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.
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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.
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.
The Pittsburgh region is a hotbed of activity in robotics and AI. This activity includes research and technology companies that commercialize academic research and solve real world problems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.