DN Editor-in-Chief John Dodge and Contributing Editor Doug Smock last week spent a day at one of the top plastics R&D centers in the country — Sabic Innovative Plastics’ Polymer Processing Development Center (PPDC) in Pittsfield, MA. Sabic engineers validate and test new materials and processes directly for customers or come with innovations they take to market themselves. Dodge shot 10 videos showing a variety of advanced processes and PPDC machines.
SABIC PPDC VIDEO COVERAGE:
An Aesthetic Look
PPDC Operations Leader Vincent Lanning shows how a process gives parts made from filled plastic resin an aesthetic look. Watch Now
Need A Lift?
Sabic’s PPDC has about a dozen overhead cranes for moving around machines and molds weighing up to 35 tons. One crane has a 350-ton capacity. Watch Now
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.