Manufacturing is Cool Again: Why Digital Technology is Essential for Winning the Talent War

CLAIRE LAMARRE| June 27, 2019
MANUFACTURING IS COOL AGAIN: WHY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IS ESSENTIAL FOR WINNING THE TALENT WAR
As a Chemical Engineering major at Yale, I spend a fair amount of time around STEM students. We take the same classes, study in the same libraries, and attend the same office hours. We hang out in the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design and do STEM-y things. We use 3D printers to print miscellaneous and quite frankly, often useless objects. We build various apparatuses with our own hands. We build clever apps to simplify our lives and code games.

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Express Manufacturing, Inc.

Express Manufacturing, Inc., (EMI) headquartered in Santa Ana, California is an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) company providing comprehensive product manufacturing services to global electronics and technology companies.

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Which Additive Manufacturing Process Is Right for You?

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. Material Jetting 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 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. Material Extrusion 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 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. Final Words 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. FAQs 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 Step2 -Pre-processing Step3 -Printing Step4 - Post-processing { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. 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Top 5 Manufacturing Applications of Machine Vision

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. Predictive Upkeep 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. Defect Elimination 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. Barcode Scanning 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. Final Words 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. FAQ 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. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the difference between computer vision and machine vision?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Where does machine vision come into play?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the fundamental components of a machine vision system?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A machine vision system's primary components are lighting, a lens, an image sensor, vision processing, and communications." } }] }

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Did You Read about the Manufacturing Challenges for 2022?

Article | December 8, 2021

The new manufacturing industry outlook for 2022 is what businesses desire. Due to COVID-19, the sector has seen several ups and downs in recent years. But the industry overcame the most difficult situation by adopting innovations as their working hands. But all this upgrading and digitalization in manufacturing isn't for everyone. Some manufacturers may struggle with this change, while others may not. So, taking into account all industry segments, we have compiled a list of potential manufacturing challenges for 2022. “Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is that technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft The summary of manufacturing industry challenges and industry outlook for 2022 are presented in the stats below. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), four million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed over the next decade, and 2.1 million will likely go unfulfilled unless we motivate more people to pursue modern manufacturing occupations. According to PTC, 70% of companies have or are working on a digital transformation plan. According to Adobe, 60% of marketers feel technology has increased competitiveness. The statistics show that while digitalization facilitates the process, it also poses several challenges that must be addressed in the coming years. Let's explore what obstacles manufacturers may face in 2022. The Manufacturing Industry Challenges in 2022 The manufacturing business has had a difficult few years as a result of the current economic downturn, and 2022 may not be even that smooth. Thought, technology, and current trends make the operations of upscale manufacturers easier, but not everyone is on the same page. Let's look at some of the manufacturing challenges that businesses will face in the next year. Skilled Labor Shortage The manufacturing industry is facing a workforce shortfall as a skilled generation prepares to retire. Industry experts say that by 2025, there will be between 2 and 3.5 million unfilled manufacturing jobs. As a result of the advancement of new technologies, manufacturing organisations are finding themselves with fewer personnel. They do, however, require individuals with a diverse range of abilities, such as mathematicians and analytic thinkers, to accomplish the tasks with precision. Specific manufacturing tasks have been automated to save time and money. Industry has adopted machine sensors to capture large amounts of data. With this kind of innovation, the industry's job structure is changing and the desire to hire an untrained or trainable workforce is slowly fading in the industry. However, using augmented reality and virtual reality, manufacturers can easily train personnel for the job and save money. Lack of Ability to Mine Data Manufacturing is progressively using IoT. The majority of businesses have already installed or are planning to install Internet of Things machines. These smart machines let businesses collect data to improve production and conduct predictive maintenance. But getting data is a simple task. The difficult aspect is analyzing and aggregating data. Despite possessing the machines, most companies lack the systems to analyze and retrieve the data recorded by the systems. In this way, the industries are missing a vital opportunity. The industry must improve data mining capabilities to make better decisions in real-time. Using IoT for analytics and predictive maintenance is critical. Monitoring technologies can help the sector examine data quickly. It can also help predict an asset's maintenance period. As a result, the industry will move from replacement to predict and fix. Self-service Web Portals That Is Extremely Detailed and Precise Manufacturing businesses usually strive for on-time order delivery and optimum revenue. However, consumer self-service, which has been in the industry for a long time, has never proven to be a simple walk for clients. Clients are frequently required to pick up the phone and contact manufacturers in order to track their orders and receive delivery estimates. This is hardly the service one would expect from a manufacturer, even more so in today's digital era. The term customers in manufacturing include partners, end-users, and subcontractors. These three clients have distinct requirements and concerns about collaborating with the manufacturer. Companies can better serve their customers if their partner and end-customer portals are linked to a central hub which we can mention as self-service web portals. All of the information and updates they need about their orders will be available to them through this new system. They can track, accept and amend their tasks. They'll also use the self–service portal to contact the manufacturer. In this way, manufacturers can better serve their customers. A system like this will ensure that all parties have access to timely information in a digital format. Meeting the Deadline for the Project Product launch timelines are extremely demanding, tight, and stringent. Every project in the assembly line is about cost, time, and quality. Ultimately, these projects are rigorous and well-controlled. Manufacturers who fail to meet deadlines risk losing millions in potential revenues and sales. Due to rigidity and stringent control, companies are less able to change project scopes or make adjustments as projects develop. The majority of initiatives begin with a design commitment. As new facts or change criteria emerge, adjustment flexibility decreases. This can be aggravating for a team that expects high-quality results. Deadlines are always a constraint. Effective Business Digital Marketing Strategy An industry's key digital transformation challenges are driving leads, sales, and MRR through digital channels. Many manufacturing organizations struggle to efficiently use marketing channels like paid media, enterprise SEO, local SEO, content strategy, and social media. In our opinion, one of the most significant issues these organizations have is their digital experience, website design, and overall brand presentation. They can't ignore them if they want to keep enjoying the manufacturing revival. Visibility of the Supply Chain Manufacturers must respond to the growing demand from customers for greater transparency. In order to meet customer demand across the customer experience and product lifecycle, they must first understand that precise and real-time visibility throughout the supply chain is essential. All details must be taken into consideration by the manufacturers. They must be aware of any delays in the arrival of products on the market. Keeping abreast of such developments would give them a leg up in terms of adjusting or rectifying the situation. Final Words Manufacturing industry challenges have long been a part of the industry. However, industry leaders and professionals have always confronted and overcome any challenges that have come their way. The year 2022 will also be a year of achievements, setting new records, and growth for the manufacturing industry, since it will be a year in which it will develop solutions to all of the aforementioned challenges. FAQ What is the future of manufacturing? Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing. How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022? When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs. How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future? According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025." } }] }

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Microfinancing in Uganda Works with Lean Manufacturing Precision

Article | November 23, 2021

Having recently returned from Uganda, had the pleasure of being introduced by Bernard Munyanziza of Nziza Hospitality to Gilbert Atuhire. He is the Managing Director at Value Addition Microfinance Ltd. which provides micro loans to producers and manufacturers. Atuhire is an attorney by training, however his ability to articulate the core values of Lean Six Sigma and continuous process improvement were abundantly clear. The Kampala, Uganda offices are located on Parliamentary Avenue and Dewinton Rise. This central location allows direct access to industrial projects.

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Spotlight

Express Manufacturing, Inc.

Express Manufacturing, Inc., (EMI) headquartered in Santa Ana, California is an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) company providing comprehensive product manufacturing services to global electronics and technology companies.

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