Intelligent factories have existed since manufacturing’s historical inception, but intelligence—defined as the acquisition and application of manufacturing knowledge—resided only with the factory’s staff.
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I’ve had quite a month, again, covering clever software and gadgets that continue to inch their way into performing tasks once reserved for humans. These tasks range from mundane material handling to highly skilled engineering design. It has made me think quite a bit about how our world of manufacturing and engineering will be affected by all this artificial cleverness.
Contract manufacturers, aka job shops, are the heart and soul of US manufacturing. Their survival and success are imperative.
In the 1955 short story “Autofac,” Philip K. Dick envisioned a world dominated by self-replicating robots that work incessantly, eventually depleting the planet’s resources.
EV manufacturers must overcome a unique set of challenges to meet future customer expectations. Among them is the challenge to create innovative designs that meet safety requirements, performance criteria and keep costs down in the face of growing competition and a widening skills gap.