OnRobot and Tanida Ruangsawat/Dreamstime
On Robot

5 for Friday: Effective Design from the Start; the Human Side of Cobots; Several New Dimensions on 3D Printing

Aug. 18, 2023
Machine Design takes a look at the past week, and a look ahead to the issues facing the design and manufacturing sector.

1. Effective Design from the Start

Machine Design’s editors have written extensively about the changing relationship between design and operations. As systems get more integrated, the need to design for not just operations, but also long-term sustainability has come to the fore.

The new Machine Design e-book, Design Engineering: Get it Right From the Start examines the value created by this new evolving group dynamic. Manufacturers are taking a fresh look at design as a function of process improvement, as well as of operational efficiency and profitability.

One chapter in the e-book is called “Designing Models That Can be Built.”  It looks at how engineers can more tightly control costs if they understand the problems machinists face with less-than-optimal designs.

You can download this new e-book by clicking on this link.

2. The Human Side of Cobots

A new Machine Design article notes the explosive growth in collaborative robots and their use in all kinds of manufacturing operations. What is often less considered is not the value the cobot brings to the plant, but the human value unlocked by the cobot deployment.

“As article author Kristian Hulgard  of OnRobot notes, “Cobot-based systems are attractive to companies of all sizes thanks to their affordability, fast ROI, small footprint and ability to switch between different products and applications. Most of all, collaborative automation breaks down the traditional barriers to automation adoption experienced by SMEs.”

Cobots are scalable—you often can employ just one or two to realize quick ROI and a safer operation. But it also is the ease of programming and deployment that should make cobots appealing to all segments of manufacturing.

3. A New View of Injection Molding

The concept of dissolvability is changing the way we consider the costs and complexity of mold design. Glen Mason, manager of advanced innovation and industrialization at DeMarini, a division of Wilson Sporting Goods, and Lasse Staal, business development director of Nexa3D, discuss this new focus on achieving a 1:1 comparison of molds and parts with Machine Design technical editor Sharon Spielman.

4. Another Dimension on 3D Printing

Chloe Vollaro of Protolabs shares her thoughts on  3D printing design in another Machine Design article. Her “8 Tips For Designing 3D Printed Parts” covers some of the fundamentals. But also takes a deeper dive into some of the newer concepts around 3D printing from a design perspective. One such area is Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), where she notes a DfAM analysis can help, “but understanding the basic limitations of 3D printing will allow issues to be corrected before they are submitted for an analysis and a quote.”

5. Finding the Right Fit for Tubing

In a new Machine Design article, Jon Kestner of Swagelok makes the case that tube fittings need to be properly sourced to ensure a secure connection for fluid system components. As Kestner notes in the article, “the challenge facing engineers who are considering intermixing and interchanging fluid system components is that no industry-wide standard exists for tube fittings. What that means practically is that each manufacturer sets its own design standards and processes. While sometimes those differences are small, they are often significant and can cause problems to fluid system operations.”

And Kestner adds, “Unless tube fitting components are specifically designed to work together—and with products from competitors—they create new, unvalidated designs that were not intended by the original design engineer.”

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