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Manufacturing Engineering: September 2018

The September 2018 edition of Manufacturing Engineering is available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below.
Michigan Central Station

Promise and Peril in New Era for Automakers, Suppliers

August 27, 2018
In Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, there’s a structure that symbolizes both the promise and the peril of a new automotive era—the 105-year-old Michigan Central Station. The train station has been empty and decaying for 30 years.
Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media
Supply and (Uncertain) Demand for Electric Vehicles

Supply and (Uncertain) Demand for Electric Vehicles

August 28, 2018
The hype around electric vehicles and self-driving cars seems to grow louder by the day. The potential environmental and social benefits are trumpeted generally without reservation.
Geoff Giordano
By Geoff Giordano Contributing Editor, SME Media
Collaborative Robots: Hype or Hope?

Collaborative Robots: Hype or Hope?

August 29, 2018
Ask the owner of any machine shop or sheet-metal house to name the biggest obstacle to company growth and you’re likely to receive the same answer—it’s not a lack of working capital that’s slowing them down, nor a shortage of advanced technology, but something far more basic: the need for someone to push a green button or pack boxes. “We can’t find enough people,” you’ll hear.
By Staff Report
CAD/CAM Programs Get Parts On, Off Machine Faster, More Efficiently

CAD/CAM Programs Get Parts On, Off Machine Faster, More Efficiently

August 29, 2018
Ask almost any CAD/CAM vendor what they’re focused on and they’ll tell you it’s the same today as it was five years ago, and it’ll be the same in five years: Get the part onto the machine as fast as possible and get it off the machine as fast as possible. Here’s the current state of play in those two main areas.
Ed Sinkora
By Ed Sinkora Contributing Editor, SME Media
Tigo SF

CMMs Grow Their Niche

August 30, 2018
For CMMs, the good times continue to roll. “One of the surprising things that has happened in just the last three to four years is the sheer volume of CMMs that we are shipping,” said Angus Taylor, president of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North America (North Kingstown, RI). “The market seems to be really exploding.”
Bruce Morey
By Bruce Morey Senior Technical Editor, SME Media

Shop Solutions

  • Quality/Inspection/Test

    Software, Quality Inspection Deliver Auto Parts Safety

    September 4, 2018
    Although drivers may not know it, cable connections for the airbags and seatbelt buckle systems in their vehicle simply would not work without components manufactured by ODW-Elektrik. A development partner and supplier for high-quality cabling, solenoids and mechatronic systems used in vehicles around the world, ODW-Elektrik supplies most of its products to Bosch, Autoliv, Brose, VW, and ZF.
    By Jim Lorincz - Contributing Editor, SME Media
  • Automation

    Cobot Fuels Plastics Manufacturer’s Growth

    September 4, 2018
    Step inside Pride Solutions LLC’s bustling shop floor in Hutchinson, MN, and you’ll see a shiny new CNC lathe turning out tube after tube of aluminum. While Pride’s machinists do more important things, a Universal Robot model UR10 collaborative robot (cobot) does the grunt work, loading and unloading the machine to keep up with high-volume orders.
    By Jim Lorincz - Contributing Editor, SME Media
  • Automation

    Digitalization Boosts Auto Parts Cell Production By 20%

    September 5, 2018
    Increases in size and quantity of its orders led Wisconsin-based auto parts manufacturer Felss Rotaform LLC (New Berlin, WI) to expand operations through a new dual-robot machine-tending cell. The company is a supplier of precision parts using its rotary swaging, axial forming and tube end-forming processes.
    By Jim Lorincz - Contributing Editor, SME Media

Up Front

  • Expert Opinion

    What’s Happening? Check the Auto Industry!

    September 11, 2018
    The U.S. auto industry is a good indicator of a lot of current trends. Like many industries, it has to continually reinvent itself to keep up with consumer and manufacturing trends, as our lead feature by Bill Koenig on page 41 explains.
    By Alan Rooks - Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering

Advanced Manufacturing Now

  • Research Group Feels Impact of Automotive Change

    September 5, 2018
    It’s not just automakers and suppliers that are being shaken by a new automotive era. The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) also is feeling the impact of self-driving and electric cars as well as ride-sharing services. Under a new CEO, Carla Bailo, the organization has revamped its operations and focus.
    By Bill Koenig - Senior Editor, SME Media
  • Quality/Inspection/Test

    Metrology, Product Design and the Next Revolution

    September 6, 2018
    When I graduated with an engineering degree some decades ago, I learned that the organizations I was going to work for had internal communication problems. This was especially true for those that designed and manufactured complex machinery such as engines, aircraft, or automobiles.
    By Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media

SME Speaks

Mfg Intel

  • Smart Manufacturing

    Are There REALLY Barriers to Your Digital Transformation?

    September 7, 2018
    SME is publishing a series of Smart Manufacturing Industry Reports, with the third being released at IMTS this month. The reports, available at, detail the advantages of smart manufacturing, the challenges to implementing digital solutions, and, finally, keys to implementing the technologies and tools.
    By Christine Longroy - Automotive Industry Manager, SME

Software Update

  • Siemens PLM Software Focuses on Manufacturers’ Teamwork, Digital Twins

    September 10, 2018
    Endless jokes about haboobs and dry heat aside, visitors to the Valley of the Sun saw a dizzying display of software technology at Arizona’s Phoenix Convention Center June 4-7 at the Siemens PLM Connection—Americas 2018 user conference.
    By Patrick Waurzyniak - Contributing Editor, SME Media

Workforce Pipeline

  • Workforce Development

    Partnering with Local College Helps Industry Fill the Skilled Worker Gap

    September 10, 2018
    Our community in Randolph County is very much like all the modern, industrial communities found across America. We have large manufacturers, many smaller companies, and job shops, all struggling to fill job openings calling for advanced manufacturing skills. We also have a population of folks willing to roll up their sleeves and invest their futures in a productive career.
    By Garrett Parker - Department Head, Computer-Integrated Machining Program, Randolph Community College, Asheboro, NC


  • Research & Development

    Argonne National Laboratory’s Next Top Model

    September 11, 2018
    Designing and manufacturing a new part or product, such as a car engine or wind turbine, can be time-consuming and costly. To combat process limitations, the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, IL) is using cutting-edge machine learning techniques to help organizations reduce design time from months to days and slash development costs.
    By Savannah Mitchem, Argonne National Laboratory

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