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December 2020

The December 2020 edition of Smart Manufacturing is now available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below.
Protolabs CEO Vicki Holt: “You’ve got to train all your employees about cybersecurity and cyber risks. With the pandemic, the bad guys are coming out in force.”

SMX panelists witness focus on innovation caused by pandemic

December 2, 2020
Manufacturers are increasingly analyzing their supply chains to mitigate cybersecurity and environmental risks with the goal of building more secure, resilient, agile organizations, keynote panelists at the Best of SMX virtual event said in October.
By Karen Haywood Queen Contributing Editor, SME Media
LIFT CEO Nigel Francis, right, speaks with former Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley in Washington, D.C. in October 2018. Calley was preparing to speak at a Manufacturing USA congressional briefing about what LIFT has brought to Michigan’s manufacturing sector.

‘Rebalancing’ expands LIFT’s focus to include materials, processes and systems

December 3, 2020
LIFT recently expanded the focus of its desire to “create innovations faster, better and cheaper” to the materials, processes and systems involved in moving innovations from concept to commercialization.
Brett Brune
By Brett Brune Editor in Chief, Smart Manufacturing
Generative design has advanced significantly since its introduction in 2018, Autodesk’s Kimberly Losey said. Above, she tests a Veemo at the opening of Autodesk’s Toronto Technology Centre. VeloMetro Mobility used Fusion 360 to design and prototype the enclosed, electric-assisted bicycle.

Program a part once, machine it many times over

December 4, 2020
Until 2018, a West Coast manufacturer of gaming headsets and peripherals used approximated mesh CAD/CAM to size parts, tightening tolerance parameters up to 10 times smaller than the standard setting.
By Karen Haywood Queen Contributing Editor, SME Media
“The engineering takes so long and is so costly a lot of companies won’t go the automation route,” said Juan Aparicio of Siemens Technology. “It doesn’t make sense for them because they don’t have a big budget that can justify automation.”

Automation champions battling show-stopping integration issue in U.S.

December 7, 2020
Like the United Nations’ international delegates who use interpreters to understand each other, robots, machines and other industrial components from various vendors speak different computer languages and need translators to help them communicate.
Ilene Wolff
By Ilene Wolff Contributing Editor, SME Media
AutoGuide robots include a mobile robot platform with custom trail frames, including a unit-load flat deck, custom conveyor deck and pallet stacker units.

AMRs strut their stuff during pandemic, beyond

December 8, 2020
In August, Rob Sullivan had an installation scheduled for two of his autonomous mobile robots at the Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Innovation Center in Troisdorf, Germany.
Ilene Wolff
By Ilene Wolff Contributing Editor, SME Media
In recent years, manufacturers have achieved important advances in Cloud and data management, characterization of production systems with real production-data feedback, as well as smarter simulation of production systems, assets and logistics for material flow, said Jay Gorajia of Siemens Digital Industries Software.

As process optimization grows up, it leads some big rescue missions

October 22, 2020
Until 2017, Schneider Electric faced a factory bottleneck at its breaker box plant in Lexington, Kentucky. When the automation cell that welded the boxes went down, all production could be forced to stop.
By Karen Haywood Queen Contributing Editor, SME Media

Upfront

AM Update

  • Two design engineers reviewing parts made on the Stratasys J55 printer.
    Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing

    Stratasys moving beyond tooling

    October 27, 2020
    Rich, General Motors recently invested in 17 production-grade FDM printers, intending to use them for 3D-printed tooling. The term “tooling” is quite broad, however. Can you share details about what types of tooling GM and others are 3D printing, and why?
    By Kip Hanson - Contributing Editor, SME Media

Field Intelligence