“I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.”
– Mark Twain
1. Zeiss and ORNL Have Big Plans for Additive
So what are Zeiss and Oak Ridge National Labs trying to do here? What’s going on? Bro, basically, the gubmint (DOE and, thus, ORNL) is funding the advancement of additive technology. Lemme explain. Zeiss and ORNL are planning to develop a means of improving the consistency, predictability, and repeatability of AM. They aim to do this through AI-based inspection/metrology on the fly, using X-ray and CT scanning tech. Oh, and once they figure it out, they want to commercialize it. NBD. Easy! Why hasn’t anybody done this already?
2. Big Bucks for AI-Powered Industrial Robots
You heard of Rapid Robotics? Oof, you better catch up! Because unless you’re TOTALLY unaffected by any “labor shortage” or “skills gap,” them boys and girls over at double-R should be a great big ol’ blip on your radar! Especially since they just secured a $36.7 million bag for their AI-enabled robotics as a service (RaaS). In the meantime, I’m just gonna get some popcorn and sit back because I think these bots are about to put on a show!
3. Advanced Manufacturing Restomods
What is a “restomod”? It’s commonly defined as a classic car that has been restored – but modified with modern parts and technology. This is more common than you’d think, but it’s seldom executed in a tasteful manner. No, I’m not calling your C2 split-window that you dropped a modern LS into a pile, but to put it bluntly, it will never be parked on the fairway at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Some of the best restomods are kept “period correct” with new old stock parts from the vehicle’s showroom era. However, as I’ve been blabbing on about for the past two weeks, sometimes such parts are not available! But there are no rules saying you have to use period-correct manufacturing technology if you need to fabricate or manufacture new parts! Take a look at this.
4. Green Steel
Now this is cool. Swedish company Hybrit has made its first delivery of steel. The steel itself isn’t anything out of the ordinary, which is a good thing; the means by which the steel was produced, though? Get this: No coal was harmed in the making of this steel! And before you say anything like, “Yeah but, uh, how big of a shipment of steel are we talking? Because just like a ton or two of this tree-hugging steel will never be competiti—” The shipment was a big enough order to supply Volvo Trucks. Take a seat.
5. The Greatest Automation Has to Offer: CNC Doors
Can you believe some CNC machines don’t have enclosure doors that open and close on their own? I know! The humanity! THE AUDACITY! Sure, it’s 2021, and the shop floor is more modernized and automated than ever, but some machines were just built to last. Like they say, “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to!” Believe it or not, the fewer tedious and menial little tasks a machinist/technician/operator or even a robot arm has to do, the more they can focus their time on other things, like getting actual work done. You don’t need to be a six sigma to know that more jobs completed in less time means exponentially more profit. Lambo doors go up!
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