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Metrology, Product Design and the Next Revolution

When I graduated with an engineering degree some decades ago, I learned that the organizations I was going to work for had internal communication problems. This was especially true for those that designed and manufactured complex machinery such as engines, aircraft, or automobiles.

Metrology Certifications in the Knowledge Age

Technology is changing ever more rapidly. Sometimes this means topics learned in engineering or technical school become obsolete. Whole new fields emerge within a few years, so that even those with freshly minted educations suddenly find themselves faced with new challenges.

Quality Inspection and the CAD Connection

Modern manufacturing is rapidly adopting model-based definition (MBD). When employing an MBD strategy, the CAD model becomes more than the nominal to which all parts are measured and inspected against. MBD keeps the all-important digital thread intact—from design to manufacturing to inspection and quality reporting.

Machine Tool Maintenance: Avoid the Tow Truck

When visiting some machine shops I hear PM, most commonly known as preventive maintenance, referred to as “postmortem,” as in, “We just run the machines until they die.”

Digital Twins for the Machining Process

Digital twins are breathing life and innovation into increasingly more areas of manufacturing as well as solving challenges for machine shops of all sizes. With the skilled labor shortage and an ongoing effort to reshore high-tech manufacturing to the U.S., digital twins have a lot to offer.

Smarter Presetting: Using Post-Processor and RFID Technology

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.

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.

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.

With Machine Monitoring, Instant ROI is Possible

There have been many process improvement trends in manufacturing over the decades, and none have had more significant ROI than machine monitoring. The increase in machine monitoring is owed in large part to the rise in popularity of the open and royalty-free interconnectivity standard MTConnect.