Where Are You in Your Additive Manufacturing Automation Journey?

Somewhat ironically, many processes in additive manufacturing – which is often defined as a digital manufacturing technology –  remain manual and siloed.

Automation is still not widely deployed in additive manufacturing. The vast majority of companies adopting 3D printing remain dependent on human labour and access to physical inventories.

Below we’ll be exploring the stages of maturity in additive manufacturing IT automation; areas companies should consider automating and software solutions available to help you digitise and streamline your additive manufacturing operations.

Spotlight

3D Print Shop

3D Print Shop is a rapid prototyping and manufacturing services bureau. We specialize in providing customers with a single source for their Prototyping needs. At 3D Print Shop we will help you communicate your ideas and evaluate your concepts with high quality, accurate prototypes.

OTHER ARTICLES
Engineering Tech

On Engineering in Crisis: Choosing Gratitude

Article | August 17, 2021

It is important to find a balance right now and keep yourself surrounded by people you love, your family and friends. Stress is bound to happen during these extraordinary times. Meditation and connecting with yourself would help reduce any anxiety or panic that the mind creates. I am grateful that I am safe and healthy surrounded with my family, and I am thankful for having the gifts of life. It is up to us, to be grateful or be stressed. I treat this time as a luxury, time that I would have never gotten in my hustling life. I am trying to tick all the items in my to-do checklist that I have been postponing due to lack of time.

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Engineering Tech

Midyear Deals in Engineering 2022

Article | July 19, 2021

Recent M&A activity has slowed slightly in 2022, owing primarily to economic and geopolitical uncertainty. In the short term, deal activity is expected to remain stable. This continued investment is expected to be driven by capital availability, private equity (PE) investors, and strategic balance sheet strength. Despite a drop in deal volume in the last quarter, deal activity remained consistent with pre-pandemic levels. Volumes in the four quarters ending in the first quarter of 2022 exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 18%. Deal values fell in the last two quarters due to fewer megadeals (deals worth at least $1 billion), as companies became warier of complications arising from government approvals. With the exception of construction machinery, North American activity drove deal volume growth over the last four quarters across all engineering and construction (E & C) subsectors. This region saw a shift toward local, strategic investor transactions, emphasising the impact of global economic headwinds. Prospects for Engineering Transactions Despite headwinds from slowing economic activity, rising interest rates, and cost pressure from rising material costs, increased competition for labor, and ongoing supply chain issues, the outlook for E & C sector deal activity remains positive, driven by the continued availability of capital and bolstered by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The recent improvement in the performance of the residential market is expected to continue, owing to historically low interest rates, a housing gap caused by underbuilding over the last decade, the millennial generation entering prime home-buying age, and housing inventory near all-time lows. The non-residential market is expected to expand, but the outlook varies by sector. Transportation, manufacturing, and education are expected to benefit from infrastructure spending, while construction spending on offices and hotels is expected to decline, owing to continued remote working and business travel trends post-pandemic. “E&C deal activity is expected to remain stable due to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, private equity and corporate dry powder, realignment of end market exposure and acquisition of new technologies to support operations, despite the impact of inflation, supply chain disruption, labor shortages, and the war in Ukraine.” - Danny Bitar, US Engineering and Construction Deals Leader in the United States

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Engineering Tech

How can we design better for Buildability?

Article | July 14, 2022

The use of highly sophisticated building models – as a result of BIM – has transformed how we design the built environment. However, although the digital models used by architects and engineers during design enable impressive visualization and documentation of the designer’s intent, the data and considerations required to construct it are often considered separately. We typically use the design model to communicate the final state of the project – not how it is constructed, even though such considerations result in a more accurate estimate on both project time and cost. Of course, different flavors of BIM tools exist that do consider such topics during manufacturing and construction, but how often do we truly consider the impact of the construction process as part of making the right initial design decisions?

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Construction

15 sites in the frame to become home to the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant

Article | May 15, 2021

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has revealed the long list of sites under consideration for development of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.An open call for sites to host the Spherical Tokomak for Energy Production (Step) facility was opened last year and compliance check of those nominated has led to publication of the long list. According to the UKAEA, moving fusion from research and development to design and delivery is an important part of the UK’s ambition to be a world leader in sustainable, low-carbon energy. Fusion has the potential to provide an abundant source of low-carbon energy by copying the processes that power the sun and stars. UKAEA has said that this new technology will play an important role alongside established renewable technologies such as wind and solar.Step programme director Paul Methven said: “STEP is about building on the amazing science done over decades in fusion and translating that into a real prototype power plant that paves the way for this fantastic new energy source.

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Spotlight

3D Print Shop

3D Print Shop is a rapid prototyping and manufacturing services bureau. We specialize in providing customers with a single source for their Prototyping needs. At 3D Print Shop we will help you communicate your ideas and evaluate your concepts with high quality, accurate prototypes.

Related News

Engineering Tech, Construction

Comfort Systems USA Announces Acquisition

Business Wire | February 01, 2024

Comfort Systems USA, Inc. today announced that it has closed its previously announced transaction to acquire Summit Industrial Construction, LLC (“Summit”) headquartered in Houston, Texas. As previously disclosed, Summit is a specialty industrial mechanical contractor offering engineering, design-assist and turnkey, direct hire construction services of modular systems serving the advanced technology, power, and industrial sectors. Summit’s capabilities encompass a wide range of modular and site-based construction, including process piping, equipment setting, large pipe rack trestles, and related steel erection and specialty concrete work. Summit is a trusted supplier to some of the world’s largest advanced technology, power and industrial companies and is currently deployed on several major chip fabrication projects. Initially, Summit is expected to contribute annualized revenues of approximately $375 million to $400 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $35 million to $40 million. In light of the amortization expense, Summit is expected to make a neutral to slightly accretive contribution to earnings per share in 2024 and 2025. Brian Lane, Comfort Systems USA’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are delighted to announce the closing of our agreement to acquire Summit, an extremely capable provider of modular and other complex mechanical services. Summit brings a stellar reputation as a modular technology leader in growing end markets, including multiple ongoing and large semiconductor projects. We are happy to welcome Summit’s wonderful leadership team and excellent production and craft workers across many states, and we are confident Summit will continue to innovate and grow as a part of our network of world-class contracting companies. We are grateful that Summit has chosen to become part of Comfort Systems USA.”

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Engineering Tech, Construction

PirTano Construction acquires Powerlink Electric

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

PirTano Construction Company, Inc. ("PirTano"), a leading Midwest-based infrastructure and utility services-focused underground construction company operating in the communications and sewer & water sectors, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"). The transaction closed on November 17, 2023. Mike Piraino, President of PirTano, said, "The acquisition of Powerlink will operate as a new electrical division, and brings additional service offerings and bench strength of employees as we look forward to continuing to support our customers while capitalizing on additional opportunities." Founded in 2006 by Doug Pantle and Steve Lipinski, Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"), is a full-service electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Vernon Hills, Illinois with an outstanding reputation in its regional marketplace and is well known for the reliability and quality of its service. Powerlink primarily focuses on commercial and industrial projects and operates in Northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Powerlink will continue to operate under the current leadership as a wholly owned subsidiary of PirTano. Rising Point Capital ("RPC"), commented on the transaction, "Doug and Steve have built a tremendous reputation in its marketplace. We are very excited to partner with them to help accelerate their growth and with leading a new division at PirTano."Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, served as the exclusive advisor to Powerlink. Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Central Region, Michael Goss, Stephen Dinehart, a Generational Group Authorized Affiliate, with support from Vice President, M&A, Lance Thomasson successfully closed the deal.

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Design, Mechanical and Motion Systems, Engineering Tech

SPX FLOW Launches Universal 2 ND Pump Series Designed Uniquely for Industrial Market

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

SPX FLOW, has released the Universal® 2 ND Positive Displacement Pump (U2 ND) Series designed with industrial users in mind. The pumps offer the quality and durability the Waukesha Cherry-Burrell brand is known for while optimizing cost and suitability for the industrial market. The U2 ND series significantly expands the WCB pump range, aimed at enhancing reliability and performance across industrial applications while outperforming other pump styles, such as industrial lobe, gear or progressive cavity pumps.The design features improvements uniquely suited for industrial applications, including: Total cost of ownership: The pumps ensure a long running life, given their robust construction materials and designs tailored for each application. Because of its high volumetric efficiency, the pumps can be used to dose fluids, eliminating the need for an additional metering pump.  Efficiency: The U2 ND pump reduces slip, which occurs when fluids move backward from the liquid flow due to internal clearances. Lower slip means more efficiency, reducing the need for higher horsepower motors. Also, the series can process fluids over longer spans due to its high-pressure capability, which reduces the need for multiple pumps in these applications. Reliability: WCB is a proven and trusted global brand dating back to the 1880s. The pumps are made with durable, corrosive-resistant materials compatible with industrial environments. A robust design, equipped with industrial flanges or sanitary fittings, ensures manufacturers can choose the configuration to meet their needs.  Additionally, an extensive sales channel and domestic manufacturing footprint support this pump series, enabling quick deliveries on standardized parts across the entire Universal pump product line. The U2 ND series is complemented by the Universal Industrial 5000 series, which is tailored for users who require OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) seals for their industrial pumping operations. Julien Bassett, Pumps Global Product Manager: "Waukesha Cherry-Burrell has extensive experience offering pumps to customers built with their needs in mind. We wanted to expand our offerings to provide quality and durability of the SPX FLOW brand while catering to the unique needs of industrial manufacturers and their applications."

Read More

Engineering Tech, Construction

Comfort Systems USA Announces Acquisition

Business Wire | February 01, 2024

Comfort Systems USA, Inc. today announced that it has closed its previously announced transaction to acquire Summit Industrial Construction, LLC (“Summit”) headquartered in Houston, Texas. As previously disclosed, Summit is a specialty industrial mechanical contractor offering engineering, design-assist and turnkey, direct hire construction services of modular systems serving the advanced technology, power, and industrial sectors. Summit’s capabilities encompass a wide range of modular and site-based construction, including process piping, equipment setting, large pipe rack trestles, and related steel erection and specialty concrete work. Summit is a trusted supplier to some of the world’s largest advanced technology, power and industrial companies and is currently deployed on several major chip fabrication projects. Initially, Summit is expected to contribute annualized revenues of approximately $375 million to $400 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $35 million to $40 million. In light of the amortization expense, Summit is expected to make a neutral to slightly accretive contribution to earnings per share in 2024 and 2025. Brian Lane, Comfort Systems USA’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are delighted to announce the closing of our agreement to acquire Summit, an extremely capable provider of modular and other complex mechanical services. Summit brings a stellar reputation as a modular technology leader in growing end markets, including multiple ongoing and large semiconductor projects. We are happy to welcome Summit’s wonderful leadership team and excellent production and craft workers across many states, and we are confident Summit will continue to innovate and grow as a part of our network of world-class contracting companies. We are grateful that Summit has chosen to become part of Comfort Systems USA.”

Read More

Engineering Tech, Construction

PirTano Construction acquires Powerlink Electric

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

PirTano Construction Company, Inc. ("PirTano"), a leading Midwest-based infrastructure and utility services-focused underground construction company operating in the communications and sewer & water sectors, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"). The transaction closed on November 17, 2023. Mike Piraino, President of PirTano, said, "The acquisition of Powerlink will operate as a new electrical division, and brings additional service offerings and bench strength of employees as we look forward to continuing to support our customers while capitalizing on additional opportunities." Founded in 2006 by Doug Pantle and Steve Lipinski, Powerlink Electric ("Powerlink"), is a full-service electrical and telecommunications contractor based in Vernon Hills, Illinois with an outstanding reputation in its regional marketplace and is well known for the reliability and quality of its service. Powerlink primarily focuses on commercial and industrial projects and operates in Northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. Powerlink will continue to operate under the current leadership as a wholly owned subsidiary of PirTano. Rising Point Capital ("RPC"), commented on the transaction, "Doug and Steve have built a tremendous reputation in its marketplace. We are very excited to partner with them to help accelerate their growth and with leading a new division at PirTano."Generational Equity, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, served as the exclusive advisor to Powerlink. Generational Equity Executive Managing Director of M&A – Central Region, Michael Goss, Stephen Dinehart, a Generational Group Authorized Affiliate, with support from Vice President, M&A, Lance Thomasson successfully closed the deal.

Read More

Design, Mechanical and Motion Systems, Engineering Tech

SPX FLOW Launches Universal 2 ND Pump Series Designed Uniquely for Industrial Market

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

SPX FLOW, has released the Universal® 2 ND Positive Displacement Pump (U2 ND) Series designed with industrial users in mind. The pumps offer the quality and durability the Waukesha Cherry-Burrell brand is known for while optimizing cost and suitability for the industrial market. The U2 ND series significantly expands the WCB pump range, aimed at enhancing reliability and performance across industrial applications while outperforming other pump styles, such as industrial lobe, gear or progressive cavity pumps.The design features improvements uniquely suited for industrial applications, including: Total cost of ownership: The pumps ensure a long running life, given their robust construction materials and designs tailored for each application. Because of its high volumetric efficiency, the pumps can be used to dose fluids, eliminating the need for an additional metering pump.  Efficiency: The U2 ND pump reduces slip, which occurs when fluids move backward from the liquid flow due to internal clearances. Lower slip means more efficiency, reducing the need for higher horsepower motors. Also, the series can process fluids over longer spans due to its high-pressure capability, which reduces the need for multiple pumps in these applications. Reliability: WCB is a proven and trusted global brand dating back to the 1880s. The pumps are made with durable, corrosive-resistant materials compatible with industrial environments. A robust design, equipped with industrial flanges or sanitary fittings, ensures manufacturers can choose the configuration to meet their needs.  Additionally, an extensive sales channel and domestic manufacturing footprint support this pump series, enabling quick deliveries on standardized parts across the entire Universal pump product line. The U2 ND series is complemented by the Universal Industrial 5000 series, which is tailored for users who require OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) seals for their industrial pumping operations. Julien Bassett, Pumps Global Product Manager: "Waukesha Cherry-Burrell has extensive experience offering pumps to customers built with their needs in mind. We wanted to expand our offerings to provide quality and durability of the SPX FLOW brand while catering to the unique needs of industrial manufacturers and their applications."

Read More

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