Featured Image

Manufacturing Matters

Check in for the highlights, headlines, and hijinks that matter to manufacturing. These lean news items keep you updated on the latest developments.
by AMT
Mar 31, 2023


Where Does Additive Manufacturing Add Value to the End User?

There are three scenarios where no other manufacturing process or capability can beat additive: point of use and point of manufacturing; optimized fluid path; and utilizing materials that are difficult for subtractive or joining processes. This is translating to real-world applications. The defense sector is experimenting with additive machines on aircraft carriers and forward-operating bases. Products that convey gases are reaping the capability benefits of additive processes and computational designs that could not be solved in the past. End products are shifting to bimetal applications that will drive resilient, cost-effective designs. Still, not all of these have an easy going. Manufacturing at the world’s end requires an ecosystem of data and innovation. Improving gas paths requires cutting computation capabilities. New metal combinations will need certifications. Either way, additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the world, one case at a time.


Mainstream Interest in AI Will Benefit Manufacturing

Artificial intelligence has hit mainstream audiences with the recent release of a new conversational AI technology called ChatGPT. Produced by OpenAI, this online service took just five days to reach a million users and has crossed 100 million in two months. For comparison, Netflix, released in 1999, took 3.5 years to hit a million users, while Facebook, released in 2004, took 10 months.

Popular innovations like these can capture the imagination of the public, who begins to understand the technology’s inner workings and how it can be applied to other areas. Could this accelerate the adoption of AI in manufacturing? It’s likely, considering how data-rich most manufacturing industries are. An acceleration in the application of AI will likely impact manufacturing processes such as predictive maintenance, quality control, process optimization, and robotics as new AI innovations continue to infiltrate the general population’s vernacular.


Expanding Additive Manufacturing Education and Apprenticeship Initiatives

National and industry-wide initiatives to develop and expand additive manufacturing education and apprenticeship programs are growing. Manufacturers can depend on e-learning classes in additive manufacturing (AM) from ToolingU/SME to skill up their workforce, especially where hands-on programs do not currently exist at their local schools. America Makes, the Manufacturing USA Institute for AM, has developed educator training and curriculums for primary, secondary, and post-secondary education.Additionally, America Makes and NIMS have developed industry-recognized AM standards and credentials across three specific AM duty areas, including AM designer, AM machine operator, and AM materials technician. Project MFG has launched new integrated manufacturing competitions, including in AM, to expand AM training and education in the defense industrial base. A new AM apprenticeship initiative is underway in Florida with the Florida Space Coast Consortium and additional industry stakeholders, including EOS, Morf3D, and others. For more information, visit tooling.com, americamakes.us, nims-skills.org/additive-smart, and projectmfg.com.


CHIPS and Science Act Funding Update

The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act became law last August. The act invests $280 billion over ten years to bolster the U.S. semiconductor supply chain and promote R&D of advanced technologies in the United States. It includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives to build, expand, or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or R&D, plus a 25% advanced manufacturing investment tax credit for investments in semiconductor manufacturing. The credit covers manufacturing equipment and the construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities as well as incentives for manufacturing the specialized tooling equipment required in the semiconductor manufacturing process.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s CHIPS Program Office released the application for the first funding opportunity at the end of February. Guidance on the tax credit is forthcoming. Interested parties should register at SAM.gov to receive a Unique Entry Identifier necessary to complete an application. Visit CHIPS.gov to review the CHIPS implementation strategy and sign up for the newsletter.


‘Growing’ Markets: Mexico, India Show Promise for Additive

Additive manufacturing (AM) has been around since the early 1980s but has only recently made inroads into industrial production processes. Despite remaining challenges (ROI, lack of standards, skills), the future of AM is very optimistic. Medical, aerospace, and automotive are all adopters of the technology. Medical is outpacing other verticals in AM use due to the amount of customization required and the high margins achieved. It is estimated that in the next seven years, the global AM market in medical will grow to more than $5 billion, equaling aerospace and automotive adoption combined. But where? The United States, Europe, and China will remain the main consumers, but guess who else is up there – India and Mexico. Medical investment in both countries is growing by leaps and bounds, and our staff in Chennai and Monterrey are paying close attention, so stay tuned.

Recent technology News
Between using AI for homework, wedding vows, and asking for raises, society can hardly be faulted for overlooking one of the most important areas the tech can be applied to: cutting things out of metal. AMT tech analyst Stephen LaMarca wants to amend that.
Yes, ceramic nanowire is a thing. The future starts today. You get a CMM! And you get a CMM! Aerospace is always trying to be fancy. Why can't robots have sweaters?
Morganton, North Carolina, is one of those places along I-40 that history could have passed by. But automotive supplier Continental is making some of its most advanced braking systems there – and is helping build a workforce for the 21st century.
Check in for the highlights, headlines, and hijinks that matter to manufacturing. These lean news items keep you updated on the latest developments.
AM is for tools. Cobots =/= industrie 4.0. Nikon really loves additive. Chips or crisps? The quick-draw McBot show.
Similar News
By Peter R. Eelman | Jun 05, 2023

Exciting changes are afoot as the IMTS 2024 exhibition rebooking rate outpaces even IMTS 2018! Learn how we've evolved the floor plan to meet our industry's needs and what to expect from our partnerships with the Mesago Messe Frankfurt Group and Formnext.

5 min
By Kathy Keyes Webster | Jun 05, 2023

Have you ever experienced hospitality that’s both precise and artistic? Swiss manufacturer Studer AG welcomed nearly 100 attendees to its campus to unveil new products and share some of the joys of Swiss life.

8 min
By Benjamin Moses | Jun 06, 2023

Are you adding an MTConnect adapter and agent to legacy equipment? The AMT-Virginia Tech team collected and visualized data for production managers to monitor real-time metrics and build accurate reports from legacy equipment.

15 min