The industrial revolution of today, called Industry 4.0, is driven by the interconnectedness of advanced technology, automation, robotics, and real-time data, also called the Internet of Things (IoT). While these cyber-physical systems can autonomously exchange information to trigger actions and make decentralized decisions, it’s impossible to dismiss the importance of the human element in manufacturing.
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Glenn Bridgman describes the difference between his shop’s manual grinders and its newest state-of-the-art CNC ID/OD grinder, a Studer CT960 OD/ID from United Grinding (Miamisburg, OH), as “feel vs. facts.” Bridgman, president of Bridge Tool & Die (Buckley, MI), believes that manual grinding is a somewhat personal operation.
Materials science has opened new possibilities for designers of cars, planes and other products. Metal alloys are now as precisely engineered as they are machined. The result is longer lasting, stronger parts. But with a wider selection of materials comes risk—how can you be sure that one piece of gray metal stock is different than another? Careful warehousing procedures and paperwork only go so far.
Cofounder Johannes Trabert, who lives a poetic life in the Thuringian Forest, says the future will be focused on ‘the clever share of work’ between humans and robots.
It’s probably not a bad idea for smaller and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to adopt an “us against them” attitude as they become aware of the prevalence of cyber-attacks in the digital age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.
On June 22-23, SME hosted a Smart Manufacturing Working Group meeting at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) followed by an international workshop on Smart Manufacturing for the Factory of the Future.
As a result of recent testing under real production conditions, brass proved to machine at extremely high speeds on today’s advanced machine tools with little evidence of tool wear, producing high-quality surface finishes and excellent chip control, reported the Copper Development Association (McLean, VA).
Hats off to tool manufacturers! They make some of the most geometrically complex products out of the toughest materials and with the tightest tolerances. And yet cutting tools represent only 3% of the total cost of the average metalworking process.
In the manufacturing industry, the importance of metrology, or the science of measurement, is often underestimated. However, inspection is critical for ensuring products work and operate safely.
Titanium, stainless steel, aluminum and other super-alloys and exotic materials are on the rise for use in component manufacturing in growth industries such as aerospace, medical, and automotive.