- Ford operates 3D printers autonomously by using a mobile robot and the company has filed several patents for the technology
- No human interaction is needed for the 3D printer to run continuously as it is done autonomously with the benefits of lower cost of custom-printed products
- The carmaker's communication system enables different pieces of equipment from various suppliers to send commands to one another
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Javier is the name of Ford's robot at its Advanced Manufacturing Centre and operates the 3D printers autonomously.
This innovative robot on wheels from supplier KUKA is integral to the company’s development of an industry-first process to operate 3D Carbon printers with an autonomous mobile robot.
Jason Ryska, director of global manufacturing technology development, says:
“This new process has the ability to change the way we use robotics in our manufacturing facilities, not only does it enable Ford to scale its 3D printer operations, it extends into other aspects of our manufacturing processes – this technology will allow us to simplify equipment and be even more flexible on the assembly line.”
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Typically, different pieces of equipment from various suppliers are unable to interact because they do not run the same communication interface, Ford says in a blog post. Ford developed an application interface programme that allows different pieces of equipment to “speak the same language” and send constant feedback to each other.
According to Quickpic, Javier enables Ford to operate its 3D printers all night long, even after employees have left for the day. Not only does this increase throughput, but it also reduces the cost of custom-printed products. Ford has used the printer to make low-volume, custom parts, such as a brake line bracket for the Performance Package-equipped Mustang Shelby GT500.
Ford’s new SA-built Ranger will debut a host of new tech, here’s what to expect
Ford's popular Ranger will launch in South Africa sometime this year, the company has pinned down a definite date as yet, Briefly News reports.
However, they did share more information on the technology we can expect to see once it arrives on local shores. For starters, the analogue display makes way for a 20cm fully-digital instrument cluster displaying the speedometer, tachometer and driving modes, among other information.
The instrument cluster also incorporates body-style avatars and different layouts can be chosen displaying driver-assist technologies and extra gauges. The different on-road and off-road driving modes carry a different theme when selected.
Source: Briefly News