When the new ISO 9001:2015 certification standard was announced in late 2015, it made waves in manufacturing due to its heavy emphasis on risk management. In our experience, in helping companies become ISO 9001:2015 certified, we’ve seen first hand how the value of embracing a risk-averse culture and the other core aspects of ISO 9001:2015 extends to all aspects of operations.
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Earlier this decade, the auto industry moved to lighten cars and trucks. It was supposed to be a competition between steel, long the dominant vehicle material, and aluminum. The latter got a boost when Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., bet big on aluminum, making aluminum bodies for its F-150 and Super Duty pickups.
If you’ve recently visited planet Earth after being away for several decades, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn how the steel industry, automakers and their suppliers have been working together collaboratively to develop steels that are stronger, lighter and able to meet stringent safety, emissions and fuel economy standards.
There are numerous alternatives to the now venerable coordinate measuring machine, or CMM. Sensors like video cameras, structured light systems and handheld laser scanners have come of age. These sensors collect data in ways far different than the traditional tactile probe-equipped CMM. Some see these as encroaching on its turf. Has the heyday of the CMM come and gone?
When it comes to specialized machining, Milwaukee Broach tops a list all its own. Its flagship products meet unique needs with one-of-a-kind tools that has earned it a reputation for customer-centered quality backed by skillful engineering.
When I was at another job a few years ago, I remember watching in disbelief as all the files on my PC were encrypted. A note popped up saying that I had joined some “community” and that I had to pay a fee to see my now encrypted files. I shut down the PC and called my IT guy, who told me my files were probably toast. However, by shutting down quickly, I saved the root files; my IT hero removed the virus and restored my computer.
A fused filament 3D printer has saved a custom outdoor lighting manufacturer tens of thousands of dollars a year, improving operations and winning more business. The purchase also helped retain customers who would previously have gone elsewhere for specialized parts.
We know that there is a lot of apprehension by small and medium businesses to really jump into Industry 4.0, IoT and automation. There are a lot of reasons why, including the big financial investment. So we took up a project at the University of New Hampshire’s John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center to create a demonstration cell that would show how a small/medium manufacturer could embark on the journey toward getting to full automation and IoT data utilization.
Despite the industry’s growth and prosperity, the number of aircraft industry players remains relatively constant. While the industrial consolidation of the last two decades has ceased, there are few signs of significant new market players. A very broad range of factors is responsible for this stasis.
In today’s aerospace industry, manufacturers often feel bound to operate a certain way because it’s a tried-and-true, validated process or because the physics of aerospace dictate certain limitations on materials, systems and designs.