Contract manufacturers, aka job shops, are the heart and soul of US manufacturing. Their survival and success are imperative.
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“We expect to see the world machinery market grow in the next five years,” said Arun Kumar a director at AlixPartners in a discussion he and I had recently.
Getting fast, accurate data delivered to the palm of your hand is helping drive demand for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. With the popularity of smartphones and tablets, manufacturers are capitalizing on the ability to get critical factory operational data from ERP, manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) applications into the hands of the right decision-makers in a timely manner.
Enpress LLC (Eastlake, OH) selected ERP software from Epicor Software (Austin, TX) in March 2014 to gain real-time access to data to improve operational efficiencies internally and communications with its customers.
Alpha Laser, based in Puchheim, near Munich, Germany, specializes in laser-based processing technology, and Schneider Electric, headquartered in Andover, MA., is Alpha Laser’s automation partner for its semiautomatic and fully automatic machines, including a CNC-controlled universal machine for manufacturing sensors.
Mention automation and most people think high-volume production environments in which millions of parts are pumped out on a regular basis. While that may be true in many instances, it is definitely not the case at Choice Precision Inc. (Whitehall, PA).
At Jaktool LLC (Cranbury, NJ), a team of young inquisitive engineers is investing the time to explore the full potential of its manufacturing software and machines to take on the complex jobs no one else wants. Using Mastercam CAD/CAM programming software from CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT), Jaktool is able to save setup times and tooling costs, and reduce cycle times, while delivering exceptional customer service to a diverse cross section of industries.
Interesting changes have been happening at Haas Automation, one of the few American machine tool builders left standing after scores have been displaced over the decades by Japanese, German and Korean builders.
Design for manufacturing has been around for decades, but industry insiders say the next few years will be critical as technologies like additive manufacturing (AM) and virtual reality (VR) shape the future of the industry.
Digitization of industry has become an established global trend. Despite all the enthusiasm of visionaries, the machine tool is, was and will remain the core element in production.