Prototek | August 05, 2022
Prototek Holdings LLC ("Prototek"), a leading North American digital manufacturing provider of CNC machining, sheet metal and industrial 3D printing announced today it has acquired Prototype Solutions Group (PSG). PSG is a leading provider of quick-turn prototyping in CNC, additive and cast manufacturing located in northern Wisconsin, about one hour east of Minneapolis, MN.
PSG becomes the third Prototek location in Wisconsin where it joins Midwest Prototyping, Prototek’s additive manufacturing division headquarters, and Prototek, Grafton, a sheet metal and machining operation, adding additional capabilities and capacity to Prototek’s Midwest operations.
Alan Anderson, co-founder and President of PSG, will become a strategic operational advisor to Prototek under CEO, Bill Gress, and will continue, along with his management team, to oversee day-to-day operations at the Menomonie location.
“Al and his team have built a great business in PSG, They have continued to grow and evolve the last 17 years into a truly impressive organization and their synergies with Prototek are undeniable. I’m confident that they will be instrumental in bolstering our continued effort to build a best-in-class, one-stop digital manufacturing solution.”
-Bill Gress, CEO of Prototek.
The addition of PSG is a continuation of the expansion of Prototek’s manufacturing capabilities and capacity. The acquisition adds additional CNC, additive manufacturing and several novel cast manufacturing methods to Prototek’s already broad rapid prototyping capabilities. Prototek will continue to operate in all current locations now encompassing 11 facilities across the US, with over 300 employees and more than 250,000 square feet of manufacturing workspace.
“I’m very excited to work with Bill and the Prototek team to grow this organization. I have enjoyed my years helping to build PSG, but the opportunity to leverage the resources and capabilities of a larger organization to realize a broader vision was the logical next step, What Prototek is trying to do by becoming a comprehensive leader in the digital manufacturing space is something I wanted my company to be part of, and I’m really excited for the career growth opportunities this affords my team here at PSG.”
-Alan Anderson, co-founder and President of PSG.
Prototek is a leading national rapid prototyping services provider of precision machined, sheet metal fabricated, and 3D printed parts for various end markets, including aerospace, defense, medical, robotics, electronics, consumer, and general industrial. Headquartered in New Hampshire, Prototek serves a diverse customer base with numerous in-house manufacturing capabilities with facilities in Colorado, New Hampshire, Northern California, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Prototek holds ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D:2016 certifications and is ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) Registered.
About Prototype Solutions Group:
Prototype Solutions Group, Inc. opened its doors for business in October 2005 in Menomonie, WI. It operates today in a 24,000 square foot facility with more than 40 manufacturing machines. The founders’ approach to business has enabled the company to grow and evolve its services and capabilities to add value to many industries. Combining the latest technologies with its vast industry knowledge and experience, Prototype Solutions Group is fully equipped to manufacture customer designs with speed, agility and quality. They focus on rapid prototyping, short-run production, and visual models using a variety of traditional, additive, and cast manufacturing methods
Procter & Gamble | June 10, 2022
On Wednesday, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) (P&G) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new multiyear collaboration that will leverage the Microsoft Cloud to help create the future of digital manufacturing at P&G.
The two companies will co-innovate to accelerate and expand P&G's digital manufacturing platform and leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to bring products to consumers faster, increase customer satisfaction and improve productivity to reduce costs.
Together with Microsoft, P&G intends to make manufacturing smarter by enabling scalable predictive quality, predictive maintenance, controlled release, touchless operations and manufacturing sustainability optimization — which has not been done at this scale in the manufacturing space to date, At P&G, data and technology are at the heart of our business strategy and are helping create superior consumer experiences. This first-of-its-kind co-innovation agreement will digitize and integrate data to increase quality, efficiency and sustainable use of resources to help deliver those superior experiences."
P&G CIO Vittorio Cretella.
With Microsoft Azure as the foundation, the new collaboration marks the first time that P&G can digitize and integrate data from more than 100 manufacturing sites around the world and enhance its AI, machine learning and edge computing services for real-time visibility. This will enable P&G employees to analyze production data and leverage artificial intelligence to immediately make decisions that drive improvement and exponential impact. Accessing this level of data, at scale, is rare within the consumer goods industry.
P&G selected Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider to build the future of digital manufacturing based on a four-year history of successfully working together on data and AI. The new collaborative effort will:
Allow for better utilization of data, AI capabilities and digital twins technology.
Optimize manufacturing environmental sustainability efforts.
Increase workforce efficiency and productivity.
We are excited to help P&G accelerate its digital manufacturing platform using Microsoft Azure, AI and IIoT to accommodate volatility in the consumer products industry with innovative, agile solutions that can easily scale based on market conditions, Our partnership will further P&G's growth and business transformation through digital technology that seamlessly connects people, assets, workflow and business processes that promote resiliency."
Judson Althoff, Microsoft's chief commercial officer.
Increasing sustainability and predicting equipment failure
To optimize manufacturing sustainability, P&G will use Microsoft's machine learning and data storage platforms to improve energy utilization across its paper machines in Family Care. With the efficiency and speed of cloud computing, P&G teams can analyze large volumes of holistic data sets and pinpoint energy efficiency and machine maintenance opportunities across the manufacturing process. The Azure platform will allow P&G to easily integrate event summary data — such as production runs, downtime, changeovers and more — along with historical data.
Co-innovation with a new Digital Enablement Office and incubator
To accelerate technology integration and support pilot programs, Microsoft and P&G have co-created a Digital Enablement Office (DEO) staffed by experts from both organizations. They will jointly deploy the Azure platform, and the DEO also intends to serve as an incubator to create high-priority business scenarios in the areas of product manufacturing and packaging processes that can be implemented across P&G.
About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.
HONOR | May 31, 2022
Global technology brand HONOR today revealed the proprietary technology behind the manufacturing of HONOR Magic4 Pro, the brand's latest flagship smartphone made exclusively in HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park. Demonstrating manufacturing excellence, the flagship smartphone exemplifies the brand's commitment to delivering cutting-edge innovation and is a testament to HONOR's capability to manufacture high-quality premium products at scale. The HONOR Magic4 Pro is set to arrive in select international markets starting this month.
"The opening of the HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park last year was a significant milestone of our success in integrating our R&D capabilities into our manufacturing processes. The consolidation allows us to better harness our expertise across both fields, In addition to bolstering our manufacturing capacities, the smart manufacturing facility houses world-class production, testing and quality control equipment that ensures our premium products live up to our customers' high expectations."
George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co, Ltd.
Seamless Integration between R&D and Manufacturing
Operational since September 2021, the HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park is the brand's first self-funded factory. Equipped with cutting-edge manufacturing and testing facilities to support every aspect of smartphone manufacturing, the Park is integral to assuring the quality of the brand's premium offerings. With 20 percent of the staff working in the Park being R&D personnel, HONOR weaves its R&D resources into the Park's core capabilities, maximizing the synergy between the two and enabling manufacturing technology to keep pace with innovation.
Custom Production Line for HONOR Magic4 Pro Innovations
Arriving to select international markets beginning this month, HONOR Magic4 Pro debuts with AI Privacy Call, a pain point killer feature that massively minimizes sound leakage during voice calls; Ultra-Fusion Computational Photography, a camera solution that enables users to take full advantage of the smartphone's multiple rear cameras; and the Quad-Curved LTPO Display, a stunning display that provides immersive viewing experiences. Each of these features poses a set of unique manufacturing challenges, the solutions to which are only made possible by HONOR's R&D and manufacturing synergy.
With each generation of smartphones, smartphone makers have been continuously shifting the receiver towards the top bezel in attempt to achieve an increased display area. However, the closer the receiver is placed near the edge, the more pronounced the sound leakage during voice calls, leading to privacy concerns.
To address this user pain point, HONOR identified and solved over 100 technological challenges and created AI Privacy Call. This innovative feature leverages the industry-first Intelligent Dual Sound-Emitting Unit, which includes a bone conduction component using piezoelectric ceramics that is mounted directly to the display. Due to the nature of glass, the assembly process requires extreme precision – even minor manufacturing deviations will permanently damage the panel. Working hand in hand, the R&D and manufacturing teams were able to overcome the challenge in three months' time. The concerted efforts resulted in the creation of the automated high-precision mounting equipment, which leverages computer vision and optimized algorithms to achieve an accuracy of 0.01mm and a yield of 99.99 percent, contributing to HONOR's ability to meet consumer demands for the HONOR Magic4 Pro.
The HONOR Magic4 Pro is also equipped with a powerful Triple Camera combination supporting Ultra-Fusion Computational Photography. The complexity of the solution in the new flagship smartphone necessitated double the camera calibration equipment compared to what was required for its predecessor. Benefitting from improved calibration and testing procedures, the Triple Camera system, combined with AI algorithms, delivers more detailed images with more authentic colors across the full supported focal range.
Advanced assembly processes are also adopted for the Quad-Curved LTPO Display on HONOR Magic4 Pro. Leveraging a cutting-edge setup of six-axis robotic arms, high-precision cameras and HONOR-developed computer vision algorithms, the mounting equipment operates with an accuracy range of ±0.075mm and outputs products with a low manufacturing tolerance of just 0.1mm, further demonstrating HONOR's superior manufacturing capabilities.
The Park is also equipped with industry-leading laboratories, including a reliability laboratory, regulatory laboratory and environmental protection laboratory, with which HONOR conducts over 200 reliability tests on the HONOR Magic4 Pro to ensure its premium quality. For instance, the HONOR Magic4 Pro is tested to have a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) value – which measures smartphone radiation emission that is 56 percent below the limit of the most stringent industry standard.
Three Pillars of Manufacturing Excellence
Automation, digitalization and intelligent technology serve as the cornerstones underpinning the Park's core manufacturing capabilities. The Park operates with 75 percent of its production line automated, minimizing the risk of human error. Additionally, more than 40 percent of the automated production equipment is developed in-house, which serves as further evidence of the tight integration between R&D and manufacturing capabilities at the Park.
All key equipment in the production facility supports digital control systems, allowing HONOR to better manage the entire production line and reap better efficiency as well as improve product quality.
Manufactured exclusively in the Park, the HONOR Magic4 Pro represents the best of HONOR's manufacturing capabilities, which international consumers will soon be able to experience firsthand when the flagship smartphone arrives in select markets starting this month.
HONOR is a leading global provider of smart devices. It is dedicated to becoming a global iconic technology brand and creating a new intelligent world for everyone through its powerful products and services. With an unwavering focus on R&D, it is committed to developing technology that empowers people around the globe to go beyond, giving them the freedom to achieve and do more. Offering a range of high-quality smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables to suit every budget, HONOR's portfolio of innovative, premium and reliable products enable people to become a better version of themselves.
HWAFUNE | June 28, 2022
When mentioning Taiwan's traditional manufacturing, what pops into your head may be the textile industry. As a global hub for textile manufacturing, Taiwan has undergone significant changes over the past 30 years. Two of the most important changes are the relocation of industries to China and the government's New Southbound Policy.
While Taiwanese textile manufacturers' decision to relocate is mainly driven by the need to reduce costs using cheap overseas labor, the rising labor costs in Southeast Asia have forced the manufacturers to constantly move their production to other regions, turning them into textile industry nomads.
Despite these two relocation trends, HWAFUNE Textile which specializes in manufacturing functional fabrics has insisted on keeping production in Taiwan to provide reliable, high-quality products for esteemed customers. Instead of blindly pursing low costs and low prices through contract manufacturing and ending up in the red ocean, HWAFUNE Textile has strengthened the foothold of the Taiwanese textile industry in the global luxury market.
One of the hot topics in the functional apparel market in recent years is the European Union's ban on fabrics containing PTFE. Currently, membranes made of PU, TPU, and PTFE account for the majority of functional apparels. With superior moisture permeability and breathability, PTFE has been adopted more widely than the other two materials.
However, when heated to high temperatures during the manufacturing process, PTFE will generate PFOA which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. In addition, greenhouse gas is produced when fabrics containing this material are incinerated. Even if the fabrics are buried in landfills, PFOA will not decompose and will be washed into the ocean by rain. It then gets into the atmosphere via evaporation and is transported to everywhere by airflow or rain. PFOA has even been found in polar bears' livers.
Considering the potential impact of the EU's ban on the clothing market and consumers' fear of toxic substances, upmarket brands have been looking for alternative functional fabrics. Therefore, HWAFUNE has joined hands with Phoenix Innovative Materials to develop the functional fabric brand Porlite, which has rapidly won the heart of high-end functional apparel brands.
"In Light of Future Trends, HWAFUNE Develops Porlite Fabrics with Phoenix Innovative Materialsto take interest in PP membranes five years ago. Although HWAFUNE has the ability to mass produce fabrics featuring PTFE, PU, and TPU membranes, he believes PP membranes will become a trend in the functional apparel industry since the lifecycle of the material, from the production of the membrane and the manufacturing of the fabrics to the disposal of the clothing, is more in line with increased environmental awareness, I can guarantee that Porlite is capable of replacing existing functional fabrics and can fully address high-end brands' product development requirements"
Turning the ambitious vision into reality is not easy. In the past three years, these two companies worked closely on the manufacturing, testing, and modification of the membrane. Besides functionality, HWAFUNE also considered the needs of consumers during testing, such as waterproof, moisture permeability, and even the appearances of the fabrics after washing.
The reason that Chairman Chang is so committed is because he has put himself in consumers' shoes in the first place. He thinks environmental protection, safety, non-toxicity, and practicability should be combined perfectly. Product developers should not need to choose between them, nor should they force consumers to compromise on environmental protection, price, or quality.
Dr. Chang, who is responsible for technology development at Phoenix Innovative Materials, explains the three major advantages of Porlite which is produced through non-toxic manufacturing processes in Taiwan. Firstly, there are 10 billion pores arranged in an orderly manner on the membrane. As the pores are smaller than water molecules and bigger than air molecules, the fabric can resist water penetration, even under pressure, while maintaining breathability.
Moreover, since most outdoor exercises are relatively intense and will create a lot of sweat during the process, Porlite can also transport moisture from the clothing to the atmosphere by diffusion through the membrane, thus providing moisture permeability and breathability that no other functional apparel on market can achieve.
Porlite Captures Top Brands' Heart with Non-Toxic Manufacturing, Sustainability, Fastness to Washing, and Moisture Permeability
In line with the HWAFUNE's commitment to sustainability, the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) for Porlite can endure at least 30 laundering cycles and rain-resistant for period of time, thus providing a longer life span.
Manufacturing in Taiwan is one of the main reasons that Porlite has won favor with Europe-based tier-one sportswear brands. The high quality enables Porlite to stand out from other competitors and meet customers' needs for upscale and reliable products.
Both the PP membrane developed by Phoenix Innovative Materials and the Porlite fabric created by HWAFUNE are manufactured in Taiwan. Thanks to their insistence on domestic production, the companies have established a high-tech brand image for Taiwanese textile companies widely recognized by overseas esteemed customers. These are valuable experiences for both Phoenix Innovative Materials and HWAFUNE.
Instead of pursuing short-term profits through contract manufacturing services, Chairman Chang and Dr. Chang spent five years developing the Porlite fabric whose overwhelming advantages for environmental protection and functionality have spoken for itself. The goal is to establish bio-based manufacturing processes by using natural materials such as weeds as raw materials and to provide biodegradable products in 10 years.