They will radically redefine the dynamics of global competition in many industries by enabling them to manufacture products faster, better and at lower cost, and will lead to a quantum leap in productivity, according to BCG.
In the last decades, the global manufacturing industry has focused on finding a competitive advantage in cheap labor, however, now that wages in China and other emerging countries are are increasing, the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies could raise the productivity of companies to compete in the global market, says the analysis Why advanced manufacturing will boost productivity? , Of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
It is at this point where technology is becoming a tool for competitiveness; Is what is called Industry 4.0 that is characterized by cyber-physical (CPS) systems and dynamic data processes that use large amounts of information to drive intelligent machines. Ford and General Electric are two of the global companies that are working with this.
It is expected that global economic conditions favor the adoption of new technologies, in fact, as defined by BCG, advanced manufacturing technologies are a set of highly flexible, data-efficient and cost-efficient production processes.
The figures show that in the next five years 72% of US manufacturing companies with at least $ 1 billion in sales are planning to invest in automation and advanced technologies.
Robotic Automation –
A new generation of automation systems links industrial robots with control systems through information technologies (IT). New robotic and automation systems equipped with standardized sensors and interfaces are beginning to complement and, in some cases, eliminate human labor in many processes. This could cost-effectively enable manufacturers to produce smaller-scale items and increase their capacity to improve quality.
Engineering of integrated computer materials ( ICME ). By creating computer modeling products and simulation of their properties before they are manufactured, instead of building and testing multiple physical prototypes, engineers and designers can develop better products, faster and at a lower cost.
Digital manufacturing . Virtualization can be used to generate complete digital plants that simulate the whole production process. Among other things, this can help engineers save time and money by optimizing the distribution of a factory, identifying and correcting defects automatically at every step of the production process, and modeling quality and Output of the product. Entire assembly lines can be replicated in different locations at relatively low cost.
The industrial internet (IoT) and flexible automation . The manufacturing hardware can be integrated so that the machines are able to communicate with others and automatically adjust the production based on the data generated by the sensors.
Additive Manufacturing . Known as 3D printing, it is already beginning to be used for the manufacture of prototypes in some industries, such as aerospace, auto parts and consumer goods. In the future, it is expected to be used to build small batches of new types of products made from a single solid piece of material.
BCG anticipates that these technologies will not have a significant impact in the very short term, adding that it is unlikely to replace labor in many industries in the next five to 10 years; However, considers that although a technological leap in manufacturing has been predicted for years, this time will be increasingly a reality due to several factors that the consultant will analyze throughout this year.
Recent advances in information technology have made possible the appearance of numerous computer applications that greatly facilitate design operations. These include: Computer Assisted Design (CAD), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM).
Computer Assisted Design (CAD): This is a well-known and used design system that allows to extend in a significant way the possibilities of traditional drawing systems and whose main advantage lies in the speed with which it allows to make modifications in the Design, unlike what happened when the designs were made on paper.
The possibilities of the CAD system are enormous, being able to perform a wide range of tasks, among which we can highlight:
Ø Display any model in three dimensions and in perspective.
Ø Use different colors for each surface.
Ø Automatically remove hidden lines and surfaces.
Ø Rotate or move the part.
Ø Obtain any type of sections, drawing plants and elevations automatically.
Ø Calculate the volume, surface, center of gravity, inertia, etc., of each piece, almost instantaneously.
Each of these operations took up a lot of time, whereas with the CAD system they are done by simply altering a parameter or choosing a certain option in a menu.
Computer Assisted Engineering (CAE): This set of computer applications allows you to analyze how the part designed by the CAD system behaves in the face of changes in temperature, comprehension, traction, vibration, etc. This will allow to select the material most suitable for the part, as well as to make the necessary modifications to improve the performance of the same.
The possibility of performing these simulations before the actual existence of the piece allows a considerable reduction of the time necessary for the construction of prototypes, on which the tests were subsequently carried out to select the most suitable materials.
Prior to the development of the CAE a change of material involved the construction of a new prototype, in which several days were used; With the CAE only involves altering a series of parameters, an operation that lasts only a few seconds.
Although this technique does not completely eliminate the need to build prototypes, it does drastically reduce the number of tests to be carried out with such prototypes and helps to identify reliability, performance, certain cost problems, etc. at an early stage.
Computer Aided Engineering is also known as Virtual Prototyping or Virtual Prototyping, because it allows to simulate the behavior of the piece in a virtual way.
Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM): Once the design of the piece has been completed and the simulations have been made on its behavior in extreme situations, it is made. It is at this point that the CAM enters into action, creating, from the CAD design, the numerical control devices, which will control the work of the different machines, so that the result exactly matches the design made in the shortest possible time .
The CAM system is also responsible for simulating the physical path of each tool, in order to prevent possible interferences between tools and materials.
All this set of possibilities, provided by the CAM technology, considerably shorten the market time, avoiding having to make corrections a posteriori in the basic characteristics of the design.
New compounds of Bio-Flex Blends with film and is approved for containers for home and industrial use
Bioplastic specialist has developed new Bio-Flex compounds for the production of thin wall film that completely biodegrades at low temperatures
in composting in the home. The American company has issued the ‘OK Compost Home’ certificate for these grades.
In addition, most of these compounds comply with the requirements of Article 75 of the Energy Transition Law.
Since January 2017 in the American retail sector, this law prohibits the use of plastic bags for fruits and vegetables,
as well as cheese counters, butchers and fishmongers. Bioplastic bags are exempt from the provisions when they are compostable in the home and
have a minimum of 30% (from 2025 60%) of renewable raw materials.
All household bio-flex composites are characterized by their excellent resistance to moisture.
This is a great advantage over many commercially available starch-based plastics of this type,
which degrade rapidly but are recommended to be filled with dry contents. The range of possible applications of the new compounds is wide,
for example, reusable bags, as well as bags for fruits and vegetables, film for quilting and other containers.
The product range currently consists of translucent grades Bio-Flex FX 1803 (30% renewable raw material),
F 1804 and F 1814 (both 40% renewable raw material), type F 1814 offers increased tear strength.
The grades of Bio-Flex FX 1821 (10% renewable raw material), FX 1823 (30% renewable raw material) and FX 1824 (40% renewable raw material) are opaque.
Translucent types provide excellent contact transparency. They are therefore very suitable among others for the packaging of goods with printed IR code,
as well as for visually attractive packaging for printing materials of all kinds. The opaque grades have very good tenacity and resistance to breakage.
Good processing capacity at existing production facilities is common to all their compounds.
A review of new systems and equipment contributing to evolving technologies in labeling, coding and marking in flexible packaging
The changes go beyond labeling – new types of labels, new technology and new machines are emerging. As with the most Types of machinery, versatility is in high demand and labeling is no different. Packagers need a printer that can customize different label materials and technologies. The equipment must be adaptable and offer higher performance, easy installation and high quality labels. According to a PMMI report called, “labeling trends,” a flurry of changes in technologies are making customers eager for new solutions and a guide to labeling vendors.
Sales of flexible flexographic printing containers are expected to continue to increase with some global sales estimates reaching $ 820 billion annually by 2016. The US packaging market currently is approximately USD $ 150 billion with USD $ 27 thousand Millions of that share in the printed flexographic industry. With the expansion of flexible flexographic printed packaging, many new and innovative printed products have emerged in both narrow and wide web formats.
The narrow band retractable film market is one of the fastest expanding airplanes in flexible packaging, with the mold label market also growing, albeit at a much slower pace. The retractable film market is rapidly moving towards flexographic printing through increased process quality and the rapid advance of high-quality process printing capabilities in narrow-band flexo printing.
Progress in ink
There are many challenges in the printing of films in narrowband applications, from the mechanical limitations of the same printers to the inks and substrates, and finally, the wide and varied uses of the printed products. Equipment problems range from stress difficulties with thin-film films that can distort and cause recording problems, to dryers that fail to properly dry water-based inks that must be dried only by evaporation vs. evaporation and absorption of substrates of paper.
Too much heat can also cause distortion of film substrates. The inks and substrates present their own set of challenges for the narrow band printer. Ink adhesion, gloss, product strength, ink-printing capability and ink migrations are just some of the problems of printers and the ink supplier.
In industrial sectors of transformation of plastic parts, by processes of injection, thermoforming, extrusion etc. Non-definitive molds, also known as prototype molds, have been constructed to obtain these non-definitive pieces. They are used temporarily to obtain small series or even obtain definitive pieces of production.
Traditionally these molds have been obtained applying the same processes or techniques that are manufactured serial production molds (milling, turning, erosion etc.). These molds are manufactured by the moldistas themselves responsible for the production mold or even the final transformers of the parts themselves. But the market demands even more reduction in the development time of the new products, which can no longer be achieved through the application of traditional techniques. The much needed reduction in delivery times that the market is demanding will only be achieved by modifying the current manufacturing process, with rapid tooling being one of the strongest alternatives available.
The rapid tooling as a global concept should be understood as the terminology that brings together the different techniques, technologies and even methodologies of work, in order to obtain useful or means of production in a short space of time. The rapid tooling is based mainly on rapid prototyping. , CAD / CAM / CNC in three dimensions, in the evolution of machining techniques by chip removal (high speed, laser, etc.), also supported by planning and management techniques of advanced design and production. The combination of all these techniques, technologies and / or methodologies, with the final objective of obtaining the tools,
The rapid tooling and, more broadly, rapid manufacturing are one of the most robust alternatives to respond to the real needs of the market, in terms of obtaining prototypes or small series in material and process that is most similar to the definitive one, once it is found Consolidated, in terms of precision, terms and price.
There are other specific needs in the market, which once the rapid tooling is consolidated, may be susceptible to be applied to such methodology. They are very specific needs of certain sectors, but today they present potential areas for improvement, especially to reduce costs and reduce manufacturing timeframes:
Molds and matrices of short or low production life.
Molds and matrices prototype and pilot.
Series production tools.
Manufacture of individual parts such as inserts and electrodes.
To emphasize that today there are techniques available that perfectly meet the requirements in terms of precision and tolerances but instead must improve in key aspects such as delivery time and cost, and the application of these techniques so specific will require to modify certain aspects in How much the conception of the useful ones (design and manufacture).
The industry continues to evolve, developing new materials, and therefore new welding techniques to increase the safety of cars
The automobile industry is in continuous evolution , new materials are being developed, and therefore new welding techniques to increase the safety of cars, decrease their weight and at the same time reduce production costs.
Welding techniques include new processes such as laser welding and welding Mig Brazing (or CuSi3), which although they have been used for a few years and is currently being used more widely these processes.
Laser welding can be done in two ways, either by conduction or by penetration .
In the first case, The energy of the laser is concentrated on the joint by melting the metal on both sides, which is cooled again quickly, both parts being welded. Here the surface of the molten bath is not completely crossed with the laser beam.
In penetration laser welding the surface of the molten bath is opened to give way to the laser beam, achieving a greater penetration of welding and taking better advantage of the energy, for this reason requires higher laser powers.
It is also classified according to the active medium generated by the energy source, and can be distinguished mainly between two variants for laser welding of automobile bodies, CO2 lasers with gaseous active medium and those of state Nd-YAC solid, The first presents a lower cost per unit of power and a higher power, however, the second can be transmitted by optical fiber, which allows the use in places with difficult accessibility.
The most important advantages of laser welding compared to other welding processes are:
– Allows greater depth of penetration.
– It requires less preparation of edges and in most cases does not need material of contribution, on the other hand it needs that the ends of the piece are perfectly finished, with very good adjustment and precision of alignment.
– Allows the exact location of the weld on the union, with great accuracy, of hundredths of a millimeter in spot welding.
– It presents a smaller extension of the area affected by the heat and a smaller thermal distortion of the welded pieces, comparing it with other techniques of welding, reason why the structural transformations of the adjacent metal are minimal.
– The possibility of warping and deformation caused by the heating of the part is minimized.
– The welds by laser welding have great tensile and fatigue strengths.
– Accessibility to areas not allowed by other techniques, for example, allows to realize the welding in pieces with access by a single side.
– Great capacity for process automation.
– Allows high working speeds and higher penetrations, as well as better finish quality.
– The most commonly used bonding geometry for laser welding in the automobile is the overlapping geometry.
– In laser welding it can also be distinguished according to the way it is applied, by points or by continuous cord with or without material.
– Laser welding applied to automobile bodies is mainly used for the welding of the joints of the roofs with side frames (with material supply), and in some joints formed by more than two pieces (by laser welding points) . In short, it is used in areas more sensitive to the appearance of deformations, and is used by many manufacturers, in models such as Fiat, Audi, Volkswagen, Ford and many more.
Each industry has its cutting-edge technology, a solution that changes the way you think about a particular process or product. For a long time, flexographic printing was simply an acceptable approach to creating flexible packaging, labels and other end products. It had not changed much over the years.
In 2008, Kodak introduced the Kodak Flexcel NX system and was immediately recognized as an element of change in the industry.
The Flexcel NX system won both the PIA / GATF InterTech Technology Award and the Flexographic Pre-Press Platemakers Association (FPPA) of Technical Innovator of the Year 2008. In 2009, it was named as the sole recipient of the technical innovation award, and over the years , Its users have captured dozens of industry awards for work produced in the system.
Color and quality dominate demand
Competition between brands remains constant throughout the world. Impulse purchase accounts for almost 75% of consumer spending, however the sellers and producers of packaged products, and those producing the packaging, face a daily dilemma. In short, packaging printers are always under pressure to reduce production costs, while delivery of the packaging drives the consumer to buy.
Color can be the most critical element to generate the appeal on the shelf, while it is visible from afar. Other key visual elements are size, shape, typography and design. Increasing the use of process color in packaging printing, and placing less dependency on the use of spot or special colors, may be the answer to harnessing the power of color in a cost-effective manner; But to get there with flexo printing has long been a challenge.
The results are increasingly surprising as four-color printing in flexography takes on an increasingly transcendental role in the printing of packaging. Industry leaders recognize that four-color flexographic printing can increase production efficiency, reduce costs and meet the most demanding quality requirements.
Trends in Labeling
According to the PMMI study, “Trends in Labeling”, there are several trends in labeling to be observed. The report lists six trends on the margins of changing labeling processes over the next three to five years:
Reductions in unit costs of the label
Smaller label inventory
Less waste of label material
Greater use of sustainable materials
Implementation of evidence tactics of tampering and falsification
Improved tracking through the supply chain
The design of a new product begins with the definition of the same. Once the technical specifications of the product are explained, the design and development team proceeds to give shape to the set of characteristics determined in the definition of the concept. To this end, it is very useful the CAD technology, that is to say, the design assisted by computer, which allows us to easily modify the design by only modifying a series of numerical parameters.
The next step is to give physical shape to the design, that is, to give body to the CAD design. This phase will conclude with the construction of a prototype of the new product, which will allow us to verify the strengths and weaknesses of the design, by performing various tests on the functionality and strength of the product.
Traditionally for the manufacture of prototypes there was a team specialized in translating the data supplied by the designers into a physical model. This process was very laborious, thus greatly delaying the release date of the new product.
With the advent of rapid prototyping (Rapid Prototyping) the picture changed completely. This set of techniques allows us to build prototypes directly from the data generated by CAD in a matter of hours. This facilitates that successive stages of the design and development process, such as testing, design modifications, etc., can be completed in a few weeks, rather than the months and years that elapsed in the case of traditional prototype fabrication.
Some of the main techniques, encompassed within the concept of rapid prototyping are the following:
1. Stereolithography (SLA).
2.- Selective laser synthesizing (SLS).
3.- Manufacture of rolled objects (LOM).
4.- Liquid deposition modeling.
5.- Solid Ground Curing (SGC).
6.- Continuous extrusion.
7.- 3D printing systems.