An interview with Diego Tamburini, Principal Industry Lead, Azure Manufacturing Microsoft Corp.
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Manufacturing faces an even larger shortage of skilled workers as older employees retire over the next few years, the head of SME said in a speech today.
When wrestling with vexing issues such as product complexity, lightweighting, advanced materials and new manufacturing methods, today’s manufacturing engineers increasingly use high-fidelity simulations to visualize solutions to these challenges.
In the aerospace world, as in all sectors of manufacturing, the race is on for faster, more automated and connected machining operations. Aerospace builders have steadily pushed for more automotive-like automation over the past several years in order to improve productivity and more effectively handle large order backlogs in commercial aviation.
It’s the machine tool acronym you never bother to put into words: CNC. And much of the time it’s probably OK to view your “computer numerical control” as a black box doing magic. But if you’re struggling with high-speed machining, need better surface finishes or higher accuracy, have training and retention problems, or want a better handle on your production efficiency, the answer just might be the latest iterations of those three little letters.
In the early days at CNC Software, we saw that our Mastercam CAD/CAM system was only part of a larger manufacturing solution and that an open architecture foundation could allow seamless data communication with complementary devices and systems across the shop floor.
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.
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.
Workholding techniques using a magnetic field, a vacuum, or an adhesive can be effective alternatives to clamps. When these techniques are used, more part area is available for the cutting tools, thin parts can be held, and initial setup can be fast and simple. Plus, there is a potential for smoother surfaces and a shorter overall production cycle.
A key success factor for Industry 4.0 and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) initiatives is the emergence of more and better sensors in machining centers, and even in the cutting tools themselves. These sensors provide the data and connectivity that are the foundation for the “factory of the future.”