As additive manufacturing (AM) moves from prototypes to mass production, manufacturers are setting their sights on the holy grails—the products and processes that will be game-changers. Many game-changers are already in play.
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The auto industry wants to expand the use of 3D printers. Automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and BMW AG are working directly with additive manufacturers concerning deployment of the technology.
FANUC has made real one of the promises of Industry 4.0, that of predictive maintenance for factory equipment, with its Zero Down Time IoT solution. ZDT can be applied to any of FANUC’s robotic arms and their peripherals.
Before harmonizing new technology onto the manufacturing floor, critical steps include determining the business problems to be solved and securing buy-in from all stakeholders, industry leaders said recently during an AeroDef conference panel talk on manufacturing production harmonization.
Listen up, major manufacturers and CAD vendors: You’ve got the whole world in your hands—the world in this case being the vision of the digitally connected enterprise and cyber-physical ambitions for Industry 4.0.
Metrology-grade laser scanners are expanding their range of applications. New users are finding the main attractions of laser scanners—speed and ease of use. What prevented more widespread use in the past were laser scanners’ perceived tradeoffs. Using one usually meant sacrificing accuracy or working with noisy data.
I experienced the end of the Third Industrial Revolution as I began my career in manufacturing. Closed government and private networks gave way to an open network called the Internet.
Information technology and operations technology are unlikely candidates for a successful marriage. But to ensure that manufacturers thrive in the digital age, OT and IT must find ways to work together—or to at least, as on Tinder, swipe right to indicate interest.
Manufacturers who have deployed the digital or smart factory have put down their pencils, found new uses for their clipboards and closed their spreadsheet programs in favor of using real-time data gleaned from condition monitoring of their machinery.
Fiber laser welding is all about control of the process, according to Kurt Magedanz, laser process engineer at Ace Precision Machining Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis. With its new Laserdyne 430 systems, Ace Precision has made huge strides with weld quality while reducing operator intervention in the process.