Robots and job shops have not typically been talked about together. After all, everyone knows that automation is only suitable for high-volume production, and the typical mom-and-pop operation is anything but—its schedule filled with orders for high-mix, low-volume, and often highly complex work.
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Like most of the digital architecture of manufacturing, computer numerical controllers (CNCs) have advanced rapidly in recent years, producing far more processing speed and implementing advanced algorithms, while at the same time offering simpler, more intuitive user interfaces.
Modern manufacturing is a data-driven endeavor. The sheer volume of data available to be collected and analyzed is staggering—and something that couldn’t have been envisioned even 20 years ago.
Vecna Robotics’ David Clear and SVT Robotics’ TJ Fanning go into reasons manufacturers might want to consider automation and AI. They also look at how to test assumptions and scale with so many variables changing moment by moment. The adage “change is the only constant” has never been more apropos. So, it’s a great time to hear what separates a complex system from a complex adaptive system.
Catalytic CEO Sean Chou explains the difference between process automation and robotic automation, as well as what it looks like to use automation to augment existing workflows. Importantly, he describes how manufacturers can use automation to do more with less—to lessen supply chain pressures that have grown because of globalization and the Covid-19 crisis. And he details which processes manufacturers can automate to optimize resources and productivity.
Aerospace is thought of as the industry with some of the most advanced technology, including automation. However, especially in automation, that may not be exactly true. In this podcast, Bruce Morey senior technical editor for Manufacturing Engineering magazine talks with Rick Schulz of FANUC America about some of the challenges and misperceptions in using automation more fully in aerospace manufacturing. Mistakes to be avoided, such as simply replacing humans with a robot, and how to use collaborative robots. The main message is that employing automation to its fullest requires a systematic approach to the entire manufacturing process.
Success in aerospace machining requires more than the ability to hold tight tolerances in difficult materials. It also requires the ability to prove that you did so in compliance with a pile of specific guidelines, with reports that likewise must follow a specific format.
CNC Software Inc., the developer of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, has announced that Owner and Executive Vice President Brian Summers is transitioning to a new role in the organization.
Simulation software has traditionally been used to predict the behavior of a product or system before designs are finalized and to understand the cause of failures after they have happened so that they can be avoided in the future.
As advanced automation and digitization permeate the industrial landscape, tech-savvy companies are striving to create value-added products that foster growth for customers.