When additive manufacturing first hit the market, some said it would eventually be the death of traditional, or subtractive, CNC machining. More than 30 years later, new machines are showing additive manufacturing as it really is—a complementary technology.
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Increases in size and quantity of its orders led Wisconsin-based auto parts manufacturer Felss Rotaform LLC (New Berlin, WI) to expand operations through a new dual-robot machine-tending cell. The company is a supplier of precision parts using its rotary swaging, axial forming and tube end-forming processes.
Alex Berry and his team at Sutrue Ltd. (Colchester, England) exploited the benefits of 3D printing prototypes when developing two new automated suturing devices. They also coined a phrase to describe their prototyping technique.
Some in the medical industry are using silicone rubber molds made with a 3D-printed master pattern for low-to-mid production runs of cast polyurethane device housings.
Intelligent factories have existed since manufacturing’s historical inception, but intelligence—defined as the acquisition and application of manufacturing knowledge—resided only with the factory’s staff.
Have collaborative, six-axis robots reached a tipping point in establishing their niche in manufacturing? And could they be opening doors for manufacturers to adopt automation overall?
I’ve had quite a month, again, covering clever software and gadgets that continue to inch their way into performing tasks once reserved for humans. These tasks range from mundane material handling to highly skilled engineering design. It has made me think quite a bit about how our world of manufacturing and engineering will be affected by all this artificial cleverness.
Fabrisonic, Now 6 Years Old, Moves to Develop New Processes, Materials
As automotive manufacturers around the world begin to invest in products and components made with a variety of advanced lightweight materials, the ComauFlex body shop solution—developed and refined over the past decade—has been demonstrating how it can accommodate dissimilar materials while incorporating a wide range of processes.
Aircraft maker Boeing Co. (Chicago) was among the participants in a new round of investing in a Massachusetts 3D printing company.