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Manufacturing Engineering: April 2020

The April 2020 edition of Manufacturing Engineering is available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below.
Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) from Fastems allows full visibility into manufacturing operations by providing a detailed overview of the entire production process.

The Promise of Next-Level Automation

March 24, 2020
Edge. Cloud. Digital twin. AI. AR. VR. Cobots. Once they were buzzwords. Now, they are becoming technical realities in mid- to large-scale manufacturing plants in North America.
By Bob Puhr Contributing Writer
FastARC welding cells from Acieta are a good option for anyone new to robotics, according to the company.

Hey, Job Shops: Time to Automate!

March 25, 2020
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.
Large touch screens are the CNC interface of choice for new-generation machinists, like this example from Heidenhain.

Tips for Choosing a CNC

March 26, 2020
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.
Ed Sinkora
By Ed Sinkora Contributing Editor, SME Media
Twin-spindle, four- or five-axis TS900V Meteor HMCs can machine a variety of large aluminum and cast iron automotive components for both internal combustion and electrified vehicles.

HMCs Offer Perfect Platform for Flexibility, Performance

March 27, 2020
Horizontal machining center technology—a long-time mainstay of OEMs and Tier One contract manufacturers—has morphed into space efficient, versatile machining platforms that any high-mix job shop can benefit from.
Jim Lorincz
By Jim Lorincz Contributing Editor, SME Media
Blockchain, the distributed ledger science behind Bitcoin, is demonstrating great promise for being a breakthrough of historic proportions for the manufacturing supply chain.

Trust and Truth: How Blockchain is Forming the Foundation of the Next Manufacturing Renaissance

February 6, 2020
Amid predictions of global economic slowdowns and several recent PMI readings indicating manufacturing contraction, it becomes easy to see how slow production performance and data inefficiencies throughout the manufacturing supply chain contribute to economic uncertainty and concerns for future business.
James Allen Regenor, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
By James Allen Regenor Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Shop Solutions

Up Front

  • Expert Opinion

    How Manufacturers Can Cope with COVID-19

    March 24, 2020
    There’s a big new trend sweeping the world, and not in a good way. The new coronavirus goes by other names, including COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2, but by any name it is bad news.
    By Alan Rooks - Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering

SME Speaks

  • SME Speaks

    Serving the Composites Community: A Q&A with Douglas Decker

    March 30, 2020
    We sat down recently with SME Fellow Douglas Decker, an internationally known expert in the field of advanced composites fabrication and assembly, to discuss his background and innovative approaches on several critical military programs.
    By Douglas D. Decker, FSME - The Composites Consultants, SME Member Since 2016

Advanced Manufacturing Now

Research Focus

  • Smart Manufacturing

    The Challenge of Implementing New Technology

    March 27, 2020
    Many organizations struggle with applying new technology in their manufacturing operations. SME conducted the Manufacturing Technology Harmonization Study to understand how companies approach this challenge of integrating smart manufacturing, big data, and both new and old capital equipment in a cost-effective and practical implementation.
    By Steve George - Business Intelligence Manager, SME

Workforce Pipeline


  • Expert Opinion

    From Shop Floor to Ecosystems, Trust is Vital

    April 2, 2020
    For the last few years, many of us in the manufacturing automation field have expressed the need to “build bridges to everywhere” within the context of Industry 4.0. It is a way to describe the capability and the goal of connecting shop floor resources, for example single machines with pallet pools, machines with robotic machine tending, and multi-machine cells and FMSs.
    By Tomi Kankainen - Chief Digital Officer and Vice President, Fastems Oy AB