Digital Manufacturing is an integrated approach which leverages a computer process to optimize the manufacturing process. It makes it possible to create a connected and networked environment which utilizes real-time data analytics to optimize the entire manufacturing process. Digital Manufacturing can be instrumental in eliminating bottlenecks, improving quality, reducing errors and increasing the time to market. In the this article we will be talking about the three critical elements that of digital manufacturing which are essential from design to production to analysis. We will also be stating the advantages that can be gained out of digital manufacturing.
Elements of Digital Manufacturing:
1. CAD Drafting and 3D Modeling:
Computer-aided Drafting and 3D modelling services have replaced manual drawing. CAD software has all the requisite tools to generate 2D and 3D models with utmost precision. Along with increased accuracy CAD also easily allows to make modifications, saves time and provides enhanced visualization. CAD greatly reduces the need for physical prototyping and diminishes the time spent between the initial conceptualization and the final product. Finally, CAD allows to provide data about the different parts and materials and how they would behave in a given situation.
2. CNC Machines:
While CAD is used for designing CNC machines are used for the next step which would be production. One of the biggest advantages of CAD is that it can be integrated seamlessly into the production process. Once a 3D model is designed and finalized then the code is generated to manufacture the designed model on the shop floor. Computer numerical control, commonly known as CNC machines refers to the automate control of machining tool and 3D printers by computer. Here equipment like water jets, lathes, mils etc. read and interpret the machine generated code to move parts and tools across axes to add or remove material. The end product of the CNC machine results in a product which mirrors its digital counterpart. CNC machines also have the ability of wireless connection with CAD system making it possible for the designers and operators on floor to connect easily.
3. Manufacturing Analytics:
Manufacturing Analytics brings predictive analytics, big data, IoT and mobile-first design to the manufacturing process. Its main focus is to collect and analyze the time series data manufacturing companies produce. The biggest advantage of this process is the data that it provides regarding the production time, machine utilization, tool/material usage etc. This is instrumental in identifying areas of improvement. It also has the option of digital feedback which allows the stakeholders to evaluate their processes in real time and facilitates an informed decision making process which would ultimately enhance production quality. Thus, manufacturing analytics makes it possible to better understand the machine utilization and create better demand forecasts for products.
Thus, digital manufacturing is slowly becoming important for most machine designs. It also provides various advantages to machine and Product Design Services.