A lot has already been said about Smart Manufacturing. In the end, it's a good starting point to assess where you and your manufacturing organization are today. What have you done, what should your next steps be?
The marriage of 3-D printing and the aerospace industry is a shining example of a relationship that's mutually beneficial. While it was the innovations of top aerospace manufacturers that ultimately led to today's interest in 3-D printing, it's these same designers and engineers who are now pushing the limits of current technology.
Many companies have made significant investment in control systems that look at individual types of machines. But a single process may use many different machines that speak different languages and have different control requirements.
By connecting their factories all over the world, manufacturers can see the entire operation. They can make updates in real-time. They have vision into which plants are running efficiently or where there are production issues.
Simply put, "old line" manufacturing is gone, and in its place is a new world of computer-assisted, complex factories, in which it's no longer enough to have a great work ethic, physical stamina, and the ability to follow orders. Today, manufacturing workers need to be problem-solvers, with knowledge of computers and machinery and the ability to work independently, make decisions, and understand the entire process.
IIoT-ready Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) allow manufacturers to take data from the floor and share it with a local or cloud-based server, where it can be used company-wide, regardless of the user's location. The translation of machine data to actionable information allows companies to make cost-saving decisions and allocate resources more appropriately.
As a result of the current government administration and the increased desire for products made in America, we're going to continue to see a sizeable infrastructure investment in the industry.
Manufacturing in the US isn't dying-It's getting smarter
3D printed plane parts will improve the efficiency and performance of planes, including making them significantly lighter in weight, as well as lead to new design features that will be simpler and more intricate than the planes we fly in today.
Vicki Holt of Proto Labs via The Huffington Post: It wasn’t long ago that 3D printing was one of the buzziest technologies around. We watched as a 3D printer recreated a bust of Stephen Colbert on TV. We heard from industry analysts who were bullish on adoption of the technology. We imagined a future with a 3D printer in every home when major retailers began selling them online and in stores. Fast forward to today. The potential of 3D printing remains enormous. Global spend on the technology is expected to climb from $11 billion in 2015 to nearly $27 billion in 2019. But with all of the early excitement now behind us, where does 3D printing stand today? And where will it go in the future? It can be summed up in three key developments. Cont'd...
Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things are far more than technology buzzwords; instead the possibilities of these technologies are almost impossible to imagine and overestimating their potential is difficult.
The smart factory is a direct way for manufacturers to excel in a competitive and dynamic marketplace.
As more manufacturers are encouraged by the idea of 3D printing, they realize the limitations of the process, as 3D printing still needs refinement in its materials, finish, durability, cost and speed before it can be utilized for mass production.
There is still much work to be done with regard to technological advancement and operational process before the 2016 trends peak, but there's no doubt that the manufacturing industry is evolving like never before.
Intel's Antony Neal-Graves has shared his initial thoughts on how the industrial landscape will evolve in 2017.
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Harmonic Drive LLC, a leader in high precision motion control introduces new lightweight versions of select gearhead products. The new gearheads are ideal for designs where weight is a critical factor. Building on the success of Harmonic Drive LLCs current gear units, new lightweight versions were the next logical evolution of the CS/ SH product lines. With weight reductions of 20-30% without any reduction in torque ratings, the Lightweight (LW) gear units provide exceptional torque density.