Thorough and well-written article. I completely agree with the speed of installation advantages of a wireless system. Many years ago, I had to set up a wired network to our factory floor and the time required to plan and install this older technology was significant (not to mention the time needed to troubleshoot improper hardware node connections). In many instances, wireless technology will prove to be faster and much more flexible than existing wired systems.
I see combatting the noisy industrial environment, wirelessly, is making some strides. I think I feel confident enough in the tech these days to use wireless in the machine shop. The little risk may have a huge payoff in mobility.
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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