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All Advanced Manufacturing Now Articles

As It Partners with Cisco, IBM Seen Showing the Way Toward the 'Internet of Everything'

Smart Manufacturing Editor Brett Brune


IBM may be the furthest ahead with the “Internet of Everything” (IoE), which is “a little bit beyond the ‘Internet of Things’ ” (IoT), Mohanbir Sawhney, director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation and of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said today at the 2d Smart Factory World Symposium. In his talk at the conference, Sawhney made a passing reference to IBM’s Watson IoT business analytics technology but did not note that the tech giant today publicized the fact it is working with Cisco to “provide instant IoT insight at the edge of the network.” Full Article

It’s a Journey: Get Smart About Manufacturing

Brian Papke, President, Mazak Corp.


Whether they realize it or not, many manufacturers already employ some, if not all, of the strategies and technologies necessary to operate as a smart factory. In addition to lean principles, practically every manufacturer has implemented to one degree or another, advanced manufacturing cells and systems—i.e., multitasking, full five-axis machine tools and some level of automation. However, they often lack one key component: full digital integration to achieve free-flow data sharing in terms of process control and operation monitoring. Full Article

More Manufacturers Adopting 3D, Addressing Challenges

Chuck Alexander, Director of Product Management, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing


The pace of change in the 3D printing industry is so rapid and exciting that it’s difficult to keep up. To get a more complete sense of 3D printing’s current and continued impact on manufacturing, we looked to the wider professional attitude that prevailed toward 3D printing in 2015 by authoring an industry report based on a blind survey that was distributed to 700 professional 3D printing users. Full Article

A Smarter Mix of Technology to Meet Your Needs

Michael Defer, Director of Technical Sales, Heller Machine Tools


Shorter value creation chains and higher degrees of component accuracy have helped ignite the trend toward the complete machining of complex workpieces on a single machine. Standard machines are increasingly capable of taking on intelligently expanded technology combinations that promise to optimize piece cost and machine availability. A standard machining center can now be configured to accomplish complete machining, including operations not common to traditional machining centers. Full Article

Now Playing: Manufacturing’s Next Act

By Sarah A. Webster-- Editor In Chief


The global manufacturing industry is always changing, and today, that very simple truth has given the United States an unprecedented opportunity to reclaim global leadership in manufacturing for the remainder of the 21st century. The United States has been second in world manufacturing output since 2010, when China officially ended America’s long reign as the world leader in making things, which began at the turn of the 20th century. Full Article

Welcome to the Real-Time World, Job Shop and OEM Fabricators

By Frank Arteaga, Market Region NAFTA ,Bystronic Inc.


Continual improvements are a mainstay of remaining competitive, and without data and the means to store and analyze the data, then there is also no means to measure the process. Access to real-time data lets companies dynamically react to changing variables in the manufacturing process and automated systems to make the proper hand-off from one system to the next. Full Article

Ria Addresses Safety of Humans In Cobot System

By Bob Doyle, Director of Communications, Robotic Industries Association


The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) recently delivered the first solid step toward ensuring the safety of human workers in a collaborative robot system. The technical specification (TS) document ISO /TS 15066 provides supplemental and supporting information to the industrial robot safety standards ISO 10218-1 and ISO 10218-2, from 2011. Full Article

What Can We Do Together to Boost Reshoring?

Harry Moser, Founder and President, Reshoring Initiative


US manufacturing could be doing much better and SME and the Reshoring Initiative can play a key role in making that happen by driving reshoring and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). Manufacturing employment is up 900,000 from the low in 2010 but down almost 5 million since 2000. At least half of that total decline is due to the offshoring of manufacturing jobs. And while the rate of awarding skilled workforce certificates has been rising by more than 20% per year for the last 10 years, we still have an estimated 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs. Full Article

In Praise of Manufacturing and Machine Tools

Albert B. Albrecht, Albrecht Associates, Author, The American Machine Tool Industry


The American machine tool industry is vital to the well-being of our economy and national defense. It is an industry that affects all of us and has a long historical background. Its beginning dates back to the early arsenals of the 19th century, when machine tools were developed for the production of muskets and rifles. Yet it is an industry that rarely gets the attention it deserves. Full Article

US Manufacturing Becoming More Competitive

Press Release - Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu


By 2020 the US is expected to be the most competitive manufacturing nation, moving China into the number two position, according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) and the Council on Competitiveness (Council). Full Article

Deep-Hole Drilling Continues to Evolve

Anthony Fettig, CEO, Unisig Deep Hole Drilling Systems


Mention deep-hole drilling, and most people think only gundrilling machines for processing gun barrels. But the fact is that deep-hole drilling applies to a much wider array of workpieces that are typically impossible to drill with common CNC machining centers. Those of us in the deep-hole drilling machine building business are constantly challenged with new and often unique applications that push us way beyond simple gundrilling. In the medical industry for instance, deep-hole drilling machines are used to drill 2.5-mm-diam holes 200-mm deep in titanium and stainless steel components. Full Article

Meet OTTO: The Self-Driving Factory Vehicle

Assistant Editor Kristen Golembiewski


Earlier this month, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development invited journalists from around the world to tour businesses that highlighted the region’s manufacturing capabilities. As I looked at the itinerary before the trip, I didn’t expect to see anything radically different from the technologies I’d already encountered. And then I met OTTO. Produced by Clearpath Robotics (Kitchener, ON), the OTTO 1500 is a self-driving vehicle capable of traveling 2 m/sec. while carrying up to 1500 kg, or 3,306 lbs. Full Article

US Manufacturing: Inconsistency is the Word

Patrick W. McGibbon, Vice President, Strategic Analytics, AMT


In talking to hundreds of manufacturing technology providers this past month, including 650 marketing and sales people at the IMTS Exhibitor Workshop, the one consistent message was the inconsistency of the market. Industry sectors and regions have bounced from good to bad on a month-to-month basis. Full Article

Opportunities Abound for Our Automation Nation

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


Automation has been vital to manufacturing since at least the 19th Century, when men used rope and pulleys to drive conveyor belts and steam powered the first lifts. But today, automation expands beyond physical systems that help to automate work to include virtual systems that can automate machining, measurement, analysis and decision-making in a closed-loop system that increasingly automates optimization itself. This cyber-physical shift is dramatically reshaping the shops and factories that make up our manufacturing ecosystem once again. Full Article

Controlling Quality without a Quality Department

By Rod Bricker, Co-founder and President, Prism Plastics


Maintaining consistent quality is a priority for any manufacturer, elevating the perceived importance of the quality control department. Prism Plastics, however, takes a different approach to quality control. The company operates without a formal quality control department, a radical departure from convention. Full Article

Advanced Synthetics for Kinder, Gentler Grippers

By Ervin Vallejo, Automation Product Manager, Röhm Products of America


Workholding technology, including end-of-arm tooling on robots and other types of automation, typically targets gripping and handling of mainly heavy, robust metal components. But a growing number of today’s workpieces require a kinder, gentler touch. Full Article

Applying Data Technology on the Factory Floor

By Robert Hoffman, Product Manager, Signal.X Technologies LLC


In my role at Signal.X Technologies I have had the privilege of working with factories of all kinds, sizes, and industries to implement manufacturing test systems. These systems typically combine elements of control, test sequencing, and data acquisition on a part or an assembly of parts. Full Article

Balancing Productivity and Predictability

Bill Malanche, Vice President, Mitsui Seiki USA


Many of us spend our days tweaking machine tool designs, cutting tools, components, devices and software to continually improve and evolve to a new sweet spot between predictability and productivity for our aerospace customers. When one aspect of the overall system evolves in a new direction, it impacts all the rest, nudging the other elements to come up to speed, and sometimes that means literally, which is where we are now: boosting the speed of the predictable processes in place. Full Article

Stronger (and Lighter) Together: LIFT, IACMI Collaboration Begins

Michael C. Anderson Senior Editor


Directors from LIFT and Composites Institute explain how a bond across institutes will lead to a bond across materials. Full Article

Insight into a Puzzle – Big Data and Product Development

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


There are growing predictions of an emerging instrumented product world creating vast data sets crunched by big data analytics. How will this materially affect manufacturing and product development? What prompted my thoughts in this piece is my observation that the cutting edge trends for 2016 will continue as they were in 2015.
Full Article

Cloud-Based Tool Management for Today

Katie Richardson, Director of Program Management/NOVO


Marked by limitless storage and ease of access, hundreds of millions of users think nothing of obtaining, downloading, and playing digital files, whether music or video, from cloud-based servers. The cloud can be seen as the newest utility, with an architecture in place, and where a user can obtain access and pay for a scalable amount of data use. Full Article

How to Reap the Most Benefit from Advanced Cutting Tools

David Conigliaro, Product Manager, CNC Software Inc.


 What do typewriters, telephone booths and toolpaths for conventional CNC roughing have in common? A: They are all obsolete. Full Article

Quality Inspection and the CAD Connection

Ernie Husted, President and CEO, Verisurf Software Inc


Modern manufacturing is rapidly adopting model-based definition (MBD). When employing an MBD strategy, the CAD model becomes more than the nominal to which all parts are measured and inspected against. Full Article

Data Management for the Factory

Robert Hoffman, Product Manager, Signal.X Technologies


In my role at Signal.X Technologies I have had the privilege of working with factories of all kinds, sizes, and industries to implement manufacturing test systems.  These systems typically combine elements of control, test sequencing, and data acquisition on a part or an assembly of parts.  Parts are subjected to control signals and stimulus, and the measured responses and signatures are analyzed to determine if the parts pass or fail.  Some unique challenges come out of this type of testing when installed in high-volume manufacturing facilities. Full Article

Manufacturers Turn to Advanced Information Management Solutions to Improve Inventory: PwC, MAPI

PwC press release


PRESS RELEASE, PwC NEW YORK, December 8, 2015 ― Manufacturers are increasingly relying on advanced information management solutions to address inventory problems. Full Article

3D Can Transform Business, Not Just Production

Jim Bartel, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Marketing & Business Development, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing


At the tip of the 3D printing hype cycle, there were many claims that it would transform the supply chain. Now that 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is moving beyond the hype, it’s important to separate reality from hyperbole. The technology has made some substantial strides in augmenting the product development lifecycle, but 3D printing hasn’t completely disrupted the supply chain as we know it. Full Article

The Global Manufacturing Outlook: Soft

Patrick W. McGibbon, Vice President, Strategic Analytics, AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology


AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology collaborates with manufacturing technology associations in 18 other countries on a global forecast. The forecast provides a global outlook on the economy and manufacturing and an outlook of manufacturing technology by industry and country. Full Article

Daniel Janka To Join Mazak as Executive Vice President in New Year

Press Release - Mazak Corp.


Over the past few years, Mazak Corporation has aggressively mapped out long-term structural changes for its Kentucky-based operations to ensure continued business stability and future company growth. Among the various forward-thinking strategies the machine tool builder has already put into place are the complete digital integration of its factory and, most recently, adding a new executive vice president to its leadership team. Full Article

Trust and Verify is Key to Manufacturing Cyber Resiliency

Dom Glavach, Principal IS Security Engineer, Concurrent Technologies Corporation


For manufacturers, the cloud links the shop floor to the enterprise, the enterprise to the shop floor, and potentially both to the world at large. It offers opportunities to increase dynamic control for improved accuracy, make process speed a competitive force, and capitalize on internal intelligence and knowledge to ensure every supplier, distributor, and service interaction counts. Full Article

US at Risk of Losing Industrial R&D Lead to China

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


The United States may lose the industrial research and development lead to China in five years, according to the head of the US Council on Competitiveness. Full Article

What Did You Miss at FABTECH? As it turns out: (The Internet of) Everything

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


People have been buzzing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, for a little while now, theorizing how Internet-enabled things -- tools, equipment, machines, factories and products – will transform manufacturing. Those seeds of possibilities have been planted for a few years now, and there’s been some sprouts here and there that have signaled what’s coming. But going to FABTECH was like waking up and being shocked -- like Jack and the Beanstock -- at the stunning growth in front of you. It was a storm of i4.0.
  Full Article

Additive Manufacturing for Fast, Low-Cost Tooling

By Joseph J. LaRussa, PE, Manufacturing Engineering/Launch Manager, North America, Varroc Lighting Systems


Additive Manufacturing (AM) has drawn a lot of attention for its revolutionary impact on producing mass customized parts for various industries. While this impact has grabbed headlines, there are also many behind-the-scenes applications for AM that can make manufacturers faster and leaner. A popular application in the automotive industry is using AM for limited-use jigs and fixtures.
Full Article

Lightweight Manufacturing Hub Starts with Iron

Lawrence E. Brown, Executive Director, LIFT


The clock is ticking in the automotive industry, and the target numbers that loom are 54.5 by 2025, referring to the corporate average fuel economy standard that’s now in place. Since a small vehicle can gain a 2.4% fuel economy gain with just a 5% weight reduction in city driving, it’s clear that lightweighting technologies are going to be an important factor in the race to hit 54.5 miles per gallon. Full Article

Versatility of Abrasive Waterjet is a Game Changer

Dr. John Olsen, Vice President of Operations and Company Co-founder, OMAX Corp


Speed is paramount in every phase of bringing a product to market today. Pressure is on engineers and product designers to shorten design times and on manufacturers to accelerate production cycles. Abrasive waterjet is answering the call by delivering the versatility needed to quickly make parts of all shapes and sizes. Full Article

AMICO: With Comau’s Humanoid Robot, Cooperation is Effective Even in Small Spaces

Press Release - Comau


During the recent fair EMO Milan 2015, Comau showcased AMICO, a special cell showing the new concept of a human-like robot developed by the Company. AMICO  – available in a new color combination which turns it into an object of pure technology, style and design – is positioned to clarifying and emphasizing Comau’s next steps towards increasingly precise and effective robotics. It’s a future in which machine-machine cooperation and, progressively, man-machine cooperation, evolves from a mere hypothesis to a real production opportunity that can be applied in total safety. Full Article

Advanced Engineering Simulation – Coming to the SmartPhone in Your Pocket

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


Think advanced engineering simulation and many engineers get glassy eyed with thoughts of physics captured in pages long arcane mathematics. A new wave of thinking by some innovative companies is aimed at creating easy-to-use apps. Good bye Angry Birds, hello Gear Box Design. Full Article

The Evolution of Manufacturing Engineering Training

Tony Glocker, Co-Founder, SolidProfessor


Engineering is changing. Engineering education needs to change with it. The days of “one and done” intensive education are obsolete due to the rapid changes made possible by advanced electronics, software, tools and the internet. Staying current means implementing new ways of learning. Today, continuous learning needs to become a normal part of an engineer’s work week. About three decades ago, experts examined how long it would take before an engineer’s technical skills became obsolete. For mechanical engineers, they determined it was 7.5 years Full Article

Tapping the Potential of the New IT Landscape

Tony Christian, Director, Cambashi


Can we remember life before the acceleration of technology in the last 20 years that has resulted in internet-enabled technologies being both an integral part of daily life and essential tools for business? For manufacturers, the flood of such technologies—cloud computing, smart devices, Internet of Things, mobile communications—is changing the business landscape fundamentally. Full Article

Smart Manufacturing for Optimum Industry Health

Jim Davis, UCLA, Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition


In its broadest expression, manufacturing is ‘infrastructure’ for global lifestyle demands. Shelter, clothes, medicine, food, phones, cars, fuel, electricity, etc. are all manufactured products that are personalized at the point of use. Lifestyle demands on earth’s resources and the environment also require manufacturing to be globally responsive. Full Article

UpFront: Past The Fog Of Profits, A Mountain Of Challenges

By Sarah A. Webster, Editor in Chief


US consumers bought cars and trucks at the fastest clip in a decade through July. For the year, sales are now on track to top 17 million, which would put 2015 somewhere in the top three for best sales years ever. In all, sales through July are up 4.5%, with low gas prices driving a disproportionate 10.7% gain in profitable truck sales. Full Article

Closing the Manufacturing Loop with Metrology

Stefan Scherer, CEO, Alicona


The US faces an exciting and challenging time as it begins to reshore manufacturing. In particular, industry faces with the need to manufacture complex high-tech products with tight tolerances and a high degree of automation. Full Article

Viewpoints: Time to Turbocharge Manufacturing Concepts

Peter Loetzner, CEO, EMAG L.L.C. (North America)


The ongoing concern for fuel efficiency has sparked many trends in the auto industry, including the hybrid engine, electric-powered vehicles and exploration of 3D technologies in the development of alternative materials. In the traditional gasoline- and diesel-powered worlds, too, the new V6 turbocharged engines and the 9- and 10-speed transmissions will continue to dominate the landscape in the near future. Full Article

Hard Scudding Shapes New Horizons in Gear Production and Performance

Scott Knoy, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, German Machine Tools of America


Just a few years ago, the concept of Scudding left the traditional skiving method in the dust, so to speak, for internal gear production used primarily in the powertrain buildup. This process, 5-10 times faster than gear shaping, formed the surface of the workpiece through several, small enveloping cuts, providing a surface finish and part quality level that was far superior to hobbing, shaping or broaching. Full Article

Augmented Reality Technology Lights the Way

Paul Ryznar, Founder, President and CEO, OPS Solutions


In the emerging field of augmented reality for manufacturing, companies see success when they can ensure that every step in a process is completed correctly, when training becomes increasingly efficient, and when all components of a manufacturing system communicate with each other and the user. That’s where augmented reality brings real impact in addressing the customization, quality, consistency, efficiency and safety challenges present in advanced manufacturing. Full Article

Viewpoints: Look to Suppliers to Help Fill Skills Gap

Rob Keenan, President, Seco Tools, LLC


The recent upswing in US manufacturing due in part to rising production costs overseas, higher shipping costs and more companies interested in reshoring has been great for our industry and the nation’s economy. With such growth, however, comes a set of challenges that we, as an industry, must tackle together to continue to increase domestic demand and successfully shape the future of manufacturing in this country. Full Article

3D Printing Adds the Fourth Dimension (Time)

Lauralyn McDaniel, SME Industry Manager, Medical Manager: Innovation Watch, SME Technology Interchange, Medical Manufacturing Innovations


Designing and printing a device to change over time—4D printing—helped the University of Michigan’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital save three very young lives. Born with tracheobronchimalacia (TBM), which causes the windpipe to collapse and prevent breathing, all three faced what could have been a short, difficult life. Using a combination of medical and engineering skills, the Michigan team built a splint that would hold the airway open, prevent outside compression of the airway, and bend and change as the child grew. Full Article

Quickly Adapt to Changing Needs with Modular Tooling

Nicholas Bergmann, General Manager, EXSYS Tool Inc.


In today’s just-in-time business environment, shops must quickly respond to product changes and meet extremely tight delivery times, yet continue to achieve increasingly higher quality standards. For these shops, smaller lot sizes of very different products have replaced high-volume long-running production of identical parts. For these reasons, making fast job changeovers is a key factor for success. Full Article

24M Introduces the Semisolid Lithium-Ion Battery

Press Release: 24M


24M (Cambridge, MA) has emerged from stealth mode to introduce the semisolid lithium-ion cell, a revolutionary technology that solves the grand challenge of energy storage by enabling a new, cost-effective class of the lithium-ion battery. 24M’s semisolid lithium-ion is the most significant advancement in lithium-ion technology in more than two decades and combines an overhaul in battery cell design with a series of manufacturing innovations that, when fully implemented, will slash today’s lithium-ion costs by 50% and improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Full Article

DIY: Creating Through-Tool Coolant Capability

David McHenry, Engineering and Technical Manager, REGO FIX Tool Corporation


New retrofit systems make it possible to quickly, easily and cost effectively transform the standard external-coolant live tooling heads on turning machine turrets into those with through-tool-coolant capability. And shops that have done the retrofit are experiencing longer tool life, more efficient chip control and less heat generation. These retrofit systems also increase overall productivity by allowing for faster machining speeds and feeds as well as shorter cycle times. Full Article

Viewpoints: NNMI: A New Place for Advancing Manufacturing

Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, Director - Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, SME Past President


Additive manufacturing has captured popular attention now that retailers are selling low-cost 3D printers. There is a perception that additive manufacturing simply appeared in the past two years, yet the technology has been under development for nearly 30 years—a timeline that is about average for a process or new material to mature from laboratory to production. Full Article

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