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Accelerating Manufacturing Technologies: Standards

Now, as digital manufacturing has proven to be a significant value-add to the industry, manufacturing technologies are adopting standards to increase their implementation on the factory floor. Technologies like automation will evolve into more...
Dec 17, 2021

For some, manufacturing has always been seen as a black box, believing that design engineers throw concepts over the fence, and poof! Parts are made. The integration of design, manufacturing, and quality has increased the need for transparency and collaboration for each group. Alyson Savelle from Dassault Systems highlights this dynamic: “There are tremendous advantages of integrating your design and manufacturing processes and teams. In doing so, you’re increasing quality output, saving time and money on data translation and personnel training, and you’re allowing your teams to work concurrently.” The media that facilitate these integrations are standards.

Now, as digital manufacturing has proven to be a significant value-add to the industry, manufacturing technologies are adopting standards to increase their implementation on the factory floor. Technologies like automation will evolve into more flexible machines, and with the explosion of unique designs, additive continues to gain greater popularity and mainstream acceptance.

Additive

Everyone loves additive. Its versatility and design freedom will unlock powerful new products – but not without common standards. Tim Sprinkle from ASTM discusses the importance of standards in additive, stating, “Close collaboration is crucial in ensuring that standards and specifications support, and do not limit, the continued growth of emerging industries such as AM.” Below are five standards everyone should be aware of.

  • Terminology for AM – General Principles – Terminology: ISO/ASTM 52900

  • Additive Manufacturing – General principles – Requirements for Purchased AM Parts: ISO/ASTM 52901

  • Guidelines for Design for AM: ISO/ASTM 52910

  • Standard Guide for Evaluating Mechanical Properties of Metal Materials Made via Additive Manufacturing Processes: ASTM F3122

  • X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) Performance Evaluation Standard: ASME B89.4.23-2020

Digital manufacturing

Some would think gathering value from data is best served through priority means. However, this thought process significantly limits wider adoption. The shift over the past few years to an open standards approach changes the focus from connecting machines to harvesting value from the data. McKinsey & Company’s research outlines the tangible value: “The benefits these companies have recorded include 30 to 50 percent reductions of machine downtime, 15 to 30 percent improvements in labor productivity, 10 to 30 percent increases in throughput, and 10 to 20 percent decreases in the cost of quality. These breakthroughs create impact across the value chain that may be even more important, if harder to measure: increased flexibility to meet customer demand, faster speed to market, and better integration within the supply chain.” This area will be a blend of new standards to manufacturing and existing information technology. Below are five standards to participate in or be aware of.

  • Enterprise-Control System Integration ISA95

  • Platform Independent Service-Orientated architecture OPC-UA

  • Manufacturing Equipment semantic vocabulary – MTConnect ANSI/MTC

  • Quality Information Framework

  • Digital Twin Framework for manufacturing – ISO 23247

Automation

In light of the recent supply chain deficiencies exposed by the pandemic, the value of automation continues to grow. The core of the current standard push is related to safety, and the growth in collaborative robots has lowered the barrier for entry. Automation.com uncovered the importance of standards in automation through a recent survey, reporting, “An overwhelming majority of survey respondents believe that, in the future, standards will be ‘extremely important’ (63%) or ‘important’ (33%). Most respondents (87%) believe that industry standards make processes and facilities safer. Most respondents (81%) believe that industry standards help companies prove compliance with regulations. Most respondents (67%) believe that industry standards make it easier to train and cross-train people in technical jobs. Most respondents (63%) believe that industry standards make processes and facilities more cyber-secure.” Below are three highly relevant standards to the manufacturing industry.

  • Industrial Robots and robot systems safety requirement ANSI/RIA15.06

  • Collaborative robots safety requirements ISO/TS15066

  • Safety Requirement for the industrial mobile robot: ANSI/RIA15.08-1-2020

Industry standards are becoming a vital part of the technology ecosystem. While manufacturers are very familiar with the most basic form of standard flow down, the flow down of requirements from the customer, they need to generate internal standards to facilitate integrated teams and collaboration with industry standards. Not only is the adoption of these standards vital, but so are collaboration and contributions from industry. Once implemented, manufacturers will harvest value from this collaboration through long-term shifts from common industrial needs to product-specific challenges to be solved by industry leaders. However, failing to implement standards and lacking a diverse voice of the industry runs the risk of manufacturing technologies stagnating.

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Author
Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
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