Competitiveness: Manufacturers look at what's hot, now, green

Manufacturers seek to remain ahead of the curve. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has announced an initiative called Innovations That Could Change The Way You Manufacture, covering emerging technologies that have a positive impact on manufacturing and related innovation.

03/25/2008


Dearborn, MI – Manufacturers seek to remain ahead of the curve. The

Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

has announced an initiative called Innovations That Could Change The Way You Manufacture. The member-driven initiative outlines emerging technologies that have a positive impact on manufacturing, and provides an educational framework for SME members and manufacturers to stay abreast of industry innovation. "What's hot" advancements include Direct Digital Manufacturing DDM); "what's now"– self- assembling nanotechnology, and "what's green or eco-friendly"– ultracapacitors. They will be showcased at the

Competitive Manufacturers Conference

, June 17-19, 2008, at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg.
The initiative was born out of communications between the SME Technical Community Network (TCN) and the larger manufacturing community. TCN requested nominations for ideas from the community and presented findings to the SME Manufacturing Enterprise Council for review. The Council collaboratively selected five "innovations that could change the way you manufacture" based on such criteria as universality across industries, positive impact on manufacturing, current availability for integration, and overall industry value. These include:
* Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM)
* Ultracapacitors
* Self-Assembling Nanotechnology
* Intelligent Device Integration (IDI)
* Integrated 3-D Simulation and Modeling/Desktop Super Computers
Richard "Dick" Morley, council member and founder of consulting firm R. Morley Inc. (RMI), said of DDM, "It is becoming an essential part of our nation's key manufacturing industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical and even entertainment. The automotive industry uses DDM as a part of additive fabrication to build assembly aids. Orthopedic surgeons use it to create customized metal joint implants. It is even been used by video game designers to develop the latest gaming characters."
Ultracapacitors have 10,000 times more stored power than a typical D-cell-sized electrolytic capacitor, plus unparalleled life span. They provide long-lasting power solutions for cellular electronics, medical equipment, and hybrid automobiles. "Imagine the positive impact future, widespread use of this innovation could have on our nation's current dependence on limited natural resources and ultimately our environment. This is one of manufacturing's greenest ways to go," said Morley.
Self-assembly nanotechnology, a "what's now" and "what's green" innovation, moved beyond theory to practice. IBM used it to enhance conventional computer chip manufacturing, and the ever-changing technology makes it possible for objects, devices, and systems to form other structures without external manipulations. “Almost like Legos assembling themselves," said Morley. It can enhance life with uses in water purification, sanitation, agriculture, and computer manufacturing. The green element applies to alternative energy such as photovoltaics or solar energy conversion.
The fourth innovation in "what's hot" is Intelligent Device Integration (IDI). Used in computers, IDI offers visibility into and management of equipment, products, and consumer interactions. By combining sensor data with two-way wireless communications, it promises detailed, real- time views of activities and objects.
Integrated 3-D Simulation and Modeling/Desktop Super Computers will change computer modeling. Imagine a large computer screen with new automobile data. Viewers could see segment instantly and in detail from engine to component with 3-D impact and full rotation. The super computers can be used microscopes, telescopes, and time machines to manage, view, and tool a complete manufacturing system. "This is not the modeling and simulation of 20 years ago or even two years ago," said Morley. Learn more on this topic from Control Engineering in:

3D Does It

.
Upcoming conference highlights will include interactive sessions on lean manufacturing practices and collaborative strategies with a focus on how companies can develop innovations. SME's Member Enterprise Council is interested in hearing opinions about the technologies.

Innovations that Could Change the Way You Manufacture

.

Control Engineering News Desk
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Intelligent, efficient PLC programming: Cost-saving programming languages are available now; Automation system upgrades; Help from the cloud; Improving flow control; System integration tips
Smarter machines require smarter systems; Fixing PID, part 3; Process safety; Hardware and software integration; Legalities: Integrated lean project delivery
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again