The manufacturing plant is now more than ever the product of synergies derived from multiple, different actors playing their part for the greater objective. There is no “killer app” in the manufacturing industry and AM will need traditional manufacturing just as much as robots will still need human input to get around their limitations. The non-zero-sum game nature of manufacturing is exemplified by the international efforts to find balances in which new production processes can get the best of both worlds. For example, 11 partner groups from Germany and the Netherlands are starting new research efforts to explore the potential of hybrid manufacturing, particularly helpful for complex products like electronics. On a broader perspective, human-robot relationships have never been stronger. Those people afraid of giving up their jobs to robotic counterparts can put their hearts at ease (for now): automation is bringing greater productivity by putting tireless androids able to execute the most boring tasks under the human supervision. Similarly, deep learning automation is helping businesses deploy their time and resources more intelligently, using machine vision and actuation where the humans could be better employed doing something higher level.
German company Neotech AMT announces two new fully additive 3D printed electronics projects
German electronic 3D printing company Neotech AMT GmbH has announced it will engage in two new projects to advance additive manufacturing. The first project, known as ‘Hyb-Man’, will bring together 11 partner groups from Germany and the Netherlands with the aim of developing hybrid manufacturing techniques. While the second project – AMPECS – will focus on the printing of ceramic substrates.
The resultant process lines will address the needs for low volume agile manufacture within a single platform. – Dr. Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech
Read more about the projects here.
Online Retail Boom Means More Warehouse Workers, And Robots To Accompany Them
There’s a good chance something you’ve bought online has been in the hands of a “picker” first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we’re ordering. At Amazon and other companies, they’re working side by side with robots. Experts say while the robots are replacing some human workers, the machines aren’t quite ready to take over completely.
Read the full article at NPR.
Two Apple Engineers Want To Create The Brain For Fully-Automated Manufacturing
Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, along with another former Apple engineer, Samuel Weiss, have founded manufacturing startup Instrumental. The Los Altos, California-based startup builds a camera system that takes high-definition pictures of the product during various stages of the assembly process and sends it back to the company. Instrumental software then lets companies remotely track how their products are being assembled. But the bigger picture vision for the company is introducing more automation into what is a still very manual process. Instrumental has begun deploying machine learning techniques to pick out any manufacturing anomalies and track where things go wrong.
Read more about Instrumental and their goals here.
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