Automotive Design and Production

APR 2018

Automotive Design & Production is the one media brand invested in delivering your message in print, online, via email, and in-person to the right automotive industry professionals at the right time.

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SMART FACTORY programming interfaces (APIs), offering two-way connectivity and accurate data quality. The platform lets users optimize manufacturing through better insight into what's happening on shop floors and in machining environments on either a micro or macro level. For a CAM programmer, connection with accurate tool and application data means that recom- mendations can be adapted to specific tasks. Operators benefit from the ability to remotely monitor machining processes. And specific sensor-equipped cutting tools can be controlled to ensure that breakages are avoided and performance details are secured, with data intelligence collected live throughout the machining process. CAD-CAM Software Developers: This February, design and manufacturing software developer Autodesk ( autodesk.com ) introduced its Fusion Production software. The program allows contract manufacturers to digitize their production by combining production planning, job tracking and machine monitoring into a single, complete tool. "Design, manu- facturing and operations teams are very often spread out between states and even countries, making timely commu- nication to key stakeholders more difficult," explained senior director, business strategy Stephen Hooper in a company blog post. "Because Fusion Production provides real-time information from the shop floor to monitor work-in-progress across production, these teams are now able to immediately access production information at any given time, from any location." Because of production and IIoT-enabled analytics, factory production managers are now able to use the program to harness data gathered through production processes and make it visible in real-time across the supply chain. This has benefits at the product design level, he noted: Designers can view downstream processes to improve design for manufacturability. SMART STARTUPS The above are all examples of existing manufacturing-tech- nology developers providing smart factory-level solutions from their specific niches in the industry—tooling, mach- ining center, software and so on. But new businesses are also springing up to enable or improve a manufacturer's access to the two-way information exchange that's at the heart of the concept. MachineMetrics ( machinemetrics.com ), for example, is the name of a company and its product: a system designed to track everything that happens on CNC machines and make the most pertinent of the information visible and easily accessible by stakeholders from the operator on up. The MachineMetrics system acts as a historian for machine data—with the ability to export a machine's event history for any period of time. Information such as machine status, faults, programs, part cycles and job runs is displayed on the machine timeline. Users can view the status over time of all of their machines for a single day or drill down into a single machine for a detailed view. The Cycles Report, for example, provides statistical analysis on part cycles—which can uncover part cycle times that were potentially underestimated. The MachineMetrics system tracks CNC machine activity and makes the most pertinent information visible and accessible. 38

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