For decades, plant personnel have performed insulation resistance tests with handheld megohmmeters to prevent motor failures that lead to costly unplanned shutdowns, failure-to-produce penalties and rewinding repairs. However, these tests only provide a “snapshot” of motor health. In a matter of days, motor windings and cables exposed to moisture, chemicals, contaminants or vibration can be compromised and fail at startup.
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Some of the key trends in manufacturing are brought about by convergence of the design and manufacturing industries. With manufacturers under more pressure than ever to deliver better products faster and at lower cost, the need to connect and automate design and manufacturing processes to reduce iterations, errors, and delivery times is becoming critical.
How do we turn all the data collected at each step of the manufacturing process into something usable?
Bosch said it lifted its automation platform to the next level with ctrlX I/O while showing it at the show.
Keeping products clean is becoming a more significant part of manufacturing as standards for cleanliness, deburring, and finish grow more stringent.
One of the most cost-effective ways to obtain the benefits of automation is by adding a bar feeder to a CNC lathe or other bar machine. Costing anywhere from about $10,000 to $40,000 depending on configuration, the devices can add hours of untended operating time for part volumes of a few hundred to tens of thousands.
Shop efficiencies start with the machine tool controller, as today’s CNC equipment offers machine operators myriad tools for improving part surface finishes, allocating machine time, and cutting job cycle times.
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.
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.
A key success factor for Industry 4.0 and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) initiatives is the emergence of more and better sensors in machining centers, and even in the cutting tools themselves. These sensors provide the data and connectivity that are the foundation for the “factory of the future.”