Pneumatic machines—and their low maintenance costs, simple designs, and ease of use—are expected to overtake electric machines as the automation equipment of choice in years to come, according to a Frost & Sullivan research report. The integration of electronics and sensors with pneumatic motion control is driving the pneumatic market. But inaccuracy, price declines, and manufacturing facility relocation from Europe to emerging countries are considered to be limiting factors. Chances are, the report adds, manufacturers will see affordable pneumatic and electronic hybridized systems with better position control as well as information feedback.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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