Industrialized continuous fiber composite printing in Delft

GINGER GARDINER| May 09, 2019
INDUSTRIALIZED CONTINUOUS FIBER COMPOSITE PRINTING IN DELFT
3D printing of continuous fiber-reinforced composites continues to expand and advance. Many new companies and developments have emerged since Markforged announced the Mark One continuous fiber 3D printer in 2014. CEAD Delft, Netherlands was introduced in Karen Mason’s March 2019 feature, Moving continuous-fiber 3D printing into production.

Spotlight

Applied Materials

Applied Materials is the global leader in materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar PV industries. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world.

OTHER ARTICLES

4 Strategies to Make Your Production More Efficient in 2021

Article | July 13, 2021

The start of the new year is a great time to critically take a look at your processes and see how you can improve. Here at FANUC, we have identified four key strategies manufacturers can use to boost their efficiency! Add Automation Automation can increase production and efficiency no matter the type or complexity of the manufactured products. With space at a premium in most production facilities, many job shops look for machine tending robots that are easy to integrate and have a small footprint. FANUC's robots and software make it easy to connect the equipment and improve throughput as well as overall equipment effectiveness. Quick and Simple Startup of Robotization (QSSR) allows up to four machine tools to be connected with a robot using just one Ethernet cable. Use the Latest and Greatest Machining Practices and Technology Many manufacturers leave performance on the table due to outdated processes and programming. Are you getting the most out of your machining? Now’s the time to look at the advantages in new CNC technology. Because new controls have greater processing speed and can implement advanced algorithms, they can do a lot more for your operations. Moreover, the interfaces have become simpler and more intuitive, so they are easier to use than ever before. Digitize Your Process New digital tools are breathing innovation and life into increasingly more areas of manufacturing, including the application of digital twins in the machining industry. Digital twins provide virtualization of the machine, control and manufacturing process. Digitalizing traditional manufacturing processes have the potential to make operations more efficient by proving out production processes in the virtual world. That means less waste, more efficiency and a more equipped workforce. Upgrade Your Shop with a CNC Retrofit Do you have legacy equipment? Running older machinery can have hidden costs, such as taking the time to source and find older replacement controls leading to significantly longer total downtime and production losses. However, scrapping old equipment and starting new, might be too expensive, especially when factoring in tooling, fixturing, rigging and foundation. Plus, new machines may require more training for staff. A CNC retrofit, with new FANUC CNCs, industrial PCs, servos and cabling, can speed up processing and reduce cycle time by as much as 50 percent.

Read More

How Manufacturing Digitalization Benefits Businesses in 2022

Article | December 14, 2021

The manufacturing industry has evolved to new heights of innovation, productivity, and excellence with digital transformation. Manufacturing digitalization has made operational procedures more skilled, accurate, and time-savvy. “Many companies simply 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 (Manufacturing) at Microsoft With a CAGR of 19.48 percent between 2021 and 2026, the digital transformation in the manufacturing market is expected to reach USD 263.93 billion by 2026. Manufacturing plants adopt digital technology to improve, automate, and modernize processes as part of Industry 4.0. So, what are the key benefits of digitalization for manufacturers? This article will elaborate on the top five benefits of digital manufacturing transformation. How to Define Digital Manufacturing? Manufacturing digital transformation involves integrating digital technologies into processes and products to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality. Manufacturing's digital transformation aims to increase operational efficiency and reduce expenses. The digital transformation techniques ensure product quality. It also makes work more efficient, safe, and stress-free. What Is Included in Manufacturing Digitization (Industry 4.0)? Industry 4.0 is the digitalization of manufacturing. Cyber-physical systems, IoT, and cloud computing are current trends in manufacturing automation and data exchange. Connected devices, cloud computing power, and the modern emphasis of lean, efficient operations enable Industry 4.0 to construct advanced and innovative smart factories. Industry 4.0 includes design, sales, inventories, scheduling, quality, engineering, customer and field service. Five Benefits of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Manufacturing organizations can benefit from digitalization in a variety of ways. It can help make the work more efficient, decentralized, and secure. It further creates new business opportunities and attracts new talent to the industry. Additionally, integrating products into a digital ecosystem increases their value and appeal. Let’s dig deeper into each of the five key benefits. Reduces Costs Technology is an invaluable companion in reducing the manufacturing company's expenses in the future. The incorporation of digital technology results in the transformation of procedures and the digitization of documents, resulting in overall process optimization. Therefore, a reduction in labor costs might be expected as a result of the elimination of unnecessary expenditures. Additionally, digitization enables businesses to assess and estimate expenses considerably more precisely, ensuring that budgets stay on track. Additionally, it eliminates andsubstitutes inefficient jobs within processes, significantly increasing their efficiency. This efficiency is translated into time savings, which results in a substantially more cost-effective manufacturing process. Decentralized Production Manufacturing digital transformation allows organizations to supervise manufacturing remotely, allowing production to continue uninterrupted. In rare cases like Covid-19, digitalized businesses have not had to cease or even slow down production. These systems can work without interruptions for much longer than any worker. Digitalization also boosts methodology flexibility and reactivity. For example, if a production plant has a problem, an automatic alert is generated, and the issue is resolved regardless of the day, time, or presence. Improved Operational Efficiency Smart product connectivity allows devices to connect and communicate with each other (M2M). This connectivity enables decentralized decision-making. Many duties no longer require an employee to be physically present. New manufacturing and production models minimize boring, risky activities while increasing accuracy, efficiency, and responsiveness. Transforming businesses through digital means making better decisions based on real-time data. Training, changes, and repairs are no longer issues due to reduced frequency and automation. New Business Opportunities New digital technologies enable the manufacture of previously unviable products and services, generating new revenue streams. Also, new services (innovation or reorientation) are launched considerably faster. Companies may utilize big data and AI to experiment, anticipate trends, and predict about new advancements. These technologies can help organizations become more eco-friendly and create products that are less detrimental to our environment. Attracts New Talent Professionals with fundamental talents in this complicated and disruptive environment are drawn to digitalizedorganizations that are up-to-date with trends and processes. Also, if the change is managed well, it will lead to higher profitability, increasing employee satisfaction. Human motivation, along with excellent digital technologies, will reflect in the company's production and profitability. Dusseldorf@Germany: The Deloitte Digital Factory The digital factory in Dusseldorf provides a flexible setting for innovative workshops and training, bringing together the old and new worlds of supply chain and industrial operations to provide a seamless experience. Specific use case examples, as well as the digital solutions sector, will motivate and encourage businesses to get on their digital transformation journeys, making use of the most up-to-date technologies in the process. Final Words Manufacturing digitalization has a lot to offer the industry, and many manufacturers are capitalizing on this new phase of the industrial revolution by incorporating cutting-edge technologies into manufacturing and business operations. As said previously, the benefits of digital transformation in the manufacturing business are increasing the importance of digitalization in the industry. Transform your traditional manufacturing operating processes with these new manufacturing trends and observe the results that other benefitting manufacturing businesses have achieved. FAQ Why is digitalization vital in manufacturing? Manufacturing process digitization improves overall business performance. But the results are seen across the factory. Digital transformation improves working conditions for employees and streamlines daily operations. How are digitization and digitalization different? Digitalization is a transformation of data and processes. Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to collect data, identify patterns, and make better business decisions. How digital technologies are applied in manufacturing? Digital manufacturing technologies enable the integration of systems and processes across all stages of production, from design to production and beyond.

Read More

The packaging journey: Is it an important factor for your brand?

Article | June 8, 2021

The last 12 months saw a considerable increase in e-commerce, driven by the global pandemic with many retail commentators believing this is an irreversible behavioural shift. If correct, this will further underline the importance of the packaging journey, since the likelihood of consumers primarily interacting with brands through deliveries increases, potentially becoming the standard purchasing process. Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, a sustainable packaging solutions provider for luxury fashion brands, considers the impact of the packaging journey amid these new retail dynamics. How much impact could a single packaging box have when it comes to consumer engagement and marketing? This is a question that all retailers and brands should reconsider, given the tumultuous nature of the retail landscape. If Deloitte’s recent report into the Danish consumer’s permanent shift to online shopping can be viewed as a microcosm of imminent global trends, then businesses must adapt packaging to incorporate the entire journey. Last year, the fashion and luxury markets were forecast to decline by an astounding $450 - $600 billion. A market previously thought too-big-to fail is taking a huge financial hit. The long-term effects of Covid-19 on retail as whole are unclear. But packaging has become too integral to the sales journey to ignore. Packaging, therefore, can work as a core marketing tool, beyond the basics of the primary recipients’ experience. In this article, I’ll highlight how best to consider and exploit the entire packaging journey, ensuring that packaging realises its complete potential. Materials Manufacturing that avoids the use of sustainable materials is becoming impossible to justify, from both an economic and environmental perspective. In fact, they are, practically speaking, one and the same. We know that a significant majority of consumers expect businesses to adopt a sustainable ethos – and are willing to pay more for it. Therefore, the economic viability of sustainable packaging is fortified by consumer expectation. It is both a market and environmental inevitability. Beginning a packaging journey should start with the selection of sustainable, recyclable, reusable materials. This is a stage in the packaging voyage that is easily achieved, with manufacturers increasingly switching to eco-friendly methods. At Delta Global, sustainability is incorporated into every packaging product we produce. We’ve seen demands for sustainable services increase, but more can be done to mark this initial step as a marketing footprint rather than a footnote. There are some great recent examples of how to do this right, from Burberry’s elegant reinvention of the ordinary cardboard box which will go even further to remove all plastic from its packaging by 2025, through to Gucci’s opulent Victorian wallpaper design packaging that is fully recyclable. And so, step one - the initial consumer experience and expectation, is met through sustainable materials, and when done correctly, is easily exceeded. Design Once the correct materials are selected, brands should start think about design beyond creating an attractive, secure container. The goal here is to inspire the consumer to utilise the packaging in a way that positions them as a virtual brand ambassador. Consider the rise of the unboxing video. YouTube reported a 57% increase in product unboxing videos in one year, with these videos having in excess of a billion yearly views. Together with Instagram, where 58% of its estimated 1.074 billion users log-in to follow trends and styles, visually oriented content platforms provide an unmissable marketing opportunity. It is important to underline that this type of viral marketing need not rely on paid celebrities. In fact, I am advocating for a completely organic approach where possible. From a brand’s perspective, recipients of well-executed sustainable packaging must progress this initial positive experience by innovative and thoughtful design. That way, authentically persuasive content will occur naturally. And it's this type of spontaneous, highly engaged micro-influencing that rewards brands that have fully considered the packaging journey. To achieve this requires innovation. You might consider implementing technology and connected packaging, where apps and QR codes are integrated into the packing itself. A favourite example of this is Loot Crates brilliantly innovative unboxing experience which connects, via an app, to new products and exclusive items. While technological innovation provides a novelty that encourages unboxing videos, simpler approaches can equally inspire the consumer through personal touches like VIVE Wellness’ individually packaged and addressed turquoise vitamin tubes, or M.M Lafleur’s curated and detail-oriented ‘bento box’ styling solution. These packaging creations work because they provide memorable experiences, centred on discovery, individuality and, ultimately, shareability. Packaging after purchase The third and most under-utilised part of the packaging journey is post-unboxing usage. Brands should ask themselves who the packaging is seen by – and does the packaging have the function to be seen and used by others? At this point in the packaging journey, we are hoping to harvest as many positive impressions as possible. This can include, for example, delivery drivers, photographers and stylists. The concept is not abstract. Reflect on the reaction felt by a fashion photographer the first time they received, from an enthused stylist, a Gucci item in its new opulent emerald green packaging. Or the response of a delivery driver when seeing, in amongst the more mundane boxes, MatchesFashion’s reimagining of the a cardboard parcel. Is it likely that the impression made by those stand-out packaging designs will be talked about, purred over, recommended and revered? The answer is obviously a resounding yes. When this happens online, we call it influencer marketing. And we should not dismiss this type of marketing when it happens offline. Word of mouth matters. In an increasingly online consumer market where the first – and perhaps only – physical interaction between brand/consumer is through the packaging experience, it will matter more. To our imaginary trio of driver, photographer and stylist, let’s introduce the general consumer. How likely it is that any of those would throw such packaging away? They are so wonderfully designed that reusability and repurposing are inevitable. When a packaging compels secondary usage - deployed around homes and offices as containers, storage or decoration – you are creating an item that symbolises what marketers spending entire budgets pursuing: brand as central to an aspirational lifestyle. If the retail market is moving irrevocably online, the offline journey of packaging – from manufacturer, deliverer, consumer and user – can ease that transition and become a perpetual marketing tool. This way, brands and retailers can enjoy the journey and the destination.

Read More

Five Lean Manufacturing Principles to Empower Your Manufacturing Business

Article | December 16, 2021

Lean manufacturing is an operational approach used to create value. Businesses adopt lean manufacturing to improve productivity, reduce waste, increase customer value, and employee satisfaction. Many businesses are accelerating their adoption of lean principles and practices due to the emergence of the industry 4.0 transformation. As a result, companies such as Caterpillar, Intel, Textron, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere are all reaping the benefits of lean manufacturing. So, where did the idea of "lean manufacturing" first originate? In this article, you'll learn about the origins of lean manufacturing and its key principles. The Origins of Lean Manufacturing The principles of lean manufacturing were developed in Japan in the mid-20th century. Toyota, a famous Japanese automaker, experienced major delivery issues at the time. Its production chains were excessively long; thus it couldn't supply enough products on time. As a result, Toyota needed a new Performance measurement system. The company's managers identified a solution. They created a new project management method called the Toyota production system. Its basic idea was to improve product distribution by reducing waste. It was a good concept. It helped the company shorten manufacturing chains and deliver products faster. Toyota's production method created a simple and effective waste definition. Any step that did not improve the end product's functionality was called a waste. Later, other manufacturing industries adopted the system. It was renamed as lean manufacturing. It's now a global phenomenon and is used by large and small businesses worldwide. When should you implement the Lean Manufacturing Method in your business? Lean is a waste-reduction methodology, approach, and a lifestyle. While it is commonly used in manufacturing, lean techniques are applied to reduce waste while keeping high quality in any business. Waste reduction of 80% plus Reduced production expenses by 50% Decreased inventories by 80-90% Producing quality items is 90% less expensive. Workforce productivity improved by 50% If you want your business to get the above benefits, you need to adopt lean manufacturing principles. Five lean Manufacturing Principles Lean manufacturing benefits businesses in multiple ways, and this lean lifestyle has the potential to empower any organization and increase its market competitiveness. So, let us observe the five fundamental principles of lean manufacturing. Value For the first principle of defining customer value, it is vital to understand what value is. For customers, value comes from what they're willing to pay for. The customer's actual or hidden demands must be discovered. Customers are not aware of what they want or cannot express it. When it comes to new items or technologies, this is a regular occurrence. Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist.” – Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO at TR Cutler, Inc. For example, you can use various methods to find out what customers value, such as surveys and demographic information. With these qualitative and quantitative methodologies, you may learn more about your clients' needs, their expectations, and their budgets. Value-Stream Identifying and mapping the value stream is the second lean principle. By starting with the consumer’s perceived value, all activities that contribute to that value may be identified. Waste is anything that does not benefit the client in any way. It can be divided into two categories: non-value-added and unnecessary waste. The unnecessary waste should be removed, while the non-value-added should be minimized. You can ensure that clients get exactly what they want while minimizing the cost of creating that product or service by removing unnecessary processes or steps. Flow The next operations must proceed smoothly and without interruption or delays after removing wastes from the value stream. Value-adding activities can be improved by breaking down tasks, reorganizing the manufacturing process, distributing the workload, and educating personnel to be flexible and multi-skilled. Pull The fourth lean principle requires a pull-based manufacturing system. Traditional production systems use a push system, which starts with purchasing supplies and continues manufacturing even when no orders are placed. While push systems are simple to set up, they can result in vast inventories of work-in-progress (WIP). On the other hand, a pull method pulls a customer's order from delivery, causing new items to be made and additional materials to be acquired. Kanban, one of the lean manufacturing tools, can help organizations develop a pull system to control material flow in a production system. An efficient pull system maximizes available space, reduces inventory, eliminates over-and under-production, and eliminates errors caused by too much WIP. Perfection While completing Steps 1-4 is a great start, the fifth and possibly most critical step is incorporating lean thinking and process improvement into your organizational culture. As benefits accumulate, it is vital to remember that lean is not a static system that requires continuous effort and awareness to perfect. Each employee should get included in the lean implementation process. Lean experts sometimes state that a process is not truly lean until it has undergone at least a half-dozen value-stream mapping cycles. How Nike Demonstrated the Benefits of Lean Principles Nike, the world-famous shoe and clothing powerhouse, has embraced lean manufacturing principles and practices. Nike experienced less waste and increased consumer value, as did other businesses. It also shared some unexpected benefits. It is proven that lean manufacturing can minimize terrible labor practices at a company's overseas manufacturing unit by up to 15%. This result was mostly due to implementing the lean manufacturing practice of valuing the workers more than earlier routine labor practices. It provided greater significance to an employee and, as a result, greater significance to the organization as a whole. Final Words Implementing lean manufacturing principles is a good way to run any organization. Businesses that build their operations on the two pillars of lean manufacturing, constant improvement, and personnel respect, are well on their way to becoming a successful and productive organizations in the modern era. To become a lean company, an organization must fully grasp the benefits and added value that it may get by adopting lean manufacturing principles. FAQ What is Five S's of lean manufacturing? The 5S of lean manufacturing are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, and they give a framework for organizing, cleaning, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment. What are the two pillars of lean manufacturing? Lean, as modeled on the Toyota Way values, has two pillars, first is ‘Continuous Improvement’ and second is ‘Respect for People’. Why are lean principles beneficial for any business? Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that has proven to be highly successful since it can help you decrease costs, remove waste, enhance production, maintain excellent quality, and thus increase business profit significantly.

Read More

Spotlight

Applied Materials

Applied Materials is the global leader in materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar PV industries. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world.

Events