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Advances in Medical Metrology

Sometimes, too many choices can be a problem. That might be the case today for manufacturers of medical devices, who are facing a host of challenges and opportunities. Devices are small and getting smaller. Their complexity is increasing. End users are demanding tighter tolerances.

Process Reliability: The Springboard to Efficiency

I’m among the first to dive into the latest manufacturing innovations and see how they can improve our customers’ operations. Yet, I’m also among the first to advise them to pause and ensure that the fundamentals of their manufacturing processes are in place before adding something new into the complex mix of functionality and desired outcomes.

Japanese, German Innovators Broaden Work That Stars ‘Digital Companion’

In preparation for mass customization, for starters, Japanese and German tech research officials today committed to expanding their joint work to establish a “social-technical or maybe ‘cyber-social’ environment where ‘digital companions’ and production lines communicate with humans” working in manufacturing, Andreas Dengel said in an interview with Smart Manufacturing magazine here at the CeBIT (Centrum der Büroautomation und Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation) fair.

Metrology Tools for Medical: A New Focus on Vision Systems

Metrology for medical devices needs to become more capable as those devices get more varied and complex. Manufacturers must inspect dental implants, coronary stents, orthopedic joints, and implanted electronic devices. Surgeons are increasingly using intricate, sometimes one-off, surgical tools. There is also a growing number of consumable items, such as hypodermic needles, made on rapid production lines. They all need ever more precise quality control.

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.

Big CNC Machine Gives Shop An Aerospace Lift

When a contract manufacturer sees an opportunity in the competitive aerospace market, it sets priorities aimed at providing the right combination of processes required to meet the industry’s exacting demands. Precision machining and finishing, parts inspection, and, of course, certifications from OEMs and industry alliances are at the top of the list. Increasingly, aerospace suppliers like Volvo Aero Connecticut (Newington, CT) are benefiting from five-axis machining, advanced CNC controls, motors and drives, robotic deburring, and on-machine inspection for a competitive advantage.

Software, Quality Inspection Deliver Auto Parts Safety

Although drivers may not know it, cable connections for the airbags and seatbelt buckle systems in their vehicle simply would not work without components manufactured by ODW-Elektrik. A development partner and supplier for high-quality cabling, solenoids and mechatronic systems used in vehicles around the world, ODW-Elektrik supplies most of its products to Bosch, Autoliv, Brose, VW, and ZF.

Hexagon Thinks Big, Gets Bigger

It’s easy to become dazed by the continuing stream of buzz words. For those of us in manufacturing, all this buzz creates a sense of impending change, but no clarity on what that change might be. Uncertainty means anxiety.

Quality Scan: Thread Inspection: Your Application Matters

Not all threaded connections serve similar purposes.The load-carrying needs of an aerospace engine support bolt in a tension assembly greatly exceed those of a simple screw that fastens a cover plate to an electrical wall socket. International thread-acceptance documents and standards recognize this basic engineering fact, and incorporate different thread-inspection requirements into their verification standards.

Micromanufacturing is Growing

Many industries have been making parts with micron dimensions for some time, but in the last few years, the market for miniaturization has expanded. The demand is not only for small parts, but also for small complex features on larger parts. This is due chiefly to the switch to modules in which the functions of several parts or subsystems are not handled by a single complex unit.