cost reduction and value creation. 

Universal Robots' UR+ partnership program and Academy training courses are bringing new companies and next-generation manufacturers, respectively, into the 5.0 fold. Østergaard says that approximately 40,000 people have completed the Academy's courses so far; and today, many of those programmers are moving cobots into quality testing and inspection services.

Read our recaps of day one and day three.

Listen to our podcasts at IMTS 2018 with OnRobot, Kotem, DWFritz Automation and LAI International.