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Augmented Reality or A/R Will Greatly Enhance Manufacturing Industries

augmented reality

Augmented Reality or A/R may feel like something out of a science fiction movie or a concept belonging to the future, but we already interact with A/R more often than we know. One recent example is the Pokémon Go craze that applied A/R to locate, capture, battle and train Pokemon creatures. Smartphone users of all ages used A/R to superimpose Pokémon’s computer-generated images to views of the real world.

Blending the Virtual and Real

Different than the computer-generated environment of virtual reality, Augmented Reality superimposes sounds, images and text on the world we see. The composite view produced through A/R can enhance the world and offer numerous applications for enjoyment and work. Prominent examples of applications abound in the aerospace, military and automobile industries. These companies use A/R to solve key operational issues and are introducing ways a workforce can more easily perform repetitive tasks in a more efficient manner.

It can also enhance remote work and improve collaboration. For example, applications can free users from the need to refer to a laptop for instructions or the need to be in a set location to call up videos. Users can leave notes, issue voice commands and call up information from colleagues literally before their eyes.

Manufacturing Industry Applications

But beyond demonstrations on a trade show floor or flashy examples from high-end companies with deep pockets, how will it be used in the so-called real world? A 2017 article from engineering.com profiled five possible uses of Augmented Reality in the manufacturing industry.

Complex Assembly – Instead of referring to work instructions on static documents that could be out of date, A/R can make the instructions changeable and easy to update. The technology can include technical drawings, video and comments from the last person on the job. Workers no longer need to leave a task to check a work station for information.

Maintenance – Support for maintenance-related tasks can become easier with A/R. Augmented models allow workers to confirm and record inspection orders and results using voice technology. This method allows workers to ditch cumbersome manuals while streamlining and speeding up the inspection process.

Expert Support – Traveling to a site to perform maintenance is expensive, but the telepresence provided could improve the process. Augmented Reality can allow a technician located anywhere in the world to see through the eyes of an on-site technician performing the work, offering the ability to provide real-time Q&A and support.

Quality Assurance – Manual inspections can also be enhanced through A/R. Inspectors take photos of parts or assemblies under inspection and compare those to an augmented reality overlay. As a result, out-of-spec features become easier to spot and report, potentially speeding up and enhancing the effectiveness of the inspection process.

Automation – Although some associate A/R with the use of robots with subsequent loss of jobs, others see it as supplementation and collaboration, ultimately improving working efficiency. Augmented Reality has the potential to read the environment and then “feed” that information to workers.

This article is brought to you by The Cleveland Deburring Machine Company. CDMC can provide a deburring solution for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, automotive deburring, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. Our no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today and speak with one of our experts!

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Columbia Deserves More Recognition for Manufacturing Than for Sofia Vergara

Columbian manufacturing

Known best for Sofia Vergara and their agricultural exports, Colombia is rarely recognized for their strength in manufacturing. However, with fifteen free trade agreements and an ideal port location, Colombia boasts competitive prices, skilled labor, and governmental support for foreign investment in manufacturing.

Global Fashion Impact

Textiles are positioning Colombian fashion as a World Class Industry. Thanks to the Productive Transformation Program, a government entity that works with the private sector to promote Colombian competitiveness and production, Colombia is the world’s third market for highest growth rate in the textile and fashion industry. What started as high-quality corduroy in Medellin has turned the world upside down. Textile imports have grown  15% between 2010 and 2014 to supply growing requirements of the local market and exporting to the United States, Mexico, and Ecuador.

Motorcycles and other Autos

As with many countries in Latin America, motorcycles are a staple in Colombia. They use less gas than other vehicles, are more affordable, and are perfect for weaving through city traffic. Colombia is home to 7 motorcycle plants, and motorcycle production continues to grow on an average of 16% since 2010.

Colombia does not just produce motos; they are also a large vehicle producer in Latin America with more than 130 thousand units per year. Cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs–increased financial stability and the growth of the middle class across Latin America fuel this growing manufacturing industry. Chevy, Hyundai, Kia, Renault, and even Ford have plants there. The primary importers of Colombian automotive products are Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Chile.

Constructing the Future

The construction industry in Colombia has grown more than any other sector; this includes the construction materials for buildings and civil works. With a recent increase in housing and infrastructure programs as well as political pressure to build roads and renovate ports and airports, we can only expect it to continue to grow.

Colombia’s construction industry is the third largest in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. The United States, Venezuela, and Panama account for 59.5% of building material exports. The industry is expected to double in value by 2020 and reach US$ 52 billion. Top products include cement, non-metallic minerals, and plaster.

The Driving Force in Cosmetics

As a number five market for cosmetics and toiletries in Latin America, more than 300 companies including Kimberly-Clark, P&G, Unilever, and Avon, produce and package the products here. As another sector overseen by The Productive Transformation Program, the government and private sectors work together to position Colombia as a world leader in the export of cosmetics and toiletries. Now, Colombian cosmetics represent more than 10% of total Latin American exports.

Women are driving this industry. The percentage of female managers here exceed that of Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, and France. Moreover, the cosmetics industry is the second largest female labor market in the region. In the last few years, they have seen a 37% increase in the female workforce compared to 16% growth worldwide.

Biodiversity and Social Progress

As home to the Amazon Rainforest and three mountain ranges, Colombia is rich in natural resources. They have a temperate climate and ports in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. But it is not just rich in biodiversity. It’s also rich in forward moving politics. Their government focuses on strong trade agreements and competitive quality products. And Colombia has made great strides in equal opportunities for women. They are not just exporting women for TV shows; they are making beautiful progress for the world.

 

This article brought to you by The Cleveland Deburring Machine Company. CDMC can provide a deburring solution for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, automotive deburring, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. Our no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today for a deburring machine that’s right for you.

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STEM Leads the Way as New Face of Manufacturing

manufacturing

There is a negative perception of manufacturing right now–that the profession is risky, low-paying, with no benefits and high potential for getting laid-off. This perception of manufacturing in America is outdated and has more to do with misconceptions of the benefits of offshoring than the essential evolution of manufacturing in the United States. If Manufacturing in the United States were its own country, it would rank today as the eighth largest economy with an impressive leadership in high-tech manufacturing. This is where STEM steps in as one of the most important assets to manufacturing in terms of education, lucrative benefits for manufacturing companies, and financial reward for employees with these highly-needed skills. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and is quickly becoming one of the most sought after skills in the manufacturing market.

The employee of tomorrow in the manufacturing market will be an archetype far more developed than that of the Model-T line production days. The skills required for the manufacturer of tomorrow will include critical thinking abilities, design, automation, as well as innovation in both hardware and software. Therefore, it is important to take a step back and think hard about our common misunderstandings of manufacturing jobs as nonacademic or careers for the under educated. We must continue to emphasize the importance of STEM skills not only in the current workforce but also in the workforce of tomorrow.

The economic success of our country relies on a strong foundation in STEM education– not only as preparation for the manufacturing but also as innovative in-classroom approaches and methodologies required for all work forces of tomorrow. Within the next five years, STEM jobs will grow twice as quickly. Over the next decade, over 80% of jobs will require technological skills. It is important to start integrating skills with innovation, engineering, and technology into our common curriculum in schools. Think about the benefits for manufacturers when the next generation workforce comes in with abilities in robotics, hardware and software, and critical thinking. High-tech manufacturing is growing in America and we can’t overlook the necessity of these skills in the future workforce.

The greatest thing about the future of STEM skills in our manufacturing industry is that it would already respond to the problems of today effectively and efficiently. Considering the vast amount of entrepreneurship in novel manufacturing startups and the increased amount of re-shoring underway in the United States, STEM skills will be a profitable commodity for the economy. The abilities for computer design, engineering, and advanced mathematical analysis not only increase product development and quality but also receive notoriety from potential investors and even federal grant incentives, like ones that have been given to many small manufacturing companies from the Obama Administration.

The implementation of science, technology, engineering, and math in our economy is already a growing necessity. These skills give companies the abilities to innovate and use sound science and analysis as a method for that innovation. Soon, in the not too distant future, our workforce will have jobs that require these skills. How amazing would it be to see these skills integrated into our manufacturing companies today–before it is a requirement? It’s time to demonstrate the relevance of the high-tech manufacturing job market to our future workforce and show just how important STEM skills in the manufacturing industry can be in developing a strong American economy.

CDMC is dedicated to providing deburring solutions for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. CDMC’s no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today for a deburring machine that’s right for you.

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