Automated manufacturing operations are finely tuned ecosystems in which all components must function in complete harmony. Grippers used to pick and place, orient and hold components or end products at various points along the production chain are key to this process.
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The well-established field of laser marking continues to break new ground with expanding business opportunities in automotive, oil and gas, medical and other industries.
As a provider of automation equipment and software, our company is immersed in this ongoing, revolutionary, data-driven ride, and we’re anticipating a new trend: our customers are not just automating their traditional subtractive methods.
Today’s virtual technology enables faster and better product development. Planes, trains and automobiles are defined in CAD, subjected to virtual tests to see how they might fail, re-designed, virtually manufactured and virtually shown to customers to confirm market acceptance.
Having a plan for maintaining and improving the performance and reliability of every machine on a shop floor is vital to manufacturing operations. Reliable machines make short-notice production runs possible. And the more flexible manufacturers are, the more new customers they’ll attract.
If “automation” is the constant drone you hear from practically everyone in metalworking these days, job shop owners might be the only people yelling “No!” Or at least “Wait!” How, they ask, can you cost-effectively automate low-volume, high-mix parts? Yet it’s not only doable but probably necessary.
Connected manufacturing and digitization technologies are spurring many of the major innovations in CNC machine controls that help machine shops cut metal and create parts as quickly and efficiently as possible.
With a shortage of young workers willing and able to do today’s factory jobs, manufacturers are taking steps to retain the older workforce already punching in.
One of the foundational aspects of Industry 4.0 protocols is the creation of electronic “digital twin” models of product data and production processes. This includes an exact replica of all machine tools, including complex work envelopes showing the particular spindles, fixtures, and cutting tools.
These days mirror the late 1990s, when the Internet evolved to widespread use—and the topic bedeviled many. But others—in banking and entertainment, for example—who quickly learned the new lingo and jumped at the chance to explore the Web’s potential benefited greatly. Today’s tantalizing topic: blockchain.