Last Wednesday, Ford Motor Co. and Silicon Valley collaborator Carbon Inc. detailed the first of their 3D-printed components to join the automaker’s production lines.
The companies unveiled the polymer parts — auxiliary plugs for the F-150 pickup, HVAC lever arms for the Focus compact car, and electric parking brake brackets for the Mustang — at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
In today’s manufacturing businesses, the user experience is increasingly dominating the conversation around technology. Supporting these users, who are often connecting remote while traveling or working extended hours at home, is challenging the traditional model. With technology at home rivaling, or surpassing, the technology used in the workplace, our employee expectations around devices and support are changing. Devices are becoming consumable, often user owned, with data and applications living in the cloud at our fingertips.
Faraday Technology Corporation today announced that it has won and delivered several factory automation (FA) related ASIC projects, supporting real-time Ethernet, EtherCAT, Profibus, and PLC controllers. In each case, Faraday employs its value-added ASIC and IP customization service for power-performance optimization and product lifecycle management to meet factory automation needs within Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) scenarios.
It turns out there’s at least one corner of manufacturing that seems to be on the upswing, and on a pace, even amidst trade tensions, to experience a spurt during the next few years: industrial robotic arms. Analysts IDC recently forecast that the total market for robotics spending will reach nearly $120 billion in 2019, an 18% increase over last year’s spending.
General Motor’s decision in late November 2018 to cease production of the Chevrolet Volt in 2019 was driven by what some see as U.S. consumers’ latest preference for larger vehicles – spurred by lower gas prices.
Geopolitical and market events promise to make 2019 a challenging year for supply chain and procurement teams, one full of both increased risks and opportunity. Forward-thinking professionals are looking to new technologies to help them make the most of it.
Oerlikon AM is the global integrated service provider of the Oerlikon Group, a global materials powerhouse committed to cutting edge technologies. As presented during Formnext 2018, the company has a large portfolio of surface technologies and advanced AM materials as well as a solid track record in design and engineering of industrial, metal components
Researchers from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have offered a bold glimpse into what the robots of the future could look like. And it’s nothing like C3PO, or a T-800 Terminator. In a paper just published in Nature Machine Intelligence, CSIRO’s Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform (AIM FSP) says robots could soon be taking their engineering cues from evolution, creating truly startling and effective designs.
Meritor has announced 22 electrification programs with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company expects the programs to put at least 130 fully electric medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks on the road through 2020.
California-based metal additive manufacturing technology company Velo3D has partnered with Connecticut’s Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc. (PST), a producer of specialty alloy-based powders, to develop and qualify process parameters for its materials.
Like all industries, manufacturing is currently undergoing a period of major digital transformation, with many manufacturing businesses transitioning into ‘smart’ organizations through cloud computing and automation at a rapid pace. In the face of such operational upheaval, businesses in the sector must embrace industry 4.0 or be at risk of being left behind; many are fully aware of this and have already implemented the new technologies necessary both to keep up with competition, and get ahead of the curve.
Global automakers are planning a $300 billion surge in spending on electric vehicle technology over the next five to 10 years, with nearly half of the money targeted at China, accelerating the industry’s transition from fossil fuels and shifting power to Asian battery and electric vehicle technology suppliers.
Volkswagen brought journalists to its glass factory in Dresden for the world premier of the automaker’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix, or MEB, platform, which the company promises will be the “economic and technological backbone” behind its goal to bring EVs from niche into the mainstream.
Late in 2018, leading industrial printer manufacturer EOS launched details of an upcoming “million laser” technology. Termed LaserProFusion, this polymer additive manufacturing method is “potentially limitless” in output, producing complex, serialized, strong and lightweight components in a matter of seconds per piece.
It was predicted years ago and now it’s happened: a desktop metal 3D printer.The Additec uPrinter can work with conventional metal powders as well as metal wire, which is much more affordable and safer to handle. Additec’s patented LMD-WP (Laser Metal Deposition-Wire Powder) process is a form of direct energy deposition (DED) where a powerful laser melts a jetted stream of metal powder as it makes contact with the surface of the part, building up with repetitive layers.
New smart manufacturing technologies, including industrial IoT, are at the forefront of a digital transformation in manufacturing. But companies must be careful about how they implement systems that make facilities smarter.
More and more, the Internet of things (Iot) is changing our world. At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Bosch is showing what it is already capable of today, from a concept for a shuttle vehicle that makes a new kind of mobility tangible, to fridges with connectivity that give advice on food storage, to smart lawn mowers that learn by doing.
Manufacturing companies are realizing the importance of data collection and analytics to remaining competitive in the industry by increasing their investments in the area and shifting their focus to solution providers that offer local solutions to enterprise-level problems.
Technology transfer is more intensive in the Formula E project than ever before in the history of the BMW Group. In particular, the fact that the BMW Group developed the fifth generation of their electric drive themselves again, thereby creating an excellent infrastructure for production and development, provides great advantages for the Formula E project.
Giant OEMs may be able to develop 3D-printed parts in-house, but airlines and MROs will likely have to partner with 3D specialists to develop replacement parts in the aftermarket. Two major airline MROs, Etihad Airways Engineering and Lufthansa Technik, have chosen to partner with Germany’s EOS.
CEVA has announced CEVA-BX an all-purpose hybrid DSP/controller architecture to address algorithms of digital signal processing in voice, video, communication, sensing, and digital signal control applications.
Technology is rapidly changing the way our cities look at the way in which we interact with them. This is no more evident than in transportation. Autonomous electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace ranging from passenger cars to autonomous mass transport. At CES 2019 Schaeffler will unveil even more innovation for the mobility of the future.
We’ve just concluded a year in which countless events demonstrated how rapidly and profoundly new technologies are changing our world — in ways both promising and threatening — writes Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum.
A digital twin is a virtualized replica of an actual facility or plant, either hosted on premises or in the cloud. It draws data from a number of sources, including real-time control systems, asset management systems, historians, records of employee/customer interactions and other sources. With IoT implementations providing more and more data, high-fidelity digital twins are becoming easier to create and maintain.
ABB’s sale of its power transmission business to Hitachi reflects a wider trend in the global market for power equipment. The global technology company is turning its focus to Europe and the growing market for distributed energy while Hitachi is gearing up to compete in the Asian market for heavy electrical grid equipment, such as transmission lines, transformers and substations.
The mining industry is shaping up to be a significant player in the IIoT space. According to the MineLens productivity index, mining productivity has declined by 28 percent over the past decade. The mining industry is facing an upward cycle, and IIoT presents opportunities to maximize profitability.
The Army is looking for a few good robots. These robots aren’t taking up arms, but the companies making them have waged a different kid of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized robots that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions.
The F45 summit is an ASTM International event dedicated to creating global performance standards for mobile robotics. Traditionally held in the United States, this marks the first such summit to be held outside the United States. The event welcomes experts in automatic-through-autonomous industrial vehicles from across the globe, who convene for the purpose of evining a comprehensive set of standards that help govern the production and performance of mobile robotics.
IoT and blockchain are two technologies that are both better when they are used together. If we look at IoT and blockchain as separate technologies, they are limited in their respective applications. However, by combining them, and then adding artificial intelligence (AI) to the mix, we can see the creation of a secure IoT-based application platform.
The global smart manufacturing market is booming, expected to grow over 15 percent annually for the next five years, reaching almost $480 billion by 2023. But while smart manufacturing is an overwhelmingly positive trend, allowing production lines to respond to real-time developments and keeping the sector relevant and efficient, there is one key obstacle. As volume of smart tools on the factory floor increases, so does the chance of being a victim of cyber crime.
With Industry 4.0 now in full swing, the pressure is on for manufacturers to accelerate the digital transformation of their own operations and the increasing role of robotics at each stage of the manufacturing process is becoming apparent.
£36.7 million is being invested in 10 new technologies, tailor-made to the NCC’s specifications, in order to push the state of the art and speed the development of new processes for all forms of composite manufacturing. Funded, in part, by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the iCAP programme will bring composites into the digital age, increasing production rates and quality while improving efficiency and reducing cost (iCAP stands for Digital Capability Acquisition Programme).
Advanced vision systems could ensure high-quality, reproducible parts from 3D printers. Researchers at the U.S. Department at Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago have added an infrared camera to the high-energy X-ray source at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source to allow researchers to measure thermal signatures across surfaces in real-time. The camera was funded through a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program as part of Argonne’s Manufacturing Science and Engineering Program.
Managing your Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environment can quickly become a little like herding cats. With potentially hundreds of thousands of internal and external IoT end points driving an explosion of data, several challenges arise quickly, including IoT-network scaling, lack of support, data protection and security.
Drive specialist Dana is now offering its advanced Spicer Electrified with TM4 e-Hub Drive, a sophisticated and efficient system for heavy duty off-highway applications. Built to be robust, this new system will be suited to difficult machine applications for mining, quarrying, construction and reach stacker applications.
Metal additive manufacturing company Renishaw has initiated a collaboration with Sandvik Additive Manufacturing, in which Renishaw will supply Sandvik with RenAM multilaser systems, with the goal of substantially increasing Sandvik’s printing capacity.
Recently, Amazon announced Robomaker, a service that allows developers to create, test and deploy robotic applications through their Amazon Web Service (AWS). Acting as a toolkit of sorts, Amazon touts Robomaker as a one-stop shop, providing machine learning and monitoring/analytics services integrated into AWS via the widely used open-source robotics software framework, Robotic Operating System (ROS).
The advancement of robotics is something that’s affecting almost every industry, with manufacturing at the fore. When we incorporate robotics into manufacturing processes and factory operation, we could see an improvement in output. This is the result of better efficiency and leads to an increase in revenue.
Microsoft has made several additions to its industry-agnostic Azure IoT suite that it says will help companies approach the Internet of Things (IoT) more holistically, including a dashboard for security deployment, security protection for connected microcontroller devices, and a platform to create virtual models of physical environments.
With internet-connected devices becoming more and more common, the time is soon approaching that companies will be able to take advantage of the Internet of Things in a way that has a major impact on their business.
After spending the better part of the last decade operating completely out of the spotlight, U.S.-based automotive startup Rivian has finally debuted its first electric vehicle: a five-passenger pickup truck called the R1T.
The McLaren Composites Technology Center (MCTC) aims to be a world-leader in innovating lightweight carbon fibre and composite that will work together with future powertrain development to save weight and produce greater efficiencies.
People interested in robotics often eagerly read magazines and blogs to stay up to date on the latest developments. It’s helpful to do those things since reading expands knowledge. However, it’s an entirely different experience to see new robotic technologies in action by attending a specialty event.
An IIoT roadmap defines a specific path for reaching data-driven manufacturing. This roadmap shows where a manufacturing company is starting out, and then defies how to proceed along a continuous series of implementations.
Germany’s Sono Motors started as a garage project, with the full-on sustainable mobility dream morphing into an automotive company in 2016. Its Sion family EV features solar panels on the hood, roof and body that provide a little extra range.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is considering options for its robotics arm, Comau, including a potential sale at a value of 1.5 billion euros to 2 billion euros (US$1.7 billion to $2.3 billion), people familiar with the matter said.
According to BigRep, the Gernam manufacturer and NOWlab, the Nera feathers airless tires, 3D printed rims, frame, fork, and seat. The e-bike was designed by two NOWlab experts, product designer Mattia Cristofori and Maximilian Sedlak, an applications specialist and parametric designer.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) project has concluded after three years of examining the “Integration of Additive Manufacturing Processes in Automobile Series Production,” also known as “AutoAdd.”
For Dassault Systèmes DELMIA, what many see as the manufacturer’s nightmare of growing consumer expectations for mass customization and speed of delivery, they see as a golden opportunity. They’re software and services company specializing in digital manufacturing management and advanced manufacturing simulation.
Porsche AG has an ambitious plan to improve operating profit by 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) over eight years, by streamlining operations as the automaker spends more to develop and manufacture electric cars.
Formnext was a great show but, as always, the complaint rang out that there wasn’t really much new information or new product launches. What companies are doing is shifting toward actual manufacturing. Car companies are producing tens of thousands of parts; medical companies as well. Aviation is gearing up for broader adoption.
Waypoint Robotics, the New Hampshire startup that set out to build the iPod of robots, has hooked up with Oracle to bring robots to some of the Fortune 500 companies that rely on the $40 billion, California-based behemoth for their software.
Professor Phil Webb, the Royal Academy of Engineering Airbus Chair in Aero-Structure Design, Aerospace Integration Research Centre, Cranfield University, looks at the challenges involved in human-robot collaborative manufacturing, the kinds of robots involved and how they work, and the future implications for the industry.
GKN Powder Metallurgy, a materials and parts producer, has entered into a strategic partnership with additive manufacturing technology supplier EOS. Together, the companies have designed a new, high-productivity process for laser metal 3D printing that has reduced production time by 70 percent and overall cost by up to 50 percent.
Following the establishment of the Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Center (AMBC) by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), located in Conventry, U.K., is developing a partnership with NASA scientists for technology used on space missions.
As manufacturers across a wide variety of industries look to increase operational efficiency through automation, they’ll need to design and implement custom IIoT solutions. The efficiency benefits of automation are clear: automated machines can make more goods at a faster rate, all while minimizing errant operations. By connecting automated devices at the edge of their network, companies can also measure IIoT data in real time to optimize production and keep critical infrastructure running smoothly.
While computers have come a long way since the early days of computing, researchers are constantly seeking ways to improve aspects of the technology. Now, researchers at Georgia State University (GSU) have made what they think is a key breakthrough involving materials called transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs).
Metso is expanding its digital Metso Metrics offering with the launch of a new predictive maintenance solution for mining equipment, aimed to help maximize the uptime and performance of comminution circuits.
While some vehicle manufactures, like Tesla and Ford, see the future of big rig road haulage as all-electric, others are banking on hydrogen-electric hybrids. Nikola Motors is one such company, already having two truck designs en route to production. Now there’s a third on the way, with the Tre being developed specifically for European roads.
BISTeL, a leading provider of adaptive intelligent (AI) applications for smart manufacturing has announced that it has joined the MindSphere Partner Program, Siemens’ partner program for Industrial IoT solution and technology providers.
Boston 3D printer manufacturer Markforged has announced the completion of over 100 worldwide shipments of its Metal X system. The announcement comes almost two years since the product was announced at CES 2017, and eight months into the machine’s commercial availability.
MetalMaker 3D, a Connecticut-based start-up, has launched a rapid prototyping service integrating 3D printing with investment casting. Aimed at creating functional metal parts, the service has been launched as a more cost-effective alternative to Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).
The manufacturing industry is leading the way when it comes to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations. Manufacturing must continuously strive to improve operations to remain competitive, and the data available through IIoT implementations enables attainment of this goal.
IRO3D, a metal 3D printer startup based in Seattle, has started shipment of its $5,000 desktop systems. Available for U.S. pre-orders from May 2018, the company reported in June that production was “on schedule.” Now IRO3D has reportedly completed 4 orders within the past few months, delivering to a potential reseller in Hong Kong, one Canadian company, and two independent customers in the U.S.
Tekna, a Canadian producer of metal powders for additive manufacturing, has increased its production capabilities with the expansion of new manufacturing infrastructure, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The additional facility, created through a $5.5M investment, will be used to relocate administrative staff, as well as research, develop and deploy new metal powder production units.
When purchasing an electric motor, there’s more to consider than just its speed, power, voltage and torque. In fact, before delving into the technicalities of a brand-new motor, manufacturers should consider whether they really need an upgraded model at all.
Many suggest that digital transformation is about applying digital technologies—such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain—to operational processes and creating improvements. The trouble with this definition is that it doesn’t explain what exactly changes in supply chain management—that is, what gets “transformed”—when digital technologies are adopted.
OnRobot, a global leader in end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots, has opened its first U.S. headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Selected for its close proximity to OnRobot partners, Dallas will also provide a central location that is easy for both customers and staff to visit for training demonstrations and sales meetings.
Additive manufacturing, a layer-based manufacturing process similar to 3D printing but with a focus on an end product rather than a prototype, appears to have finally reached the right combination of technological advancement and technical know-how to forever alter the landscape of the aerospace industry.
Industrial additive manufacturing (AM) has one overriding goal today: To increase productivity while significantly reducing cost per part, which sounds like a tall order. In addition, new AM solutions must be able to integrate into current production while being ready—the word “future-proofed” is sometimes used—for up-and-coming applications.
Seco Tools is expanding its customer service capabilities through a partnership with MachineMetrics, a supplier of manufacturing analytics systems. Seco plans to use the MachineMetrics industrial internet of things (IIoT) platform and its manufacturing analytics applications as a cornerstone in its expansion into new technology services. With the data provided, Seco can help its customers make data-driven decisions.
Hitachi Construction Machinery is partnering with Kiesel Technologie Entwicklung (KTEG) to develop electric construction machinery for sale in Europe. Kiesel is one of Hitachi’s European distributors and this agreement will also include developing special application products for the European market.
ABB Ltd. will invest $150 million to build a robotics factory in Shanghai, as the Swiss manufacturer capitalizes on China’s rising consumption and aspiration to transform into a technology pioneer. This new factory will set out to “shape the next generation of manufacturing, the next generation of capacity,” Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer said in a recent interview.
The Japanese electronics manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced the development of a new metal additive manufacturing process. Dubbed as “dot forming technology,” the technique combines laser, CNC and CAM technologies to produce near-net metal parts.
3D design and printing technology has advanced at an alarming rate. We can now print complex objects from different materials, in different colors, in rapid time — even in the comfort of our own homes. Then there’s the varied commercial applications for 3D printing (3DP).
Numerous large companies have been increasing their state in 3D printing materials manufacturing, but BASF is the largest chemical producer in the space. The German chemical giant has continued to throw its weight around, mostly recently investing a massive $25 million in Materialise, the nearly 30-year-old Belgian 3D printing software developer and service provider.
The MIT’s Self Assembly Lab is inventing entirely new ways to create a new generation of objects, including Rapid Liquid Printing, where an object is printed inside a vat of gel, allowing designers to rapidly print flexible, complex shapes.
BASF is expanding its cooperation with Materialise, a supplier of 3D printing technologies, working together within the framework of an open business model to improve materials and software for various 3D printing technologies. The companies are focusing on applications in the consumer goods, automotive and aviation industries and the partners intend to accelerate the development of innovative applications and new materials.
Defects in 3D printed parts can cause tremendous failures in a finished component. Luckily, new research from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, has gleaned a new way of detecting faults. By introducing gold nanoparticles into the 3D printer material, researchers can now quickly scan parts to help predict failures before they happen.
Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) and RWTH Aachen University have won an award for development of Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA). In place since 2000, the Berhold Leibinger Innovationspre is is one of the most prestigious awards in laser technology, and is presented every two years by a panel of experts from science and industry.
When it comes to new materials, thin is most definitely in. Brazilian researchers have created a new two-dimensional material called hematene, which is made up of sheets of iron ore just three atoms thick. And as is often the case with 2D materials, hematene seems to have different properties to its regular form.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the future of the oil and gas industry. As the Internet of Things’ (IoT) network of devices, sensors and software brings about change in consumers’ daily lives, this particular industry is lagging behind. Oil and gas have been facing challenges, largely attributed to the antiquated and inefficient approach that many companies take to maintain assets and collect data. This article looks at five ways that IIoT will revolutionize the oil and gas industry.
Blockchain technology is moving into more and more commercial and enterprise applications — from supply chain to energy production and even potential automotive applications. The ever-expanding Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is going to require solutions for automation and security alongside its solutions for connectivity and blockchain, with its promise of facilitating encrypted, automated and verifiable transactions between systems, looks poised to be the answer.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices. The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses the speed and precision of roll-to-roll newspaper printing to remove a couple of fabrication barriers in making electronics faster than they are today.
3D printing has enabled the creation of complex components with reduced costs and turnaround times in the highly-regulated environment of aerospace. Especially in the field of 3D printing of service parts, the aerospace industry can benefit from the increased asset uptime, reduced costs, lighter components, more durability, and increased customer satisfaction.
As one of the leading industries that was an early adopter of process automation, manufacturing is often ahead of the curve when it comes to seeking ways to improve processes – yet still has work to do in the technology adoption realm. While the trend for cloud adoption is increasing over on-premises solutions overall, some organizations are hesitant to make the transition to the cloud.
German OEM Audi has officially initiated series production of electric motors for e-tron in Gyor, Hungary. For the production of electric motors, the Audi Hungaria facility installed the innovative production equipment and islands within just one year. The departments for the development of electric motors and for production planning cooperated closely with the prototype manufacturing/ production technology center in Gyor to develop the required expertise.
Initially revealed back in early 2016, the Microlino promised a new electric interpretation of the classic 1950s bubble car, the BMW Isetta. After some unexpected design delays they stylish little EV has finally been approved as street legal, with production to commence immediately and first deliveries expected by early 2019.
Going beyond the initial collection of connected device or sensor data to deride actional insights is essential in today’s highly competitive, digital business landscape. In order to optimize operational efficiency, satisfy customer demand and maintain security, manufacturing organizations must continually monitor and understand all of the data their machines are constantly producing.
As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has evolved, manufacturing organizations have gained access to more information than ever before. At the same time, global supply chains and production processes have become more complex in order to support increasingly sophisticated products.
Manufacturers in several different industries are already using physical robots to assemble, test and package their products. Despite the improvements these robots have made in streamlining the assembly line, the manufacturing industry continues to face significant issues when it comes to automating back-office and operational processes. These include problems in keeping up with new regulations and finding skilled labor, as well as issues surrounding inventory management, procurement, and customer communications.
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