For years, the manufacturing industry has debated the pros and cons of opening up manufacturing networks, but concerns over virus vulnerabilities and the stability of PCs on the network largely limited open-architecture PC controls’ progress and kept entrenched proprietary systems in place.
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Workholding techniques using a magnetic field, a vacuum, or an adhesive can be effective alternatives to clamps. When these techniques are used, more part area is available for the cutting tools, thin parts can be held, and initial setup can be fast and simple. Plus, there is a potential for smoother surfaces and a shorter overall production cycle.
With the push toward a fully digital factory, manufacturing execution systems (MES) software has never been more critical to manufacturers of all stripes.
Today, the ideal factory can achieve levels of self-controlling (and perhaps self-learning) production processes, in which production reacts autonomously to changes or faults and takes appropriate measures.
In the aerospace world, as in all sectors of manufacturing, the race is on for faster, more automated and connected machining operations. Aerospace builders have steadily pushed for more automotive-like automation over the past several years in order to improve productivity and more effectively handle large order backlogs in commercial aviation.
When wrestling with vexing issues such as product complexity, lightweighting, advanced materials and new manufacturing methods, today’s manufacturing engineers increasingly use high-fidelity simulations to visualize solutions to these challenges.
An eternal truth is that manufacturing will always push the limits on cost, performance, and especially quality. “Tolerances never get looser, they always get tighter,” remarked Gene Hancz, product specialist, CMM of Mitutoyo America Corp. (Aurora, IL).
Convergence-enabled cyberattacks—where criminals exploit traditionally isolated operational technology (OT) devices through their new connections to the IT network—may be motivated by the desire to hijack and demand ransom for services, steal trade secrets through industrial or national cyberespionage, or commit cyberterrorism or engage in cyberwarfare.
Implementing a comprehensive laser cutting system is not a task for the faint of heart. In addition to the financial outlay, requirements include planning for a complete system, not just the laser, according to Dustin Diehl, laser division product manager, Amada America Inc., Buena Park, Calif.
To compete in the fast-paced world of manufacturing, machinists look for no-compromise machine controls offering fast, precision programming of machine tools. The latest CNC systems from machine control developers include a new dual-function milling and turning control and several updated controls with embedded software routines that can significantly speed up CNC programming.