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Lightweighting’s New Phase

Earlier this decade, the auto industry moved to lighten cars and trucks. It was supposed to be a competition between steel, long the dominant vehicle material, and aluminum. The latter got a boost when Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., bet big on aluminum, making aluminum bodies for its F-150 and Super Duty pickups.

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.

Traditional IT firms, traditional OT firms try newfangled ties

Information technology and operations technology are unlikely candidates for a successful marriage. But to ensure that manufacturers thrive in the digital age, OT and IT must find ways to work together—or to at least, as on Tinder, swipe right to indicate interest.

New System Improves Fiber Laser Welding of Aerospace and Defense Assemblies

Fiber laser welding is all about control of the process, according to Kurt Magedanz, laser process engineer at Ace Precision Machining Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis. With its new Laserdyne 430 systems, Ace Precision has made huge strides with weld quality while reducing operator intervention in the process.

Barriers to robot deployment falling one by one

Industrial robots are becoming easier to program, more versatile, more cost-effective, more accurate and more mobile. These changes are lowering barriers to entry, shortening return on investment and making robots a more practical investment.