Manufacturing sectors are poised to make many positive leaps forward, with innovative and, at times, futuristic technologies spurring the drive. From computerized processes and robotics to laser technology and 3D printing, the impact of the latest technologies on the manufacturing industry is very significant.
Technologies propelling manufacturing forward:
A number of different design and production technologies have emerged over the last 30 years, significantly impacting manufacturing in a variety of ways. Computer-aided design, or CAD, has reduced the time it takes to get a product from concept to market, as well as cutting the cost of bringing a new product to life. Automation has also become standard in manufacturing, with more and more production and design being achieved through robotics.
New production processes have made it possible for you to not only design a tangible prototype of your product but also to create multiple models or prototypes quickly and cheaply. Some of these processes, such as 3D printing, are already being widely used in a number of sectors.
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Additive manufacturing, an umbrella term for a number of innovative manufacturing processes, is quickly becoming an extremely significant part of the manufacturing industry. Commonly known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing processes work by laying down layer upon layer of a material, such as a metal or polymer, to build a three dimensional object or model. Additive manufacturing has become increasingly popular in the automotive and aerospace industries, where it is used to rapidly produce prototypes, and it is also making great inroads into the biomedical industry. Additive manufacturing is proving particularly useful in the medical sector as a way to produce custom implants, allowing a patient’s individual physical needs to be met with a hip or knee implant made specifically for them.
Niche manufacturing is a natural outgrowth of the specialization that new technology breeds. Transducer Techniques is a great example of the manufacturing resurgence in the US, and of how niche manufacturing may well be the wave of the manufacturing sector’s future. Transducer Techniques is a leading supplier of load cells.
A load cell is a type of transducer, which means it is designed to convert a signal in one type of energy into a signal in another type of energy. In the case of a load cell, it is used to measure a force and convert it into an electrical signal with a magnitude directly proportionate to the original signal. Strain gauge load cells, piezoelectric load cells, hydraulic load cells and pneumatic load cells are some of the types of load cells used in the manufacturing industry. Strain gauge load cells are most commonly seen in the weighing industry, except where more precise balances are used, such as in a laboratory. Pneumatic load cells are used when a higher degree of hygiene or safety may be required. If you are in a remote location and do not have direct access to a power supply, a hydraulic load cell may be your best bet.
Embracing new technology has always been standard in the manufacturing sector. With so many advances in science, computing and mechanics making their debut in recent years, we can look forward to a future of innovation and exciting changes in the manufacturing industries.
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