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2016 Was a Good Year for Lasers; 2017 Looks Even Better

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.

More US funds needed to address workforce skills gap

A strong manufacturing ecosystem that includes manufacturing engineering education is critical to ensuring the future vitality and innovation of manufacturing initiatives in the US. So it was welcome news to learn that the DOD is developing a new manufacturing engineering education (MEE) grant program, authorized by Congress with initial funding of $10 million for fiscal 2017.

Narrowing the Skills Gap

Technological gains, young ambassadors, apprenticeships help. But manufacturers’ training investment remains a problem.

New Automation Makes EDMs Faster, More Efficient

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.

New Graphene Synthesized for Industrial Uses

Materials researcher Metalysis Ltd. (South Yorkshire, UK) recently announced that it has developed a new synthesized graphene material that holds potential for future industrial production. Metalysis, which is focused on commercializing its proprietary electrochemical metal-powder manufacturing technology, said its R&D successfully produced graphene using the company’s own process.

Niagara Gear Adds In-House Machining Capabilities

Buffalo, NY – Niagara Gear, a division of Gear Motions, Inc., recently completed the installation of its first machining cell. The in-house machining capabilities were added to reduce lead-time and provide more flexibility and control to meet customer delivery requirements.

Northwestern U Doctors, Scientists Outline New AM Materials for Medicine

PITTSBURGH—Doctors and scientists at Northwestern University have been working diligently for about seven years to bring new materials to clinics that handle plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as transplants, Sue Jordan, chief resident in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told a crowd gathered to hear her speak today at the RAPID + TCT show.