Lean manufacturing principles and automation systems can coexist, although many lean purists contend that lean goals conflict with using automation. Smart applications of automation, however, can result in deployment of systems that are both automated and lean, with flexible manufacturing systems that can be easily reconfigured as factory operations change.
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To stay ahead in the game, manufacturers constantly seek an edge over the competition. With today’s CAD/CAM software, the builders of aircraft, automobiles and other complicated systems get the innovative programming tools needed to coax the most performance from complex, expensive machine tools.
The issues around OEE are not its utility but the ease and credibility of the data used to calculate it
Process improvement encompasses a wide range of tools, techniques and strategies. When properly deployed, shop-floor data collection and monitoring systems can help factory-floor managers leverage key data metrics including overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and total effective equipment performance (TEEP) that measure machine uptime and pinpoint bottlenecks or other problems in order to improve machining performance.
ABB and Microsoft Corp. today announced a strategic partnership to help industrial customers create new value with digital solutions. Customers will benefit from the unique combination of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and ABB’s deep domain knowledge and extensive portfolio of industrial solutions.
Nesting is the process of arranging parts to be cut from sheets of metal or wood in the most efficient manner possible in order to maximize yield and speed the cutting process. By reducing scrap and accelerating the cutting process, fabricators are saving on material cost while running more jobs.
Q&A with Chad Stoecker, leader at Managed Services GE Digital, IPRC in Lisle, Illinois.
Moldmaking is making a comeback, with more reshoring to North America of mold-and-die manufacturing that left for the Far East and other low-cost manufacturing centers. With faster metalcutting through high-speed machining (HSM) and improved EDM techniques, mold-and-die shops are finding innovative ways to compete with manufacturing operations in traditionally low-cost labor markets.
Smarter factory systems connected via the cloud are the grand vision offered for the future factories that will fully leverage the best available tools from automation, software and machine tool builders.
New automation solutions have aerospace production humming, with automated-guided vehicles (AGVs) and mobile robotics solutions helping aerospace and defense builders meet demanding production schedules for delivery of new commercial and military aircraft.