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Fiber Lasers Continue to Gain Market Share in Material Processing Applications

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.

Lessons Learned from Metalcutting Can Guide AM

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.

To Get on Industry 4.0 Path, Focus on the Here and Now

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.

To Prepare for Blockchain, First Check These Three Things

The value-add of blockchain for businesses is estimated to grow into the trillions by 2030. Experts believe product recalls alone—estimated to cost $8 million today—could be practically eliminated through improved track and traceability enabled by blockchain.

Five Suggestions for How to Retain Tribal Knowledge

What is tribal knowledge and why should a company care? It is valuable, exclusive information stored only inside someone’s mind and communicated only verbally (if at all). The “someone” may have played an important role in an organization for decades and knows a thing or two that the company treasures yet cannot duplicate.

How Small Shops Can Go Digital — Economically!

In the early days at CNC Software, we saw that our Mastercam CAD/CAM system was only part of a larger manufacturing solution and that an open architecture foundation could allow seamless data communication with complementary devices and systems across the shop floor.

Process Reliability: The Springboard to Efficiency

I’m among the first to dive into the latest manufacturing innovations and see how they can improve our customers’ operations. Yet, I’m also among the first to advise them to pause and ensure that the fundamentals of their manufacturing processes are in place before adding something new into the complex mix of functionality and desired outcomes.

What defense firms can do to ensure industrial security

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.

Removing mental roadblocks to improving operations

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.