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HOME >> INFORMATION >>Company News >> How to meet the future manufacturing industry? You have to change your way of thinking first.
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How to meet the future manufacturing industry? You have to change your way of thinking first.

The fourth industrial revolution has arrived, and there will be unprecedented changes and opportunities.


As the core driving force of this revolution, digital technology is becoming faster and more economical, bringing more people with tangible benefits that are visible and tangible. As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, generative design, and big data are accelerating the development of all industries, 3D printing technology is also subverting traditional manufacturing.


The far-reaching impact of digital transformation is immeasurable, and this is understandable. But the Industrial 4.0 era requires not only new technologies, but also new skills and new ways of thinking and working.


For many companies, this change is no small feat, because it means injecting new investments, implementing organizational change, and improving employee skills. This change is necessary to enhance customer relationships and absorb new business. Companies must make a positive change and embrace Industry 4.0.


Unlocking new possibilities requires a shift in thinking


Take 3D printing as an example: 3D printing technology, additive manufacturing technology, can build a complete functional part from scratch by continuously stacking and bonding layers of materials without the need to build injection molds. The impact of this shift on the manufacturing process and product form is enormous. 3D printing brings an overall increase in efficiency - not only shortening the design cycle, reducing total production costs, but also reducing the time from production to delivery.


The impact is not just that: 3D printing technology has changed the way designers and manufacturers work, and the technology they use and the training they need are completely different.


First of all, 3D printing technology can be said to open a new door for designers and engineers, allowing them to have full freedom, to use their creative inspiration, to get rid of the limitations and constraints of the past.


Because there is no need to use injection molded molds, even for high-volume production, designers no longer need to consider draft angles or seams. In short, they need to abandon all kinds of flaws from traditional manufacturing. What is needed in the era of Industry 4.0 is a new mindset, design ideas and skills, because additive manufacturing allows designers to create new components that are more complex and even unprecedented, and that traditional design thinking will fade away.


Second, unlike traditional manufacturing linear workflows, 3D printing requires designers and engineers to collaborate more closely at each node of the process. In the traditional manufacturing process, the interaction between the designer and the engineer is very limited. After the designer completes the product design, the engineer carries out the prototype construction and testing work, and then builds the injection molding tool and mass production. However, this also means that functional considerations only occur in the second half of the development cycle, including material properties, structural integrity, and design durability.


The 3D printing ecosystem encourages a more integrated and interactive process. Designers must consider how a component is manufactured from the very beginning of the design cycle. New CAD technologies (ie, computer-aided design techniques) already support the consideration of functional factors during design visual construction, so engineers must also be involved early in the design process.


New digital technologies bring new opportunities


3D printing also gives designers and manufacturers the opportunity to learn and apply new technologies. The two innovative technologies of generative design and machine learning are the keys to this opportunity.


With the popularity of digital manufacturing, CAD technology is constantly evolving and updating. Today's CAD software can already be used in conjunction with Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) technology to enable designers to overlay any computer-generated image into a real-world scene. And the operation of CAD software has become easier to understand, and some are even designed for non-professional programmers. These trends are pushing the popularity of manufacturing, so that everyone with design creativity has the opportunity to become a manufacturer.


Automated, generative design software enables designers to quickly view component designs and generate multiple design arrangements based on data parameters such as selected materials, production methods, and cost constraints. Autodesk, a leader in engineering design, suggests that AI systems can automatically generate multiple high-performance product choices from a single design by applying generative design principles. This is great for designers because they can choose the one that best fits their important criteria among the hundreds or more of the designs created by the AI system. In addition, the original 3D design files can be directly connected to a 3D printer, calculating accurate material usage and quickly prototyping to avoid waste.


How can companies help employees respond more calmly


Faced with a wide range of new tools and technologies to choose from, how to create the right working environment and employee support system is a key step for the company to transform into digital manufacturing.


The first is to encourage engineers to get in touch with new technologies and make active attempts. These engineers have become accustomed to traditional injection molding workflows and may face some challenges when it comes to learning new skills. But as they try new tools and learn new skills, they will experience new design power. Exploring new features and discovering their own limitations will help motivate new ways of thinking.


Continuous training is essential when engineers try to become familiar with 3D printing technology. At HP, 30% of Indigo printer engineers have received Additive Manufacturing Design (DFAM) training. From MIT to Nanyang Technological University, some world-renowned universities have also launched online courses and short-term classroom training to introduce the basic knowledge, application and business significance of 3D printing to engineers in the middle of their career.


HP also provides a lot of help for customers in the digital transformation. To better understand the customer's needs and the current manufacturing methods, we start with the production line to see the different components on the production line and understand the application and standards of each component. In this way, we can identify components that can be optimized and faster to produce with 3D printing technology, thereby minimizing costs or reducing the impact on existing production cycles. In this way, we work with companies to help them determine which parts of the manufacturing process can be replaced with 3D printing technology.


Let the next generation prepare for digital manufacturing


As engineering and design become more and more inseparable, mixed higher education courses will become more and more popular among the next generation of engineers. Universities such as Imperial College and Pennsylvania State University have begun to offer a master's degree in design engineering and a master's degree in additive manufacturing and design engineering. HP's HP-NTU Enterprise Lab, launched last October, will also focus on developing educational programs on additive manufacturing design covering data management, security, user experience and business models.


These courses combine design thinking, engineering knowledge and practice to provide graduates with the skills they need to advance digital manufacturing. In just a few years, they will become the main force to accelerate and standardize digital manufacturing.


The industry is evolving rapidly, and if manufacturers can adopt the right tools and technologies and motivate employees to explore creative solutions to meet business challenges, we will have the opportunity to unlock countless new business opportunities.


+86 13421471917  Billy Lau
 billy@flyinn-tech.com /  james@flyinn-tech.com

FlyInn Tech ZhongShan Co.,Ltd. Unit 1857, 18 floor, LiHe  commercial centre, ZhongShan city, GuangDong, China.


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