Flexibility has come to automation, perhaps as never before. And for industries that require precision machining, assembly, and measurement, automation technologies have never been more available.
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As additive manufacturing (AM) moves from prototypes to mass production, manufacturers are setting their sights on the holy grails—the products and processes that will be game-changers. Many game-changers are already in play.
The auto industry wants to expand the use of 3D printers. Automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and BMW AG are working directly with additive manufacturers concerning deployment of the technology.
FANUC has made real one of the promises of Industry 4.0, that of predictive maintenance for factory equipment, with its Zero Down Time IoT solution. ZDT can be applied to any of FANUC’s robotic arms and their peripherals.
Before harmonizing new technology onto the manufacturing floor, critical steps include determining the business problems to be solved and securing buy-in from all stakeholders, industry leaders said recently during an AeroDef conference panel talk on manufacturing production harmonization.
Listen up, major manufacturers and CAD vendors: You’ve got the whole world in your hands—the world in this case being the vision of the digitally connected enterprise and cyber-physical ambitions for Industry 4.0.
When the Italian company JDeal-Form (Oleggio, Italy) started using additive manufacturing to apply a micronized polymer coating to the underwire tips and bra straps it sold to brassiere makers, CTO Davide Ardizzoia grew frustrated with his AM vendor’s constant lateness.
New systems, software and processes are replacing so-called islands of automation with seamless, automated manufacturing lines that boost overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) from 30 to 80% or more.
In the near absence of academic programs to teach undergraduate engineering students additive manufacturing, a California-based startup has stepped in to help fill the void through internships.
Smart manufacturing is about making the best decisions in the shortest time possible based on the most accurate real-time data—whether those decisions are made by people, machines or cyber-physical systems.