New Guide—The Rising Value of Cobots

thumbnail_ADV_AUT_human_collab_robotic_process09243Throughout manufacturing, collaborative robots (a.k.a. cobots) are working side-by-side with human co-workers on an increasingly frequent basis. By assuming some of the physically difficult and repetitive tasks on production lines, cobots enable human workers to concentrate on the activities that require the most skill and judgment. The results—more productivity and higher quality for manufacturers across industry sectors.

EWI’s new eguide, Cobots: Enabling a Collaborative Approach to Manufacturing, explores how cobots are making production safer and more efficient. This eguide highlights:

  • Cobot trends
  • How cobots are safer
  • Why cobots are more intuitive
  • Ways cobots increase productivity
  • And more

Download the eGuide

If you are interested in incorporating cobots in your operations, contact Ron Brown at 603.504.5148 or rbrown@ewi.org.
 

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EWI Welcomes New Member Cincinnati Fan

cincinncatifan

We are pleased to announce that Cincinnati Fan of Mason, Ohio, has joined EWI as a new member. The company specializes in cast aluminum and fabricated steel, aluminum and stainless steel fans in the 1/4 to 125 horsepower range. Cincinnati Fan also manufactures seven sizes of the “Dust-Master Portable Dust Collectors.”

 

 

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EWI’s Additive Manufacturing Consotium

amcIn 2010, EWI established the Additive Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) as a national consortium of industry, government, academic, and non-profit research organizations. The AMC’s mission is to accelerate and advance the manufacturing readiness of metal AM technology.

The specific goals of the AMC are to: 1) foster technical interchange by presenting timely case studies and current research efforts at quarterly meetings, 2) execute group-sponsored, pre-competitive research projects within the AMC, 3) collaborate on government funding opportunities, and 4) provide a forum for discussing and shaping industrial and government roadmaps that define future funding.IMG_5292

In the past year, the AMC doubled the number of full members in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. As of June 2017, the AMC has 41 members, all users of AM technology.

The AMC project portfolio continues to focus on addressing common, pre-competitive technical challenges in metal AM processes. Projects are focused on materials and processes. Members have access to $2.2 million in project funding. Past projects have included Inconel 625, Inconel 718, and Monel 400 theme development, heat treatment optimization, machine variability, and design allowable database generation. Some of the AMC efforts funded in 2017 include:

  • Nondestructive Post-process Evaluation (NDE) of AM Parts.   The AMC project will investigate four common NDE techniques – ultrasound (UT), eddy current (ET), pulsed thermography (PdTh), and computed tomography (CT) for examination of laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) Inconel 625 (In625) specimens with pre-designed imbedded defects for technology qualification.
  • AM Powder Recycling and Reconditioning for L-PBF.   The AMC project will focus on two aspects of powder reconditioning: 1) using Tekna’s plasma induction system to improve morphology and evaluate effects on chemical composition of the powder, and 2) blending used and virgin powder in varying proportions to evaluate its effect on powder reconditioning.
  • In-process Monitoring and Rectification of Defects in L-PBF.   The AMC project will focus on the development of methods for in-process detection and rectification of open-to-surface defects in L-PBF processes. EWI will take advantage of their previous work that consists of over three years and over 2.5 million dollars of government and internal funding.
  • High-strength Aluminum Alloys for L-PBF.   A project was initiated to develop laser-based powder bed fusion process parameters for high-strength aluminum alloys. The AMC will execute a test program to evaluate and develop build parameters for aluminum alloy materials with properties equivalent to 7000 series aluminum alloys.

AMC welcome snip-400Quarterly meetings are hosted at EWI and research partner sites, and they are often held in conjunction with other AM-themed events sponsored by the partner organization. These meetings benefit both experienced AM users and those new to the technology.

An annual project contribution is required to participate in meetings and fund project work. Four tiers of membership are available for end users, non-profit, small business and supplier, and university and government research partners. For more information on the AMC, visit ewi.org/additive-manufacturing-consortium.

 

 

 

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New Paper – Pulsed Gas Metal Arc Welding of Copper-nickel Pipe Joints

CaptureCopper-nickel alloys are often used in shipbuilding for applications such as tanks, seawater and freshwater piping, and numerous other structures. Copper-nickel pipe joints are typically welded with manual gas tungsten arc welding; however, inherently slow travel speeds and low deposition rates impede productivity. The implementation of pulsed gas metal arc welding (GMAW-P) could yield significant productivity benefits for semi-automatic, mechanized, or robotic applications through the use of faster travel speeds and increased deposition rates.

Under funding from the National Shipbuilding Research Program Advanced Shipbuilding Enterprise, EWI worked with two shipyards to explore the benefits of modern digitally controlled GMAW-P power sources and develop procedures that meet NAVSEA qualification requirements for these joints. EWI Applications Engineer Nick Kapustka and Business Development Manager for Government Programs Paul Blomquist have written Pulsed Gas Metal Arc Welding of Copper-nickel Pipe Joints to discuss this collaboration.

To read the paper, click here.

 

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EWI Appoints Rob Walter as New CFO

Rob Walter

Rob Walter

EWI is pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Walter as the new CFO and Vice President of Administrative Services.

Walter oversees the accounting, contracts, legal services, and IT functions at EWI. He also assists with negotiation of corporate-wide agreements, financial analysis and budgeting, operational support and analysis, information system implementation and strategy, government accounting, reporting and tax filing, billing and collections, and vendor selection. Walter will also oversee financial operations at all three EWI business divisions: EWI Ohio, Buffalo Manufacturing Works in New York, and EWI Colorado.

“Rob is committed to EWI’s mission to help revitalize American manufacturing,” said Henry Cialone, EWI President & CEO. “He brings an unusual set of experiences from his long tenure at Scott’s, having worked both in the manufacturing operations and the lawn services business. Thus, he really understands EWI’s business challenges and those of our customers.”

Over the last 15 years, Walter held various roles within Scotts Miracle-Gro, including VP and CFO of the Scotts subsidiary Smith and Hawken, VP and Division Financial Officer of Scotts Lawn Service, and VP-General Manager of Scotts Lawn Service. Prior to joining Scotts Miracle-Gro, Rob worked at Deloittle LLP. He sits on the board of National Church Residences, the largest not-for-profit developer and manager of affordable senior housing and services in the US.

“It’s great to be part of a leading-edge technology firm that is driving US manufacturing beyond its current capabilities and enhancing sustainable long term growth in our manufacturing communities,” said Walter.  “I’m proud to add my support this critical mission.”

 

 

 

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3D Vision-guided Robotics for Industrial Applications — New Paper

Advanced robot-based object detection, recognition, and gripping technologies have seen increasing use as manufacturers transition from mass production to customization to meet customer demands. As a result, today’s modern robotic systems must be able to recognize a changing environment and adapt to it.Capture1.PNG

Advanced vision techniques ranging from low-resolution systems with a large field of view, to high-precision surface metrology systems are available to solve a wide range of challenging industrial applications.

3D vision point cloud dataEWI Applications Engineer Seungkook Jun has written 3D Vision-guided Robotics for Industrial Applications to provide an overview of advanced vision techniques ranging from low-resolution systems with a large field of view to high-precision surface metrology systems. This paper describes four different 3D imaging techniques, and provides examples of their application in industry.

To learn more about EWI’s work in vision-guided robotics and advanced automation, contact rbrown@ewi.org.

 

 

 

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New Guide: NDE Breakthroughs that Ensure System Integrity and Lifetime Quality

thumbnail_NDE_QUALITY_TESTING_10172Advanced nondestructive evaluation (NDE) allow manufacturers to more effectively comply with standards and regulations, extend the life of equipment, vehicles, and infrastructure, and reduce the risk of service failures. Now, new developments are enabling companies to implement NDE earlier in the manufacturing timeline— gaining value for not just in-service assets, but during new product development and manufacturing to ensure first-time and lifetime quality.

EWI’s new eguide, Nondestructive Evaluation: Using Breakthrough Technology to Ensure First-Time Quality, explores the many advantages of NDE across the product lifecycle. The eguide features:

  • New developments in NDE
  • Benefits of NDE from concept to service
  • EWI’s state-of-the-art NDE capabilities
  • And more

Download the eguide

If you would like to learn how EWI can help your company be more competitive with custom manual and automated inspections using state-of-the-art NDE techniques, contact Evgueni Todorov, NDE Technology Leader, at etodorov@ewi.org.

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South Korean Delegation Visits EWI, Signs Collaboration Agreement

Representatives from Ulsan Metropolitan City and EWI sign a memorandum of understanding

Representatives from Ulsan Metropolitan City and EWI sign a memorandum of understanding

On Wednesday, June 7, EWI hosted a contingent from the Ulsan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea, to sign a collaboration agreement to pursue R&D activities for the mutual benefit of both parties. These include a project funded by the South Korean government to develop next-generation additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, a staff exchange to foster collaborative research and development in manufacturing innovation, and the exploration of establishing an EWI-operated research center in Ulsan to serve South Korea and the greater Asia Pacific Region.

The delegation from South Korea’s “capital city of industries,” led by Ulsan Governor Kim Gi-hyeon, met with EWI executives and technology leaders at the company’s Ohio headquarters to officially formalize their collaborative relationship in a brief signing ceremony. The visitors later had the opportunity to tour the Columbus laboratories to see the range of innovative technologies and manufacturing solutions being developed by EWI to advance manufacturing in a competitive global market.

“We are honored that you have made this visit to our flagship facility,” said EWI President and CEO Henry Cialone to the Ulsan guests. “We are very excited about the prospects for collaboration under our new MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], including the possibility of establishing EWI Korea in Ulsan.

Following the visit to EWI in Columbus, several members of the Ulsan delegation traveled on to Buffalo Manufacturing Works in western New York, where they toured another one of EWI’s state-of-the-art research labs.

Collaborative activities between EWI and Ulsan will begin in the coming months.

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Just Published: Computer-Aided Programming for Robotic Welding

Congratulations to EWI Senior Project Manager Harvey Castner and his colleague Jeff Penoyer at Wolf Robotics for their published article in June 2017 issue of Welding Journal.

Their article, “Computer-Aided Programming for Robotic Welding,” explores how new technologies eliminate automation cost barriers and enable automated robot programming, benefitting low-volume industries such as shipbuilding.  Specifically, the article addresses the NSRP-ASE -sponsored project CAR-W which was awarded in April 2015 .  The project aims to develop technologies that enable rapid automated programming of robotic welding systems for highly-varied and complex structures.

Harvey Castner

Harvey Castner

The article is available to AWS members by logging in at www.aws.org or reprints may be purchased by non-members by contacting info@aws.org.  EWI Members may request a copy of the article by contacting the EWI Library.  Learn more about all the benefits of EWI membership.

 

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