I just returned from IMTS in Chicago and my first thought was, “where will I be able to rack up all those bonus steps I got last week?” On the easiest day, I walked 7.9 miles, and I topped 10 miles on two other days. It’s easy to understand why.
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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.
Most manufacturers have relied on third-party vendors to make parts that are then incorporated into the final product. From automakers sourcing stereos and aircraft makers contracting for jet engines to a small bakery ordering plastic bags or a woodshop buying nails, producers of all types have supplemented their internal capabilities through a painstakingly developed supply chain of external vendors.
Just getting familiar with the digital thread? You’ve come to the right place to learn what it is and why you need it for your products.
Manufacturing Engineering asked thought leaders at five companies for their views on challenges and trends facing the metalworking industry.
Having a plan for maintaining and improving the performance and reliability of every machine on a shop floor is vital to manufacturing operations. Reliable machines make short-notice production runs possible. And the more flexible manufacturers are, the more new customers they’ll attract.
There’s more than one way to finish a hole. The most effective option will depend on the number of parts, cycle time and tolerances. One of the most effective options is boring.
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.
More shops than ever are embracing waterjet cutting systems. And for the most part, the reason is that a number of customer-driven improvements/innovations to waterjet technology make it even more user friendly, productive and appealing to an ever-broadening array of manufacturers.
Shops today must track or measure their manufacturing operations to improve them. This need drives the growing use of MTConnect—an open, royalty-free protocol for extracting data from practically any piece of equipment, including machine tools and other manufacturing systems. The integration of MTConnect is a major undertaking, and can be a bit challenging unless certain preparations are made ahead of time.