Researchers use multimaterial 3D printing to create first fast-response, stiffness-tunable soft actuator

| January 25, 2019
RESEARCHERS USE MULTIMATERIAL 3D PRINTING TO CREATE FIRST FAST-RESPONSE, STIFFNESS-TUNABLE SOFT ACTUATOR
The standard robot (overlord) is usually equipped with rigid actuators, also known as grippers; they may have a soft coating to limit scratching the surface of whatever object the robot is interacting with, but ultimately the actuators have to be relatively stiff in order to bear the weight of lifted objects. For applications that involve lighter, delicate objects, the stiff actuator would have to be swapped out with a softer, more flexible actuator.

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Mitutoyo America Corporation

The world’s largest metrology company was founded in 1934 by Yehan Numata with one product – the micrometer. Mitutoyo’s philosophy at that time was to make the best mechanical micrometer in the world. But also to produce them in quantities that made them affordable and available to all of manufacturing so they could improve the quality of the products they manufactured. This philosophy was expanded in the next several decades to include a wider product offering focused on mechanical, dimensional gaging products. Mitutoyo focused its R&D and production efforts on creating the most advanced micrometers, calipers, indicators and other measurement tools in the world.

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How Smart Manufacturing Is Powered by Digital Twin Technology?

Article | December 8, 2021

A digital twin is a virtual model of an object or system that comprises its lifecycle. It is updated with real-time data and aids decision-making through simulation, machine learning, and reasoning for the production system. IoT sensor data from the original object is used to create a digital twin of the system. This cloud-connected data allows engineers to monitor systems and model system dynamics in real-time. Modifications can be tested on the digital twin before making changes to the original system. Considering that digital twins are supposed to replicate a product's complete lifecycle and are used throughout the production process, it's not unexpected that digital twins have become prevalent in all stages of manufacturing. “More than a blueprint or schematic, a digital twin combines a real-time simulation of system dynamics with a set of executive controls,” – Dr. Daniel Araya, consultant and advisor with a special interest in artificial intelligence, technology policy, and governance Companies will increasingly embrace digital twins to boost productivity and decrease expenses. As per recent research by Research and Markets, nearly 36% of executives across industries recognize the benefits of digital twinning, with half planning to implement it by 2028.So how does this digital twin technology benefit modern manufacturing? Let's have a look. How the Digital Twin Drives Smart Manufacturing Digital twins in manufacturing are used to replicate production systems. Manufacturers can develop virtual representations of real-world products, equipment, processes, or systems using data from sensors connected to machines, tools, and other devices. In manufacturing, such simulations assist in monitoring and adapting equipment performance in real-time. With machine learning techniques, digital twins can predict future events and anticipate potential difficulties. For maintenance, digital twins allow for quick detection of any problems. They collect real-time system data, prior failure data, and relevant maintenance data. The technique employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict maintenance requirements. Using this data, companies can avoid production downtime. Digital Twin and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in manufacturing Using digital twins and AI in production can enhance uptime by predicting potential failures and keeping equipment working smoothly. In addition, there are significant cost savings in the planning and design process as digital twins and AI can be used to replicate a specific scenario. Maintenance is another area that has seen significant progress with the use of digital twin manufacturing. A Digital Twin powered by AI can predict when a piece of equipment will fail, allowing you to arrange predictive maintenance that is not simply taking information from OEM manuals but can significantly cut maintenance expenses along with reducing downtime. Using the digital twin, it is feasible to train virtual workers in high-risk functions, similar to how pilots are trained using flight simulators. It also frees up highly skilled workers to upgrade the plant and streamline operations. General Electric Created the Most Advanced Digital Twin General Electric Company (GE) is a multinational business based in Boston that was founded in 1892. It has developed the world's most advanced digital twin, which blends analytic models for power plant components that monitor asset health, wear, and performance with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) determined by the customer and the organization's objectives. The Digital Twin is powered by PredixTM, an industrial platform built to manage huge amounts of data and run analytic algorithms. General Electric Company provides extra "control knobs" or "dimensionality" that can be utilized to improve the operation of the system or asset modeled with GE Digital Twin. Final Words Given the numerous advantages of digital twin manufacturing, the potential for digital twins to be used in manufacturing is virtually endless in the near future. There will be a slew of new advancements in the field of digital twin manufacturing. As a result, digital twins are continually acquiring new skills and capabilities. The ultimate goal of all of these enhancements is to create the insights necessary to improve products and streamline processes in the future. FAQ What is a digital twin in manufacturing? The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production. How digital twin benefit manufacturers? Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs. What is a digital thread? A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital twin in manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How digital twin benefit manufacturers?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital thread?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution." } }] }

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Top Electronics Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2022

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 Final Words 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. FAQs 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. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the future electronics technologies?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "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." } }] }

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Top Five Industries That Are Leveraging Additive Manufacturing

Article | October 20, 2021

Additive manufacturing has advanced significantly in recent years and is currently used in nearly every area to improve both products and processes in the manufacturing business. As a result, manufacturers have been more imaginative and innovative in offering relevant products to their target customer group due to this technological advancement. Mr. Matt Mong, a prominent business executive, also mentioned in one of his Media7 interviews, 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 The use of additive technology provides several advantages, including creating unique shapes and low production costs. In addition, the increasing application of additive manufacturing technologies is accelerating the growth of the additive manufacturing market. According to recent research conducted by Metal AM, the value of additively produced components is expected to increase by 15% annually from $12 billion in 2020 to $51 billion in 2030. Thus, additive marketing is the way forward for all industries. This article will cover the top five industries that utilize additive manufacturing and are advancing their businesses every day by overcoming the prevailing challenges such as production errors, downtime, and skilled labor shortage with the benefits of additive manufacturing. Five Industries Utilizing Additive Manufacturing Though additive manufacturing or 3D printing has penetrated almost all the industries, we have picked up a few of the prevailing industries that have started using additive manufacturing and excelling in it. Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace Aerospace has always been the first sector to adopt new technology. Precision is critical in this sector, as a failure of any component is not an option in aerospace. In aircraft production, dimension, weight, and temperature tolerance are critical, and additive technology provides every solution around this. As a result, additive manufacturing has evolved into a critical technology that adds value throughout the supply chain for prominent aircraft firms like Airbus, GE, Boeing, and TTM. Additive Manufacturing in Healthcare Healthcare or medical is one of the industries that is maximizing the benefits of additive manufacturing. Technology enables the medical sector to be more innovative, accurate, and capable of offering the most excellent medical solutions available today. It enables medical practitioners to rehearse before procedures and medical researchers to study functioning human tissues for basic biological research. In addition, it is utilized to fabricate tissues and organoids, surgical instruments, patient-specific surgical models, and bespoke prostheses. Thus, additive technology has altered the face of medicine, elevating it to a more sophisticated and solution-oriented state. Additive Manufacturing in Architecture As with other industries, additive manufacturing reshapes the architectural and construction sectors by eliminating conventional industrial barriers such as production time and cost, material waste, and design constraints. By utilizing 3D printing, designers can now quickly construct and demonstrate how structural parts will function and appear when combined. It also assists designers in seeing how the plan will seem subsequent execution. Additive Manufacturing in Manufacturing Nowadays, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a significant part of the manufacturing process. For example, rather than fabricating a product from solid blocks, additive manufacturing may build a three-dimensional model utilizing fine powder, various metals, polymers, and composite materials as raw materials for constructing a 3D model with a three-dimensional printer. Additive Manufacturing in Education Additive manufacturing is reshaping the educational industry by introducing a new teaching trend and transforming the classroom experience for students. It is being used in various disciplines, including engineering, architecture, medicine, graphic design, geography, history, and even chemistry. They may produce prototypes, three-dimensional models, and historical objects, among other things. Thus, technology enables learners to get more practical information about their respective courses directly on the floor. How has General Electric (GE) been pioneering the use of Additive Manufacturing for 20 years? GE's primary competency is additive manufacturing (3D printing), and the company has made significant investments in the technology. It utilizes additive technology to manufacture a range of components for aviation and other sectors. This article will look at one of their manufacturing case studies and how additive technology enabled them to get the desired result from the end product. CASE STUDY: OPTISYS Optisys modified a vast, multi-part antenna assembly into a palm-sized, lighter, one-piece additive metal antenna. The antenna's aluminum material was chosen because of its surface conductivity, low weight, corrosion resistance, and stress and vibration resistance. Optisys was able to break even on machine acquisition within one year after acquiring its first Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) equipment by utilizing additive technologies. (Source: General Electric) Benefits and Outcomes Non-recurring expenditures were reduced by 75%. Weight loss of 95% The size was reduced by 80%. Part-to-part reduction of 100-to-1 Cycle duration shortened from 11 to 2 months 5 product lines were created for AM, a new market growth Final Words Additive manufacturing benefits a wide variety of businesses. Industries must recognize the advantages of additive manufacturing and begin using the technology in their manufacturing processes to cut production time and costs while increasing product accuracy. This game-changing expansion of the additive manufacturing market across several industries is upgrading both products and production processes. FAQs How do you define additive manufacturing? Additive manufacturing (AM), more generally referred to as 3D printing, is a ground-breaking manufacturing technique that enables the creation of lighter, more robust components and systems. As the name implies, additive manufacturing is adding material to an item to create it. Is additive manufacturing the same as 3D printing? Both terms are interchangeable. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing manufacture components by connecting or adding material from a CAD file. Which companies specialized in additive manufacturing? American Additive Manufacturing, Forecast 3D, Sciaky, Inc., 3 Axis Development, Inc., Jonco Industries, Inc., Polyhistor International, Inc., and Caelynx, LLC are renowned companies for additive manufacturing in the United States of America. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you define additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Additive manufacturing (AM), more generally referred to as 3D printing, is a ground-breaking manufacturing technique that enables the creation of lighter, more robust components and systems. As the name implies, additive manufacturing is adding material to an item to create it." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is additive manufacturing the same as 3D printing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Both terms are interchangeable. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing manufacture components by connecting or adding material from a CAD file." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which companies specialized in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "American Additive Manufacturing, Forecast 3D, Sciaky, Inc., 3 Axis Development, Inc., Jonco Industries, Inc., Polyhistor International, Inc., and Caelynx, LLC are renowned companies for additive manufacturing in the United States of America." } }] }

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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.

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Spotlight

Mitutoyo America Corporation

The world’s largest metrology company was founded in 1934 by Yehan Numata with one product – the micrometer. Mitutoyo’s philosophy at that time was to make the best mechanical micrometer in the world. But also to produce them in quantities that made them affordable and available to all of manufacturing so they could improve the quality of the products they manufactured. This philosophy was expanded in the next several decades to include a wider product offering focused on mechanical, dimensional gaging products. Mitutoyo focused its R&D and production efforts on creating the most advanced micrometers, calipers, indicators and other measurement tools in the world.

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