Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If you have a machine shop are you watching

This is the future, I may be wrong on that but i don't think so.
These may not look like much but they are very, very significant, especially if you own a machine shop.
These 2 parts are many ways the same, they are designed to do the same job.  Part 1 at the back is the traditionally machined part.  Part 2 at the front is the lighter, stronger laser sintered part, effectively it was laser printed.  And best of all its titanium.
Just think about that.  Here is a part designed for use in an aircraft that has been printed.  Just what are the implications?
  • Just in time, print these off one at a time.  Set up is pretty much minimal, no batches are needed.
  • It's a printer, I don't know what the training required to operate is, my guess is it is an awful lot less than operating CNC mill.
  • Have one everywhere.  Imagine the inventory cost savings of not having to hold stock just one machine, bag of titanium powder and an internet connection to download the printing details.
These are just 3 changes, there must be dozens more we just have not thought about.

Disruptive technologies happen.  The internet is the one we think of most.  Lean was one too.  Who would have foreseen  Toyota, Honda and co expanding in the way they did.  Their disruptive technology being JIT, 5S, SPC and a few other simple ideas.  This I see as being a disruptive technology.  One that potentially will bring a lot more jobs back to North America.  Will those jobs belong to Canadian, American or foreign companies I don't know.  That will depend on who best understands the disruption.

Full article https://www.technologyreview.com/energy/38352/?mod=MagOur

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