The next “dynamic duo” may not involve humans at all. “Machine vision and robots make for a perfect marriage,” stated Klas Bengtsson, global product manager, vision systems for ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI). This is not new. Vision and robotics have gone hand in hand for years.
A key success factor for Industry 4.0 and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) initiatives is the emergence of more and better sensors in machining centers, and even in the cutting tools themselves. These sensors provide the data and connectivity that are the foundation for the “factory of the future.”
Complexity is pervasive in today’s component design and manufacturing processes. In the latest product lifecycle management (PLM) software, manufacturers get more choices, with new functionality being added to help visualize manufacturing processes with technologies that include augmented reality (VR) and virtual reality (VR).
By Patrick WaurzyniakContributing Editor,SME Media
There will be a lot of success stories coming out soon featuring hybrid additive/subtractive machine technology. Still in its early development stages, hybrid machine technology is carving out—after carefully building up layer by layer—examples of complex parts, large repaired workpieces, and molds with process-enhancing conformal cooling channels designed in.
Deep in the heart of Texas (Weatherford to be exact), Frankenstein Engine Dynamics (FED) manufactures some of the best custom engine parts used in the professional auto racing industry. The company has an excellent reputation for what it does, and its components are well-known for their quality, impressive designs, and outstanding performance.
The 3D printing landscape has changed dramatically since the 1988 commercialization of stereolithography (SL). There have been substantial advances in software and materials that sync with increasing computer power and growth in the 3D CAD installed base.
Cleaning and surface processing are important production stages in many manufacturing industries. For automotive applications, machined parts and subassemblies must be thoroughly cleaned before they move into subsequent stages of assembly or coating.
Years ago, when I worked in New York City, I bought a Sony Walkman for my daily commute. It was cutting edge technology and I was an early adopter. I imagined that I looked pretty cool, listening to tunes I organized myself on a mix tape. Fast forward to today, where music is everywhere, on every conceivable device.
Alan Rooks - Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering
I’ve had quite a month, again, covering clever software and gadgets that continue to inch their way into performing tasks once reserved for humans. These tasks range from mundane material handling to highly skilled engineering design. It has made me think quite a bit about how our world of manufacturing and engineering will be affected by all this artificial cleverness.
Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media
In the early days at CNC Software, we saw that our Mastercam CAD/CAM system was only part of a larger manufacturing solution and that an open architecture foundation could allow seamless data communication with complementary devices and systems across the shop floor.
Stas Mylek - Senior Product Specialist, CNC Software
The past few years has seen the additive manufacturing (AM) industry making big inroads into areas previously considered the stronghold of high-precision, production-only metalcutting and metal-finishing processes.
Patrick Waurzyniak - Contributing Editor, SME Media
3DXpert for Solidworks is a complementary software solution for Solidworks, providing professional users, designers and engineers with a complete toolset to prepare and optimize their designs for additive manufacturing [AM]. This allows companies to be more competitive, expand the types of projects they can design, and enjoy the advantages that AM brings.
Patrick Waurzyniak - Contributing Editor, SME Media
Smart manufacturing is about making the best decisions in the shortest time possible based on the most accurate real-time data—whether those decisions are made by people, machines or cyber-physical systems.
Christine Longroy - Automotive Industry Manager, SME
Like many around the world, I recently read about and watched with awe and appreciation at the performances of athletes from around the world at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Most of these athletes were young: six of those competing were just 15 years old!
Josh Cramer - Director of K-12 Educational Programs, SME Education Foundation
The next cycle of technology disruption is upon us. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking hold in every industry and manufacturing is no exception. AI enables companies—from medical device and electronics manufacturers to pharmaceutical firms—to leverage their Big Data and IoT investments to see new patterns and insights and to perform tasks more efficiently and quickly than ever before.
Carlos Melendez - Co-Founder and COO, Wovenware
Several fiber laser-cutting machine builders are focusing on making their products more flexible and economical while at the same time including features usually found on higher end machines—all with the needs of contract metal fabricators in mind.
For ABB, robotic welding comes down to a never-ending process of ensuring parts are suitable for laser joining and developing the appropriate processes. To that end, ABB is refining a recent innovation to improve beam delivery speeds and has developed software for on-the-fly welding in tandem with Trumpf’s Intelligent Programmable Focusing Optic (IPFO).
Geoff Giordano - Contributing Editor, SME Media
Industrial lasers require cooling to remove excess heat generated in the resonator power electronics and the optics system. The type of cooling required is determined by laser wattage, resonator efficiency, resonator and optics temperature requirements, and ambient temperature.
Josh Roby - Director of Engineering, Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions