CHICAGO—Sciaky Inc. has received a purchase order from a major aerospace parts maker to provide an electron beam additive manufacturing system. The system will help the manufacturer save time and cost when producing large, high-value metal parts.
There’s lots of talk about a manufacturing renaissance. Some call it a resurgence, others a revolution, but the name doesn’t matter. There’s also been a lot of argument over the magnitude of the decline in manufacturing and how to measure it. Some say there wasn’t a decline at all. None of that matters, either.
Depending on who you listen to, 3D printing (or, as it’s more formally known, additive manufacturing) is either the biggest thing to hit the manufacturing world since the screw or the biggest tech fad since the fax machine. It’s actually a little of each.
The value of standard work is clear: improved productivity and quality. With standard work, the process is well documented, its yield is high, its cycle time is rock solid, and everyone has been trained to do it. It worked well once, so we do it again and again.
The late novelist John Le Carré once said, “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” As it turns out, what was good advice for spies is equally good for manufacturing and design engineers.