Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 28 of 220

DECIDING FACTORS MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 26 Data-Driven Manufacturing Fusion technology is making 3D printing faster, less expensive and easier to integrate. Generative design magnifies imagination and speeds invention. What if designers could know virtually every possibility or option at the start to find the features and parameters that work best? This is the concept of generative design. A massive database and powerful algorithms sort and test virtually unlimited design possibilities to identify those that best meet predetermined goals and obey constraints set by the designer. Autodesk is leading the way in the development of this technology. It harnesses extreme computing power to create forms that maximize functionality and minimize waste, for example. The software can further opti- mize the design by tailoring it for a specific mate- rial and manufacturing method. Everything by the number: The factory of the future is already here. The convergence of the virtual and physical worlds is possible when both can be rep- resented digitally. This allows the ideal and the real to be compared, analyzed and brought closer together in software applications. However, this can happen only when digital information can be gathered, saved and shared. Networking and connectivity become critical enablers. Not sur- prisingly, Cisco, the quintessential San Francisco technology company, is pioneering a new era of networking for manufacturing. It is working to make every system connectible to a network that is feasible, effective and secure. Now every part and component can be tracked, and every process can be visible and traceable. Sustainability and innovation as a strategy. Tesla is arguably the most recognized manufacturing company in Silicon Valley. Yet Tesla is clearly much more than a car manufacturer or a technology company. True, it seeks to sell electric vehicles that are both desirable and affordable. (Its model S is the safest and fastest car on the road today.) Tesla is also a leader because of its policy of relentless and disruptive innovation. The underlying vision, however, is unchanging: to create cars as autono- mous as the market wants in a way that sustains, not depletes, natural and human resources. To fulfill this goal, it will have to transform an entire industry. The current challenge is to master high-volume production and achieve true economy of scale. While Tesla is not there yet, the clues that it will succeed are evident. A lesson in entrepreneurial spirit. For all the sto- ries that you hear about start-up software compa- nies in Silicon Valley that have become wildly suc- cessful, there are many forgotten or untold stories about start-ups that have failed. But all of these stories have a common element. The entrepreneurs behind them started with a bold idea and took risks to develop it. Fear didn't stop them. Manufacturing companies can learn from this. Lately, Silicon Valley has developed a new or reen- ergized interest in making things. These companies see a golden opportunity in manufacturing. Do you? There is no disputing the fact that manufacturing is changing at an accelerating rate. This is due in large part to the transformational technologies that are mentioned above: augmented reality, artificial intelligence, additive manufactur- ing, generative design, digitalization, automation and data networking. The best way to respond to change is to anticipate it and participate in it. The result could be the next "Gold Rush" for manufac- turing, but not if fear holds you back. CONTRIBUTOR | Travis Egan is the publisher of Modern Machine Shop. – Mid temp black oxide for iron and steel – Room-temperature black oxide for iron and steel – Stainless steel cold blackening/brush-on or immersion – Zinc phosphate for iron and steel with anti-galling – Black oxide for aluminum provides chassis grounding – Antiquing for brass, bronze, & copper FREE Sample Finishing TOLL FREE 1-800-328-6156 METAL FINISHES

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