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In-House 3D Printer Saves Firm Thousands

A fused filament 3D printer has saved a custom outdoor lighting manufacturer tens of thousands of dollars a year, improving operations and winning more business. The purchase also helped retain customers who would previously have gone elsewhere for specialized parts.

Sorting Out the Options Leads to Successful Presetting

With the number of offline and in-process toolsetting options on the rise, developing a way to efficiently utilize this technology can be confusing. Which presetter should we buy? What about the software that’s so often part of these systems—do we really need it?

Laser Scanners Demand Attention as Technology Improves

Metrology-grade laser scanners are expanding their range of applications. New users are finding the main attractions of laser scanners—speed and ease of use. What prevented more widespread use in the past were laser scanners’ perceived tradeoffs. Using one usually meant sacrificing accuracy or working with noisy data.

New Metrology Culture Improving Chrysler Quality

“Five years ago, our fit and finish was below average,” said Dr. Raj Kawlra, director of dimensional strategy and management of Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI). “To be the future world-leaders, we knew that we had to focus on all aspects of quality … vehicles that look good, feel good, sound good, and are reliable.”

Why Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing Makes Sense for Aerospace & Defense

Additive manufacturing lets companies think “outside the box.” Engineers can now start to look at a part without restrictions on size, shape or material. Instead of taking 15 different CNC milled parts and brazing them together, these companies have reimagined the part entirely—to be built as one part.

Sunnen and ANS Collaborate on Friction and Wear Reduction Technology

Sunnen Products Co. and Sweden’s Applied Nano Surfaces (ANS) have entered into a joint market development agreement to advance technology and applications based on the unique Triboconditioning process recently patented by ANS. The process reduces friction and wear on various steel and cast iron surfaces while improving surface finish, preventing seizures, and enhancing product life.

Quality Inspection and the CAD Connection

Modern manufacturing is rapidly adopting model-based definition (MBD). When employing an MBD strategy, the CAD model becomes more than the nominal to which all parts are measured and inspected against. MBD keeps the all-important digital thread intact—from design to manufacturing to inspection and quality reporting.

Micro Manufacturing Keeps Shrinking the Envelope

Micro components continue to shrink in size, demanding ever-greater precision and improved handling of parts with sub-micron-sized features. New approaches in micro machining technology include higher-precision systems from traditional micro machining developers, as well as techniques using additive manufacturing processes and semiconductor wafer-scale technology on the smallest of micro parts.

Data-Driven Manufacturing

In my capacity as the Chair of the Council of the Manufacturing USA institute directors, I often get asked about trends in U.S. advanced manufacturing.