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Innovation in Manufacturing

Date: 9.11.2017

Innovation in Manufacturing

Battery Charging

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology is developing a way to wirelessly charge something from afar. A prototype, the Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS), reportedly can wirelessly power devices up to 15 feet away. This is done using a magnetic field, and can charge up to 40 mobile phones, or larger devices, like a TV.

Will there be a time when charging isn’t necessary?

According to Cota, the time is now. Using a patented smart antenna technology, the developers of the Cota power charger say wireless devices can be remotely and automatically charged so that you never have to think about it. The Cota device is also programmed to look for patterns in device usage, thereby ensuring that every device within range is automatically charged to full capacity.


As the work horses for the Internet of Things (IoT), these devices keep the temperature right, detect motion, and determine pressure. But the possibilities of how sensors can be used and what they can detect are endless.

Infrared vision is one of those, whereby the sensors not only can detect leaks in houses, but also can be used by doctors to monitor blood flow, or can be used in the emergency management field to identify dangerous levels of chemicals.

In manufacturing, sensors continually measure the temperature of a machine to ensure it stays within a secure threshold. On a farm, sensors can be used to track the temperature of the soil, water, and plants and adjust based on needs.

One of this year’s most futuristic uses of sensors is Medtronic’s “artificial pancreas” system, the first medical device capable of automatically delivering insulin to patients when they need it. It works by using a sensor that monitors glucose levels in fluid under the skin. Reportedly, the device can adjust insulin delivery every five minutes.

For those who don’t want something inserted into their bodies, MIT researchers are developing color-changing tattoos that monitor blood sugar and other health problems. The tattoos use biosensing inks that scientists have developed to sense blood sugar levels, pH, and sodium by changing color to reflect body chemistry changes, according to a CBS News article. But the technology is still in the research phase and more testing is needed.

And, of course, self-driving cars couldn’t do what they do without at least ten different technologies that make it happen. One of those, LiDAR – short for light detection and ranging – is the most well-known sensor that is mounted on the roof of a vehicle to provide 360-degree vision and accurate depth information. Little known fact: It was first used in archeology to provide mapping for large sections of land. It wasn’t until the 2000s that LiDAR was first used on cars.

3-D Printing/Additive Manufacturing

The world of 3-D Printing/Additive Manufacturing is in constant motion, and one of the newest entries is hybrid manufacturing, which combines additive (3D printing) and subtractive (CNC milling).

Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, in the U.K., recently introduced its Ambit multi-task tool system. The two-part process starts with the cladding process and once the tooling process is changed, the machine begins the CNC milling process.

Closer to home, Sodick Inc., of Illinois, has developed a single-process machine that combines laser metal sintering and high-speed milling within the same workspace. Evan Syverson, Additive Business Development Manager for Sodick, said that although many designers of 3-D printers gear their machines to aerospace and medical manufacturers, Sodick’s machine has a wider appeal.

“Hybrid milling opens up many new possibilities,” he explained. “The precision is achieved in the finishing phase, which is very important in order to make sure manufacturing tolerances are met no matter what industry you are involved in.”

Embracing Disruption

All the experts agree: in order to keep up with the disruption, manufacturers need to ask questions, embrace innovation, and discover what opportunities for disruption work for them. Having a strategic plan that embraces disruption will ultimately allow the transformation needed to keep up with market demands and stay ahead of the curve.

Excerpt from Precision Manufacturing.  For complete articles visit:


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