Rotational 3D printing: A new technology for stronger parts

LUCIE GAGET| September 21, 2018
ROTATIONAL 3D PRINTING: A NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR STRONGER PARTS
New 3D printing techniques are unveiled quite regularly. Indeed, this cutting-edge technology fascinates researchers around the world, and new discoveries are made leading to innovative applications in various sectors such as medical or architecture. Today, we are going to tell you about a new 3D printing technique developed by researchers from Harvard University: the rotational 3D printing method.

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Scaling, Optimizing & Pivoting with Smart Manufacturing Industry 4.0

Article | January 20, 2022

A smart factory that leverages Industry 4.0 concepts to elevate its operations has long been a model for other industries that are still figuring out how to travel the digital manufacturing route. Smart manufacturing technology is all you need to know if you're looking to cash in on this trend. “Industry 4.0 is not really a revolution. It’s more of an evolution.” – Christian Kubis In this article, we'll look at the advantages that many smart factory pioneers are getting from their smart factories. In addition, we will look at the top smart factory examples and understand how they applied the Industry 4.0 idea and excelled in their smart manufacturing adoption. Industry 4.0 Technology Benefits Manufacturing Industry 4.0 has several benefits that can alter the operations of manufacturers. Beyond optimization and automation, smart manufacturing Industry 4.0 aims to uncover new business prospects and models by increasing the efficiency, speed, and customer focus of manufacturing and associated industries. Key benefits of Manufacturing Industry 4.0 in production include: Improved productivity and efficiency Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing Better agility and adaptability Facilitates compliance Improved customer experience Reduced costs and increased profitability Creates opportunities for innovation Increased revenues World Smart Factory Case Studies and Lessons to Be Learned Schneider Electric, France SAS Schneider Electric's le Vaudreuil plant is a prime example of a smart factory Industry 4.0, having been regarded as one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world, utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a large scale. The factory has included cutting-edge digital technology, such as the EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to accelerate operation and maintenance, resulting in a 2–7% increase in productivity. EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor's initial deployment saves up to 30% on energy and contributes to long-term improvement. Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes, Ireland DePuy Synthes' medical device manufacturing plant, which started in 1997, just underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to better integrate digitalization and Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing. Johnson & Johnson made a big investment in the Internet of Things. By linking equipment, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (referred to as “digital twins”). These digital twins resulted in sophisticated machine insights. As a result of these insights, the company was able to reduce operating expenditures while simultaneously reducing machine downtime. Bosch, China Bosch's Wuxi factory's digital transformation uses IIoT and big data. The company integrates its systems to keep track of the whole production process at its facilities. Embedding sensors in production machinery collects data on machine status and cycle time. When data is collected, complicated data analytics tools analyze it in real-time and alert workers to production bottlenecks. This strategy helps forecast equipment failures and allows the organization to arrange maintenance ahead of time. As a consequence, the manufacturer's equipment may run for longer. The Tesla Gigafactory, Germany According to Tesla, the Berlin Gigafactory is the world's most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant. On a 300-hectare facility in Grünheide, it produces batteries, powertrains, and cars, starting with the Model Y and Model 3. For Tesla, the goal is not merely to make a smart car, but also to construct a smart factory. The plant's photographs reveal an Industry 4.0 smart factory with solar panels on the roof, resulting in a more sustainable production method. On its official website, Tesla claimed to use cutting-edge casting methods and a highly efficient body shop to improve car safety. Tesla's relentless pursuit of manufacturing efficiency has allowed them to revolutionize the car industry. Haier, China The SmartFactoryKL was established to pave the way for the future's "intelligent factory." It is the world's first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production facility, demonstrating the value of high-quality, flexible manufacturing and the effectiveness with which it can be deployed. The last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been guided by particular strategic objectives that drive innovation; the aim is to see artificial intelligence integrated into production. Two instances of AI-driven transformations include an "order-to-make' mass customization platform and a remote AI-enabled, intelligent service cloud platform that anticipates maintenance needs before they occur. Final Words Enabling smart manufacturing means using the latest technology to improve processes and products. The aforementioned smart factory examples are industry leaders and are thriving by implementing Industry 4.0 technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use these smart factory examples to learn about the adoption process, challenges, and solutions. Industry 4.0 is aimed at improving enterprises and minimizing human effort in general. So adopt the smart factory concept and be productive. FAQ What is the difference between a smart factory and a digital factory? The digital factory enables the planning of factories using virtual reality and models, whereas the smart factory enables the operation and optimization of factories in real time. Where does Industry 4.0 come from? The term "Industry 4.0" was coined in Germany to represent data-driven, AI-powered, networked "smart factories" as the fourth industrial revolution's forerunner.

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It's Time to Redesign Your Business with Manufacturing Analytics

Article | December 21, 2021

Consumer demand has shifted dramatically in recent years, and manufacturers are trying to adapt to this shift. To maintain high product quality, minimize costs, and optimize supply chains, manufacturing analyticshas become essential for manufacturers. Manufacturing analyticsis the process of gathering and analyzing data from various systems, equipment, and IoT devices in real-time to get essential insights. 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 Manufacturing analyticscan assist in maintaining production quality, boost performance with high-profit returns, decrease costs, and optimize supply networks. This article will outline manufacturing analyticsand present a list of possible application cases. It will also highlight the benefits of manufacturing analyticsfor any shop floor or factory. Manufacturing analytics: An Overview With manufacturing analytics, we can streamline and speed up the entire process. Data interchange and automation helps in speeding up the production process. Manufacturing analyticsuses predictive manufacturing, big data, Industrial IoT, network virtualization, and machine learningto produce better scalable production solutions. Manufacturing analyticscollects and analyses data from many sources via sensors embedded in machinery to identify areas for improvement. Data is collected and presented in an easy-to-understand structure to illustrate where difficulties emerge throughout the process. In short, manufacturing analyticscollects and analyses large volumes of data to reveal insights that might improve performance. Users can also obtain automated business reports to reply in real-time. Why Manufacturing analytics is Vital for Leading Businesses There are numerous benefits of manufacturing analyticsthat drive any company’s production and overall manufacturing business growth. The benefits of manufacturing analyticsfall into three distinct categories as below. It reduces the overall cost: Analytics may save a significant amount of money if used more efficiently. Labor costs are also reduced due to automation and semi-autonomous machinery. Similarly, preventive and prescriptive maintenance programs may save money while enhancing productivity. It boosts profits for businesses: Manufacturers can respond swiftly to changes in demand using real-time insights in production, inventory management, and demand and supply forecasting. For example, assume the data indicates that they are approaching their maximum capacity. In such instances, they can increase over time, increase capacity, modify procedures, or tweak other production areas to adapt and maintain delivery times. Other unforeseen benefits: There are several advantages to the increased capabilities enabled by manufacturing analytics. These benefits include lower energy use, safer environmental practices, fewer compliance failures, and more customer satisfaction. Five Real-world Applications of Manufacturing Analytics Predictive Maintenance A machine's analytics uses aggregate data from real-time detectors to anticipate when it needs to be replaced or functioning irregularly. This process helps predict machine failure or equipment defects. Analytics can assist in determining a plant's capacity and how many products are produced by the unit in every production cycle, which is helpful in capacity planning. In addition, analytics may help determine the ideal number of units to create over time by considering capacity, sales predictions, and parallel schedules. Predictive analytics solutions can automate maintenance requests and readings that shortens the procedure and reduce maintenance expenses. Product Development Product development is an expensive process in manufacturing. As a result, businesses must invest in R&D to develop new product lines, improve existing models, and generate new value-added services. Earlier, this approach was in place by repeated modeling to get the finest outcome. This approach can now be modeled to a large extent, with the help of data science and technologically superior analytics. Real-world circumstances can be replicated electronically using "digital twins" and other modeling approaches to anticipate performance and decrease R&D expenses. Demand Forecasting Many factors that might help in the plan significant capital expenditures or brief breakdowns can be explained using historical data and a few high-impact variable strategies. For example, consider the seasonality of products like ice cream. As a result, historical market data and a few high-impact factors can help explain numerous variables and plan major capital expenditures or short-term shutdowns. In addition to demand forecasting, predictive analytics incorporates advanced statistical techniques. With predictive analytics, a wide range of parameters, including customer buying behavior, raw material availability, and trade war implications, may be taken into consideration. Warranty Analysis Warranty support may be a load for many manufacturers. Warranties are frequently based on a "one-size-fits-all" approach that is broader. This approach introduces uncertainty and unanticipated complications into the equation. Products may be modified or updated to decrease failure and hence expense by using data science and obtaining information from active warranties in the field. It can also lead to better-informed iterations for new product lines to minimize field complaints. Managing Supply Chain Risks Data may be recorded from commodities in transit and sent straight from vendor equipment to the software platform, helping to enable end-to-end visibility in the supply chain. Manufacturing analyticsallows organizations to manage their supply chains like a "control tower," directing resources to speed up or slow down. They may also order backup supplies and activate secondary suppliers when demand changes. Final Words Businesses should adapt to changing times. Using analytics in manufacturinghas altered the business industry and spared it from possible hazards while boosting production lines. Industry 4.0's route has been carved. Manufacturing analyticsis the key to true Industry 4.0, and without it, the data produced by clever IoT devices is meaningless. The future is data-driven, and success will go to those who are ready to adopt it. The faster adoption, the sooner firms go ahead of the competition. FAQ How can data analytics help manufacturers? Data analytics tools can help manufacturers analyze machine conditions and efficiency in real-time. It enables manufacturers to do predictive maintenance, something they were previously unable to accomplish. Why is data so crucial in manufacturing? Data helps enhance manufacturing quality control. Manufacturers can better understand their company's performance and make changes by collecting data. Data-driven manufacturing helps management to track production and labor time, improve maintenance and quality, and reduce business and safety concerns. What is Predictive Manufacturing? Predictive manufacturing uses descriptive analytics and data visualization to offer a real-time perspective of asset health and dependability performance. In addition, it helps factories spot quality issues and takes remedial action quicker by eliminating the waste and the cost associated with it.

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What are the Risks that Manufacturing Face in the Current Times?

Article | December 30, 2021

Risk management in manufacturing has always been a top priority for manufacturers to avoid any unfortunate incidents. As a result, it is possible to create a more secure work environment for employees by conducting risk assessments and implementing remedies. “If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business.” – Gary Cohn, an American Business Leader. As of 2019, the worldwide risk management market was valued at $7.39 billion, and it is expected to rise at a CAGR of 18.7% from 2020 to 2027, according to allied market research. Why is Risk Assessment Critical in Manufacturing? The manufacturing industry must have a credible risk assessment and management plan to defend itself from any breaches. Risk assessment helps firms understand the dangers they face and their implications if their systems are compromised. Hence, risk assessment is very critical in the manufacturing industry. Five Risk Assessment Principles Identify hazards/risks - Employers must examine their workers' health and safety risks. Therefore, an organization must regularly inspect its employee’s physical, mental, chemical, and biological threats. Identify who may be hurt and in what way – Identifying the personnel both full-time and part-time at-risk. Employers must also examine threats to agency and contract personnel, visitors, clients, and other visitors. Assess the risks and act accordingly - Employers must assess the likelihood of each danger causing injury. This will evaluate and lower the chance at the working space. Even with all safeguards, there is always some danger. Therefore, employers must assess if danger is still high, medium, or low risk. Get the Risks Documented - Employers with five or more employees must record the critical findings of the risk assessment in writing. In addition, register any risks identified in the risk assessment and actions to minimize or eliminate risk. This document confirms the evaluation and is used to examine working practices afterward. The risk assessment is a draft. It should be readable. It shouldn't be hidden away. The risk assessment must account for changes in working techniques, new machinery, or higher work objectives. 5 Manufacturing Risks to Consider in 2022 Accidents at Work Even if official safety policies and programs are designed, followed, and enhanced, manufacturers may endure workplace accidents and injuries. Risk assessment for workplace accidents assists in mitigating the negative impact on both employees and the organization. Environmental Mishaps Manufacturers have distinct issues regarding fuel handling and hazardous waste disposal in facilities. Sudden leaks or spills may be extremely costly to clean up and result in fines from state and federal agencies. Risk assessments for such plant accidents assist businesses in mitigating financial losses. Equipment Breakdowns Essential machinery throughout the production process might fail at any time, incurring significant repair or replacement costs. Therefore, it's critical to recognize that business property insurance may not cover mechanical issues. Risk assessment and prepayment solutions protect against equipment failures without interfering with typical company operations. Supply Chain Disruption Dependence on your supply chain may result in unintended consequences that are beyond your control. For example, if you experience downtime on the manufacturing line due to a supplier's failure to supply materials or parts, you risk losing revenue and profitability. If a disturbance to your supply chain poses a hazard, risk management can assist you in managing it more effectively by quickly identifying the risk and providing a suitable response. Operation Temporarily Suspended Depending on the severity of the weather event, a factory might be severely damaged or perhaps utterly wrecked. While major repairs or rebuilding are being undertaken, recouping lost income might be vital to the business's future profitability. Risk assessment in this area enables your organization to budget for overhead expenditures such as rent, payroll, and tax responsibilities during the period of suspension of operations. Final Words Risk management is critical in manufacturing because it enables manufacturers to comprehend and anticipate scenarios and create a well-planned response that avoids unnecessary overhead costs or delays in delivering the production cycle's final result. Manufacturing risks are undoubtedly not limited to the risks listed above and may vary according to the nature of the business and regional environmental conditions. Therefore, create a well-defined strategy to overcome threats in your business and be productive at all times. FAQ How are manufacturing business risks classified? In most cases, the business risk may be categorized into four types: strategic risk, regulatory compliance risks, operational compliance risks, and reputational risks. Why should a manufacturer conduct a risk assessment? Every manufacturing employment has risks for injury or illness. But risk evaluations can significantly minimize workplace injuries and illnesses. In addition, they assist companies in discovering strategies to reduce health and safety risks and enhance knowledge about dangers.

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The 2022 Manufacturing KPI Checklist Should Include These Five Indicators

Article | December 23, 2021

Every manufacturing company aims to be as efficient as possible to maximize profit. However, it's difficult to determine where you stand and what targets to establish unless you can precisely measure your efficiency. Manufacturing KPIsplay an important role in this process. Keeping track of many indicators without considering their commercial worth is a waste of time. “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted” - Albert Einstein But connecting goals to measurements is a certain way to track progress and improve processes. So let's get started with how to choose the most appropriate key performance indicators(KPIs) for your business. Manufacturing KPI 2022: How to Choose the Right One? Why are KPIs called “Key” Performance Indicators? While any statistic can be used to assess performance, KPIs are the most critical. Hence they are called key performance indicators. Companies' priorities while selecting their company KPIs may differ substantially depending on the industry in which they operate. “Strategic-operational KPIs alignment gives the organization a powerful tool to use when implementing change.” ― Pearl Zhu A corporation should not track more than ten manufacturing KPIs to avoid overblowing processes. So, manufacturing efficiency, customer satisfaction, lead times, etc., should all be included. Depending on your business nature, you must select your KPIs. However, each of those indicators must meet a set of criteria before being considered meaningful. So, what is a decent KPI for manufacturing? It gives objective and clear data on progress toward a certain goal It measures efficiency, quality, punctuality, and performance It allows for tracking performance over time It helps in decision making It should be the one that matches the company's long-term objectives It has to be measurable and quantifiable It must be realistic and actionable Following that, let's have a look at the most important manufacturing KPIs for 2022, which will assist you in better understanding your manufacturing business and formulating a growth strategy in line with that understanding. Most Critical Manufacturing KPIs in Order of Priority Despite the fact that manufacturers should also monitor general key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales revenue, net profit margin, and so on, the manufacturing business demands the tracking of specific manufacturing metrics. Below are some of the most important manufacturing key performance indicators (KPIs). Work-in-process Using this manufacturing KPI metric, you can see how much value there is in products still in progress. It assists manufacturing organizations in determining how much of their working capital is locked up in incomplete products and can aid in identifying supply chain managementdifficulties. You can compute the Work-In-Progress (WIP) by using the formula provided below. Return on Assets This manufacturing KPIseems to be more about financing than manufacturing. Yes, it does. However, financial measurements are just as vital as production ones. A firm cannot exist unless it generates revenue, and this indicator measures how efficiently your company uses its assets and generates revenues. The Return on Assets (ROA) of your company can be calculated using the formula below. Cost Per Unit It is critical to understand the overall manufacturing cost per unit. You can't appropriately price a product without it. This manufacturing KPIdivides total manufacturing costs by the number of units produced. Materials, overhead, depreciation, and labor are standard costs. Demand Forecasting Companies utilize this manufacturing statisticto forecast future raw material needs to satisfy client demand. Unfortunately, this statistic is more challenging to employ because it is mainly dependent on unpredictable external circumstances. The basic formula is: Where: The seasonal factors are distinct Average demand is calculated as: Lead Time A company's lead time, also known as order cycle time, is an important KPI. It shows how swiftly your organization processes orders and meets client requests. It is time it takes to complete an order from confirmation to delivery. Long lead times can imply process inefficiencies that produce bottlenecks and excessive expenses. Conversely, short lead times are important since they allow you to respond to consumer needs swiftly and efficiently. The total lead time can be divided into smaller segments as follows: The time it takes to manufacture a product from start to finish The time it takes to deliver a product from stockto a client The time it takes suppliers to deliver products to manufacturers By segmenting the lead time, you may more precisely identify the areas where inefficiencies in the process occur. Toyota’s Four Key Performance Metrics As a company, Toyota places a high focus on environmental protection. Toyota's vehicles are designed to use less fuel and produce less waste. Regardless of the company's size, Toyota is committed to protecting the environment. Toyota's 'Earth Charter' was created in 1992 as part of the company's Global Policy initiative. It was Toyota's first overseas facility and the UK's first ISO14001-certified car manufacturer. Waterborne paints were utilized for the first time and zero waste was sent to landfills. In 2009, Toyota Manufacturing UK did not use any incinerators. Toyota has developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of its major production areas. There are four key performance metrics: energy, water, waste, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since its start in 1992, Toyota Manufacturing UK has attempted to mitigate its environmental impact. The figure below illustrates the environmental KPIsfor the Burnaston plant. Each year, Toyota sets new goals to improve its results. 79% reduction in vehicle energy consumption 62% reduction in waste per car 76% reduction in VOC emissions per car 79% reduction in water consumption per vehicle Final Words You can use the aforementioned manufacturing KPIsto construct your manufacturing KPI template, but keep in mind that the manufacturing metricsyou need to track may differ from those listed here. The first prudent move any business can make while examining its operation is to identify and track the relevant KPIs. Also, in manufacturing, there are several different KPIs, phrases, and abbreviations need to be understood and used where it makes the most sense. FAQ What is manufacturing KPI? A manufacturing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or metric is a well-defined and measurable indicator that the manufacturing sector uses to evaluate its performance over time and compare it to that of other industries. What are the key KPIs for manufacturers? On-Time Delivery, Production Schedule Attainment, Total Cycle Time, Throughput, Capacity Utilization, and Changeover Time are some of the key manufacturing KPIs.

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For over 25 years SoundOff Signal has offered innovative vehicle safety lighting products and more recently introduced Sirens, Speakers and Switches. Our industry expertise ensures that you are purchasing quality safety lighting from one of the industry leaders in police, school bus and commercial vehicle safety systems.

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