As additive manufacturing emerges from a long infancy, the industry is grappling with a key challenge: A file format and design tools from the 20th century are being asked to do 21st century jobs.
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Modernizing the smaller shop with the latest digital tools available from enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developers
While suppliers are under more pressure than ever to produce precision parts faster and with less scrap, in-process metrology means manufacturers can detect as soon as possible when a part is going wrong, correcting the issue quickly and saving it from scrap.
Consolidation along the Digital Thread seems to be all the rage among companies today, including Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. While acquiring technologies outside its core metrology might make sense as a business, is there advantage technically in adding CAE and CAD/CAM?
Additive manufacturing holds potential for many possible new frontiers in the aerospace industry, and manufacturers in aviation and space flight are reaching for those new vistas. But they’re held back at less than warp speed due to a lack of awareness, unmet technological needs and the absence of a formal regulatory process in their highly regulated industry.
While EDMs offer the benefits of holding tight tolerances, working on nearly any metal, and being well suited for delicate or fragile parts, knowledgeable operators for the machines are increasingly hard to find and robots can’t always fill the gap. Automated processes in the machines, newer designs and features of Industry 4.0 are helping to solve the problem.
Meeting the needs of the evolving digital manufacturing initiative, Open Mind Technologies (Needham, MA) has recently partnered with Heidenhain TNC controls (Schaumburg, IL) to provide exclusive first use of their new NC code-based machining simulation solution hyperMILL Virtual Machining.
Strong 2016 earnings among top industrial laser providers, continued brisk adoption of fiber lasers, cheaper ultrafast lasers, and a host of novel applications and notable corporate acquisitions signal a big year ahead for photonics-based manufacturing.
Beware predictions of the demise of any technology. If the early 1920s saw the dawn of the optical comparator, there has been much speculation about its sunset. That was especially true when vision systems started hitting their stride a few years ago. Many could see optical comparators were superfluous with the use of vision systems. Many thought the sunset of optical comparators was imminent. Many were wrong. Why?
The demand for titanium components by the aerospace industry began as a whisper about 15 years ago and steadily grew to a sustained, raucous shout over the last five and likely won’t quiet for several more.