The phrase “my kid could make that” is now literally applicable to millions of plastic shapes, thanks to the wide proliferation of consumer-grade 3D printers.The apparent ease of printing a finished product directly from a digital model with no moulds or tooling, however, has caused many to underestimate the challenges and the costs of applying the technology in production environments.
This is particularly problematic in AM (additive metal) manufacturing, where the barrier to entry is much higher than it is for plastics.
“Additive is a unique process, and I think it’s probably one of the most over-hyped technologies in the world,” says Peter Adams, president and CEO at additive manufacturer Burloak Technologies, “and I truly believe that this is creating a major misunderstanding of the technology. And that is causing a lot of people to invest money that they never would have to put at risk if they asked the right questions. Full Article
Robotics and Automation
Successful companies readily acknowledge one key factor contributing to their achievements – hardworking, committed and skilled employees who are the foundation of the companies.
However, manufacturers today face the primary challenge of filling open positions with skilled workers, which in turn affects overall productivity and growth. (Full Article)
Last month's Thomas Industrial Survey examining impacts of COVID-19 on the industrial sector, the results of which were released today, revealed one in four U.S. manufacturers are considering expanding industrial automation as a result of COVID-19, while one in five already has automated systems in place.
Additionally, 64% of manufacturers report they are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America — a 10% increase from the same sentiment reported in the March 2020 survey. (Full Article and Report)