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Japanese, German Innovators Broaden Work That Stars ‘Digital Companion’

In preparation for mass customization, for starters, Japanese and German tech research officials today committed to expanding their joint work to establish a “social-technical or maybe ‘cyber-social’ environment where ‘digital companions’ and production lines communicate with humans” working in manufacturing, Andreas Dengel said in an interview with Smart Manufacturing magazine here at the CeBIT (Centrum der Büroautomation und Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation) fair.

Renishaw Inc. Moves to New Headquarters

Renishaw Inc. is preparing to move into a new 133,000-sq.-ft. office and warehouse facility in West Dundee, IL, about 40 miles from Chicago. The two-story facility will be the company’s new North American headquarters, but also includes space for product development, testing, warehousing and distribution. It includes the new U.S. Additive Manufacturing Solutions Center – part of Renishaw’s network of global Solutions Centers, opening over the next year.

New Uses of Noncontact Metrology in Aerospace

Aircraft manufacturers are finding noncontact metrology ever more useful. Its inherent high throughput and decreasing cost is complementing the industry’s ramp-up to meet the world’s appetite for more airplanes.

3D Laser Gaging Ensures Flawless Engine Fasteners

In an automobile engine, seven types of screws out of approximately 70 are considered critical to achieving the engine’s specified design performance, despite high vibration and heat. The seven include bolts for the cylinder head, crankshaft, con rod, flywheel, and main bearing cap, as well as for the camshaft cap, camshaft sprocket and VCT.

IMTS in Three Words: Innovate, Integrate, Collaborate

Innovate, Integrate, Collaborate are more than just marketing keywords. A number of metrology and software companies I visited at IMTS are putting their development dollars to work in these areas and showing off the results.

3D-Printed Parts Restore Cars’ Glory

Daimler may be the first vehicle maker to offer 3D-printed replacement parts, but racing enthusiasts and car collectors like Jay Leno have been using additive manufacturing and 3D scanning for many years to replace worn-out parts or to enhance their rides.

Chrysler Implements Flexible Manufacturing

Challenged by an increasingly niche-oriented automotive market, The Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) must increase the number of models it offers while decreasing its capital investment. The company plans to offer 50% more models in 2009 compared to 2004, according to John Felice, VP of manufacturing, technology and global enterprise for Chrysler.

Optical Metrology and Automation – a Natural Fit

Automation in manufacturing is more important than ever, reducing costs and improving quality. While it is important in assembling cars, machining engines, or drilling holes in airframes, is it important to metrology operations as well? “Absolutely,” explained Michael Kleemann, engineering manager VRSI (Plymouth, MI).

Quality Inspection and the CAD Connection

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.

Advances in Hand-Held Metrology

While high-end metrology devices like advanced laser scanners or precision CMMs garner a lot of attention, it is hard to imagine any industrial setting without the presence of work-a-day hand-held, contact metrology tools such as calipers or micrometers. That is what Justin Frazzini, quality manager for A.A. Jansson (Waterford, MI), retailer and calibration and repair service provider, observes in his practice.