What is Nanotechnology? What does it mean for me?

Nanotechnology is yet another buzzworthy topic for 2015 Relative to manufacturing, this multidisciplinary branch of science looks at engineering from a molecular or atomic level—more specifically on a nanoscale: one nanometer is equivalent to one billionth of a meter. An atom is even smaller yet … it’s about one tenth of a nanometer. In an essence, it takes extremely small bits of matter to engineer a part or end-product. Global Industry Analysts predict the nanotechnology market will exceed $30 billion in 2015. And according to Nanotechnology Market Outlook 2020, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5 percent between now and 2020. How does nanotechnology apply to manufacturing? And more importantly, why? Nanomanufacturing can help improve manufacturers’ products and processes. It can cut down on waste, improve efficiency, enhance durability and even create products that are not only stronger but also smaller and lighter-weight. Here’s how: Less waste: Bottom up manufacturing (at the nanoscale) versus the top down, there is less waste. Think of carving a sculpture out of a block of wood. Top down manufacturing produces a lot of wasted material (shavings, sawdust, etc.). When you build something from the bottom up, perhaps through methods such as additive manufacturing, there is little to no waste. Improved efficiency: Using nanotechnology, we can create finished products that require no machining, fabrication or assembly. Due to the bottom up approach of nanomanufacturing which cuts down on production time, lowers the cost of materials and labor and decreases the risk of rework. In addition, programming machine setups becomes unnecessary, parts can’t be fabricated incorrectly and an assembly line is...

Factory Automation and Innovation

Are you utilizing factory automation to innovate? Welcome to December, 2014! In a few short weeks, 2015 will be here! As I reflect on all of the advances C.R.E.W. has made these past 4/5 years – while comparing and contrasting the experiences over the lifespan of my career… it is interesting to note all of the automation related projects that I have been involved in. Indeed, from a personal perspective, the overall pace of factory automation has substantially quickened! Industry Creativity and Innovation As with many other businesses in similar and different industries – creativity and innovation are key ingredients to success. Projects involving factory automation at C.R.E.W. has further enabled the innovative spirit. Through much hard work and effort, automating processes at C.R.E.W. has occurred in many areas: Purchase management Order management Accounting/finance Information technology Sales/marketing Engineering Employee related processes Automation on the shop floor at C.R.E.W. Automation within the shop has created value by making us better understand our manufacturing processes and often leads us to simplify our processes before we automate a task. Ultimately, the true measure of the value created is when all these enterprise automation innovations work harmoniously to meet some very demanding customer expectations. Factory Automation The trend towards factory automation is here to stay. As manufacturing activity continues to pick up around the world, so does the excitement for robotics and other industrial automation technologies. This change is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 and is expected to generate global revenues of $209.4 billion by 2016 according to a white paper published by IHS Technology. Why push for an increase in...

C.R.E.W. Announces Launch of New Website

(Oshkosh, WI) Converting roll manufacturer C.R.E.W. announces the launch of its new and improved website. The new design features a fresh look, improved request for quote system and new product search features. Customers can now send all their converting roll specification needs directly to C.R.E.W., plus, the product search feature allows users to find products and services by type, material and industry. The site will improve both customer experience and turnaround time. In addition, C.R.E.W. has added a blog to provide readers with helpful information on the manufacturing and converting roll industries. “The website redesign was done with our customers in mind,” said Troy Sommerfeld, vice president of C.R.E.W.. “We wanted to provide our valued customers with the most user-friendly way to get the most from our website and from C.R.E.W.” Check out the new site to find its many useful tools and resources to help you meet your business’s unique...