The Rise of 3D Printing

In the article “Why 3D printing is on the rise in industrial manufacturing” (http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2015/why-3d-printing-is-on-the-rise-in-industrial-manufacturing/), the process of 3D printing is explained, and the current status as well as future projections are analyzed. 3D printing is the process of printing “in three dimensions instead of two, by selectively depositing a build material in successive layers and then fusing those layers together.”  Per a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 67% of surveyed manufacturers are currently implementing 3D printing, while 25% more indicate plans to adopt 3D printing in the future. Additionally, Canalys estimated the 3D printing global market to be $3.8 billion in 2014, with a projected rise to $16.2 billion by 2018. In conclusion, the article explains some of the various types of 3D printing such as Stereolithography, PolyJet, Fused Deposition Modeling, as well as several others, and how they are used today. 

3D Printing in the Aerospace Industry

In the article “Factory of the Future: New Ways of Manufacturing” (http://www.airbusgroup.com/int/en/story-overview/factory-of-the-future.html) the changes and improvements in manufacturing are explored with a specific emphasis on how 3D printing can add to the new and innovative model of “smart manufacturing” within the aerospace industry. The article articulates that Airbus Group has “started using ALM for tooling, prototyping, making parts for test flights and also for parts that will fly on commercial aircraft.” It also states that components produced through ALM are starting to be used in different aircraft ranging from the next-generation A350 XWB to in-service jetliners from the A300/A310 division. Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM), or 3D printing, are being heavily utilized because of their ability to “produce prototypes and series components, potentially delivering cheaper and lighter parts.” The article finishes with the quote, “3D printing is the dream of any engineer. You have an idea, you print overnight and the next morning you have a new part in your hands.” How can 3D printing use be expanded in the aerospace industry? Will it become feasible for 3D printing to be used in other industries as well? What are some of the difficulties in implementing this technology?

Smart Manufacturing: A Path to profitable Growth

An article in Business (May 21, 2015) titled “Smart Manufacturing: A Path to profitable Growth” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-kennell/smart-manufacturing-a-pat_b_7314828.html) describes the benefits and capital costs involved in implementing Smart Manufacturing in the company’s operations. Analyzing the valuable data provided by the interconnected systems triggers innovation, productivity and safety in the organizations’ supply chain. Smart technologies help eliminate waste through better scheduling and coordinating the internal processes. Nevertheless, according to the 2014 Manufacturing Outlook Survey by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), 87% of US companies are not using smart manufacturing, but among those companies that are at least partially using the smart technology, 82% reported increased efficiency. One of the main constraints to implement the latest Internet of things is the high capital equipment costs. Will the government or industrial organizations evaluate alternatives to financially supporting the implementation of Smart Manufacturing?

What Does Food Packaging Have To Do With Big Data And The Internet Of Things?

Chris Wilder – Forbes tech

There are several types of packaging available for brands to interact with their customers. The conventional package is simply the first option available for brands to promote their product. It’s important for brands to ensure a package that articulates the brand values and promise. Going further there is the hybrid packaging that combines rigid and flexible materials. The active packages are those that offer further information about the company and things like nutritional facts to customers in the form of a QR code. Interactive packaging goes even further by offering extra care to products sensitive to particular environmental conditions. Finally, we have the IoT effects over packaging where current businesses are combining RFID labels with other technologies to enhance the supply chain and logistics in the food industry as well as the freshness and endurance for certain produce.

Original article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/moorinsights/2015/10/01/what-does-food-packaging-have-to-do-with-big-data-and-the-internet-of-things/

3-D Printing and Cloud Services

In the article, “Collaborative Manufacturing as a Service in the Cloud”, the positive effects of 3-D printing are reviewed. One of the main advantages that the article proposes is that “small volume, “made to order” items that used to be prohibitively expensive are already within financial reach.” Additionally, with the development of cloud services, “participants who formerly had access to only one 3D printing process will be able to automatically outsource to other members that use any of the other processes or materials available.” In closing the article proposes that 3-D printing along with other new technological advances are bringing about a new era for manufacturing where “manufacturing capabilities for machines, plants, and enterprises are interconnecting to form a global grid of manufacturing resources.”

7 Things to Know about the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0

The article published by Modern Machine Shop (http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/7-things-to-know-about-the-internet-of-things-and-industry-40) is about Internet of Things and the facts related to it. Internet of Things (IoT) is the intelligent connectivity of smart devices by which objects can sense one another and communicate thus changing how, where, and by whom decisions about our physical world are made. The seven points provide an introduction and background to the Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 for metalworking companies and machine shops.

1. Key standards are creating the pathway: The ability to connect manufacturing equipment to a Web-based network and derive substantial value from these connections is more practical and compelling than ever.

2. Better, faster decisions are coming to the shop floor: When devices are connected, the data they generate can flow into software applications that create the information individuals can use to make choices that are timely and effective. Better decisions mean fewer mistakes and less waste.

3. People empowerment is essential: The individual human being will continue to play an active, engaging role in manufacturing.

4. Cybersecurity is a major issue: Cyber threats to the Industrial IoT are real, global and growing.

5. A new generation of sensors is coming:  Sensors can process or analyze this data, and they can transmit this data or make it available for collection across a network for use in a software application.

6. Machine tools will be regarded as cyber physical systems: The definition of a cyber physical system describes it as a system in which embedded computers monitor and control physical processes through a feedback loop in a networked environment.

7. Cloud computing and Big Data will play vital roles: The capacity of the cloud to store and process data is virtually unlimited and is generally more economical, flexible and secure than on-site alternatives.

Let’s simply end with a summary that includes at least three main imperatives:

Take heed. The Industrial IoT is real and taking shape here and now. It is also happening “there and then” in the sense that your global competitors are implementing it too and may be ahead with prior implementations.

Keep your eye on the prize. Better decision-making is the main benefit of creating a connected factory in which machines and people are smarter.

Start small, but plan big. Whether it is machine monitoring or cloud-based CAM programming, the initial steps have to be manageable, transparent and respectful of the individual.

How Will Industry 4.0 Affect the Supply Chain?

The article posted on MHLnews (http://mhlnews.com/global-supply-chain/how-will-industry-40-affect-supply-chain) on 16th September 2015 talks about the effects of Industy 4.0 on the supply chain.

Industry 4.0 is essentially a blueprint for digitalizing the value chain from factory to customer. It includes technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Services, which in turn create the Smart Factory.

Simon Jacobson has outlined four key aspects of how Industry 4.0  will impact the supply chain:

  1. Smart factories – Automated and flexible manufacturing processes that are integrated with customers and business partners in support of product lifecycle changes – will impact current factory layouts.
  2. The Internet of Services – Connecting production facilities across geographies and company boundaries to create virtual production capabilities will create new business models and disrupt current supply chain designs.
  3. Advanced analytics – Capitalizing on big data and predictive analytics – to drive flexibility at the process level, not just production lines or factories – will put more pressure on organizations to use production data to its fullest.
  4. Focus on the knowledge worker – The rise of smart machines will not see the demise of the knowledge worker – rather, this increasing complexity demands supply chain professionals expand their problem solving and systems engineering skills.

He suggests that chief supply chain officers start preparing for these changes by focusing on Supplier management, Supply chain visibility, Demand planning, Supply network design, and Product innovation platforms  to get the best out of the Industry 4.0.

For more information, Read the article link provided.