At the RAPID + TCT conference here, Vader Systems this week announced three unique offerings based on its patented Magnet-o-Jet technology.
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I traveled to Toyota headquarters in Japan with Jeff Liker for a research project. We wanted to learn more about the engineering and collaboration that created the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the strategy and innovation behind hydrogen vehicles, and how they had adapted and improved their development system to meet the increasing demands of the ultra-competitive global auto industry.
When Kimberley Hagerty became lean transformation manager at Pratt & Whitney’s Hot Section Module Center, she quickly realized that the company, while flush with the most advanced technology needed to make “the world’s most advanced jet propulsion system in the world,” lacked the “most advanced processes and systems that supported the manufacturing of that technology,” she told people attending The Digital Transformation, a smart manufacturing seminar SME held here recently.
Companies strategically adopt cutting-edge solutions to help solidify their position within a competitive marketplace. Years ago, blue light 3D scanning technology was implemented to help product development and alleviate coordinate measuring machine (CMM) bottlenecks.
It’s probably not a bad idea for smaller and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to adopt an “us against them” attitude as they become aware of the prevalence of cyber-attacks in the digital age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.
The industrial world is continuing its adoption of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), the advanced tolerancing methodology. The symbolic language is intended to be both more precise while providing more latitude in allowable variations, replacing the simpler method of adding tolerances to each dimension.
Artificial Intelligence is weaved in with capacity management, cybersecurity, data science, diagnostics, ERP-PLM integration, location analysis, machine learning, predictive maintenance, process optimization, situational awareness and supply chain management.
Smart sensors, already an integral feature of many manufacturing plants that are integrating IT and OT, are now making their way into the supply chain where they monitor reliability and shipping conditions, improve predictive maintenance and make just-in-time delivery (the innovation from the 1980s) easier.
The U.S. needs to build a national infrastructure in engineering and manufacturing R&D that parallels its scientific infrastructure. While it makes all the sense in the world, it is not happening.
For CMMs, the good times continue to roll. “One of the surprising things that has happened in just the last three to four years is the sheer volume of CMMs that we are shipping,” said Angus Taylor, president of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North America (North Kingstown, RI). “The market seems to be really exploding.”