2020 was certainly an unusual year—for SME, for our industry, and for the world. There is no question that these unusual times will carry over into 2021. Unusual does not necessarily mean bad; it just means different. Often hidden within those differences are opportunities.
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In 2020, most manufacturers focused on mitigating the impact of COVID-19, but mitigation is too little too late. Many companies learned that lesson after seeing how COVID-19 outbreaks affected either their own facilities or other manufacturing firms.
Manufacturing technology is constantly changing, both in terms of the types of products produced and the ways those products are made. As we ease into 2021, here are some interesting trends I’ve heard about.
Looking back, 2020 was a year of challenge and change for manufacturing—and that’s an understatement.
A widening skills gap threatens U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and consequently our economy. A talent pipeline with a sufficient supply of properly aligned skills is imperative to meet U.S. manufacturers’ needs for capacity, productivity and innovation.
The increased use of CT scanning for metal powder bed fusion parts is usually associated with high-value parts and elevated quality requirements. There are increased requests for CT scanning on parts made of engineering-grade polymers like PEEK, PEKK or ULTEM and for fiber-reinforced composites like Nylon 12 CF.
When fully integrated with 5G and MEC, manufacturers should be able to accurately track costs using computer vision and launch immersive collaboration and training with the help of augmented reality.
It’s time to redefine AM and DfAM by what is possible from advanced LPBF systems—and to look ahead with the same determination the semiconductor industry used to better our lives.
An engine manufacturer discovers there is a way to reduce 50 billion data points to 2 billion—a reasonable number from which the foundation for machine learning can be built.
Cobots are an ideal, entry-level robotic device for smaller shops to begin using automation.