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Advanced Technologies Supplement: Processes Reduce Composite Costs

Composites engineers are expanding their craft to build more complex, durable parts at higher production volumes. One way they are achieving this objective is by using infusion-molding processes based on Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) and Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM).

CAD/CAM Software Advances

Speeding up programming tasks on CAD/CAM software ranks at the top of machine shops’ requirements when faced with making quality parts on a deadline. The more efficient a shop’s toolpaths are, the less chance that any programming problems result in wasting very expensive machine time on the shop floor.

Automation in Lean Manufacturing

Common misperceptions about lean manufacturing and automation systems lead many manufacturing managers to dismiss the use of automation in a lean setting.

Masters of Manufacturing: Patrick J. Hanratty

An early pioneer in the fields of NC and CAD/CAM software, Patrick J. Hanratty, PhD, discovered his passion for computing and programming almost by accident, answering a newspaper ad seeking programmers in his hometown of San Diego after returning from service in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Cutting Tools for Composites

Machining composites presents unique challenges compared to metals. Reinforcement fibers are abrasive, shortening tool life. The plastic matrix carries away little heat, unlike metal chips, and overheating can melt the matrix.

Simulation for the Shop Floor

Highly realistic 3-D simulation software can greatly improve manufacturing processes, lending sophisticated visualization tools that help increase manufacturing productivity and product quality.

No Two CFRP Materials Machine Exactly Alike

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite materials deliver the important performance advantages of high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and extreme corrosion resistance in lightweight structures, valued especially for demanding aerospace and oil and gas industry applications.

Locking Down the Factory Floor

With more factory assets getting connected to the Web, particularly with the coming explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, today’s manufacturing management must look for rock-solid technologies for securing their factory-floor machinery and the mission-critical intellectual property assets that now often reside in cloud-based software.