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MTConnect Exec: Standards Help See Into Future, Integrate Diverse Equipment

Russell Waddell, managing director at the MTConnect Institute, dives into why so many standards exist, what manufacturers can gain from a digital factory project, and how they can cut through the hype—to at least achieve shop floor monitoring. MTConnect, a standard with more than 10 years of history, frees up manufacturers to focus on value-add functions instead of normalizing data. And it has been installed on more than 50,000 devices worldwide. Today, the use case is not just what happened or what is happening “what is going to happen: looking at … anything that is forward-looking and anticipating what will happen next.” Perhaps most important, embracing standards allows for quick and easy integration of all types and brands of equipment.

Getting Supply Chain Risk Under Control

William Crane, CEO of IndustryStar, an on-demand supply chain services and software technology company, dives into what manufacturers concerned about supply chain risk can do to worry less. In his estimation, “on-demand supply chain risk management resources have really been taking off.” It is possible, he said, to build a “supply chain competitive advantage.” Heard of agile supply chain? If not, he explains it.

High-Power Fiber Laser Welding With Filler Material

Fiber laser welding continues to grow as it improves in weld quality, reliability and performance. Many fiber laser welding applications are autogenous, where the weld is formed entirely by melting parts of the base metal and no additional filler wire or powder is used

The Connected Machine Shop

Change is hard. Whether it’s learning a new software package or setting up a new model of machine tool, many of us wonder at some point, “Is all this hassle worthwhile?” Change can also be risky, raising the specter of lost time, revenue, and reputation.

Laser, Fabrication and Automation Power Ahead

Laser 3D printing and marking systems are among the heavy-duty cutting and welding systems that had been scheduled for the IMTS Fabricating and Laser Pavilion—testament to the growing impact of what once might have been viewed as ancillary processes.

What AM was planned for IMTS?

Had IMTS 2020 taken place as scheduled, it would have been clear that making parts as quickly and cost-effectively as possible remains as the primary goal in manufacturing.