Flexibility has come to automation, perhaps as never before. And for industries that require precision machining, assembly, and measurement, automation technologies have never been more available.
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Constant refinement of medical machining from tooling design to finished product requires not only the ability to handle a broad range of plastic and metal materials but also to achieve predictable results—particularly in the face of strict regulations.
When making over-the-counter and prescription soft-gel products, the dosage that fills each gel cap must be precise. It follows, then, that the system for metering the amount of formulation demands the same exacting level of precision. Such is the requirement at leading contract manufacturers of nutritional and pharmaceutical soft-gel products. To keep their metering pumps and production equipment accurate and reliable, they look to Progressive Tool & Manufacturing Inc. (Greensboro, NC).
Basic trends in modern manufacturing are driving growth in 3D optical metrology. “One is the highly complex and high-tech material that manufacturers are using today. For example, in the aerospace turbine blade market, they simply cannot touch the part like they used to—the surface finish of the material is too readily affected by any kind of contact metrology."
My instincts tell me we need a sense of urgency around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing. The urgency is driven by how quickly technology can move today, and how an unexpected breakthrough can quickly dominate.
DMG Mori (Hoffman Estates, IL) delivers manufacturing technologies to aerospace OEMs and production shops supported by a package of CAD/CAM/CNC hardware, software, and engineering services from Siemens Industry Inc. (Elk Grove Village, IL) for aerospace machining. A long-time partner with Siemens, DMG Mori builds a variety of conventional chip-cutting and ultrasonic machining centers.
Technology is changing ever more rapidly. Sometimes this means topics learned in engineering or technical school become obsolete. Whole new fields emerge within a few years, so that even those with freshly minted educations suddenly find themselves faced with new challenges.
New systems, software and processes are replacing so-called islands of automation with seamless, automated manufacturing lines that boost overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) from 30 to 80% or more.
In the near absence of academic programs to teach undergraduate engineering students additive manufacturing, a California-based startup has stepped in to help fill the void through internships.
Smart manufacturing is about making the best decisions in the shortest time possible based on the most accurate real-time data—whether those decisions are made by people, machines or cyber-physical systems.