I was asked to speak on a panel on Additive Manufacturing standards called Panel: Pathways For Progress at the:
3D Printing - Conference & Expo
Above is a photo of me and Chitra Sethi of ASME as we go through her questions before my video interview. I discussed the fact that we have yet to enter the Gartner "Trough of Disillusionment" which comes right after the "Hype Cycle". Even though 3D printing has been around for decades, it is not until the past few years things really took off. Why? Patents running out and Moore's Law.
Here is a link to ASME's website with the complete interview.
The consensus regarding AM is that there are three big bucket categories right now:
- Workholding or fixtures that are used to hold other, likely metal, parts as they are being machined on traditional machine tools.
- Parts - where it makes sense. For example, where each part is customized (think custom medical parts) or where the costs are in line with the subtractive process.
At the panel we brought up a number of important issues, here are some of mine:
- First, I was accused of "shamelessly plugging my book" because I listed MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know, in my intro. I then held up my book and said, "you want a shameless plus? Here is my book!" :-)
- While the panel was talking about the standards in terms of file formats aka sending a file format to a 3D printer - the challenge is all of the other standards in manufacturing that must be addressed as well. What about parts standards, connection (yes, I went into great detail on MTConnect :-), traveler standards, product standards, process standards, verification during and after part making, integration and workflow standards, cell standards, ...
- There are networking issues. These issues are where many shop floor monitoring opportunities and overall manufacturing process improvements go to die because most manufacturers have nary a clue on how to safely and securely create a shop and back office network that can work well together.
- I also brought up my standard question that I ask when I give talks in manufacturing:
- Please raise your left hand if you are doing Lean Manufacturing and please keep your left hand up. 90% of the hands went up.
- Please raise your right hand if you are remotely monitoring your shop floor. By this I mean you can pull out your smart phone right now and show me what ANY asset is doing on your shop floor. No hands went up.
- I then say - "unless you have BOTH hands up you CAN'T be doing Lean Manufacturing because you have no REAL data." No one has EVER challenged me on that point.
I also spoke to the panelists and suggested that now may be the right time to start an additive manufacturing technical working group at the MTConnect Institute.
Below is the intro panel for the Additive Manufacturing Standards panel. I really enjoyed being on the panel - thanks to Tim Shinbara of AMT for recommending me.
It is amazing how hot AM3D is right now, but there is still a ways to go as we brought out on the panel.
Above is a photo of the panel before things got rolling.