Contract manufacturers, aka job shops, are the heart and soul of US manufacturing. Their survival and success are imperative.
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Digitization of industry has become an established global trend. Despite all the enthusiasm of visionaries, the machine tool is, was and will remain the core element in production.
The requirements for FDA 21 CFR Part 11 are in place for a good reason: When companies are making a part that goes inside your body, the engineering and manufacturing process must be meticulously documented, tested and controlled. People’s lives are at stake.
The human factor is sometimes just too cumbersome in manufacturing. Take the German chipmaker Infineon: By using an autonomous robot called Scout from MetraLabs for the last several years, the automotive supplier shrank to 10 from 300 the number of minutes it takes to collect the clean-room data needed to measure the presence of rare gases in the air.
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.
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.
Analytics solutions. The industrial Internet of Things. Robotics. Automation. Manufacturers looking for tech solutions that will help them control costs and gain a competitive edge have many great options. In fact, deciding what type of technology to invest in and why can seem overwhelming.
With a shortage of young workers willing and able to do today’s factory jobs, manufacturers are taking steps to retain the older workforce already punching in.
As a self-aware millennial, Pat Evans has long been wary of how quickly technology is taking over our lives and quickly dominating the economy. Attending HxGN Live in June, Hexagon AB’s annual digital solutions conference, some of those fears were reinforced, while others were quelled.
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.