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Chrysler Implements Flexible Manufacturing

Challenged by an increasingly niche-oriented automotive market, The Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) must increase the number of models it offers while decreasing its capital investment. The company plans to offer 50% more models in 2009 compared to 2004, according to John Felice, VP of manufacturing, technology and global enterprise for Chrysler.

Breathing Safely Around Metal 3D Printers

When GE decided that additive manufacturing was the way to go for making metal fuel nozzles for its new LEAP engine, the company touched off interest in other shops to move 3D printers from the design studio to the factory floor. It also stepped up the focus on safety standards for metal AM.

KUKA Sells US Aviation Unit as Part of Regulatory Review

Today, KUKA AG announced the sale of its section KUKA Systems Aerospace North America to the US automation company Advanced Integration Technology Inc. The decision was made in connection with open regulatory approvals in the United States.

Masters of Manufacturing: Carl R. Deckard, PhD

An early pioneer in the field of additive manufacturing (AM), the story of Carl R. Deckard, PhD, ME, is an example of the University of Texas motto: “What Starts Here Changes the World.”

Machining with Robots

Robotic machining technology has advanced to where it poses a serious alternative to metalcutting applications on more traditional machining centers. With the latest robotics equipment and related software, automation suppliers and robotic system integrators are gaining some traction using robots in many material-removal applications previously done only with machine tools.

Bar Feeders Boost Turning Productivity

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.

Machine Tool Control

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.

Communicating with the Shop Floor

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.