by Stefano Colletta
Likewise, the future of mechanics will be obviously technological. And how might it go differently? All over the world, the manufacturing industry is hardly put to the test, daily, and enterprises must always be ready to face new challenges, since the world is constantly living transformation and change phases. It is in course an industrial revolution process that, we may say, is not new but certainly more invasive, penetrating into the meshes of the business fabric in a more subtle way. Virtuality, sensoring and information technologies today lay the bases to create a 4.0 industrial fabric. Enterprises are called to manage global networks with machinery, production systems, stocking devices and productive departments, through a strict interconnection among three elements: physical objects, the “computer” in the broadest sense of the term and obviously man. The market calls for more and more perfected products, with growing performances and increasingly fast release times on the world markets. We therefore ask our companies to follow these trends, to keep pace with times. We ask it to ourselves, to our employees, our suppliers, our production systems and our machine tools. To the latter, or better to their producers, we ask then to manufacture precise, fast and reliable machine tools, able to produce for us perfect mechanical parts under all respects. To make all that become reality, however, we must manufacture machining centres and machines provided with cutting-edge monitoring and control functions. The production system will be expected to be increasingly able to detect autonomously the anomalies during the production – then machining- process and to succeed, wherever possible, in managing and improving that surveyed failure. Then shifting from a quality control to a process control. The factories of the future will be then “smart”, where automation and artificial intelligence will be the fundamentals supporting the production process. This is what a historical Swiss company, specialized in the production of measuring systems, believes, to the extent that it has recently launched on the international market a solution for the dimensional quality control, fully automated and specific for sectors like automotive or aeronautics. This system, composed by mutually integrated robots and sensors, allows a measuring, with total control and in real time, of the car bodywork during the advancement in the assembly line. Data that are read, interpreted and managed by a control system, giving man the possibility of improving the process, actually in null time. Therefore, we will increasingly shift from a post-process data management to an in-process and on process data management system, directly performed by the machine tool or by robotized and automated systems. On one hand the improvement of the production system, on the other hand higher and higher quality products but, furthermore, a relevant amount of important data and information that we will be asked to interpret, to catalogue and to manage. A challenge then is issued for us for the next years. We certainly have before us a future of very fine and perfect products, deriving from a production process that is complex to be managed, compared to the information that we will own, and certainly technological. Besides, since we invent our future, I like thinking that it will be precisely like that.
What do you think about that?