When Kimberley Hagerty became lean transformation manager at Pratt & Whitney’s Hot Section Module Center, she quickly realized that the company, while flush with the most advanced technology needed to make “the world’s most advanced jet propulsion system in the world,” lacked the “most advanced processes and systems that supported the manufacturing of that technology,” she told people attending The Digital Transformation, a smart manufacturing seminar SME held here recently.
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Companies strategically adopt cutting-edge solutions to help solidify their position within a competitive marketplace. Years ago, blue light 3D scanning technology was implemented to help product development and alleviate coordinate measuring machine (CMM) bottlenecks.
It’s probably not a bad idea for smaller and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to adopt an “us against them” attitude as they become aware of the prevalence of cyber-attacks in the digital age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.
Smart sensors, already an integral feature of many manufacturing plants that are integrating IT and OT, are now making their way into the supply chain where they monitor reliability and shipping conditions, improve predictive maintenance and make just-in-time delivery (the innovation from the 1980s) easier.
The U.S. needs to build a national infrastructure in engineering and manufacturing R&D that parallels its scientific infrastructure. While it makes all the sense in the world, it is not happening.
When I graduated with an engineering degree some decades ago, I learned that the organizations I was going to work for had internal communication problems. This was especially true for those that designed and manufactured complex machinery such as engines, aircraft, or automobiles.
SME’s Smart Manufacturing Hub will be part of IMTS this year. Smart Manufacturing asked past Hub speakers to imagine what manufacturing will look like in 2030. Here are their visions:
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.
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.
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.