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5 for Friday: Merging Technology and Challenges; Sustainability to the Bottom Line; New Dimensions in Supply Chain, Cybersecurity

Oct. 27, 2023
Machine Design takes a look at the past week, and a look ahead to the issues facing the design and manufacturing sector.

1. Merging Manufacturing Challenges, Technologies

As a Chicagoan, I know the joy of rush hour traffic. There is a major road construction project underway now designed to alleviate one particular snarl that requires not just the reweaving of the traffic flow but the reimagining of the traffic slow itself. It requires the mix of fundamentals such as concrete and steel with computer-aided design and sophisticated measurements—all while cars and trucks continue to speed along each day.

Rebuilding a manufacturing plant today requires no less attention to both sides of the equation. In the first of a three-part series, I talked with Stephen Greene, vice president of Global Marketing and Business Development at Stratus, to look at how manufacturers are combining technologies such as AI, sensors and data to address such complex issues as  supply chain flexibility, sustainability and workforce shortages. 

2. Right to The Bottom Line 

We all aspire to embrace sustainability as a way to build both a better world and a more profitable business. At this week’s AVEVA Conference in San Francisco, AVEVA CEO Caspar Herzberg painted a stark and realistic picture of the fundamental outcome of sustainability: doing more with less.

“You will not be able to make money,” Herzberg stated at the conference. “You will not be able to get the business results that you need to get, nor will you meet the increasingly stringent sustainability targets that governments, that civil society all over the world…put on us. Without that it will not happen.”

3. Another Dimension in Supply Chain

The post-pandemic world is one that has reevaluated the basics of the supply chain. In a new Machine Design Q&A with Dave Prezzano, global head of Go-to-Market, HP Personalization and 3D Printing at HP, we talked about how additive manufacturing has been embraced, first as a stop-gap solution to fix supply chain gaps, and now as a viable tool for long-term use.

“Onshoring manufacturing, building supply chain resiliency and enabling just-in-time production for products in critical industries has been growing in importance. So, too, has the pivotal role additive manufacturing plays in the solution throughout the chain of production,” Prezzano said. “Today, businesses across industries are re-evaluating the way they design, manufacture and mass-produce goods using revolutionary 3D printing technology.”

4. And One Market Ahead of the Curve…

The medical component manufacturing sector always has been on the cutting edge of the use of 3D printing and sensor technologies, and those advances has fueled continuing industry growth. A new report shows that the global medical component manufacturing market is expected to grow 6.4%, from $12.44 billion in 2022 to $17.03 billion in 2027, according to the Medical Component Manufacturing Global Market Report 2023 from the Business Research Company.

Machine Design has reported on some of the technological advancements being made in this segment, including using injection molding to design a “smart” wheelchair and hybrid manufacturing techniques that enabled the production of a bionic hand.

5. A Cybersecurity Playbook

The challenges of adding technology in a connected world is that those connections can be compromised. MxD, which partnered with Machine Design to present its seven cybersecurity threats, has just introduced its new Cyber Playbook: Ensuring Cybersecurity in Additive Manufacturing. The focus for this playbook is Department of Defense Risk Management Framework compliance in deploying 3D printers.

“This playbook provides a comprehensive framework for identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities and is a significant resource for companies who work with the DoD looking to deploy additive manufacturing devices,” said Matt Taylor, vice president of projects and engineering at MxD, in a press release.

“A mitigation approach for cyber-attacks must take into account the unique requirements for these classes of control systems,” the press release went on to state. “Additive manufacturing systems face a variety of cyber threats including control system denial-of-service attacks or damage to the machines; unauthorized disclosure of potentially sensitive, private, or proprietary information; and unauthorized access to other organizational systems.”

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