At Cary Rosenberg’s company, Watts Water Technologies, validating material properties to ensure they are composed of the correct elemental composition is an important part of their work.
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There’s nothing mysterious about the need for calibration. As Michael Wilm, business manager for calibration products, Renishaw Inc., West Dundee, Illinois, put it: “When you get gas for your car, you count on the pump being calibrated. That’s why we calibrate machine tools. If you don’t calibrate a machine tool you have no idea it’s going to give you reliable service for manufacturing your product.”
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.