PM Blog

5 Reasons to Attend the Smart Manufacturing Experience

Organized by AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the Smart Manufacturing Experience—held April 30 – May 2, 2018, at the Boston Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts—provides hands-on, live technology demonstrations, active learning labs, collaborative technical workshops and tours of smart factories. It highlights transformative technologies such as additive manufacturing/3D printing, automation, advanced materials, precision machining, precision measurement/3D scanning, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digital manufacturing and designed to provide easy, efficient solutions for applying those technologies to improve manufacturing speed and performance.

If you are not already convinced of the benefits of attending, here are five reasons:

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Push-Button Swiss Machine Programming


Many habits are hard to break. Manually programming a machine tool as complex as a multi-axis Swiss-type lathe shouldn’t be one.

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Most people know Adam Savage from popular Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters,” but the industrial and special effects designer has also been an editor and contributor to the website since March 2012. The site has a broad focus on science, technology or art, and for it Mr. Savage hosts a YouTube channel called “Tested.” 

The channel tests new products, such as phones and VR equipment, and shows off DIY methods for one-day builds, from movie props and costumes to laser-cut mini boats to metal fidget spinners. Set in Mr. Savage’s workshop, there’s also advice on best practices, such as workbench covers and keeping digital scales clean.

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View PM’s April 2018 Digital Edition


Production Machining’s April Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of Cutting Tools and CAD/CAM with special coverage of the Aerospace Industry. The cover story is a deep look into how a shop’s programmer contributes to getting and keeping the cutting tool in the cut. For our other feature, we look at one software supplier’s approach to using CAM to optimize resources on the shop floor, such as multitasking capabilities, tooling and automation.

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Registering 59.5 for March, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Precision Machining notched up its best quarterly performance in recorded history. Compared with the same month one year ago, the index increased by slightly under 2 percent; however, this is largely because of a spike reading from March 2017. Comparing first-quarter performance with the prior year, the Precision Machining Index (PMI) is more than 5 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data indicates that supplier deliveries, production, new orders and backlog all lifted the business index higher. The components, which lowered the index’s average-based calculation, included employment and exports. Exports contracted (registered a reading below 50) for the first time since November 2017.

The latest month’s components readings indicate that aggressive increases in supplier deliveries starting at the beginning of the year have played a pertinent role in improving production rates and tackling surging new orders. Looking at the last 18 months of data, it is apparent that supplier deliveries were caught off guard when new orders jumped during the fourth quarter of 2016. Throughout 2017, new orders continued to pressure job shops to increase production, and they did. However, suppliers needed several months to adapt to the upward shift in demand for manufactured goods.

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