Excellent article Dylan. Rollforming is a very old technology but one that has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. The advent of machinery that will completely automate the roll forming process is available--at a price. Set-up, of course, is dependent upon knowledgeable individuals who know the equipment. Some months ago I visited a company that manufactures corrugated roofing panels. Their rollforming operation was a real eye-opener. The speed at which the material was formed was absolutely amazing and the product was definitely well within specifications and tolerances. I can't remember the number of feet produced each minute but the main impediment was storing the inventory. They actually had two buildings for this. As I recall, they produced six or seven colors using pre-painted material. This company fabricated and maintained their own dies. The owner indicated it was a real specialty and trusted no one to do that job. Again, great article.
Thanks for the informative article about something I haven't given much thought to until now, nor knew much about! It does make sense to move to automation in many industries, that's for certain. As, apresher said, it definitely isn't the other way around! And humans can be repurposed more effectively based on the processes machines take over...hopefully, anyway, rather than being displaced.
Good article. Higher levels of automation is generally a job preserver and creator, and a way to achieve productivity, quality and cost improvements. There certainly isn't a trend to more manual labor in manufacturing. Thanks.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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