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Manufacturing and AI: Promises and Pitfalls

We all know the buzzwords circulating around digital data and the factory. You have heard them—Industry 4.0, smart factories, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). The question we all have is how will this impact workers in the long term? What do these terms really mean? Nevertheless, both traditional software suppliers and makers of advanced manufacturing equipment are offering digital solutions.

Haas Automation Reports Record Sales in 2017

Haas Automation Inc. (Oxnard, CA) reported that its annual sales in 2017 exceeded 13,500 units for the first time in company history—an increase of nearly 30% over 2016. “It was an incredible year,” said Scott Gasich, vice president of sales & marketing."

Change-up Pitch: From Metal to Plastic

Even though it’s been around since the 1950s, when engineering-grade resins were first introduced, many manufacturers still are not familiar with the many benefits that metal-to-plastic conversion provides.

Solving the Shop-Floor Data Analysis Puzzle

As the move toward a more connected manufacturing industry gains momentum and manufacturers start collecting factory-floor data, the need for fast, efficient data analysis becomes ever more critical.

Lasers on the Cutting Edge

In the last seven to eight years, solid-state lasers have come to dominate laser welding and cutting,” said Tom Bailey, product specialist for Trumpf Inc. (Farmington, CT). While Trumpf still produces CO2 lasers, for most applications solid-state lasers literally outshine them.

Narrowing the Skills Gap

Technological gains, young ambassadors, apprenticeships help. But manufacturers’ training investment remains a problem.

More US funds needed to address workforce skills gap

A strong manufacturing ecosystem that includes manufacturing engineering education is critical to ensuring the future vitality and innovation of manufacturing initiatives in the US. So it was welcome news to learn that the DOD is developing a new manufacturing engineering education (MEE) grant program, authorized by Congress with initial funding of $10 million for fiscal 2017.

Ready for Ransomware?

The nexus of cyber and physical security threats is the stuff of nightmares, and while manufacturers are waking up to it as a reality, experts worry that the awakening is happening too slowly.