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Bloss R.,Assembly Automation
Assembly Automation | Year: 2011

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review the automated assembly technology at the Assembly and Automation Expo. While assembly is the feature show, it combines with manufacturing of electronics, plastics and medical devices at the same venue. Design/methodology/approach - In-depth interviews with exhibitors of automated systems, system integrators as well as suppliers of related components motion elements, laser markers. Findings - Automated assembly continues to become more flexible, modular, as well as better suited for smaller lot orders and includes more real-time inspection capabilities. Originality/value - The paper shows that new products to be assembled are driving those who provide automated assembly systems to create better solutions. These include solutions that are more cost-effective, faster and include more quality assessment and tracking as part of the automation. Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.


Bogue R.,Assembly Automation
Assembly Automation | Year: 2010

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of recent developments in nanoelectronic devices, with an emphasis on the materials and fabrication technologies employed. Design/methodology/approach - This paper focuses on three critical fields of nanoelectronics: integrated circuits (ICs), sensors and displays. It describes recent developments and considers the materials and techniques used in their fabrication. Findings - This paper shows that nanoelectronic developments, particularly experimental ICs, are progressing very rapidly but all manner of different materials and non-standard fabrication processes are involved. Major efforts are underway to develop simple and cost-effective techniques which will allow the high volume production of suitable nanomaterials and their incorporation into commercial nanoelectronic devices. Originality/value - The paper provides an up-to-date review of nanoelectronic device developments and fabrication technologies. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Bloss R.,Assembly Automation
Assembly Automation | Year: 2011

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review the Promat Show (material handling) and the Automate Show (robots and vision) run jointly in Chicago with emphasis on new automation innovations for packing and order filling applications. Design/methodology/approach - In-depth interviews with exhibitors of material handling automation which addresses packing and order filling. Findings - Mobile robots have come of age with multiple vendors offering units for handling goods. Delta robots have found a niche in quick handling of packing and order assembly. Practical implications - Customers will have to begin thinking of mobile robots as much more autonomous and self-guiding for goods handling in the warehouse. Logistics customers need to examine the abilities of the delta style robot to do more and faster picking and packing than ever before. Originality/value - The paper provides an expert insight into how automation innovation continues to reduce cost, improve accuracy and speed of logistics and order filling. © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago with emphasis on innovations in applying automation to manufacturing and assembly. Design/methodology/approach - In-depth interviews with exhibitors of automated assembly and manufacturing technology. Findings - Building of production machinery continues to move toward offering automated assembly or production cells and away from building single purpose metal cutting machinery. Robots are married to machine tools for much more than just tending. Originality/value - The paper shows that users in almost any manufacturing realm will find that automated manufacturing technologies are now addressing all types of production requirements. No longer it is necessary to think that only million off part runs can be produced in an automated manner. Machine tool builders are including testing, finishing, marking, assembly and other secondary operations within the basic machining unit for a wide range of production volumes. Automation can even be applied to "made to order" type production. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Bogue R.,Assembly Automation
Assembly Automation | Year: 2013

Purpose - This article aims to provide an introduction to 3D printing technology and its applications. Design/methodology/approach - Following an introduction, this first describes the many different 3D printing technologies and then discusses a number of existing and emerging applications. Finally, brief conclusions are drawn. Findings - This shows that 3D printing technologies have evolved rapidly in recent years and can be use with a wide range of different materials. In addition to rapid prototyping, the dominant use in the past, they are now being used in all manner of manufacturing applications in a diversity of industries. In the future 3D printing may change the way many products are developed and produced and herald an era of "personal manufacturing". Originality/value - This article provides a timely review of 3D printing technology and its applications. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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