Article | December 6, 2021
Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners to create accurate geometric features. In contrast to traditional manufacturing, which frequently involves milling or other processes to eliminate superfluous material, these are produced layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process.
The global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 14.42 percent annual rate from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028, according to reports and data. Overall, the worldwide 3D printing industry is gaining traction due to various reasons, some of which are listed below.
Significantly, greater resolution
Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of recent technology breakthroughs
Ease of creating customised goods
Increasing possibilities for printing with diverse materials
Funding by the government for 3D printing ventures
Additive manufacturing is available or may be implemented in various procedures, which is the primary objective of this article. First, we'll look at the seven additive manufacturing processes and which one is the best to use. So let us begin.
“Don’t be afraid to go outside of your industry to learn best practices. There might be something that surprises you or inspires you to try in your line of work.”
– Emily Desimone, Director of Global Marketing at SLM Solutions
Additive Manufacturing Processes
There are numerous diverse additive manufacturing processes, each with its own set of standards. Here are the seven additive manufacturing procedures that many manufacturers consider based on their benefits from each process, or whichever approach best suits their product requirements.
This additive manufacturing process is quite similar to that of conventional inkjet printers, in which material droplets are selectively placed layer by layer to build a three-dimensional object. After completing a layer, it is cured with UV radiation.
VAT Photo Polymerization
This procedure employs a technology called photo polymerization, in which radiation-curable resins or photopolymers are utilized to ultraviolet light to generate three-dimensional objects selectively. When these materials are exposed to air, they undergo a chemical reaction and solidify. Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, and Continuous Digital Light Processing are the three primary subcategories.
Binder jetting is a process that deposits a binding agent, typically in liquid form, selectively onto powdered material. The print head deposits alternating layers of bonding agent and construction material and a powder spreader to create a three-dimensional object.
S. Scott Crump invented and patented material extrusion in the 1980s using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The continuous thermoplastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle and then deposited layer by layer onto the build platform to produce the object.
Powder Bed Fusion
Powder bed fusion procedures, particularly selective laser sintering, were the pioneers of industrial additive manufacturing. This approach melts the powdered material and fuses it using a laser or electron beam to form a tangible item. The primary kinds of powder bed fusion are direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, electron beam melting, selective laser melting, and selective heat sintering.
Sheet lamination is a catch-all term encompassing ultrasonic additive manufacturing, selective deposition lamination, and laminated object manufacturing. All of these technologies stack and laminate sheets of material to form three-dimensional objects. After the object is constructed, the parts' undesirable areas are gradually removed layer by layer.
Directed Energy Deposition
Directed energy deposition technology employs thermal energy to melt and fuse the materials to form a three-dimensional object. These are pretty similar to welding processes, but are much more intricate.
Which Additive Manufacturing Process is best? Why?
Based on three fundamental factors, additive manufacturing techniques are categorized into seven types. First, the way material is solidified is determined first by the type of material employed, then by the deposition technique, and finally by how the material is solidified.
The end-user often chooses an additive manufacturing technique that best suits his requirements, followed by the explicit material for the process and application, out of the seven basic additive manufacturing processes.
Polymer materials are commonly used in AM techniques because they are adaptable to various procedures and can be modified to complicated geometries with high precision. Carbon-based compounds are used to strengthen polymers. Polymers, both solid and liquid, have been widely used due to the variety of shapes, formability, and end-use qualities available. Wherever the light-activated polymer contacts the liquid's surface, it instantly solidifies.
Photo polymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, and material extrusion are the most common additive manufacturing procedures for polymers. The materials employed in these processes can be liquid, powder, or solid (formed materials such as polymer film or filament).
How BASF is Using Additive Manufacturing
BASF is a chemical company. BASF, one of the world's major chemical companies, manufactures and provides a range of 3D printing filaments, resins, and powders within its extensive material portfolio.
The company, well-known in the 3D printing sector, has formed major material agreements with several 3D printer manufacturers, including HP, BigRep, Essentium, BCN3D, and others.
BASF went even further in 2017 by establishing BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to expand the company's 3D printing business. In addition, BASF stated last year that B3DPS would change its name to Forward AM.
BASF's role in the 3D printing business, however, is not limited to material development. BASF has made several investments in 3D printing companies over the years, including the acquisition of Sculpteo, one of the significant French 3D printing service bureaus, last year.
BASF sees 3D printing as having a bright future. With the growing popularity of professional 3D printers, all of these systems will eventually require robust, high-quality polymer materials to perform at their best – and BASF has been paving the way to becoming one of the leading solution providers.
All additive manufacturing procedures are unique and helpful in their way. Still, some have additional advantages over others, such as the material used, highresolution, precision, and the ability to build complicated parts. Because of these added benefits, photopolymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, and material extrusion are preferred over others. Therefore, choose the AM process that is best suited to your manufacturing business and will assist you in achieving the desired final product output.
What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?
AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability.
What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?
Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing.
What are the steps of additive manufacturing?
The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below,
Step1 - Design a model with CAD software
Step4 - Post-processing
"name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?",
"text": "AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability."
"name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?",
"text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing."
"name": "What are the steps of additive manufacturing?",
"text": "The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below,
Step1 - Design a model with CAD software
Step2 - Pre-processing
Step3 - Printing
Step4 - Post-processing"
Article | May 20, 2021
The transformation of raw materials through mechanical, physical, or chemical processes into a new product is the definition of manufacturing in the U.S. These businesses include plants, mills, factories, and warehouses and they rely on power-driven equipment to produce their products.
Small businesses and home-based businesses are included in the scope of U.S. manufacturing - this includes sectors like tailor-made clothing, bakeries, candy stores, or toy/crafts creators. Additionally, companies that contract with the businesses in these industries are included in the sector of American manufacturing. It is worth noting: U.S. manufacturing does not include anything relating to housing or commercial construction.
Article | October 20, 2021
Machine vision is becoming increasingly prevalent in manufacturing daily across industries. The machine vision manufacturing practice provides image-based automated inspection and analysis for various applications, including automatic inspection, process control, and robot guiding, often found in the manufacturing business.
This breakthrough in manufacturing technology enables producers to be more innovative and productive to meet customer expectations and deliver the best products on the market.
A renowned industry leader Mr. Matt Mongonce conveyed in an interview with Media7,
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.
Why is Machine Vision so Critical?
The machine vision manufacturing process is entirely automated, with no human intervention on the shop floor. Thus, in a manufacturing process, machine vision adds significant safety and operational benefits. Additionally, it eliminates human contamination in production operations where cleanliness is critical.
For instance, the healthcare business cannot afford human contamination in some circumstances to ensure the safety of medicines. Second, the chemical business is prohibited from allowing individuals to come into touch with chemicals for the sake of worker safety. Thus, machine vision is vital in these instances, so it is critical to integrate machine vision systems into your production process.
Machine Vision Application Examples
To better understand how businesses are utilizing machine vision in production, we will look at five cases.
Even a few seconds of production line downtime might result in a significant financial loss in the manufacturing industry. Machine vision systems are used in industrial processes to assist manufacturers in predicting flaws or problems in the production line before the system failure. This machine vision capability enables manufacturing processes to avoid breakdowns or failures in the middle of the manufacturing process.
How is FANUC America Corporation Avoiding the Production Line Downtime with ROBOGUIDE and ZDT?
FANUC is a United States-based firm that is a market leader in robotics and ROBOMACHINE technology, with over 25 million units deployed worldwide. In addition, the company's professionals have created two products that are pretty popular in the manufacturing industry: ROBOGUIDE and ZDT (Zero Down Time).
These two standout products assist manufacturers in developing, monitoring, and managing production line automation. As a result, producers can enhance production, improve quality, and maximize profitability while remaining competitive.
Inspection of Packages
To ensure the greatest possible quality of products for their target consumer groups, manufacturers must have a method in place that enables them to inspect each corner of their product. Machine vision improves the manufacturing process and inspects each product in detail using an automated procedure.
This technology has been used in many industries, including healthcare, automation, and electronics. Manufacturers can detect faults, cracks, or any other defect in the product that is not visible to the naked eye using machine vision systems. The machine vision system detects these faults in the products and transmits the information to the computer, notifying the appropriate person during the manufacturing process.
Assembly of Products and Components
The application of machine vision to industrial processes involves component assembly to create a complete product from a collection of small components. Automation, electronics manufacturing, healthcare (medicine and medical equipment manufacturing), and others are the industries that utilize the machine vision system in their manufacturing process. Additionally, the machine vision system aids worker safety during the manufacturing process by enhancing existing safety procedures.
Manufacturers are constantly endeavoring to release products that are devoid of flaws or difficulties. However, manually verifying each product is no longer practicable for anybody involved in the manufacturing process, as production counts have risen dramatically in every manufacturing organization. This is where machine vision systems come into play, performing accurate quality inspections and assisting producers in delivering defect-free items to their target clients.
Earlier in the PCB penalization process, where numerous identical PCBs were made on a single panel, barcodes were used to separate or identify the PCBs manually by humans. This was a time-consuming and error-prone process for the electronics manufacturing industry. This task is subsequently taken over by a machine vision system, in which each circuit is segregated and uniquely identified using a robotics machine or a machine vision system. The high-tech machine vision system "Panel Scan" is one example of a machine vision system that simplifies the PCB tracing procedure.
The use of machine vision in the manufacturing business enables firms to develop more accurate and complete manufacturing processes capable of producing flawless products. Incorporating machine vision into manufacturing becomes a component of advanced manufacturing, which is projected to be the future of manufacturing in 2022. Maintain current production trends and increase your business revenue by offering the highest-quality items using a machine vision system.
What is the difference between computer vision and machine vision?
Traditionally, computer vision has been used to automate image processing, but machine vision is applied to real-world interfaces such as a factory line.
Where does machine vision come into play?
Machine vision is critical in the quality control of any product or manufacturing process. It detects flaws, cracks, or any blemishes in a physical product. Additionally, it can verify the precision and accuracy of any component or part throughout product assembly.
What are the fundamental components of a machine vision system?
A machine vision system's primary components are lighting, a lens, an image sensor, vision processing, and communications.
"name": "What is the difference between computer vision and machine vision?",
"text": "Traditionally, computer vision has been used to automate image processing, but machine vision is applied to real-world interfaces such as a factory line."
"name": "Where does machine vision come into play?",
"text": "Machine vision is critical in the quality control of any product or manufacturing process. It detects flaws, cracks, or any blemishes in a physical product. Additionally, it can verify the precision and accuracy of any component or part throughout product assembly."
"name": "What are the fundamental components of a machine vision system?",
"text": "A machine vision system's primary components are lighting, a lens, an image sensor, vision processing, and communications."
Article | October 13, 2021
The electronics manufacturing business is adopting new technologies to create smart electronics manufacturing products for its consumer base. Next-generation technologies are shaping the future of the manufacturing industry by enabling it to create technologically advanced and user-friendly products. Matt Mong, one of the manufacturing industry's leading professionals, stated in an interview with Media7,
“Be Different. Don’t position your product in an existing category. Instead, create your category and make the competition irrelevant and obsolete.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
The year 2022 will be a year of advancement and development for the electronics manufacturing industry.
So, manufacturers are eager to embrace new technologies and produce more innovative, more user-friendly goods that become part of consumers' daily lives and meet their needs. To make the manufacturing process manageable and deliver advanced products, we will look at the top five trends flourishing in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Top Five Electronics Manufacturing Industry Trends
Future manufacturing technologies are transforming the electronics manufacturing industry's processes and products. Let's look at the top electronics manufacturing industry trends for 2022, which will propel the sector to new heights of technological advancement.
Utilizing the Benefits of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is being used in both the manufacturing process and the products themselves. It enables electronic manufacturing products and processes to become more intelligent and performance-driven to fulfill business and customer needs.
In electronics manufacturing, the Internet of Things (IoT) enables businesses to solve common production challenges such as product quality issues, changing demands, and a complex global supply chain. As a result, it increases productivity and efficiency while reducing human effort.
Industrial units may gather and analyze real-time data and processes using IoT-based sensor systems. Additionally, it assists organizations in managing data and transforms traditional manufacturing into an intelligent manufacturing unit.
Using an ERP System to Maintain the Company's Competitive Edge
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a centralized management system for all operational and business activities. The software automates all manufacturing processes and enables the electronics manufacturing sector to achieve higher precision throughout the manufacturing process and product delivery.
ERP has the potential to boost productivity, improve efficiency, decrease expenses, and increase profitability. ERP enables electronics manufacturers to forecast, plan, modify, and respond to changing market demands. By using an ERP system in your manufacturing unit, you may expand your business and increase revenue.
Making Use of Big Data
The electronics manufacturing industry benefits from the use of big data to make critical business decisions. It aids in the integration of previously isolated systems to provide a comprehensive view of industrial processes. It also automates data gathering and processing, allowing for more excellent knowledge of each system individually and collectively.
Big data also assists manufacturers in discovering new information and identifying trends, allowing them to optimize operations, improve supply chain efficiency, and find variables that impact manufacturing quality, volume, or consistency. In addition, big data assists the electronics manufacturing industry in keeping up with the rapidly changing digital world.
Using AR and VR to Create Consumer-friendly Goods
AR and VR are future manufacturing technologies that are changing electronics manufacturing products and driving growth. Robotics is a crucial usage of virtual reality in electronics production. Manufacturers may use powerful virtual reality software to design goods. This implementation of virtual reality software reduces production errors and saves time and money.
AR in electronics manufacturing allows product developers to generate interactive 3D views of new products before production. AR and VR are part of Industry 4.0, the digital revolution of conventional electronics production units.
Adoption of 3D Printing on a Wide Scale
One of the essential advantages of today's electronics 3D printing is that companies can quickly prototype PCBs and other electrical devices in-house. In addition, 3D printing has simplified the electronics manufacturing process, and it is currently being utilized to manufacture multilayer printed circuit boards. It uses material jetting technology to spray conductive and insulating inks onto the printing surface.
Let's look at an example of an analogy that worked for Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., managed by Mr. Huang Runyuan, Jinzhenyuan's General Manager, and based on the concept of Industry 4.0. (Reference: Forbes)
Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. Takes a Significant Step Forward with Industry 4.0
Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., formed in 2012, sells its products globally. In addition, it manufactures cellphones, computers, cars, and a variety of other consumer electronics. Due to changing market needs, the firm planned to upgrade its production facility to industry 4.0 by the end of 2017 to participate in smart manufacturing.
The company increased production efficiency, shortened production cycles, and cut costs due to the digital revolution. Today, Jinzhenyuan is regarded as a model of digital transformation in the community in which it works. Let’s observe the statistics for Jinzhenyuan following the deployment of Industry 4.0.
32% improvement in total production efficiency
33% cost reduction
41% decrease in R&D to production cycles
51% reduction in substandard parts rate – from 3,000 to 1,500 per million
The electronics manufacturing sector is on the verge of a digital revolution that will improve the production process efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Many of the world's biggest firms, like Apple, Microsoft, Hitachi, and Saline lectronics, are developing future agile factories to keep up with the world's digital transformation. Future manufacturing technology will help your manufacturing company make the manufacturing process more efficient and boost the business revenue.
What are the future electronics technologies?
Smart grid solutions, wearable technology devices, prefabricated goods, the Internet of Things, and robots are some of the future electronics innovations that will propel the business forward.
Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?
Yes, supply chain management benefits from smart technology as well. Trucks equipped with cutting-edge technologies can get real-time data on the weather and road conditions ahead of time. It contributes to the supply chain process's reduction of possible risks.
Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?
Whirlpool, Siemens, Hirotec, Tesla, Bosch, and Ocado, among others, have turned their traditional factories into digitally smart ones that incorporate all of the cutting-edge technology necessary to improve and optimize the production process.
"name": "What are the future electronics technologies?",
"text": "Smart grid solutions, wearable technology devices, prefabricated goods, the Internet of Things, and robots are some of the future electronics innovations that will propel the business forward."
"name": "Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?",
"text": "Yes, supply chain management benefits from smart technology as well. Trucks equipped with cutting-edge technologies can get real-time data on the weather and road conditions ahead of time. It contributes to the supply chain process's reduction of possible risks."
"name": "Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?",
"text": "Whirlpool, Siemens, Hirotec, Tesla, Bosch, and Ocado, among others, have turned their traditional factories into digitally smart ones that incorporate all of the cutting-edge technology necessary to improve and optimize the production process."