AS A TEAM OF FOUR MANUFACTURING engineering undergraduate students from Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA), we had our minds blown within seconds of walking onto the RAPID + TCT show floor when we attended the event, April 23-26, in Fort Worth, TX.
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Flexibility has come to automation, perhaps as never before. And for industries that require precision machining, assembly, and measurement, automation technologies have never been more available.
As additive manufacturing (AM) moves from prototypes to mass production, manufacturers are setting their sights on the holy grails—the products and processes that will be game-changers. Many game-changers are already in play.
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.
FANUC has made real one of the promises of Industry 4.0, that of predictive maintenance for factory equipment, with its Zero Down Time IoT solution. ZDT can be applied to any of FANUC’s robotic arms and their peripherals.
Constant refinement of medical machining from tooling design to finished product requires not only the ability to handle a broad range of plastic and metal materials but also to achieve predictable results—particularly in the face of strict regulations.
When making over-the-counter and prescription soft-gel products, the dosage that fills each gel cap must be precise. It follows, then, that the system for metering the amount of formulation demands the same exacting level of precision. Such is the requirement at leading contract manufacturers of nutritional and pharmaceutical soft-gel products. To keep their metering pumps and production equipment accurate and reliable, they look to Progressive Tool & Manufacturing Inc. (Greensboro, NC).
Before harmonizing new technology onto the manufacturing floor, critical steps include determining the business problems to be solved and securing buy-in from all stakeholders, industry leaders said recently during an AeroDef conference panel talk on manufacturing production harmonization.
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.
Basic trends in modern manufacturing are driving growth in 3D optical metrology. “One is the highly complex and high-tech material that manufacturers are using today. For example, in the aerospace turbine blade market, they simply cannot touch the part like they used to—the surface finish of the material is too readily affected by any kind of contact metrology."