The July 2018 edition of Manufacturing Engineering is available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below:
Manufacturing Engineering’s 2018 Class of 30 Under 30 honorees are in a class all their own. This is the sixth year Manufacturing Engineering is recognizing 30 individuals under the age of 30 that are leading the manufacturing industry into the future. These individuals exemplify extraordinary promise in manufacturing and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills that underpin the discipline, plus much more.
There are plenty of manufacturing catchphrases: the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0 and the Digital Factory. IIoT refers to “connected” industrial equipment capable of generating, collecting and transmitting data from machines, and big names in manufacturing, such as Siemens and General Electric Co. are among those working to turn the catchphrases into reality.
Flexibility has come to automation, perhaps as never before. And for industries that require precision machining, assembly, and measurement, automation technologies have never been more available.
It’s the machine tool acronym you never bother to put into words: CNC. And much of the time it’s probably OK to view your “computer numerical control” as a black box doing magic. But if you’re struggling with high-speed machining, need better surface finishes or higher accuracy, have training and retention problems, or want a better handle on your production efficiency, the answer just might be the latest iterations of those three little letters.
Originally developed for tracking and control of shop floor operations in larger manufacturing environments, Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software has evolved into an extensive variety of network configurations. These new MES configurations interface with other IT systems, link to key business functions.
Since its founding in 1968, G&W Products (Fairfield, OH) has grown into a diversified global provider of metal stamping and fabrication capabilities. The company realized that to move to the next level of productivity and efficiency, it would have to incorporate an information system that would extend to decision-making capabilities and improve its customer service.
GE Appliances (GEA) has been designing and manufacturing consumer appliances for over 125 years. The iconic brand, headquartered in Louisville, KY, employs nearly 6000 people, a number that rose to 12,000 employed globally after its acquisition by Haier. The company is committed to quality and technological innovation. One recent example was when GE Appliances implemented precision optical metrology systems distributed by Capture 3D, the exclusive North American certified partner for GOM GmbH.
Imagine applying for a job where your past mistakes are overlooked. Where there’s no stigma associated with a criminal record or struggles with drug abuse, and where everyone is given a helping hand on their road to a new life. If you’re applying at Pioneer Industries, a division of the social enterprise Pioneer Human Services, you’ve come to the right place. Employees are provided the tools for a second chance in life and an opportunity to get trained and work in aerospace and commercial manufacturing utilizing CNC mills and software.
This year’s 30 Under 30 honorees are exceptional individuals that have already accomplished great things, and hold the promise of advancing—and shaking up—the world of manufacturing. In addition to the traditional routes to success in academic institutions and in established companies, several honorees have already started up their own companies and are creating jobs for other manufacturing professionals. Plus, many honorees are active in promoting manufacturing as a career to other young people—a critical task in this era of the Skills Gap.
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING NOW
The very nature of manufacturing is changing. Future factories will be highly automated, distributed geographically, yet tied to a central information net, with fewer but highly productive workers. They will produce more, for less, delivering goods efficiently worldwide. As manufacturing changes, so should the methods used to ensure quality products are produced.
Some in the medical industry are using silicone rubber molds made with a 3D-printed master pattern for low-to-mid production runs of cast polyurethane device housings. Among the reasons they’re doing so are the ability to be first to market with a new product; be able to enter new markets; make small runs to test new devices; make design changes more easily; and even achieve full production for items needed in small numbers.
Earn a college degree, move to a major city, and land a white‐collar job in the knowledge economy—that’s the path many millennials have been taught to follow. But that route isn’t always viable. Pursuit of this traditional path is still important, but solid futures are available through vocational education and two-year degrees as well.
Patrick Waurzyniak, senior editor, interviews Marc Lind, senior vice president for Aras Corp. about key trends in PLM software, the Aras Innovator solution, and the new technical features in Aras’ latest solutions.
An international team of scientists led by Rice University (Houston) researchers has created a new 2D hematene material, an atomically thin form of the common iron oxide known as hematite, which holds potential for 2D magnetism and efficient light-assisted water splitting.
The opportunities for students wishing to pursue a manufacturing career right now are endless. Maybe that’s a machinist position, it might be in manufacturing engineering, or it could be a CNC programming position—they’re all driven around the idea of fabricating parts and putting assemblies together to highly repeatable, high quality standards.
Attracting new customers requires focusing on the commercial side of the business, a focus that doesn’t come naturally to some otherwise skilled manufacturing leaders. The result? Manufacturing companies consistently underspend on marketing and sales. Learn about the 10 key areas shown to have significant impact on commercial engine performance.
Greg Kurfess, 2017 SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship Winner and SME member since 2017, writes about pursuing his passion for manufacturing by studying mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech (Atlanta); and how the SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship has helped him flourish as an engineer, leader and student.
Medical Special Section
When it comes to machining today’s finely tuned medical components, speed—not to mention tool life and automation—is of the essence. Constant refinement of medical machining from tooling design to finished product requires not only the ability to handle a broad range of plastic and metal materials but also to achieve predictable results—particularly in the face of strict regulations.
The use of additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical industry is well established in making dental implants, artificial hip joints, and molds for invisible braces. Holding back wider use of AM are regulatory requirements, a limited set of materials, and lack of familiarity with its possibilities in the medical community.
While medical device manufacturers continue to refine their offerings, matching the right metrology device to the manufacturing process is getting more complex, and sometimes, too many choices can be a problem. That might be the case today for manufacturers of medical devices, who are facing a host of challenges and opportunities.
Founded by brothers Daniel and Richard Thompson, Progressive Tool has been making specialty machine parts and gages in central North Carolina since 1984. Mostly, the company makes custom parts—in five to 10 part runs on average—rather than production machining. Its customers range from the medical industry to defense contractors to aerospace companies doing prototype testing, and more.