The demand for titanium components by the aerospace industry began as a whisper about 15 years ago and steadily grew to a sustained, raucous shout over the last five and likely won’t quiet for several more.
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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.
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.
Although laser welding is a well-established manufacturing solution, many sheetmetal fabricators have been hesitant to implement the process at their shop.
Today, laser technology in manufacturing touches all of our lives on a daily basis; lasers cut air bag material and weld air bag detonators for our in-car safety; lasers weld the batteries in many of our mobile devices; lasers drill aero-engine components for planes; lasers cut the glass for our smart phones and tablets screens; lasers weld the drivetrains in our cars and trucks; lasers cut medical stents that increase and enhance our lives, just to name a few.
Manufacturing Engineering asked thought leaders at five companies for their views on challenges and trends facing the metalworking industry.
On May 9, I took a whirlwind tour of change in manufacturing by visiting several open house events. First up was BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc. in Hoffman Estates, IL, where Matt Tegelman, applications manager and product manager Kaiser, talked about the Industrial Internet of Things.
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.
Manufacturers are always looking for signs of what the economy and the business outlook have in store for them. Since the election of President Trump and, more recently, passage of the tax reform law in December, confidence among businesses of all sizes has been overwhelmingly positive.
A new breed of turbochargers constructed of super tough alloys operates at higher temperatures and rotational speeds than ever before, resulting in greatly increased output in a smaller package for gas and diesel engines alike.