This month, Automation World looks at product lifecycle issues in a global manufacturing environment.
Editor Gary Mintchell surveys current business and product processes that provide the foundation for globally dispersed manufacturing teams trying to compress the design to manufacturing cycle. Read more beginning on page 22.
Flexible automation is a key component of making manufacturing more responsive to changes in products. In an article beginning on page 28, Managing Editor Wes Iversen discovers that robot systems are becoming lower-priced, more reliable and easier to use, making them more attractive for automation systems in general.
Automotive tier one supplier Delphi has found a way to drive down costs and shorten the design-to-manufacture lifecycle, as shown in this article by Editorial Director Jane Gerold beginning on page 32.
Contributing Editor James R. Koelsch explores how commercial off-the-shelf technologies offer good medicine for automation users in an article that begins on page 36.
Ashok Nangia, 3M engineer and new chair of the OMAC Microsoft Manufacturing Users Group, discusses how the group is developing best practices for the use of Microsoft products in an interview with Gerold beginning on page 42.
Suppliers are providing help to manufacturers seeking to navigate the rough waters of safety standards. Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel shows how beginning on page 47.