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How Factory Intelligence is Evolving

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.

Will Automation and Robots Change the World?

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.

CAM Software Automates, Maximizes Five-Axis Machining

Implementing five-axis machining can be an excellent strategy for efficiently producing accurate, complex parts. However, it takes more than the right machine tool to realize the full potential of a five-axis process. In addition to the right machine, tooling and fixturing options, CAM software must be selected carefully.

Hybrid Machine Tools Offer One-Two Punch

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.

Digitalization Boosts Auto Parts Cell Production By 20%

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.

Nesting Software Propels Part Programming Productivity

Smarter, faster nesting software programs with better automation and other major improvements are helping fabricators and metalcutters at job shops and other builders inject a jolt of productivity into their factory operations.

Tracking the Trends From 2018 and Beyond

I get to observe, read about or write on manufacturing trends nearly every day. Around this time of year (mid-December), lots of manufacturing Top 10 Trends lists are published. I was curious about how many of these trends SME Media has covered in the last year and plans to cover in 2019.