Posted on: June 6, 2018, | By Tony, WayKen Project Manager
The term "intelligent manufacturing" has become one of the most popular words in manufacturing. German "Industry 4.0" strategy was initiated in April 2013, focusing on major fields of the smart factory, intelligent manufacturing. After Germany proposed Industry 4.0, China also put forward the Chinese version of Industry 4.0, -made in China in 2025, which contains 5 major plans. Among them, intelligent manufacturing engineering is included.
The intelligence technique of manufacturer refers to using computer simulation for intelligent activities such as expert’s analysis, judgment, inference, idea, and decision-making and so on. China is the world's only country with the United Nations industrial classification of all kinds, having 39 industrial categories, 191 subcategories and 525 small classes, thus forming a unique industry complete industrial system. Intelligent manufacture is for the industrial giant's head into the soul of lean management, culture, and wisdom.
The Term "Rapid prototyping"(RP) is a relatively new technology for the generation of three-dimensional models manufactured without the need for machining or products designed on a computer-aided design system. The principal advantages of using this technology include:
1)High speed at which the solid model is generated.
2)The complexity of the model does not form any limitation to its production.
3)The early use of these models was to assist the designer in determining fitness and form. It also provided the sales team with a 3-dimensional object to show to a prospective customer, much better than the traditional orthographic drawing many find difficult to interpret.
In my familiar field of automobile industry and other product design, more and more customers ask me whether I can use more advanced 3D printing. Of course, with the new concept of 3D so popular, it is inevitable that many designers will be excited about its advantages. As a project manager working in the rapid prototyping industry for years, we have been paying attention to the application of emerging technologies. Below are my views on the future rapid manufacturing applications:
Over the past few years, a variety of new rapid manufacturing technologies, generally called Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (RP&M), have emerged. On one hand, the technologies such as Stereo lithography (SLA), selected laser sintering (SLS), fused deposition modeling(FDM), laminated object manufacturing(LOMO), and three dimensional printing(3D Print), have a common important feature--the prototype part is produced by adding materials rather than removing materials. This simplifies the 3D part producing processes to 2D layer adding processes so that a part can be produced directly from its computer model.
On the other hand, conventional manufacturing methods machining in the form of drilling, turning, milling, spark erosion etc., have made more breakthroughs. It’s not uncommon nowadays to see 5-axis CNC milling or 7-Axis lathes in operation. Their functionality allows for increased part manipulation to produce the design previously unachievable. The most modern, sophisticated method of programming an NC machine is to use a three-dimensional model of the part to provide the data that guides the NC machine in producing the part. As NC technology continues to develop, this programming method will eventually be used more than any others.
Personally, I think 3D printing technology will be applied more in the future, but traditional CNC washing and machining still has its irreplaceable advantages. After all, the same rapid cleaning and processing technology that supports product development is also in great progress and has accumulated decades of experience serving various fields. Production of models by machining has a number of limitations in the previous years, in the new era of intelligence manufacturing, designer’s work will be easier and more possible to make their great design to success because of both traditional methods and new emerging technology will help their free design, no matter how complex the structure is or limited materials are.
Every designer has their own unique prototype service needs that need to be supported by different rapid prototyping technologies, according to which one is more appropriate.
In the first quarter of 2018, we offer our customers in Europe a lot of prototypes and low volume parts by using rapid manufacturing methods. According to different requirements, sometimes we adopt 3D print technologies, such as using SLS and SLA to make a master pattern with silicone mold to produce small batch products; sometimes we adopt CNC machining method, such as some special materials required for plastic structure components. In this case, customers often choose our plastic CNC services. CNC machining can be a relatively high precision product samples, applied materials mainly include ABS, PC, PMMA, PP, aluminum, copper, etc. These prototypes and low volume parts will be mainly used in the design verification and marketing of automobile development stage.
If you need any suggestions in rapid manufacturing such as CNC plastic services, please feel free to contact WayKen's project manager. Professional rapid prototyping companies tend to be the fastest to understand the needs of designers and provide customized machining services to meet the needs of small quantities or even a single part. Following is what our rapid manufacturing services can help your design in this intelligence manufacturing era.
1.Manufacturing：We can use the CNC plastic or metal parts for productively studies. By providing a physical product at an earlier design stage, we can speed up process planning and tooling design. In addition, by accurately describing complex geometry, the prototype can help reduce problems in interpreting the blueprints on the shop floor. It can also be used in tooling development for mold and master pattern for casting.
2.Marketing：To assist product sales, a prototype can be used to demonstrate the concept, design ideas, as well as the company’s ability to produce it. The reality of the physical model illustrates the feasibility of the design. Also, the prototype can be used to gain customers’ feedback for design modification so that the final product will meet customers’ requirements.