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Manufacturing and AI: Promises and Pitfalls

We all know the buzzwords circulating around digital data and the factory. You have heard them—Industry 4.0, smart factories, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). The question we all have is how will this impact workers in the long term? What do these terms really mean? Nevertheless, both traditional software suppliers and makers of advanced manufacturing equipment are offering digital solutions.

New Approaches to Making Parts for the Oil Patch

Rod Zimmerman of cutting tool manufacturer Iscar Metals lives in a pleasant green zone in a Fort Worth suburb. Yet within a half mile of his home, an oil company has sunk a vertical hole 7,500′ (2,286 m) deep, from which it has splayed nine lateral lines, each going about half a mile.

Swiss Machining Made Simpler

Swiss-style machine tools can be a good choice for making complex parts. On the downside, however, Swiss machining itself has a reputation of being complex—and, therefore, more difficult to master than standard machining.

A Guide to Understanding Forces in Creepfeed Grinding

Efficient creepfeed grinding can remove material quickly and produce a precision ground surface on challenging materials. However, since creepfeed grinding applications typically draw more power and have higher forces, there are important considerations to pay attention to during application setup.

Artificial Intelligence Comes to CAD

The bane of modern engineering is complexity. One promise of artificial intelligence and machine learning is helping engineers to use complex tools and harness vast data sets effectively.

Optimization Module Tackles Tough Materials

Most anyone who’s worked in a machine shop for any length of time has at some point attended a trade show or machine tool distributor’s open house. There they see canned demonstrations of CNC machines busily carving up chunks of brass, mild steel, or aluminum into business card holders and tic-tac-toe games.

Structured Vision in Manufacturing

Structured light systems measure surfaces by projecting a pattern of fringes, then using cameras and sophisticated software to convert them into point clouds of metrology data. Accuracy can reach the single-digit microns over millions of points.