Defense systems are, by design, built to defend against threats. Today, however, manufacturers of these systems are focusing on an entirely new kind of threat: security breaches targeting their automation systems.
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It’s a familiar scenario at the factory. Quality issues have reared their ugly heads, requiring rework, causing backorders, delaying shipments, and driving tense daily customer calls. Meanwhile, the team works to address production issues using a mix of day-old post-mortem reports, shop-floor observations captured on notepads, and other operational data summarized on spreadsheets and sticky notes.
In today’s booming software landscape, you see highly dynamic teams quickly iterating to develop and improve their products. Yet while the world’s software creators have learned to “move fast and break things,” hardware developers are still (slowly) moving to adopt a more agile product development methodology.
Reducing the risk of automotive defects is one of the most critical issues facing manufacturers today – to protect the well-being of consumers, as well as their own reputations and financial health.
What do you think of when you hear the word factory? Probably some huge space, with machines humming and personnel walking around with notepads in their hands.
Shops today must track or measure their manufacturing operations to improve them. This need drives the growing use of MTConnect—an open, royalty-free protocol for extracting data from practically any piece of equipment, including machine tools and other manufacturing systems. The integration of MTConnect is a major undertaking, and can be a bit challenging unless certain preparations are made ahead of time.
Tool presetting machines are a wise investment for machine shops that want to increase their machine utilization. Idle machine tools are often indicators of inefficient machining operations, and stopping a machine tool for any reason is synonymous to losing profits.
The first kilowatt-class fiber laser for material processing was introduced by IPG Photonics in early 2002. Since that time, the adoption of fiber lasers for production applications has grown at a rapid rate. Today, fiber lasers are becoming the choice for most major production laser applications as well as converting traditional welding and cutting processes to fiber laser technologies.
Additive manufacturing (AM) once was called “rapid prototyping.” Its earliest forms made prototype parts—and nothing else. However, manufacturers were intrigued by the prospect of using it to make cost-effective metal parts in production. That day is here.
Industry 4.0 is inevitable, and everyone is looking to find a way forward. But manufacturing leaders who focus only on the technology involved will be frustrated—because the new industrial revolution is just as much a culture and people thing as it is a technology thing.