AMT News - July/August, 2020

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JULY/AUG 2020

AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology

How innovative partnerships and policies

PRESORTED FIRST CLASS MAIL U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT #163 DULLES, VA

bolster U.S. manufacturing

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology 7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 900 McLean, VA 22102-3316 Address Service Requested

BY TRAVIS EGAN VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT The current pandemic and the U.S. economic, manufacturing, and supply chain vulnerabilities it has exposed have led to a renewed concern among many business leaders, policymakers, and economists about ways to strengthen the U.S. industrial base. There is a wide variety of thinking on the subject, and some proposed solutions are not mutually exclusive. They include increasing public sector investment in public-private partnerships (PPP), incentivizing companies to reshore parts of their supply chain, and strengthening the manufacturing and manufacturing technology (MT) sectors through tax credits, subsidies, and R&D investments in critical technologies. The pandemic has also made clear the critical role that manufacturing plays in ensuring U.S. national security in terms of accessing adequate medical supplies as well as any other scarce resource, such as defense-related supplies. In the future, the United States may look

|AMTonline.org

back at the present time and see a pivot toward greater collaboration between the public and private sectors and an overall greater emphasis on national security in all its forms. Public-private partnerships Not all public-private partnerships require consortium agreements, grant funding, or tiered membership models. One of the most successful, visible, and demand-driven PPPs of the past decade has been NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with, perhaps, its most visible private partner, SpaceX. While SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, is not the only private sector company working with NASA, it has received the lion’s share of attention. SpaceX, with its Starlink satellite constellation, Dragon spacecraft, and Falcon rockets, is the first private company to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS); the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft; and the world’s largest commercial satellite constellation operator. The partnership has been a win-win for both SpaceX and NASA and serves as a strong model for future publicprivate collaborations. SpaceX brings advanced and Continued on page 6...

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INDUSTRY NEWS UPCOMING EVENTS

For more information visit: www.AMTonline.org/calendar/

August 14, 2020 March 15, 2021 IMTS spark Online

September 14-18, 2020 IMTS Network Online

October 27-29, 2020 MTForecast Online

March 17-21, 2021 The MFG Meeting Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

2020

2021

AUGUST 14 IMTS spark launch Online

February 23-25 HOUSTEX Houston, Texas

SEPTEMBER 14-18 IMTS Network Online

March 15 IMTS spark ends

OCTOBER 27-29 MTForecast Online NOVEMBER 18 CMTSE Certification Online Exam

MAY 11-13 EASTEC West Springfield, Mass. SEPTEMBER 21-23 WESTEC Long Beach, Calif. OCTOBER 26-28 SOUTHTEC Greenville, S.C.

MC MACHINERY ANNOUNCES NEW SOUTH TEXAS REGIONAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE MC Machinery named manufacturing industry veteran Scott Yurashek the new south Texas regional sales representative handling laser, automation, and press Scott Yurashek brake products. Yurashek, who is based in Houston, has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and printing industry sales.

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BIG KAISER ADDS SALES ENGINEER IN THE EASTERN UNITED STATES BIG KAISER Precision Tooling announced that Kevin Spring has joined the company as a sales engineer and will be responsible for support and sales in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Kevin Spring New York. Kevin has more than 15 years of experience as a CNC programmer and manufacturing/ project engineer in Pennsylvania and New York.

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GF BOLSTERS CUSTOMER SALES SUPPORT WITH KEY ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES GF Machining Solutions has announced several significant promotions within its sales team. Within the GF sales management team, Dan Pilolla will assume the role as head of sales-System 3R, providing expertise across all regions. Anthony Alvarado will become head of sales-consumables, which also services all regions. Eric Ostini has joined the company as manager, business development, and Chad Hase will take over sales for laser texturing and ablation. Jon Carlson is the new regional sales manager for advanced manufacturing in the Central region. Joel Barney will assume the position of regional sales managerconsumables for the Central region. Organizational changes in GF’s Northeast and Southeast regions include Dante Payva as the new sales manager-New England region. Michael Moore is now the head of sales-Southeast region, and Jonathan Boring has accepted the position of regional sales manager for advanced manufacturing-Southeast region. LUKAS GUENTHARDT APPOINTED TO PRESIDENT AND CEO OF ERIEZ Tooling Tech Group has announced that its TTG Automation facility in Temperance, Mich., has completed a 14,000-square-foot expansion, bringing Lukas the total facility size to 59,000 square Guenthardt feet. The new area includes a new 5-ton overhead crane system, air compressor, and overhead sprinkler system. TTG Automation of fers design, engineering, fabrication, build, commissioning, and ongoing service for a variety of automation equipment. KITAGAWA NORTHTECH ACQUIRES TECNARA TOOLING SYSTEMS’ CORE PRODUCT OFFERINGS Kitagawa NorthTech Inc., a U.S.-based engineered workholding manufacturer, announced that it has acquired Tecnara Tooling Systems’ principal product lines through strategic acquisition. The two specific product lines in the purchase include Kitagawa NC rotary tables and exclusive distribution rights to MST Yellow angle head products. BEHRINGER SAWS EXPANDS SALES AND SERVICE Behringer Saws announced that John Herrick has joined the company as an inside sales John Robert engineer. Herrick has Herrick Marshall worked for more than 12 years in a variety of customer support roles, most recently with Keystone Technologies. Robert Marshall has been appointed as the field service manager. Marshall has a wide range of electrical and machine technical support experience over the past 10 years.

BOURN & KOCH INC. HAS ANNOUNCED BLAKE CONSDORF AS PRESIDENT Bourn & Koch Inc. announced that Blake Consdorf has joined the company as president. Consdorf brings more than 20 years of relevant industry and Blake leadership experience in machine tools and Consdorf automation to the position. Before joining Bourn & Koch, he served as president & CEO of Felsomat USA Inc. Prior to Felsomat, Consdorf was divisional president of Acieta LLC. Prior President & CEO of Bourn & Koch Terry V. Derrico will now serve as president & CEO of Precision Cutting Technologies (PCT), a holding company of Alleghany Capital Corp. with three operating segments: precision automated machine tool solutions through Bourn & Koch; diamond orifices and nozzles for the waterjet industry through Diamond Technology Innovations Inc., and high-performance solid carbide tooling and solutions through CID Performance Tooling Inc. and Supermill LLC. KITAMURA NAMES H & S MACHINE TOOLS LOUISIANA REPRESENTATIVE Kitamura has announced the appointment of H & S Machine Tools as its new exclusive representative in Louisiana. H & S Machine Tools is a full-service supplier of machine tools throughout Louisiana and provides customers with installation, training, applications, warranty, and after-warranty service on a variety of milling, turning, EDM, fabrication and measurement equipment throughout all of Louisiana, including coverage in Arkansas. MASTERCAM ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIPS CNC Software Inc., developer of Mastercam, has announced a new partnership with DeBerti. DeBerti creates custom concept vehicles as well as high-end (l-r) Doug DeBerti, quality parts and accessories for Stas Mylek and Brad all types of vehicles and racing. DeBerti DeBerti will use Mastercam exclusively as CAD/CAM software from solid modeling and design all the way to final concept and production part machining. Mastercam will also be involved in unique and special projects with DeBerti in the production of their creative ideas. Mastercam is also the newest Strategic Partner of the NCATC, which supports a network of higher education and industry-led resources that advocates, advises, and promotes the use of advanced technology applications to enhance economic and workforce development programs and services. FOR UPCOMING ANSI B11 AND ISO MACHINERY SAFETY MEETINGS, GO TO www.b11standards.org. Contact Dave Felinski, B11 Standards Inc., at dfelinski@b11standards.org for updated information.

AMT NEWS Andy Kuchinski Director, Marketing and Communications

ADVOCACY Amber Thomas 571-216-7448 athomas@AMTonline.org

EXHIBITIONS Peter R. Eelman 703-827-5264 peelman@AMTonline.org

GLOBAL SERVICES Ed Christopher 703-827-5296 echristopher@AMTonline.org

MTCONNECT Russ Waddell 703-827-5258 rwaddell@AMTonline.org

Gail McGrew Writer

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Travis Egan 703-827-5222 tegan@AMTonline.org

Michelle Edmonson 703-827-5242 medmonson@AMTonline.org

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Tim Shinbara 703-827-5243 tshinbara@AMTonline.org

SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT Greg Jones 703-827-5203 gjones@AMTonline.org

INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT meetings@AMTonline.org AMTonline.org/meetings

STRATEGIC ANALYTICS Chris Downs 703-827-5259 cmdowns@AMTonline.org

Kristin Bartschi Managing Editor Cesar Sosa Art Director Ashley Park Graphic Designer Dan Hong Writer/Editor

ECONOMIC/MARKET TRENDS Pat McGibbon 703-827-5255 pmcgibbon@AMTonline.org Submit company news articles to: AMTonline.org/membercms

Bill Herman 703-827-5282 bherman@AMTonline.org Bonnie T. Gurney 703-827-5277 bgurney@AMTonline.org Mark Kennedy 703-827-5220 mkennedy@AMTonline.org

MEMBER SERVICES Steve Lesnewich 908-313-8266 slesnewich@AMTonline.org


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MARKET DATA REVIEW

USMCA launches BY PAT MCGIBBON CHIEF KNOWLEDGE OFFICER July 1 saw the implementation of the new NAFTA, NAFTA 2.0, or as our government calls it, the United States-Mex ico- Canada Ag reement ( USMCA). Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, called the implementation of the USMCA “the beginning of a new and better chapter for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada.” It is better if the stronger worker protections, expansion of access promised, and increased North American content required to be tariff-free actually come to pass. The concern about that possibility rests with a number of new measures in the agreement that have not been tested and are significantly different or didn’t exist in NAFTA. These new measures are meant to address the dispute settlement process, address labor violations, and implement rules of origin changes. For those in the manufacturing technology sector, the changes in the rules of origin will have a modest impact. Most manufacturing technology equipment will continue under the same rules of origin as set forth in NAFTA. There are exceptions, such as in the case of waterjet cutting machines, which were in a catch-all category. They now have a specific HS code, 8456.90, for which the rule consists of three parts, depending on the origin of components for the machine or a regional value of content formula. However, changes in the rules of origin for many consumers of manufacturing technology – particularly in the auto industry – could mean significantly more manufacturing and assembly activity in North America. Increased manufacturing levels will certainly lead to an expansion of the manufacturing technology market. Everyone should check on the rules of origin for their products and that their products still qualify under the new agreement. You can find the current rules of origin on the USTR website in chapter four of the USMCA agreement. If you have a problem, please contact Chris Downs (cmdowns@AMTonline.org) or Pat McGibbon (pmcgibbon@AMTonline.org). AMT cannot make customs determinations for your products, but we can

get you the correct source documents, share our advice on a likely determination, and point you toward the right spot inside U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to get a determination. Most freight forwarders have expert staff to help you with this issue as well. The new USMCA has added a set of rules for remanufactured products preventing our North American partners from enacting legislation that would prevent the export of remanufactured products to these markets. In the past, NAFTA partners have passed laws forbidding the import of used machines, even if the machine had been completely remanufactured from the base up. The new agreement defines what is used or rebuilt versus what is remanufactured machinery. Finally, the information required for filing a product as USMCA-qualifying has changed, but the governments do not have an official form. You are permitted, for the time being, to create your own form, which must include the following: • Which party is making the certification (importer, exporter, or producer). • Certifier details: name, title, address, phone number, email. • Exporter details: name, address, email, phone number. • Producer details: name, address, email, phone number. • Importer details: name, address, email, phone number. • Description and HTSUS number to, at least, the six-digit level. • Origin criteria. • Blanket period (if applicable). • The following statement: “I certify that the goods described in this document qualify as originating, and the information contained in this document is true and accurate. I assume responsibility for proving such representations and agree to maintain and present upon request or to make available during a verification visit, documentation

necessary to support this certification.” • Signature and date. • Several freight forwarders and UPS have templates for this information available on their sites. As the first half of the year came to a close, the numbers posted in USMTO were not promising, but there were promising signs. Durable goods orders were growing, though still significantly lower than the monthly levels early in 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published back-to-back months where employment numbers showed hefty jumps. The Bureau also shared that the layoff rate has fallen to preCOVID-19 levels, adding some traction to the higher employment numbers. The market for manufacturing technology hasn’t hit bottom yet, and the recovery is going to take more time than in the past. Remember: Investments in manufacturing technology are near the end of the economic train. This market is always one of the last to recover. The train’s engine is manufacturing output and consumer spending. There are a lot of cars on this train that will have to move forward, and slack needs to be taken out of the cars between the engine and new investment in manufacturing technology. But the good signs – like the increase of 8% in durable goods orders in May, people going back to work, and consumer sentiment climbing 7% – indicate that the economic engine is building up steam – not that it has left the station yet. Our recovery is still months away. 

If you have any questions about information in this article or would like to discuss what is going on in the market, please feel free to send me an email or call me at 703-827-5255.

TOPP 10 M MTT IN INDUSTRY INDICATORS Segment Business Conditions

Status

Notes

Manufacturing Technology Business Conditions

Mfg Tech orders are down 31 percent year to date and are likley to continue downward through the rest of the year.

Durable Goods Manufacturing Business Conditions

The key indicators suggest we are in the lower third of the trough and probably haven't hit bottom yet.

Economic Indicators Summary

Status

Notes

Purchasing Managers Index

The index is above 50 but probably reflects enthusiasm for reopening more than sustained progress. This is likely to be a double bounce.

Capacity Utilization for Manufacturing

Capacity Utilization for Manufacturing bounced from 60 to 63 percent but don't expect much movement from this level soon.

Orders for Manufacturing Durable Goods

Durable goods orders were up in May but progress is likely to be muddled amid the typical summer slumps.

Housing Starts

Housing starts remains yellow as January was the largest month going back to 2006. Even though it is down 34%, May's level is still healthy.

30 Years Mortgage Rate

Interest rates are low and expectations are that the Fed will not push for increases soon.

Consumer Sentiment

The consumer sentiment index level is up from the previous month but it is a modest gain.

MBI

The MBI, published by GardnerWeb, signals contraction in the metalworking purchasers' plans but has improved from last month.

Light Vehicle Sales

The light vehicle market is likely to fall 3-5 million units short in 2020 versus sales levels over the past two years.

Baltic Dry Index

The Baltic Dry Index is a gauge of cargo traffic on the ocean. Action in the index has been volatile but July levels were triple what they were in May and comparable to September 19 levels.

Restaurant Performance Index

The Restaurant Performance Index moved upwards from April levels in May and is holding around the 95 level which is good.


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ON GOVERNMENT

Advancing the industry: Key goals to drive manufacturing forward BY AMBER THOMAS VICE PRESIDENT, ADVOCACY The U.S. government has consistently shown that it can come together and act swiftly to provide short-term support in times of crisis. But when it comes to a vision for the future, bipartisanship falls apart, becoming more about political ideology than leadership, despite the common goals of national security, public safety, job creation, and economic growth. Back in 2008, AMT first issued its Manufacturing Mandate, which called for a national strategy focused on strengthening the U.S. manufacturing sector. Back then, the Mandate emphasized the importance of collaboration between government, private industries, and schools to increase manufacturing innovation, enhance global competitiveness, and build a 21stcentury workforce (a national “Smartforce”). Those ideas are still relevant today, but the industry has changed, along with the world, over the last decade. Manufacturing still plays a critical role in job creation, innovation, economic growth, and national security, but the needs are different. Advancements in technology have transformed the industry, and unfortunately, the federal response has not kept pace. The government must put manufacturing at the top of our national agenda. Both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden make manufacturing central to their campaign platforms. What can the government do now to support a secure future for manufacturing? It can start by engaging all stakeholders in identifying challenges, planning a strategy, and coming up with solutions. Representatives from federal, state, and local governments, industry, labor, schools, and community organizations must be at the table. Below are a few other recommendations: Invest in innovation Develop a technology framework that makes it easier to access and adopt the technologies key to manufacturing productivity and efficiency. Provide tools to startups

and small businesses to grow. Adopt tax and regulatory pol icies t hat encourage investments in new processes, plants, and equipment. End the skills gap P r omot e ST E M a nd technical career pathways. Support industry-recognized credentialing and apprenticeship programs for key job functions of the future. Increase broadband access to all areas of the country. Increase competitiveness Invest in a comprehensive national infrastructure plan that modernizes our transportation, energy, and telecommunications systems. Recognize that we live in a globalized world by building international relationships and entering into mutually beneficial trade agreements. Create a fair and open trade environment with avenues to address trade violators directly. Ensure a strong U.S. industrial base Preserve traditional defense manufacturing sectors and engage advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. Mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities by relying on domestic sources for defense needs when possible. These recommendations call for in-depth analyses and thoughtful solutions. Stay tuned for an updated version of AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate for moving manufacturing forward coming this fall. 

If you have questions on government relations issues, email me at athomas@AMTonline.org.


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EXHIBITIONS

Initiatives to connect you with customers; Resources to grow your business BY PETER EELMAN VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER, EXHIBITIONS The year 2020, to most of the world, will certainly be remembered for its challenges, changes, and seemingly impossible decisions. But in the manufacturing technology industry, it will be remembered as a time we created solutions, overcame difficulties, and worked to innovate. Still, we are deeply disappointed that IMTS 2020 cannot be held to serve as a resource for the industry as we adjust to new challenges. Our responsibility to you, however, remains steadfast, and we are eager to provide you with a marketplace for business development like no other, networking opportunities to connect with current and potential customers, and access to the industry’s best emerging technologies Although we remain in a world of uncertainty and unprecedented trials, we are committed to helping you grow your business. To that end, we have created three new products: • ReBuilding the Supply Chain – An aggregated multi-media resource center for all things supply chain. • IMTS spark – A digital destination for manufacturers to connect and identify solutions for challenges, simplifying the enormity of being out in the industry without a direct path forward. • IMTS Network – A live-streaming channel featuring transformative technologies, unique insights, stories, profiles, and developing manufacturing news. Rebuilding the Supply Chain Strengthening the manufacturing supply chain has long been a focus of AMT. Now it is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. In May, we kicked it into high gear when we launched our new microsite, IMTS.com/Supply-Chain. Featured are articles, webinars, and data-graphics explaining how the supply chain disruptions are changing manufacturing, steps that can be taken to shorten supply chains, and resources to assist in the recovery of broken supply chains. In an effort to bring you the best content and solutions regarding the supply chain initiative, we are forming partnerships with many in the industry, including the Reshoring Initiative and Gardner Business Media. Take a deep dive

to ReThink your current operations, ReEngage with suppliers and secure trading partners, and ReEstablish best practices for a more localized industrial base. A sample of the articles you’ll find include: 1. “ReEngaging the Supply Chain: What Can Job Shops Do?” is a study of six actions that manufacturers can take to strengthen their supply chain while also obtaining additional benefits, such as improving social and public relations capital by lessening carbon footprints when sourcing closer to production. IMTS.com/ReEngageSC. 2. “ReThinking a Tech-Powered Supply Chain,” by Oisin Lunny, journalist and UX business professor, suggests leveraging analytics via a digital twin, performing regular stress tests, and adopting a flexible, API-driven mix of onshore and offshore approaches. He warns against short-term thinking that focuses on a cost-averse strategy, which increases risk and is symptomatic of a corporate philosophy that devalues long-term thinking. Read the article and watch the recorded webinar at IMTS.com/ReThinkSC. 3. “Virus & Tariffs Expose Supply Chain Disruptions” explains insight from longtime manufacturer Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative. Moser outlines how many companies that offshore encounter up to 20% in additional, unforeseen costs related to inventory carrying, intellectual property protection, packaging, shipping, among others. Read the article at IMTS.com/ReEstablishSC. IMTS spark August 14, 2020 to March 15, 2021 This summer, in partnership with Gardner Business Media, we will launch IMTS spark, a comprehensive digital destination to connect exhibitors and customers at a time when travel and gatherings are limited. By providing educational content and networking opportunities, IMTS spark offers first-class experiences through an interface that is effective and engaging. Innovation is the nucleus of IMTS spark. We all have a responsibility to arm the IMTS audience with

solutions – they depend on you just as much as they depend on us. And they need your help now, more than ever! There are many oppor tunit ies t hat w i l l allow you to participate in IMTS spark. Go to IMTS.com/exhibitors to download the IMTS spark brochure and learn how to connect with manufacturing’s most engaged and eager audience. IMTS Network September 14-18, 2020 Mark your calendar and tune in for the first look at the IMTS Network! For five days in September, the IMTS Network will stream binge-worthy programming with live broadcasts highlighting the latest transformative technologies, critical industry insights, inspiring stories and profiles, and developing manufacturing news. From the machinist who makes parts for NASA’s InSight lander, to the STEM student who developed his own prosthesis, the IMTS Network will cover the physical and digital world of all things that are made. Share your manufacturing technology story at IMTS.com/stories for a chance to be featured on the IMTS Network. As manufacturers race to find solutions, look to the latest IMTS offerings to remain agile and to ensure your business prospers. Whether it’s networking prospects with current and potential customers, or building a marketplace for business growth like no other, or providing insight into the industry’s best emerging technologies, IMTS is fulfilling our commitment to you. 

To gain more details about exhibiting in IMTS spark, contact us at Spark@IMTS.com. For IMTS Network sponsorship opportunities, contact Bill Herman at bherman@IMTS.com.


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Falcon 9

Falcon 1

... total development cost for both the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets was estimated by NASA to be approximately $390 million, whereas using its traditional contracting processes would have cost the agency an estimated $4 billion to develop just the Falcon 9 rocket by itself.

Continued from the cover... innovative technology, agility, and speed to projects, and NASA brings breadth of technical expertise, financing, and in-depth knowledge of how materials and spacecraft actually behave in flight. Using private-sector expertise and a more streamlined approach to build the spacecraft has saved NASA a huge amount of money. For example, the total development cost for both the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets was estimated by NASA to be approximately $390 million, whereas using its traditional contracting processes would have cost the agency an estimated $4 billion to develop just the Falcon 9 rocket by itself. While SpaceX builds most of its fleet of rocket engines, spacecraft, avionics, and software in-house, it also uses thousands of suppliers. SpaceX does not readily disclose information about its suppliers, but certain information is in the public domain. Additively manufactured (AM) parts are included in every launch vehicle, and SpaceX has publicly shared information on AMT member EOS North America providing AM components to the company. AMT member Hardinge Inc., a global provider of

advanced metal-cutting solutions, provided a Kellenberger 100 grinding machine to SpaceX for use on its engines. “We work largely in the aerospace industry where there is a need for low volume, high precision machines,” said Jeff Hilliard, senior account manager, Hardinge. “Several SpaceX suppliers were using the Kellenberger, and this led to a direct purchase by SpaceX.” AMT member Toyoda Americas Corp. sold 10 5-axis CNC machines to a SpaceX supplier. “They are using our machines to make aluminum and titanium parts with unique contours and shapes for SpaceX satellites,” said Tim Leoni, vice president of sales, Toyoda Americas Corp. “The supplier was originally using the machines for commercial aviation work at Boeing, but as work there slowed, the machines were transferred to the SpaceX work.” Work in the space industry promises to be an ongoing opportunity for the MT industry. “The size of the space industry is currently estimated to be $400 billion worldwide, and it is estimated to grow to as much as $3 trillion in the next 20 years,” said Glynn Fletcher, president, EOS NA. There are many other partnerships that do not get as

Additive manufacturing and rockets AM is finding widespread applications in R&D efforts across the aerospace industry due to its ability to produce complex parts cost effectively. U.S. aerospace company Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle is powered by nine 3D-printed Rutherford engines. The engines are powered by 3D-printed liquid propellants, which are produced using electron beam melting technology. In 2017, U.S. space company Rocket Crafters Inc. (RCI) received a $542,600 research contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop its hybrid 3D-printed rocket engine. Using their proprietary Direct-Digital Advanced Rocket Technology (D-DART), RCI aimed to combine the benefits of both 3D-printed

solid rocket fuel grains and liquid propellants to create an engine capable of 5,000 pounds of peak thrust. The European Space Agency (ESA) has tested a full scale, 3D-printed rocket engine named BERTA. Developed by ArianeGroup at ESA, the engine was produced using selective laser melting (SLM) and from a nickel-based alloy for the injection head and stainless steel for the combustion chamber. In another f irst, German metal 3D-printer manufacturer SLM Solutions produced the “world’s largest rocket engine,” in 2019. Built on behalf of the British spaceflight company Orbex, the engine was 3D printed in a single piece and will be used to deliver small satellites into orbit.

much attention as SpaceX. NASA is partnering with the private sector in several other of its programs, including the Artemis program and the Mars Exploration Program. As part of the Artemis program, NASA chose three U.S. companies earlier this year to develop equipment to land astronauts on the moon – Dynetics, Blue Origin, and SpaceX. The Dynetics team includes about 25 subcontractors, with Dynetics serving as the prime contractor and system integrator. Many of the subcontractors are small-to-medium manufacturers (SMMs) chosen for their specialized expertise. Additional forms of public sector investment Investing in or incentivizing emerging and advanced technologies vital to the U.S. national interest, such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced communications, and advanced manufacturing, benefits the nation as a whole. Significantly, most of these technologies have either a primary or secondary manufacturing application. The public sector – through policy and federal agencies – has many ways it can encourage investment in technologies or specific sectors of the economy that policymakers deem critical to the economic strength and resilience of the nation. These include tax incentives, federal guarantees, and subsidies. Coming down the pike: A $100 billion plan to remake NSF Under bipartisan bills that were introduced in both chambers of Congress in May, the National Science Foundation (NSF) would add “Technology” to its name and national purpose, receive a significant $100 billion in federal investment, and take on responsibility for maintaining U.S. global leadership in innovation to strengthen research in advanced, emerging, and critical technologies. Additionally, new university-based technology centers would be created to pursue focused and sustained research in 10 key areas including AI, machine learning, robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing to develop prototypes of high-tech products and processes that companies could eventually bring to market. The Department of Commerce would also be authorized to spend $10 billion on 10-15 regional technology hubs to foster innovation in areas outside the country’s current technology hot spots.


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(2) oall va innovation rci nm me tes ov nufac s, ng fol pro rin n chno com me ol today Sta has been introduced ob critical to U.S. communications ver com . uri n j r he years ago was -BeaLegislation a i t o and are and while corporate tax reduction several to incentivize domestic To t t d m d e c e d t n rm e o G g, ure it ed co an ufa rc of vanc t um Un ral tin uc g, ly ansfe defense incomputing an earths and microchips, designed to incentivize companies of both Mrare capabilities. While oboth the ori production d the United de crea he fu the odto bring some of their o p e a h r r r n t f t o o F t i u y d , o T t n n a r o i e f g n s c t nn o a e h rin ares o operations back to the United industries. States in chip design, about) T88% ch fa leads the eworld ,a theU.S. tativcritical mmonitor, fi n ntu Virtually every computer, u e e bioStates, multinational e e e o s f i r s n t v u u 3 co i Ko o l n n n atio str ma s. va outside of the United States,( according ese and other advanced st C nt companies made decisions value electronicsl ddevice today contains ymanufactured r. R based on shareholder ed efe tio dis indu 21 epr M ag outh g , tate bu he N ro me rth r i R a e o h a r e l e v s t n t e S f ti components from tChina, o o and continued to move operations to regions rare earth the leader in Industry Association. 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Some now believe new approaches are establishment earth manufacturing f mo rare a al st a Additional legislation could (5) crea ma needed SE st r ina ted S be NG ress err s fro hang he s we sed itic o ct f o t I h r a e t e i t A c r n m e g r b $12 billion C n a to semiconductor research at U.S. policymakers have introducedhais spate Iof value nchain U.S. security n ha at interests. The s in dedicate upt isto NDproposals a ( ratioton serve U exc of national are als Co F d t ed St T i hi pthe o cooperative eproven nt various federal the ior model go tha nts a e C v t l m bill uses as a way to correct agencies. in the past year – and even more since. 2.thegs.— pandemic  r e i h n y a r m r it ta h m fi Un co Chi of C in ele en ust be s w on ele lic ce SE Find s c ltiple nm ide ind th ub o for bs to tile lance a r o n p ) n h . r a h i e a t e rt jo tha mu rca ba nv um tes re ea ’s R ain nd lan me e im de ori re Sta nt of Ra e n h ple e ch gy, a a e ) t r a d d h o v 1 t e e e ( u d c si a ra th nit rem an e P val olo mi res s t of wi no gg erou gy Th arth techn nt e U rocu d a o o e ) h e l c t t e (2 e e s, m ly on ra ep cia of op ng ne nd rar cilitie sso asi ted in ral in th vel mi sa a e e e e r h t a d n y l s f l e ie rt nc u Sta on ea the e i res r G lit re to ted lle erabi Th has mm a i tes r o r ) o n r e (3 ich work of the SBC includes AMT’s vice president technology in industry and U helping tc pt uln Stadeveloping legislation and enthe manufacturing rri n e e a d m h e v h b o in t te w tw m nithem t athrough policies to strengthen through access to capital and chief technology adopt new be ofR&D credits, e C dSMMs eletechnologies ist sen eU Th sulte ve ere. ves x e i i h ) t r e t t c targeted c h p s (4 s re (financing, microloans, R&D credits, tax breaks, officer, Tim Shinbara, taxnkincentives, subsidies, and through publicn e a e i r io sew s bj tive. a li t o works cer capital), federal contracting and um rad nd el a s ct i and investment was recently namedh a ireprivate partnerships (PPP). SBC in all of these r u e r a d er pe a is tho D pro small business trade and export support, int oo ts; of m tatesShinbara procurement, Congressional Fellow (–5) areas, al th cextensive knowledge ing will nbring th en r riu and d S a r r o m o a a ti ee ele there. Th nited and Manufacturing by the (6) emerging and to histhwork ee na technologies regadvanced rar the Small Business Administration’s State Trade ic rar r U ns y g a o e e a b — e i f American Society of th “ASME’s government fellows have been key ced Expansion Program (STEP) that helps small businesses at ld lat are str n o ou gu fa fr e c and federal he atio officials o Re t access new markets and obtain export financing. Mechanical Engineers advisors to elected staff in areas v ks i ) ris (7 ion rat ing e cre l t t e c a e i p u h e advanced c “My work in Rubio’s office and with the SBC will (ASME) for 2020-2021. including manufacturing, aerospace, critical t o d M h an co nd pro fin (8) roug th ;a e r y help ensure that the right language, the right incentives, energy, and engineering education, Serving in the office of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who infrastructure, d h t a t e th an ee saf naspects ase l in o e rar rich experience i and the right priorities are included in proposed many of the chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business while gaining a r t t A n uc inc (9) me ly rodASME Executive t n legislation,” Shinbara said. “A key part of developing process,” said and Entrepreneurship (SBC) and sets the committee public-policymaking a p o re vir he )g en ft legislation is data collection and fact finding to fully Costabile. agenda, Tim’s work with the SBC could not come at Director/CEO (A Tom o e st sur cothe SBC puts him in a en understand issues and possible solutions. This includes Shinbara’s Bwork with a better time. e ) th ( er advise legislators bringing in industry leaders from around the country Pressure has been growing in the United States good position to lowstrategically ) (C industry impacts, gap analyses, to discuss their challenges and answer committee to shore up the industrial base and help small- and early on regarding

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Endless To esta Frontier technolo blish a new Actt Dire gy hub program ctorate for Tec , to requ hno ire a stra logy in the redesign tegy and purposes. ated report and for other Mr. Kha on econ National Scie y Cooperative, nna (for omic secu Earth Refiner nce IN TH himself m-Bearing Rare rity, scie and Techno Thoriu the E of and Mr. HOUSE logy nce, rese S the establishment Gallagh OF REP arch, and Foundation Resources UNITED STATE To provide for er) intr E OF THE and Natural RESEN May 22, innovati , to establish SENAT Energy odu on 2019 THE 2020 11, ittee TATIVE IN ced the July on, and a to the Comm followin S for othe regional and referred g bill; To esta r purpose was read twice which blish a g bill; which s. was refe new Dire to esta ced the followin rred to blish a Mr. Rubio introdu the Com regiona ctorate for and for l technolo Techno other mittee purpose logy in on Scie gy hub purposes. s. . nce, Spa . and for other program the redesign Be it ena ce, and y Cooperative, , ated to cted Refiner requ Earth Techno by the ire a stra National logy m-Bearing Rare Senate tegy and Science and d, of the Thoriu SECTIO and Hou Congress assemble repo in Tec establishment the se hno N America rt for of Rep on econ 1. SH logy States of To provide ORT resentat omic secu Foundation tatives of the United TITLE. ives of , rity, scie House of Represen Act”.This Act may and the Senate cturing the Uni nce, rese y Manufa ted Stat be cite Be it enacted by arch, and d as the oop 21st Centur es of Am SEC. “Endles innovati Act” or the “RE-C erica in TITLE. 2. s Fron on, 1. SHORT Manufacturing Congres Congres FINDINGS. tier Act SECTION 21st Century s assembl s finds ”. Cooperative the follo ed, “Rare Earth wing: be cited as the (1) For This Act may over 70 POLICY .. ial applications.result MENT OF the peo years, the Uni rcial and industr NGS; STATE g: ple of Today, , and other comme SEC. 2. FINDI gress finds the followin the Uni ted States has how national defense ted property ever, this a) Findings.—Con over the technologies, leadersh States hav been the une energy control and ed oly e benefitt trade secr the key quiv cturing ip posi ed its monop critical for advanc tion is ”) has leverag ed thro ocal glob ets of to transfer manufa elements are our Nat technology ion as “China (1) Rare earth and South Korea fields of the United being eroded ugh good-paal leader in ion now d to in this subsectStates, Europe, Japan, Stat and cha the ying jobs scientific ranks China (referre and tech 9th glob future. Wh es and agg llenged , econ from the United supply contracts. s Republic of (2) Wit , and jobs, ress ile omi by nologica ally in corporations (2) The People’ hou for secure manufacturing total rese the United ively investin foreign com c prosperi chain to force in exchange innovati t a significa technology, ty, and l innovation, g in fund petitors arch and States onc rare earth value ogy, and jobs to China transfers of a high , som e led ame United States. to involuntary of tech on ecosystem, nt increase in develop er qua and as a facilities, technol partners of the China has led nologica investm ment and the world in ntal research e of whom it is only lity and trading behavior of advanc ent in value chain and com are stealing of life. the shar 12th in ive mercantile ces with the United States ed com l primacy. The a matter rese the rare earth e of mer ingly aggress publicly inte municat imbalan of China over country of time befo arch, educati trade s (3) The increas control finance our economy cialization to llectual oly ions onerou in that win re the on, tech , and adv (3) The d research dominat inve ed that the monop global nolo s the which has resulted systems. Fed anced and dev sted in research e States has confirmUnited States weapons discover eral Governm manufac race in key competitors gy transfer, e elopmen l of the United , and ing, multipl tech of turi of Genera ent mus the Uni the core crea nolo ment roller ng—will the indu t. in the procure ted (4) The Compt strength stries of ting, commer t catalyze be the gies—such in vulnerabilities as arti States over superpo United s of the cializin the futu . located in s has resulted take ficia thorium Stat and wer g, Uni deposit re. l inte the and prod (4) The es ted Stat of the mineralogy most rare earth future. lligence, qua United Stat ucing innovation es n rare earth elements in while distribution by boo es in term new tech exist betwee ntum the lanthanide much of with stin (5) Direct links com ed inno nolo s g puting, fundame vati gies to sectorStates. of the Nat nly associat emp ensure ntal rese element commo ion has on jobs and in the United the lead imbalan loyment grow is a radioactive re. arch inve investm been left y that is based industr ersh (6) Thorium ce earth ent th stm ip of the in the and elsewhe sectachieve ents focu ment of a rare or jobs din opportunity in the last out of grow United the United States are best to the develop 15 year th in the United Stat mor by of the mental goals States sed on s was es has innovati represent a barrier future. e broadly, and partnering in ic and environ become with the generated on sect and econom regarding thorium tapping largely in just or. Mo priv (7) Regulations the United States the tale (5) Sinc objectives of nt and ate sector to 5 major citie re than 90 concentrated e perc national interest buil potentia s. in to crea its inception, tive. the strategic l of the d new tech The Federal ent of the Nat just a few loca te kno (8) Meeting rare earth coopera nology Governm wledge the Nationa entire tions, ion’s inno creation of a hub Nation l that is through the a prim Science Fou to ensu s across the ent must add vation nda ary driv re the country ress could— United er of the tion has carr , spreadin this cooperative Stat ied (9) A rare earth econ ts; g es lead out vita omy of earth elemen s the induinnovation l wor the Uni tion of rare stries e the produc ted Stat k supporting (A) greatly increas es and basic rese enhanc States arch and and es the ers in the United mental safety; people Nation’ earth produc rare by (B) ensure environ s security. l risks faced tion and financia cost of the produc (C) lower the RESS 116th CONG 1st Session

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Tim Shinbara serving as Congressional Fellow in Sen. Marco Rubio’s office

medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) stay competitive economically, as they are its backbone. There is a greater public sector concern about advancing

and connecting otherwise disparate dots in the manufacturing ecosystem. Focused on the well-being of small businesses, the

questions directly. I look forward to the role I can play identifying the right people in the industry and from AMT membership to participate in this process.”


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SMARTFORCE

Educating the future BY GREG JONES VICE PRESIDENT, SMARTFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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As I am writing these words, I’ve just attended a White House summit (remotely, of course) on “A National Dialogue on Re-Opening Our Schools.” By the time you read this, there will surely be more clarity on whether, how, and when schools will re-open across the country; how many states will remain in a remote learning environment; and how many will have some sort of hybrid model in place. It’s safe to say that the opinion of the experts on the emotional and physical well-being of our nation’s young people is that schools must safely re-open this fall. Ask any teacher, student, or parent of a student about how the remote teaching and learning experience progressed during the spring this year, and you’re likely to hear that a lack of consistency in class time, content delivery, and broadband access coupled with social concerns like lack of access to meals and a social safety net all appeared as serious issues. Having personally worked from home with my wife, a high school art teacher, I was able to observe the challenges she faced in using Zoom, Google Classroom, etc. to teach a highly tactile curriculum to students who were disengaged from their learning environment. Pediatricians and federal, state, and local education policymakers agree that all students – and especially very young students – are at risk of falling behind and potentially never catching up to their typical age group if schools are not able to stay consistently open. That can potentially have significant workforce impact five to 10 years from now or even longer. In speaking with our educator colleagues around the country, we are beginning to see enrollments increase at many state and local community college systems as parents and students opt for a less-expensive, closerto-home option. This is due to a lack of confidence in colleges and universities being the best investment at this time, since they could potentially close again and revert to an online, distance-learning model. For families of graduating high school seniors who plan on attending college this fall, the smart money is on a community college education. It’s the safe option with the least impact on student loan debt. High school career and technical education (CTE) and community college programs that teach CNC machining, mechatronics, and welding that reopen this fall will do so by limiting the number of teachers and students who can

be in a lab at the same time and implementing strict hygiene, masking, and social distancing guidelines. We know of a few schools in the western United States and in Wisconsin who are using an image of a cow as the distance of measure on their social distancing signage. It’s a good tactic for lightening the mood while still getting the point across effectively. Education programs that teach to industry-recognized standards and credentials are very hands-on. There is a portion of the curriculum that can be delivered by book and online, but students need to experience machine controls, robotic teach pendants, and other technologies with their hands. If there is one thing that this pandemic has shown us, it’s that as a nation, we’ve been sorely deficient in adopting technologies that deliver on the promise of the manufacturing technology classroom of the future. Building a stable, 5G infrastructure across the entire United States will support students learning in remote locations. Additionally, this would enable new education technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to become ubiquitous, not only in the classroom, but in the tools and technologies that our industry’s technicians need to have in their hands and on their screens as well. AMT is working on two projects that will assist our members in understanding where we see the future of education and workforce development trending. One project is the publishing of AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate 3.0. The other is defining six transformational technologies so our members, the manufacturing industry, and the U.S. education community can better understand these technologies and their importance. As a result, they will be better positioned to build the MT classroom of the future as well as a viable workforce for the future of manufacturing. 

For more information, watch this column or contact Greg Jones at gjones@amtonline.org. For more frequent updates on Smartforce Development, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter.


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GLOBAL SERVICES

EXPOMAFE 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

AMT Tech Centers partner to drive global adoption of MTConnect and advanced MT BY ED CHRISTOPHER VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SERVICES “Some describe MTConnect as ‘Bluetooth for Manufacturing’ in that it allows the open flow of data between two devices that ‘speak’ the same language,” says to Graham Immerman of MachineMetrics. “Previously, manufacturing equipment, devices, and software applications had no easy way to ‘talk’ to each other. The reason: they had no common language.” MTConnect is the world’s only open-source semantic vocabulary designed for the exchange of data between shop floor equipment and software applications used for monitoring and data analysis. “The MTConnect standard serves modern manufacturers who are increasingly looking for IT/ OT solutions that interoperate seamlessly and allow larger scale analytics,” says Tim Shinbara, AMT vice president and chief technology officer. MTConnect is a major enabler helping to drive the IIoT and Industry 4.0. The MTConnect Institute is a not-for-profit standards development organization and a subsidiary of AMT. Its membership is composed of more than 400 companies and research organizations. AMT’s mission includes objectives to drive advanced manufacturing technology adoption globally and provide market access for its members to increase their sales. On the international scene, these often go hand in hand. AMT Tech Centers develop collaborative partnerships with local associations, NGOs, technical universities, service providers, and other manufacturing technology stakeholders to execute various initiatives. One such initiative is to help drive the global adoption of MTConnect and standards harmonization. During a member open house in Brazil a few years back, AMT was introduced to GRV, a local software developer who was providing ERP systems to manufacturers. Shortly thereafter, they were developing MTConnect applications. After the first version of their app was developed, AMT members active in Brazil began to participate.

According to Achilles Arbex, general manager of the Sao Paulo Tech Center, “Major OEMs like Embraer, Tupy, Gerdau, and Ambev were pushing machine tool builders to develop more applications, so GRV and AMT Brazil got involved.” The first version of the software was featured at AMT’s Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in the AMT/USA Pavilion at the Expomafe show last year in Sao Paulo. The ETC attracted a lot of attention and was instrumental in one of Brazil’s largest OEMs deciding to implement MTConnect in its facilities. AMT Brazil works closely with FACENS and MAUA, both acclaimed technical universities, developing visualization software and training materials for the next generation of manufacturing’s Smartforce and various OEMs. Made in China 2025 and other local smart manufacturing programs create an opportunity for AMT members wanting to participate in MTConnect initiatives to help develop sales. “Introducing the Chinese manufacturing companies to the benefits of MTConnect is an ideal way to promote AMT members’ advanced technologies to local customers,” states Fred Qian, general manager of the Shanghai Tech Center. In preparation for the AMT/USA Pavilion and ETC at CCMT 2020, the Shanghai Tech Center collaborated with the local software developer iSESOL, a systems integrator with capabilities that include software development for data collection and visualization and the associated hardware. Six AMT members were to participate in the ETC with connected machines, but the show was canceled. The plan is to move forward with the initiative for CIMT 2021 next April in Beijing. AMT’s team in Mexico has a long-standing relationship with Tec de Monterrey and the University of Nuevo Leon, both well-respected technical institutions. In collaboration with AMT, Tec de Monterrey developed an interface utilizing MTConnect for their new and legacy machines in their Monterrey and Mexico City manufacturing labs.

The dashboard they developed will be marketed to SMEs in Mexico and Latin America. The University of Nuevo Leon created a similar interface for their metal-cutting systems being used at the Aerospace Lab in their state. AMT has made the MTConnect training modules available to students at both schools to help ensure that this trend continues. To further drive the digital trend in Mexico, AMT’s Monterrey Tech Center organized ETCs at both the Expomanufactura and Tecma shows, presenting an array of dashboards developed by local Mexico companies, universities, and AMT members. According to Carlos Mortera, international director of Latin America for AMT: “It is important to give local SMEs the opportunity to become familiar with interconnected machines and help them to understand that the investment is not as substantial as they may think. The return is substantial.” As global manufacturing embraces advanced technologies to improve quality and lower costs, standards like MTConnect are essential. Russ Waddell, managing director of the MTConnect Institute, sums things up nicely: “There is a virtuous cycle occurring globally around smart factory standards like MTConnect. End users develop requirements that technology providers codevelop with their customers, and on foundational pieces like data management, these implementations lead to collective action on standards. It creates a rising tide that lifts all ships.” 

For more information, contact Ed Christopher at echristopher@AMTonline.org.


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TECHNOLOGY

Using cutting tool materials to coat automotive brake rotors BY STEPHEN L AMARCA MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY ANALYST Pump the brakes on your busy day, because it’s movie time! One of my favorite YouTube channels, Engineering Explained, released a video on Porsche’s new braking technology (watch video here: https://youtu.be/ZCj83_uF9dE). Historically, carbon ceramic brakes are the pinnacle tech when it comes to transferring kinetic energy into thermal

… or bringing cars to a stop. The German manufacturer is among a handful of other ultra-premium, high-performance manufacturers that continue to offer carbon ceramic brake rotors as an option on their vehicles today. In other words, it’s not accessible to the everyday consumer, but they’re still bringing Formula 1 and Le Mans Prototype braking tech

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to “mass” production. Problem is, F1 technology commands F1 prices. I don’t know about you, but I’d drop dead if I rolled into the service bay and was told I needed a $32,000 brake job. With exception to the crippling expense of being a roughly $10,000 option, carbon ceramic is the perfect brake rotor material for performance applications. They’re fade free, they generate very little dust, and they take forever to wear. Race teams rarely have to replace a carbon ceramic rotor – even when threshold braking from 200-plus mph down to 40 mph repeatedly over a 24-hour period – like in the case of prototype racecars competing in the Vingt-Quatre Heures Du Mans (that’s the 24 Hours of Le Mans for you non-purists). When they do need to be replaced, it’s almost never because of wear. Compared to conventional brake rotors, which are way less expensive, four ceramic brake rotors weigh at a quarter of what one conventional cast iron rotor weighs. Let that sink in. We’re talking multiple orders of magnitude of unsprung weight and rotational-mass savings! This is getting to manufacturing technology soon. Promise! Brake rotors are very similar to cutting tools. Conventional brake rotors are like high-speed steel tools. To get more performance, you go with carbide. So, Porsche has essentially taken carbide cutting tool technology and put it on brake rotors. Now, we’d be going in the opposite direction of high performance if they made a full-size brake rotor out of carbide because that would be the heaviest option with the most rotational mass and most unsprung weight. What Porsche has done is they’ve taken tungsten carbide powder (similar to the carbide material used in cutting tools), run it through what is, essentially, a rocket engine, out the rocket nozzle, and directed that jet of fire and tungsten

carbide onto the braking surface of, essentially, a conventional cast iron brake rotor. This plates the cast iron braking surface with about 0.001 inches of tungsten carbide. It’s still expensive (it is Porsche, after all), but it’s far less expensive than going with full carbon ceramic brakes. Most of the benefits – with exception to the weight savings – but without the insane cost. Performance benefits? Carbide versus iron or steel? Does this sound familiar? It should! Carbide versus steel brakes is almost the exact same sales pitch as carbide versus high-speed steel cutting tools! The latest and greatest the highperformance auto industry has to offer has taken a page out of the manufacturing industry handbook with a long-established concept! How cool is that? I wish you could see the smile on my face as I write this. I’ve always looked at brakes as a beautiful means to convert kinetic energy into thermal, but now I can see the correlation with material removal. With carbide, you get longer life than conventional iron and steel, can push it harder, and will generate less chatter. They’re still expensive – $11,000 to replace all four rotors, but that’s better than the aforementioned $32,000 – and you lose out on the carbon weight savings; in fact, carbide is WAY denser, and thus, heavier, than steel, so the coated rotors will be slightly heavier than plain iron but lighter and less expensive than solid carbide rotors, thanks to the plating method. Maybe someday we’ll see carbide-plated, high-speed steel cutting tools? Maybe someday we’ll see conventional cutting tool coatings applied to carbide coated car brakes? What a time to be alive! 


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Navigating the noise to ensure AM design engineering success BY BILL HERMAN PRESIDENT, NEW ERA ASSESSMENTS According to MarketWatch, projected global additive manufacturing (AM) market growth is expected to reach $36.6 billion by 2027, a number that was just $8.4 billion in 2018. There’s clearly plenty of enthusiasm and demand for AM machines, materials, and products utilizing this technology today – and tomorrow. So why, then, are so many businesses employing AM processes struggling to make a profit? The allure of AM has always been its potential to transform the entire manufacturing process as a disruptive powerhouse with promises of lower costs and improved product performance and quality. However, it can only achieve such lofty goals with an understanding that comes from the deep analysis of every stage of the AM process. Businesses which choose to utilize an AM process for their product have had to endure a constant “noise” associated with this highly touted technology. My experience with clients has shown a penchant for buying into myths and hyperbole regarding the use of AM. Myth #1: AM is for every company and every product. AM is not for every company. Many successful compan ies have deeply rooted, t rad it iona l manufacturing processes. Change is not easy or inexpensive, and it takes a special culture to be openminded and flexible enough to adopt AM. Myth #2: Material costs are how you control your expenses. In actuality, material costs for a project are less than 5%. Understanding what material best suits a process in AM – as opposed to traditional manufacturing – is critical. In some cases, aluminum is not especially practical in AM – not because of cost but because of dynamics associated with AM. Titanium can actually perform much better. Myth #3: If you buy it, they will come. There is a preconceived notion that you can do anything with AM, but transforming the theoretical to a practical purpose is very difficult. It begins with a new way of thinking. If a line of customers simply formed as soon as you purchased a machine, there would be significantly more companies using AM. The hard truth is that a traditional approach to manufacturing does not work for AM. There needs to be a balance between analytical and creative thought. From a design engineering standpoint, a traditional approach is a hindrance to seeing the AM process capabilities and what it takes to develop an effective process. A

successful approach to AM design engineering requires the collaboration of an entire team. Talk to a service provider From my perspective, the best way to get started is to go directly to the source. Talk to the right service provider or talk to a vetted parts manufacturer that utilizes AM machines. They have a hands-on understanding that is better than anyone else. Seek out service providers who offer different technologies. Your IP Understanding your intellectual property (IP) is a consequential differentiator between companies with highly adaptive cultures and those that are more conservative. What do you think is patentable, and how close do you think you need to hold that to your chest? Discussing or developing an AM process for something you may not be willing to divulge completely may be difficult, if not impossible. Finding someone to trust means moving ahead confidently and effectively. Beware of the bias AM machine providers are in a highly competitive arena. With massive price tags for a single machine, industrial gauge units can easily exceed $1 million and reach as high as $3.5 million. These providers are doing an excellent job of educating their potential customers and explaining complex processes and capabilities down to the printer head, but their interactions eventually come back to recommending the customer buy their machine. You have to recognize the source of your information. If you do not find an unbiased consultant to help you make key decisions along the way, you could end up moving down a path that’s perfect for the provider but not for the development of your product.  About the Author: Bill Herman is the President of Cincinnati-based New Era Assessments, LLC. In addition to a quality and test engineering background in traditional manufacturing, Bill has extensive experience in the additive manufacturing/3D printing industry, specializing in additive development and lean manufacturing for aerospace, medical, automotive and energ y sectors. New Era Assessments, LLC is an additive manufacturing/3D printing assessment firm specializing in innovative, comprehensive additive manufacturing consulting—providing expert insights in design engineering, education, prototype parts development, production and parts development.

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