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Emerging Technologies

AGMA has selected four areas of focus for work by the Emerging Technologies Committee (ETC):

The Emerging Technology Committee has affirmed the committee goal:

Identify, investigate and inform AGMA members of Emerging Technologies that may disrupt or significantly impact the gear manufacturing industry.

3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a term used to describe the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material. These printers use various materials including, but not limited to, plastic, metal, concrete, and human tissue. 


Types of processes include:

  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Laser Melting (LM)
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  • Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)


More resources available here.

Automation and Robotics

Robotics are utilized widely in major manufacturing plants around the globe. Japan is the current leader in industrial robotics. But as the price of equipment gets more and more affordable, its use will increase. And it will move into the medium-sized and even small companies.


More resources available here.

Industrial Internet of Things (IoT)

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) promises to integrate humans and intelligent machines along horizontal and vertical supply chains, delivering a host of improvements to productivity and reducing costs. The technology is part of the wider development of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) – a movement which, according to McKinsey & Company, could add an additional $11.1 trillion per year in economic benefits to the global economy by 2025.


More resources available here. 

New Materials

Extensive research is being conducted to find alternatives to steel and other, heavier, metals. Research and development crosses the spectrum of materials sciences, but for the purpose of this report, we have limited the findings to superalloys and what we will term “Nanomaterials” (as there are many terms currently being used). And this will be defined as the work that is being done at the molecular level to create new, lightweight, corrosion-resistant materials, or to enhance currently existing superalloys.  

Additional research is being conducted to find new polymers that may be outside metal - but possess similar qualities. 

More resources available here.

Research Into Improving Quality Consistency in Metal 3D Printing

A group of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is working with x-ray characterization to watch melting pools and other parts of metal 3D technology builds to help to improve consistency in output in this technology.

Avoiding flaws in 3D-printed metal parts | March 21, 2018

Security, Security, Security

A recent survey found that nearly 20 percent of organizations observed at leasat one  IoT-based attack in the past three years. Gartner, Inc. is forcasting that IoT security spending will reach $1.5 billion in 2018, a 28 percent increase from 2017.

Gartner says worldwide IoT security spending will reach 1.5 billion in 2018

PR Wire | March 21, 2018


How is Automation Shaping Manufacturing Across Industries

MiBiz asked four manufacturers from very distinctly different sectors of manfuacturing the same questions on automation. This is a good read for anyone looking to bring automation into their plants.


4 Industry Perspectives on How Automation is Reshaping Manufacturing

MiBiz | March 18, 2018

New Materials for Lightweighting in Automotive

With developments in materials and technologies, plastics like polyether ether ketone (PEEK) are being used for vehicle body components and an increasing number of working parts (Figure 1). Some common applications include piston rings in automatic transmissions and wear plates in gear systems.


Advanced Plastics Make Tomorrow's Vehicles More Efficient, Affordable, and Attractive

Product Design & Development | March 21, 2018