Tag Archives: Manufacturing

Updates from Siemens

What is enterprise PLM? The answer is today’s Teamcenter.
By Margaret Furleigh – As Teamcenter has evolved as the world’s most widely used enterprise PLM software, the challenge has been to explain in simple terms the enormity and complexity of what Teamcenter can do to transform businesses … and help companies become more agile and adapt to disruptions, whether caused by changing technology, regulations, markets or competition.

If you’re a PLM user, where are you in your PLM journey? Are you primarily focused on product data management (PDM), controlling your designs, documents, BOMs and processes … or have you grown from PDM to reach more people, beyond functional boundaries, or outside your company to suppliers, partners or customers? Maybe you’ve extended from product development to manufacturing and service, or brought in requirements and program management. Are you using PLM to transform the way your business manages product costs, quality, safety, reliability, or sustainabilty? more>

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Updates from Georgia Tech

Researchers Boost Efficiency and Stability of Optical Rectennas
By John Toon – The research team that announced the first optical rectenna in 2015 is now reporting a two-fold efficiency improvement in the devices — and a switch to air-stable diode materials. The improvements could allow the rectennas – which convert electromagnetic fields at optical frequencies directly to electrical current – to operate low-power devices such as temperature sensors.

Optical rectennas operate by coupling the light’s electromagnetic field to an antenna, in this case an array of multiwall carbon nanotubes whose ends have been opened. The electromagnetic field creates an oscillation in the antenna, producing an alternating flow of electrons. When the electron flow reaches a peak at one end of the antenna, the diode closes, trapping the electrons, then re-opens to capture the next oscillation, creating a current flow.

The switching must occur at terahertz frequencies to match the light. The junction between the antenna and diode must provide minimal resistance to electrons flowing through it while open, yet prevent leakage while closed.

“The name of the game is maximizing the number of electrons that get excited in the carbon nanotube, and then having a switch that is fast enough to capture them at their peak,” Baratunde Cola, explained. “The faster you switch, the more electrons you can catch on one side of the oscillation.” more>

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Updates from Boeing

Analyzing the 2017 Orders & Deliveries Race
By Randy Tinseth – For the 6th year in a row, Boeing out-delivered the competition and set a new industry record by pushing 763 airplanes out the door.

At the start of 2017, we set a delivery target of 760 to 765 airplanes. To land in the middle of that target speaks to the dedication of our employees and supplier partners to deliver on the commitments to our customers. You’ve heard me say it before—deliveries matter. It’s the true measure of success, and we nailed it once again in 2017 at the same time we went up on 737 production rate and introduced the MAX.

Our net order total of 912 commercial airplanes was the 7th largest yearly order book in Boeing’s more than 100-year history. Not only was our order book big, it was deep and broad. Our sales team took in orders from 71 customers across the globe. The 737 MAX had another strong year, fueled in part by the MAX 10 launch. And anytime you can book almost 200 twin-aisle airplanes with products clearly preferred by the market, it’s a good year. The sales success we had in 2017 once again confirms our strategy to raise production rates on the 737 and 787 programs. more>

8 Top Innovations of 2017: #1 Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography

By Rick Merritt – After more than 20 years in development, ASML shipped this year what it called volume-production-ready versions of some of the largest and most expensive electronics gadgets ever built. If the new EUV steppers succeed, they will help others build bleeding edge electronics devices for several years to come.

The latest EUV systems are not perfect. They lack, as far as I know, a production worthy protective wafer pellicle. They may still need refinement of their resists materials, and their throughput is still below the 200+ wafers/hour of their 193nm cousins.

That said, this system is a marvel of physics. It generates light by zapping with a laser beam a molten drop of tin as it falls, refracts the light through a maze of optics and focuses it into a nanometer-sized space with precision good enough for a microprocessor designer. more>

Updates from Boeing

Boeing’s robotic and human workers join up to start production of 777X jets
By Alan Boyle – The 777X is bigger than the 787 Dreamliner, but it picks up on a lot of the technologies pioneered by the smaller plane, ranging from wider windows to a common layout for the flight deck and the cargo handling system.

Boeing says it has improved the production process as well.

The 777X production process builds upon lessons learned from the 787 Dreamliner program, which has shifted Boeing toward greater automation and wider use of lightweight carbon fiber for components.

Boeing’s two 777X variants, the 777-8 and 777-9, are designed to carry between 350 and 425 passengers. That stretches well beyond the 396-seat capacity of Boeing’s biggest current-generation 777. The new jets are expected to be 20 percent more fuel-efficient as well.

The 777X’s 235-foot wingspan is so wide that each wingtip has an 11-foot-long section that’s built to fold upward, just in case extra clearance is needed at small airports.

The showcase for the upgraded production system is Boeing’s 1.3 million-square-foot Composite Wing Center, the billion-dollar facility where the carbon-fiber wing components for the 777X are being fabricated. more>

Updates from Georgia Tech

Daydreaming is Good. It Means You’re Smart
By Jason Maderer – A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that daydreaming during meetings isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It might be a sign that you’re really smart and creative.

“People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering,” said Eric Schumacher, the Georgia Tech associate psychology professor who co-authored the study.

Schumacher says higher efficiency means more capacity to think, and the brain may mind wander when performing easy tasks.

How can you tell if your brain is efficient? One clue is that you can zone in and out of conversations or tasks when appropriate, then naturally tune back in without missing important points or steps.

“Our findings remind me of the absent-minded professor — someone who’s brilliant, but off in his or her own world, sometimes oblivious to their own surroundings,” said Schumacher. “Or school children who are too intellectually advanced for their classes. While it may take five minutes for their friends to learn something new, they figure it out in a minute, then check out and start daydreaming.” more>

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How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

By Banning Garrett – New technologies are moving us toward “production-at-the-point-of-consumption” of energy, food, and products with reduced reliance on a global supply chain.

The trade of physical stuff has been central to globalization as we’ve known it. So, this declining movement of stuff may signal we are approaching “peak globalization.”

To be clear, even as the movement of stuff may slow, if not decline, the movement of people, information, data, and ideas around the world is growing exponentially and is likely to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Peak globalization may provide a pathway to preserving the best of globalization and global interconnectedness, enhancing economic and environmental sustainability, and empowering individuals and communities to strengthen democracy. more>

Updates from GE

The Aviator: How A Young Pilot Became A Top-Flight 3D-Printing Engineer

By Maggie Sieger – At 15, Josh Mook got a job refueling planes and handling bags at a small airport near his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. He’d work eight hours a day after school, then blow his earnings every Saturday taking flying lessons. “I couldn’t even drive myself there,” Mook recalls. “But I was flying solo.”

Mook has been jetting into the unknown ever since. Originally considering a career in industrial design, Mook moved to aerospace engineering because it combined his love of flying with his love of math and science.

After graduating from Purdue University in 2005, he joined GE Aviation as an engineer at the GE unit’s headquarters in Cincinnati. His first big success came when he found a clever way to fix a blade durability problem in a jet engine high-pressure compressor.

Additive manufacturing methods like 3D printing build parts from the ground up, layer by layer, by fusing together metal powder or plastics. The technology is suitable for prototyping and custom production, but GE is also using it to make production parts that would be difficult to manufacture using traditional methods. more> https://goo.gl/psf2a9

Updates from Ciena

#Ciena25: The Story Behind the Founding of Ciena

By Bruce Watson – The company that would eventually become Ciena began its life as an inspiration inside the head of David Huber.  The former General Instruments engineer had an idea for how to help cable companies squeeze more television channels through their lines to end consumers.  In 1992, he set out to turn those ideas into a reality, and on November 8, 1992, the paperwork was officially filed in Delaware for the new company.

Huber immediately began searching for venture capital funding.  In late 1993, Huber was introduced to Pat Nettles, a veteran leader of several telecom companies.  By early 1994, Nettles was brought on-board to run the business side of things and was soon the company’s first CEO (though owning a doctorate in particle physics, Nettles was no stranger to the technology side of things himself).

Nettles quickly convinced Huber that it was the long-distance phone companies, not the cable TV industry, that would be the best target for Huber’s invention.

The introduction between the two was orchestrated by Jon Bayless, a venture capitalist who’s firm Sevin Rosen Funds provided $3 million in start-up funding for the business in February 1994. more> https://goo.gl/ZdVzLE

updates from GE

How I Remade GE
By Jeffrey R. Immelt – I led a team of 300,000 people for 6,000 days. I led through recessions, bubbles, and geopolitical risk. I saw at least three “black swan” events. New competitors emerged, business models changed, and we ushered in an entirely new way to invest. But we didn’t just persevere; we transformed the company. GE is well positioned to win in the future.

The changes that took in the world from 2001, when I assumed the company’s leadership, to 2017 are too numerous to mention. The task of the CEO has never been as difficult as it is today. In that vein, my story is one of progress versus perfection. The outcomes of my decisions will play out over decades, but we never feared taking big steps to create long-term value.

For the past 16 years GE has been undergoing the most consequential makeover in its history. We were a classic conglomerate. Now people are calling us a 125-year-old start-up—we’re a digital industrial company that’s defining the future of the internet of things. Change is in our DNA: We compete in today’s world to solve tomorrow’s challenges. We have endured because we have the determination to shape our own future. Although we’re still on the journey, we’ve made great strides in revamping our strategy, portfolio, global footprint, workforce, and culture. more> https://goo.gl/L9nX1b