My original intention for this column was to discuss a phrase getting a lot of buzz lately, artificial intelligence (AI). By any measure, interest in AI is expanding exponentially, both in the number of articles one can read on the subject and, according to Google Trends, the number of searches for those articles.
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Manufacturers face a difficult task juggling the current “innovation agenda.” Today, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotic automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are all poised to be the next big thing.
Several years ago, a global commercial vehicle maker asked my firm to develop a remote fleet management, health and performance portal that would open a new revenue stream.
Being a competitive player in the aerospace and defense industry is no small feat. In an industry in which you need to be accountable for every piece of an assembly, meeting customer expectations and requirements can be daunting tasks.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is keen on exploring the implementation of additive equipment in the battlefield and shipboard for quick-turn part fabrication.
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.
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.
In today’s booming software landscape, you see highly dynamic teams quickly iterating to develop and improve their products. Yet while the world’s software creators have learned to “move fast and break things,” hardware developers are still (slowly) moving to adopt a more agile product development methodology.
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.