The KickStage Consulting leadership team attended the 2017 Pacific Design and Manufacturing Summit in Anaheim, California on February 7th 2017. The event brought together 20,000 engineers and executives as well as hundreds of leading suppliers across the advanced design and manufacturing spectrum who understand the value in working together on the industry's cutting edge.
Manufacturing and Design drive each other, and keeping abreast of the latest advances in production technology and innovation is paramount for our client's success. We came away armed with a fresh portfolio of industrial capabilities and contacts, and look forward to helping our customers integrate these into their value chain.
The KickStage team were struck by specific advances in three areas:
- Machine vision for inspection and automation - Turnkey and ready for the factory floor, the performance and application of machine vision systems has expanded exponentially. The latest systems do far more than simply counting parts and measuring dimensions; they can also be quickly trained to find and classify a wide range of product defects.
- MES systems - We met with several MES solution providers, some we were long familiar with but also some new market players, and were blown away by the vastly increased functionality of these systems in just the last few years. They are now much more implementation-friendly and, with many providers offering monthly 'subscriptions' to the systems with little to no upfront costs, are much more accessible for businesses of all sizes and budgets.
- Robotic machining systems - We watched in awe as the complete manufacture and packaging of plastic shot glasses was completed fully automatically within a footprint smaller than most traditional machining centers. The incorporation of automation and robotics as well as the advancements in materials cutting technologies is allowing companies to save significant work content, space and time through updating their manufacturing capability.
Wanting advice on production design or updating your manufacturing capability? Get in touch!