Manufacturing agility: on-demand printing through AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 57)

The manufacturing model that has characterized the last two centuries was one of irrepressible rush to satisfy the demands of the market. Factories constantly spewed products and parts, even when all orders were satisfied, trusting on times when these might be requested again. Needless to say, this model is very wasteful and contains surplus expenses for stocking and unneeded manufacturing, the infamous “bullwhip effect”, that partake in a feeling of gambling on the market’s ups and downs. Both customers and companies are left unsatisfied. Zara, which makes 50% of its inventory close to the point of use, only sells 10% of its inventory at a discount. Its competitors, 30%.

Additive manufacturing provides the means for a more agile manufacturing framework, one that is capable of flexibly addressing new, and sudden, needs without falling back on warehouse stock. The concept can be applied to every industry on the planet: pharma companies can 3D print drugs on the fly and locally to address an urgent outbreak, constructions can be tailored to local requirements without shipping prefabs. To realize the potential of AM in addressing these demands, the pipeline must be enabled by software capable to provide a holistic overview of operations to nimbly set about whatever request it might face. That’s what we’re focused on at Authentise. Talk to us if you want to know more.

New ‘Reactionware’ 3D Printing System Spits Out Pharmaceuticals On-Demand

Philip Kitson and colleagues at the University of Glasgow have developed a new framework for 3D printing drug manufacturing devices on-site on an as-needed basis. All it requires is a $2,000 3D printer and a drug specification (the manufacturing processes required to produce it). Given such a specification, software created by Kitson’s group dictates to the printer exactly what sort of manufacturing hardware it needs to print that is then capable of producing a particular drug.

Read the rest of the article on Motherboard.

World’s First 3D Printed Toilets Coming to India With Singapore’s Hamilton Labs

Hamilton Labs' 3D printed toilet design complete with energy genertaing solar panel roof. Image via Hamilton Labs

In a new agreement with India’s Center for Rural Information and Action (CRIA) Hamilton Labs will be providing a robot operated 3D printer to “build fast, beautiful and comfortable toilets,” for the Madhubani district in Bihar which sprawls Eastern and Northern India.

Read more about it here.

Mass Production – Is 3D Printing Up To The Supply-Chain Challenge?

Custom designs of 3D printable model cups, from One Coffee Cup a Day | 30 days, 30 cups challenge by Bernat Cuni of Cunicode Design Studio

The Bullwhip Effect describes a phenomenon in which manufacturers build a huge inventory of products based on a forecast of customer demand. From the assumed position high on the supply chain, a manufacturer can misinterpret consumer purchasing behavior at retail level – resulting in a mass of unsaleable stock. Mass customization, i.e. making products to exact customer specifications, low-labor demands and product consolidation, gives 3D printing the potential to break free of the Bullwhip Effect, therefore leading to the question:

“If the Bullwhip Effect is a critical problem in any supply chain, would 3D printing be a solution?”

Read the full article here.

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Autonomous robots: its more than just driving (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 50)

When you say autonomous one most commonly thinks of self-driving cars. Nonetheless, the movement to make robots survey and act on their own precedes driving around no-hands. Autonomous robots have the ability to adapt to various scenarios within their scope of purpose and, as such, are being developed for a host of different applications. What is largely proceeding out of the spotlight is an ever-increasing presence within plants and other work environments of robots that are providing the tendrils for the factory-wide brain of the IIoT. These robots can sense their environment, be in constant and instantaneous exchange of information with central processing systems and execute complex directives, managing the necessary sub-steps on their own. Adidas has created a factory that uses autonomous robots to drive on-demand sneaker production. Menial tasks can be done effortlessly and efficiently by robots that, through machine vision, can see and analyze their targets and act according to their AI directives. This is why Château Clerc Milon, renowned wine producer, has implemented robots to take care of vineyards. Autonomous robots are perfect for scenarios in which unfaltering machine vision and pattern recognition enable them to see what the human eye wouldn’t catch. Like for rediscovering long-lost ’50s prototype jet fighters out in the ocean.

Inside Adidas’ Robot-Powered, On-Demand Sneaker Factory

Called Speedfactory, the facility would pair a small human workforce with technologies including 3-D printing, robotic arms, and computerized knitting to make running shoes—items that are more typically mass-produced by workers in far-off countries like China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

“What we enable is speed,” said Gerd Manz, vice president of Adidas’ innovation group. “We can react to consumer needs within days.”

Read the full article at Wired.

Bordeaux: Robot vineyard worker impresses at Clerc Milon

robot vineyard worker

Château Clerc Milon, under the same ownership as Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, has tested a prototype vineyard robot named ‘Ted’ to help with soil cultivation and weeding in its vines.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s MD, Philippe Dhalluin, said, ‘We see robotics as an effective solution for the future.

‘As well as helping to make our vineyard work less arduous and respecting the soil, it will reduce our dependency on fossil energies and the harm caused by traditional agricultural machinery.’

Read more here.

Autonomous sub finds long-lost supersonic aircraft from the 50s

The "Raise the Arrow" team gathers for a photo behind the AUV

Fraunhofer is reporting that one of its DEDAVEs [unmanned submersible] has located a couple of sunken flight models of a famous Canadian jet fighter, the Avro Arrow. Billed as “the world’s first autonomous underwater vehicle [AUV] to be developed from the outset with a view to series production,” the DEDAVE is designed to be easily manufactured on an assembly line, and thus relatively inexpensive to buy. At less than 700 kg it’s also quite light for an AUV and can travel autonomously for up to 20 hours on one charge of its eight batteries, diving to a maximum depth of 6,000 meters.

Read more about the discovery here.

 

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AM, bringing In-Situ manufacturing to a facility near you! (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 24)

In the comfort of our daily lives, we often take for granted some of the services and perks of our industrious world. We are getting really good at managing the complex scenarios of a global economy where any kind of goods must be shipped and handled efficiently but, still, it’s driving a decisive cost factor in every business. Logistics is inherently complicated but, with AM decentralizing manufacturing capabilities, this is about to change, drastically. In-situ manufacturing is a game-changer in a wide variety of cases. Bespoke replacement parts, like Daimler is doing with its buses, can be produced as needed, driving down storage and production expenses. The Australian DOD is developing a program to deploy 3D printing on the front lines, vastly improving the base’s flexibility in addressing its needs. It goes as far as the ISS, where astronauts will 3D print habitat’s radiation shields through it’s on-board AM device, saving millions on resupply launches.

Daimler Buses implements 3D printing to produce bespoke Mercedes-Benz parts

Daimler Buses, parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Setra, has explained how it is implementing 3D printing to create components for its customers on-demand. Providing the example of a banknote stowage compartment, Daimler has showcased how it is utilizing the technology to create bespoke parts. According to Daimler, the company has so far 3D printed 780 components with over 150 replacement parts currently undergoing validation.

Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, explains how 3D printing is advancing production of spare parts at the company,

The 3D printing process allows us to install local printers at the production plants operated by Daimler Buses worldwide. It also enables us to respond in a flexible manner at local level to customers’ special wishes and replacement part needs.

Read the full article at 3D Printing Industry.

Australian Department of Defence develops 3D printing programme for fixing frontline aircraft

A jet in the Australian Airforce. Photo via @DeptDefence on Twitter

The Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) of the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has developed a 3D printing programme for fixing and strengthening aircraft parts. The technology is used in response to craft on the frontline of defence therefore, according to national security intelligence site Jane’s 360“boosting the operational ability of military aerospace platforms.” 

Defence researcher, Kevin Walker, explains,

Repairing existing parts (as opposed to manufacturing new parts) is often a more cost effective and efficient way of keeping military aircraft in the air. In conjunction with RMIT and industry partners, we have developed laser-based additive manufacturing repairs that can remediate faults such as corrosion, wear and fatigue cracking.

Read the full article here.

ISS Bigelow Expandable Activity Module gets 3D printed radiation shields after passing space debris tests

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), a modular habitat attached to the International Space Station, has passed a first round of tests concerning its resistance to space debris. 3D printed radiation shields will now be added to the module for extra protection against cosmic rays […] printed on the International Space Station’s Made In Space Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) 3D printer. Researchers on the project concluded that 3D printed radiation shields were “affordable and optimal at all scales ranging from Cubesats to interplanetary manned missions.”

Read more about the ISS project here.

 

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