3D printing is missing the third dimension

DAVID HAUBER| January 23, 2019
3D PRINTING IS MISSING THE THIRD DIMENSION
Composites manufacturing is inherently an additive process and has always been about structural efficiency in our three-dimensional world. However, the 3D printing community has been slow to catch on. For more than 30 years, 3D printing has been stuck in 2.5D, building parts a layer at a time on a flat (2D) base to form a 3D structure with little strength in the third dimension.

Spotlight

Zumtobel Group

The Zumtobel Group is an international lighting group and a leading player in the field of innovative lighting solutions and components. With its three internationally established brands, Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel, and its two smaller brands, acdc and Reiss, the Group offers its customers around the world a comprehensive range of products and services. In the lighting business the Group with its Thorn, Zumtobel and acdc brands is the European market leader.

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How to Improve Production Scheduling: The 5 Crucial Elements

Article | December 8, 2021

The manufacturing production schedule is a critical aspect that enables the manufacturing business to complete each production activity precisely and on time. Allocating different raw materials, resources, or processes to distinct project phases is called a production schedule. Its goal is to make your manufacturing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible in terms of resources and labor — all while delivering products on schedule. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity." – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca So, how is the overall production schedule managed? According to businesswire, the global APS (Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling) software market was valued at $1,491.22 million in 2020 and is anticipated to raise $2,941.27 million by 2028 expanding at an 8.86 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2028. Some software and tools are available to assist manufacturing organizations in properly scheduling production planning, including MaxScheduler, TACTIC, MRPeasy, and Gantt charts. Though there are numerous software programs available on the market for production scheduling, the most crucial aspect is determining which elements to consider when planning production. This blog will look at the five most important factors to consider while planning the production schedule. Five Elements to Consider When Scheduling Production As we saw in the introduction, production scheduling is used in the manufacturing process to assign plant and machinery resources, schedule human resources, plan production processes, and purchase materials. So, what are the primary components or stages of this production scheduling process? Let's take a quick look at each of them. Planning to Make the Best Use of the Company's Resources The role of planning in production scheduling is to use the company's resources to maintain a regular production flow. As a result, downtime is decreased, and bottlenecks are minimized, allowing production to be optimized. For production scheduling, two forms of planning can be used: Dynamic Planning: Dynamic planning is carried out under the idea that process stages will alter. So, materials must be ready, but production cannot begin until demand is decided. Static Planning: Static planning is done keeping in mind that all process steps will be completed on schedule and without adjustments. Routing to Determine the Order of Actions A “bill of materials” is used in discrete manufacturing to specify what things are needed and in what quantities. Routing determines the path and sequence of required phases of the process. It may involve in-house operations, but it may also comprise sub-contracted components that must be returned to the production flow for final assembly. Scheduling to Make Use of Predetermined Planning Levels To manufacture products from components or raw materials, scheduling makes use of the previously set planning level. As a result, it is time-dependent and must meet the demand outlined at the planning level. Each department, product, and procedure can have their own unique set of timetables. Sub-schedules for sub-assemblies or mixes and blends may be defined by department-specific master production schedules, utilized at the highest level to define product timeframes. Dispatching to Decide on Immediate Actions Dispatching assigns the following jobs to be done from a subset of the production queue. Dispatching is utilized to make quick decisions. This is in contrast to planning, which involves the planning of future actions. Dispatching is utilized in both pull and push production systems. Execution to Ensure that all Processes are Carried out Correctly Production scheduling must rely on proper execution to ensure that all processes are completed appropriately and in the sequence planned. It requires everyone to know what they are expected to do and when they are expected to do it. Execution requires knowledgeable management decisions, well-trained employees, correct data in the manufacturing plan and schedule, and consistent sales statistics and forecast numbers. All must be present for the organization to carry out its production plan and fulfill orders. How MRPeasy – A Production Scheduling Software Assist Manufacturing Companies in Scheduling Their Production? MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) application explicitly designed for small manufacturing units. Its primary functions are purchase order management, forecasting, and inventory management. This software simplifies the process of scheduling production. It enables you to evaluate all of your anticipated manufacturing orders (MO). The bill of materials (BOM), purchasing, and stocking are all maintained in one location, allowing you to quickly book inventory and increase purchase orders (PO) for acquired parts. MRPeasy enables you to: Obtain all of the detailed information on all of your MOs Consider MOs as a single block or as distinct operations. Drag-and-drop operations and operations to reschedule Calendar or Gantt chart views are available for monitoring scheduled orders. Additionally, you can manage MOs smoothly. With the production planning component, you may create, amend, and update MOs. This app compiles an exhaustive list of all your MOs. You can track their progress based on the status of an order or a part's availability. Additionally, you can search for, filter, and export your MOs. Final Words How to schedule production for your organization requires extensive research, planning, and analysis of overall product demand as well as a grasp of the time required to meet the demand. Production scheduling techniques such as job-based planning, batch method, flow method, and others help develop a productive manufacturing production schedule. Include the elements mentioned above in your manufacturing scheduling to get the best possible benefits, such as better production efficiency, lower production costs, and on-time product delivery for your manufacturing in 2022. FAQ How production planning differ from production scheduler? Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done. What is real-time manufacturing scheduling? Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively. How can scheduling be improved? Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How production planning differ from production scheduler?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can scheduling be improved?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa." } }] }

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The Top Five Lean Manufacturing Tools for 2022

Article | December 13, 2021

Lean manufacturing is a growing trend that aims to reduce waste while increasing productivity in manufacturing systems. But, unfortunately, waste doesn't add value to the product, and buyers don't want to pay for it. This unusual method pushed Toyota Motor Corporation's industry to become a leading Toyota Production System (TPS). As a result, they are now efficiently producing some of the world's top cars with the least waste and the quickest turnaround. The majority of manufacturers are now using lean management. According to the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing report, 69.7% of manufacturing businesses use Lean Manufacturing Practices. Lean tools are the ones that help you in implementing lean practice in your organization. These lean tools assist in managing people and change while solving problems and monitoring performance. Lean Manufacturing technologies are designed to reduce waste, improve flow, improve quality control, and maximize manufacturing resources. What Are the Five Best Lean Manufacturing Tools and How Do They Work? There are roughly 50 Lean Manufacturing tools available in the market. This post will describe 5 of them and their value to your business and its developments. 5S The 5S system promotes efficiency by organizing and cleaning the workplace. To help increase workplace productivity, the system has five basic guidelines (five S's). The five Ss are Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. 5S improves workplace efficiency and effectiveness by: Sort: Removing unnecessary material from each work area Set: Set the goal of creating efficient work areas for each individual Shine: Maintaining a clean work area after each shift helps identify and resolve minor concerns Standardize: Documenting changes to make other work areas' applications more accessible Sustain: Repeat each stage for continuous improvement 5S is a lean tool used in manufacturing, software, and healthcare. Kaizen and Kanban can be utilized to produce the most efficient workplace possible. Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing Just-in-time manufacturing allows manufacturers to produce products only after a customer requests them. This reduces the risk of overstocking or damaging components or products during storage. Consider JIT if your company can operate on-demand and limit the risk of only carrying inventory as needed. JIT can help manage inventory, but it can also hinder meeting customer demand if the supply chain breaks. Kaizen With Kaizen, you may enhance seven separate areas at once: business culture, leadership, procedures, quality, and safety. Kaizen is a Japanese word, means "improvement for the better" or "constant improvement." “Many companies are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology; consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive at Microsoft The idea behind Kaizen is that everyone in the organization can contribute suggestions for process improvement. Accepting everyone's viewpoints may not result in significant organizational changes, but minor improvements here and there will add up over time to substantial reductions in wasted resources. Kanban Kanban is a visual production method that delivers parts to the production line as needed. This lean tool works by ensuring workers get what they need when they need it. Previously, employees used Kanban cards to request new components, and new parts were not provided until the card asked them to. In recent years, sophisticated software has replaced Kanban cards to signal demand electronically. Using scanned barcodes to signify when new components are needed, the system may automatically request new parts. Kanban allows businesses to manage inventory better, decrease unnecessary stock, and focus on the products that must be stored. To reduce waste and improve efficiency, facilities can react to current needs rather than predict the future. Kanban encourages teams and individuals to improve Kanban solutions and overall production processes like Kaizen. Kanban as a lean tool can be used with Kaizen and 5S. PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a scientific strategy for managing change. Dr. W. Edwards Deming invented it in the 1950s; hence, it is called the ‘Deming Cycle.’ The PDCA cycle has four steps: Problem or Opportunity: Determine whether a problem or an opportunity exists Do: Make a small test Examine: Look over the test results Act: Take action depending on results How Nestlé Used the Kaizen Lean Manufacturing Tool Nestlé is the largest food corporation in the world, yet it is also a company that practices Lean principles, particularly the Kaizen method. Nestlé Waters used a technique known as value stream mapping, which is frequently associated with Kaizen. They designed a new bottling factory from scratch to guarantee that operations were as efficient as possible. Nestlé has been aiming to make ongoing changes to their processes to reduce waste and the amount of time and materials that can be wasted during their operations. Final Words Lean manufacturing techniques enable many businesses to solve their manufacturing difficulties and become more productive and customer-centric. In addition, useful lean manufacturing tools assist companies in obtaining the anticipated outcomes and arranging their operations in many excellent ways to meet buyer expectations. Hence, gather a list of the top lean manufacturing tools and choose the best fit for your organization to maximize your ROI and address the performance issue that is causing your outcomes to lag. FAQ What are the standard tools in lean manufacturing? Among the more than 50 lean manufacturing tools, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and PDCA are the most commonly used lean manufacturing tools. How to Select the Best Lean Manufacturing Tools for Your Business? Choosing a lean manufacturing tool begins with identifying the issue or lag in your organization that affects overall productivity and work quality. To select the lean device that best meets your company's needs, you must first grasp each one's benefits and implementation techniques. What is included in a Lean 5S toolkit? The lean 5S toolbox contains some essential items for achieving the goal. It comes with a notepad or tablet, a camera, a high-quality flashlight, a tape measure, and a stopwatch. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the standard tools in lean manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Among the more than 50 lean manufacturing tools, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and PDCA are the most commonly used lean manufacturing tools." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to Select the Best Lean Manufacturing Tools for Your Business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Choosing a lean manufacturing tool begins with identifying the issue or lag in your organization that affects overall productivity and work quality. To select the lean device that best meets your company's needs, you must first grasp each one's benefits and implementation techniques." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is included in a Lean 5S toolkit?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The lean 5S toolbox contains some essential items for achieving the goal. It comes with a notepad or tablet, a camera, a high-quality flashlight, a tape measure, and a stopwatch." } }] }

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Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM): Major Challenges and Their Solutions

Article | December 16, 2021

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is a technology that revolutionized the manufacturing business. Pierre Bézier, a Renault engineer, produced the world's first real 3D CAD/CAM application, UNISURF CAD. His game-changing program redefined the product design process and profoundly altered the design and manufacturing industries. So, what is CAM in its most basic definition? Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the application of computer systems to the planning, control, and administration of manufacturing operations. This is accomplished by using either direct or indirect links between the computer and the manufacturing processes. In a nutshell, CAM provides greater manufacturing efficiency, accuracy, and consistency. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca In light of the numerous advantages and uses of computer-aided manufacturing, manufacturers have opted to use it extensively. The future of computer-aided manufacturing is brightening due to the rapid and rising adoption of CAM. According to Allied Market Research, the global computer-aided manufacturing market was worth $2,689 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $5,477 million by 2028, rising at an 8.4% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028. Despite all this, each new development has benefits and challenges of its own. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of CAM, the challenges that come with it, and how to deal with them. Let's start with the advantages of computer-aided manufacturing. Benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) There are significant benefits of using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAM typically provides the following benefits: Increased component production speed Maximizes the utilization of a wide variety of manufacturing equipment Allows for the rapid and waste-free creation of prototypes Assists in optimizing NC programs for maximum productivity during machining Creates performance reports automatically As part of the manufacturing process, it integrates multiple systems and procedures. The advancement of CAD and CAM software provides visual representation and integration of modeling and testing applications. Greater precision and consistency, with similar components and products Less downtime due to computer-controlled devices High superiority in following intricate patterns like circuit board tracks Three Challenges in CAM and Their Solutions We have focused on the three primary challenges and their solutions that we have observed. Receiving Incomplete CAD Updates Receiving insufficient CAD updates is one of the challenges. If, for example, the part update from a CAD engineer does not include the pockets that are required in the assembly, to the CAM engineer. SOLUTION: A modeler that enables developers of a CAM programs to create intuitive processes for features such as feature extraction and duplication across CAD version updates. A modeler is capable of recognizing and extracting the pocket's architecture and the parameters that define it. Additionally, the CAM application can enable the engineer to reproduce the pocket in a few simple steps by exploiting the modeler's editing features such as scaling, filling, extruding, symmetrical patterning, and removing. Last Minute Design Updates The second major challenge is last-minute design changes may impact manufacturers as a result of simulation. SOLUTION: With 3D software components, you may create applications in which many simulation engineers can work together to make design modifications to the CAD at the same time, with the changes being automatically merged at the end. Challenging Human-driven CAM Manufacturing The third major challenge we have included is that CAM engineers must perform manual steps in human-driven CAM programming, which takes time and requires expert CAM software developers. Furthermore, when the structure of the target components grows more complicated, the associated costs and possibility of human failure rise. SOLUTION: Self-driving CAM is the best solution for this challenge. Machine-driven CAM programming, also known as self-driving CAM, provides an opportunity to improve this approach with a more automated solution. Preparing for CAM is simple with the self-driving CAM approach, and it can be done by untrained operators regardless of part complexity. The technology handles all of the necessary decisions for CAM programming operations automatically. In conclusion, self-driving CAM allows for efficient fabrication of bespoke parts, which can provide substantial value and potential for job shops and machine tool builders. Computer Aided Manufacturing Examples CAM is widely utilized in various sectors and has emerged as a dominant technology in the manufacturing and design industries. Here are two examples of sectors where CAM is employed efficiently and drives solutions to many challenges in the specific business. Textiles Virtual 3D prototype systems, such as Modaris 3D fit and Marvellous Designer, are already used by designers and manufacturers to visualize 2D blueprints into 3D virtual prototyping. Many other programs, such as Accumark V-stitcher and Optitex 3D runway, show the user a 3D simulation to show how a garment fits and how the cloth drapes to educate the customer better. Aerospace and Astronomy The James Webb Space Telescope's 18 hexagonal beryllium segments require the utmost level of precision, and CAM is providing it. Its primary mirror is 1.3 meters wide and 250 kilograms heavy, but machining and etching will reduce the weight by 92% to just 21 kilograms. FAQ What is the best software for CAM? Mastercam has been the most extensively utilized CAM software for 26 years in a row, according to CIMdata, an independent NC research business. How CAD-CAM helps manufacturers? Customers can send CAD files to manufacturers via CAD-CAM software. They can then build up the machining tool path and run simulations to calculate the machining cycle times. What is the difference between CAD and CAM? Computer-aided design (CAD) is the process of developing a design (drafting). CAM is the use of computers and software to guide machines to build something, usually a mass-produced part.

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Wireless AGVs May Prove Most Important ProMatDX Innovation

Article | April 1, 2021

April 12 -15 ProMatDX, the largest material handling event, will take place virtually. It will feature dozens of AGV vendors. Sadly, some of these highly innovating products still need to be plugged-in to capture power. No more. Wiferion in process charging eliminates the plug-in charging making AGVs truly autonomous. In process charging eliminates the waste of AGV downtime – the fleet is always working AND charging. In process charging is safe ensuring the OSHA, ergonomics, and danger to workers significantly reduced. In process charging is cost-efficient because full vehicle deployment means a reduced fleet count ensuring a rapid ROI. For OEMs of AGVs and industrial trucks implementing inductive charging technology solves the wear and tear issues caused by conventional charging methods as well as making vehicles fully autonomous. For end-users of AGVs and industrial trucks, inductive charging in combination with lithium batteries can improve fleet availability by more than 30%. Whether driverless transport systems (AGVs), electric forklifts, or mobile robots (AMRs), the efficient use of industrial trucks is a decisive factor for competitiveness during ever- increasing cost pressures. The energy systems are being scrutinized and lithium-ion batteries are the preferred technology. The advantages versus lead-acid batteries (including the ability to recharge faster and more often) are obvious. Until now the full potential of storage technology has not been fully realized.

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Spotlight

Zumtobel Group

The Zumtobel Group is an international lighting group and a leading player in the field of innovative lighting solutions and components. With its three internationally established brands, Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel, and its two smaller brands, acdc and Reiss, the Group offers its customers around the world a comprehensive range of products and services. In the lighting business the Group with its Thorn, Zumtobel and acdc brands is the European market leader.

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