Additive Manufacturing Asoption Continues to Accelerate
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 16, April 2022
In 2012, I gave a talk to a metal casting consortium meeting, and asked the audience, "who has heard of Star Wars?" Everyone raised their hand. Next question, “who has heard of 3D printing?" Half the room raised their hand. "Who has a 3D Printer?" ...less than 1% of the hands stayed up. Fast forward to 2021, after a year and a half of crippling pandemics, the "Great Resignation," and many of the foundries in my region own multiple 3D printers. There are foundries and pattern shops with million-dollar production sand printers all over the country. But let's not draw the line at sand printers. This column is where you put your future glasses on.
Selling The Shop: A Collection of Thoughts From Those Who Have Bought and Sold Their Businesses.
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 15, September 2021
Industry 4.0, Skills Enhancement and Workforce Readiness
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 14, April 2021
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 13, Sept 2020
One of the most commonly heard reasons that foundries have put off adopting 3D printing, in any format, is the misperception that "it doesn't work." Well, this misperception is sort of like running around barefoot, swinging a tree branch and declaring that footwear doesn't work either. You don't want to wear super insulated duck boots for a summer marathon run, and you can't reliably wear stiletto heels while fishing for striped bass on a jetty.
Connecting Generational Dots in Workforce Development
Foundry Management & Technology - January 2020
Reprinted with permission of Penton Media, Inc.
Where Are Smart Technologies, IOT, and 3D Scanning Going?
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 10, April 2019
There are many applications for 3D Scanning, with articles in Modern Casting, MCDP, and Elsevier that document decade of evolution to the current state of technology. So while some foundries have fully embraced scanning as a tool - overwhelmingly, I get comments that echo the sentiments of, "we're just a job shop, we can’t justify..."
Foundry Industry 4 Point O
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 9, Sept. 2018
Early one morning, I looked up the Industrial Revolution 4.0, and my first attempt at reading about it was a jumble of new jargon and buzzwords that I couldn’t deal with before coffee. The pundits currently say we’re on the Fourth industrial revolution. Pre-caffinated cogerism aside, industrial revolutions have been fairly important to the manufacturing sector, so I dug down into the cereal box and pulled out the magic decoder ring. The following is a look at the tangible elements of this next wave of technology cresting over the foundry industry, and how it is starting to impact the shop floor.
Guidance On New Technology Implemtation
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 8, April 2018
"New Technology" – it’s all the rage. The funny thing is that new technology has been all the rage since the Stone Age. Those guys who made the first bronze knife? Game changing early adopters. There’s a few shades of "new" depending on your perspective:
- New to the World
- New to the Market
- New to the Company
- New to the Customer
Back of the Napkin Tech Road Mapping
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 7, Sept 2017
I managed a new product development / R&D group for a few years. We were responsible for full product life cycle – from concept, development, through launch, manufacturing support, and obsolescence. The cradle to grave mentality created a great sense of accountability. It eliminated the classic development mind-set of "fix it in production" or "purchasing can deal with that single sourcing risk later." The regime also meant that as engineering managers, we constantly needed a short-term and long-term technology road map in order to make sure that the ship kept sailing in the right direction without running aground along the way.
Plastic Tooling for Metalcasting from Large Format 3D Printers
Simple Solutions That Work!™ - Volume 6, April 2017
For those looking to use additive manufacturing as a means to make metal parts, there are four main paths to the end result:
- Direct Metal – systems that “grow” metal parts directly from powdered metal or welding wire
- Printed Sand Molds and Cores
- Printed Plastic Tooling
- Printed Investment Casting Waxes