The slew of new features for machine tools is a good sign for manufacturing, which in turn is a good sign for the economy. Siemens must have confidence in the manufacturing sector, or they wouldn't be doing this.
Do these types of systems have any closed-loop control? That is, does the machine respond to cutting conditions based on input from sensors, such as light or thermal? This is a big deal for controlling quality on plastics parts produced in injection molding machines. It's certainly necessary for a nonNewtonian material, but maybe not so much for metals. Research over the years has determiend than in-mold cavity pressure sensors can have a major effect on part quality and repeatability. Cost, of course, is an issue.
Yes, it looks like Siemens does have a rosy outlook for manufacturing. Of course, being a global company, Siemens's view of manufacturing may look different that it does here in the U.S. But even more than a rosy look at manufacturing, I think Siemens has a positive view of automation. As long as automation keeps delivering significant efficiencies it can grow quickly even if manufacturing grows slowly.
I recall a recent post from Alex Wolfe on Siemens doing a lot of hiring in upcoming months--another piece of evidence pointing up its confidence in growth in the manufacturing sector.
As for the slew of new technologies, I'm wondering if there is any tie back or integration between these new machine tool capabilities and its PLM software, particularly the Tecnomatix piece, which is Siemens PLM Software's digital manufacturing platform? I'm thinking there are some strong synergies between both platforms and integration between engineering and the shop floor is a key part of Siemens' PLM story.
I think that kind of 3D is probably a bit out, although likely on the horizon. I'm thinking more like animated work instructions or something similar so operators can get a real sense of how the machine operates or perhaps, is malfunctioning.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
People who want to take advantage of solar energy in their homes no longer need to install a bolt-on solar-panel system atop their houses -- they can integrate solar-energy-harvesting shingles directing into an existing or new roof instead.
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