OPERATIONS

SMTNW Selects Aegis’ FactoryLogix IIoT-Based Manufacturing Operations Platform

SMTNW | February 02, 2022

SMTNW Selects Aegis’ FactoryLogix
On February 1, Aegis Software, a global provider of Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM/MES) software, announced that SMTNW Inc., a leading provider of Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) for various manufacturing projects, has chosen Aegis' FactoryLogix® platform. SMTNW's goal in deploying a flexible and modular platform throughout its manufacturing facilities is to support its further expansion and dedication to providing the best quality products on time. FactoryLogix's unique, native, agile, and contextualized platform will enable SMTNW to eliminate separate systems, enhance the production capacity, obtain factory-wide insight, and deliver high-quality products more quickly.

SMTNW Inc. has been a cornerstone of the Pacific Northwest since 1996, delivering state-of-the-art electronic manufacturing services. Its purpose is to expand and embrace technology to provide its clients with the highest quality electronics.

"Our decision to select Aegis' FactoryLogix MES platform was based on their extensive experience developing and delivering innovative, configurable, and feature-rich MES solutions. We needed a partner with a profound understanding of our business and a platform that could adapt and scale to support our smart factory initiatives today and, in the future,We were seeking a best-in-class platform that was complete and robust enough to provide us with the capabilities necessary to elevate productivity, quality, traceability, and visibility to a whole new level."

-Dustin Green, CEO, SMTNW.

SMTNW Inc. will implement a broad range of capabilities, including production process planning, adaptive scheduling, interactive work instructions, manufacturing execution and tracking, IIoT connectivity and contextualization, product and process traceability, quality management, and manufacturing intelligence.

"SMTNW has an extensive history of manufacturing diverse and complex products, inherently accompanied by extremely tight and changing deadlines as well as expectations for the highest level of quality. To support increasing customer expectations, changing business dynamics, and aggressive growth goals, innovative companies like SMTNW require a truly singular and feature-rich platform natively designed to adapt to any manufacturing process on-demand. "Jason Spera, CEO, and Co-Founder, Aegis Software, will provide SMTNW with an out-of-the-box industry 4.0 platform that will catapult their operations to the next level, We are excited to work together with SMTNW to leverage cutting-edge technology to help them achieve their operational and financial goals."

-Jason Spera, CEO, and Co-Founder, Aegis Software.

FactoryLogix is a comprehensive and flexible IIoT-based Manufacturing Operations Management platform that combines cutting-edge technology with simply customizable modules to support and execute a discrete manufacturer's Industry 4.0 strategy.

FactoryLogix covers the entire product lifecycle, from product introduction, material logistics, manufacturing execution, and quality control to advanced analytics and real-time dashboards. This end-to-end platform enables businesses to speed product launches, streamline processes, increase quality and traceability, decrease costs, and get a better insight to achieve a competitive edge and profitability.

Spotlight

So which materials do 3D printers use to print anyhow? This is a common refrain from those unfamiliar with how 3D printers like the HP Metal Jet render physical objects, and even those more familiar with the 3D printing process may be surprised to find out there are other lesser known printing materials, from chemical elements to precious earth metals to commonplace Lego bricks.


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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

HWAFUNE Breaks Through Textile Difficulties with Porlite by Creating New Trends in Functional Fabrics

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" -Jackson Chang,ChairmanHWAFUNE. 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.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Stratasys Advances Its Growth Strategy to Lead Industrial Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Stratasys | May 13, 2022

Stratasys Ltd. a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, announced today that its subsidiary MakerBot has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with NPM Capital-backed Ultimaker to form a new entity. The new combined company is intended to offer a comprehensive solution set of hardware, software and materials, creating a leading force in Desktop 3D printing. Under the terms of the agreement, NPM Capital plans to contribute Ultimaker’s assets, invest $15.4 million, and own 54.4% of the combined company, while Stratasys will contribute MakerBot’s assets, invest $47 million, and own 45.6% of the combined company (all subject to adjustments in the definitive documentation). The combined $62.4 million of committed financial backing is intended to fuel ecosystem innovation and expand customer reach and applications. The new company will be led by Nadav Goshen, current MakerBot CEO, and Jürgen von Hollen, current Ultimaker CEO, who will act as Co-CEOs, with Nadav managing product, operations and R&D and Jürgen managing the commercial functions. The entity is expected to maintain its headquarters in both The Netherlands and New York City. “By combining the strengths of MakerBot and Ultimaker, the new entity will have a broad technology offering, be sufficient in scale, well capitalized and have a focused leadership team to better compete in the highly attractive Desktop 3D printing sector,” said Dr. Yoav Zeif, CEO of Stratasys. “Today’s announcement is consistent with our strategy to focus on industrial and production scale polymer-based additive manufacturing solutions. This transaction is designed to benefit our shareholders by enabling them to own two leading companies with best-in-class technology and focused management teams that will be able to successfully deliver solutions to customers in two highly attractive but different areas of the 3D printing market.” Upon closing, the transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Stratasys’ revenue and is expected to be immediately accretive. As Stratasys will own less than 50% of the new entity, Stratasys will not consolidate it. The transaction is subject to consultation with appropriate employee representative bodies and the receipt of regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, as a result of which a definitive time frame for closing is not yet available, with closing currently expected over the course of the second or third quarters of 2022. Stifel Financial is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Meitar Law Offices and Cooley LLP as legal advisors to Stratasys. Lincoln International is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Allen & Overy as legal advisor to NPM Capital. About MakerBot MakerBot is a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry. MakerBot empowers the engineers of today and tomorrow with its powerful additive manufacturing ecosystem. The company strives to redefine the standards for 3D printing for safety and emissions, reliability, accessibility, precision, and ease-of-use. Through this dedication, MakerBot has a large install base, manages Thingiverse—the largest 3D printing community in the world—and has members on the UL 2904 standards committee to ensure it is on the cutting edge of emissions regulations. About Ultimaker Established in 2011, Ultimaker is on a mission to accelerate the world’s transformation to flexible, empowering and sustainable solutions. 330 employees deliver a platform that enables customers to take full advantage of the unique Ultimaker Ecosystem that offers the largest diversity of 3D printing products and services in the industry. Ultimaker provides a seamless integration of hardware, software and materials that simply works. About NPM Capital NPM Capital is a leading investment company focusing on long term investments in the Benelux market. Founded in 1948, NPM Capital has a history of providing growth capital to entrepreneurial companies that goes back almost 70 years. NPM Capital is part of the family-owned multinational SHV. SHV has a total turnover of over €20 billion with more than 57,000 employees. About Stratasys Stratasys is leading the global shift to additive manufacturing with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare. Through smart and connected 3D printers, polymer materials, a software ecosystem, and parts on demand, Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain. The world’s leading organizations turn to Stratasys to transform product design, bring agility to manufacturing and supply chains, and improve patient care.

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ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

MacLean-Fogg Announces the Grand Opening of new Sterling Heights' Additive Manufacturing Operation

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions | July 06, 2022

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions of Mundelein, IL, announces the grand opening of the MacLean Additive facility in Sterling Heights, MI. This new facility will be focused on the production of 3D printed components and tooling, as well as the distribution of MacLean Additive's award winning "Formetrix L-40" steel powder for tooling applications. "With the addition last year of the Formetrix portfolio to our existing additive manufacturing activities, we quickly outgrew our initial MacLean Additive space in Macomb, MI. This facility gives us the room we need to develop our durable tooling product lines, support our ever-growing steel powder customer base, as well as continue our 3D printed production part activities." -Greg Rizzo, Vice President and General Manager for MacLean Additive. A Grand Opening ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on July 6, 2022 at the MacLean Additive facility located at 7689 19 Mile Rd. Sterling Heights, MI 48314. Credentialed media is welcome to attend, however no photographs will be allowed inside the building. Among local dignitaries and invited guests, the ribbon on the new facility will be cut by MacLean-Fogg President and CEO, Duncan MacLean. Our Grand Opening guests will see that we have a lot of room to grow in this 35,000 square foot facility. We didn't choose this large a facility because it was the only one available, we choose this facility because we know we'll have the demand to fill it, stated MacLean. MacLean Fogg had a choice of where to locate this new additive manufacturing facility, and they chose Sterling Heights, said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. Their decision to locate in our community underscores the solid reputation we have for welcoming our business community and really engaging with them to ensure their success. The Sterling Innovation District is strategically located at the heart of customer demand and access to the specialized engineering and technician talent needed to fill that demand. That makes it a perfect fit for cutting-edge manufacturing facilities like MacLean Additive. About MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions- MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions, a division of the MacLean-Fogg Company, is a leading supplier of fastener solutions, engineered solutions, plastic solutions and additive solutions for automotive, heavy vehicle, military and other industrial markets. Visit www.macleanfoggcs.com or contact mediarelations@macleanfogg.com to learn more. About MacLean-Fogg- MacLean-Fogg Company is a worldwide enterprise with 35 global manufacturing facilities, annual sales in excess of $1 billion (USD), and a workforce of 3,500 dedicated employees. MacLean-Fogg Company operates through two primary businesses, MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions (MFCS) and MacLean Power Systems (MPS).

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3D PRINTING

Prototek Acquires Prototype Solutions Group

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. About Prototek: 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

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Spotlight

So which materials do 3D printers use to print anyhow? This is a common refrain from those unfamiliar with how 3D printers like the HP Metal Jet render physical objects, and even those more familiar with the 3D printing process may be surprised to find out there are other lesser known printing materials, from chemical elements to precious earth metals to commonplace Lego bricks.

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