Industry News

The Role Of Proximity Sensors In Boosting The Machining Industry

Proximity sensors have long been an innovation that helped give rise to the highly advanced, automated systems we have today. Since its creation, its technology has only continued to evolve into variations that enhance numerous industries. 

There is no doubt that the machining industry is one of the beneficiaries of the greatness of proximity sensors and is continuing to utilize their technology. This, however, has more complex contributions to the manufacturing industry than one might think and may even prove to be a foundational aspect. To further understand the role of proximity sensors in boosting the machining industry, let us take a more in-depth look. 

Proximity Sensors

The ability of proximity sensors to gather and convert information into electrical signals without contact makes them the highly regarded technology that it is. These advanced automation devices revolutionized the operational aspects of numerous industries with the following features:

Contactless Sensing

The sensory technology present in proximity sensors allows for relevant data collection via contactless sensing, which is a common feature needed by most operations. 

Surface Condition Distinction

The ability of proximity sensors to refine the detection of movement strictly to physical changes makes way for error-free identification and smoother operations. 

Diverse Applications

In comparison to optical sensors, proximity sensors better accommodate changes in temperature and moisture conditions. 

Longevity

The semiconductor outputs in proximity sensors increase their longevity and utilization. 

Impeccable Response Rates

Without the need for pH and physical contact, proximity sensors deliver faster response rates to the system, ultimately maximizing output and decreasing cycle time. 

The Machining Industry

The machining industry is one of the industries that can not afford to be outdated. Throughout the years, it is exactly their utilization of advanced technologies that optimized their operations and granted their success.

The demand of the machining industry today is one of the greatest it has ever been, and it is only growing at an exponential rate. Beroe Incorporated procurement intelligence firm currently puts the global machining market value at $341.91 billion and projects a CAGR of an astounding 6%-7% this year alone. 

The high-grade equipment and heavy processes involved in this industry are, at the very least, extremely high-maintenance and precise. There is absolutely no room for compromise and sub-par standards, neither is there any allowance for the bare minimum. Each aspect of the industry must exhibit exceptional quality and accuracy. This is coupled with its extensive ongoing operations to accommodate consumer demands to keep the business afloat. 

Machining industries utilize advanced proximity sensors in their various sectors to better adapt to today’s conditions and run relevant services. From communication to tracking to measurement, smart manufacturing relies heavily on sensory technology to perform efficiently. 

Proximity Sensors In The Industry

Proximity sensors make object detection, positioning, inspection, and counting aspects of most systems more convenient and efficient with their automation. Leading automation companies like OMCH guarantee that these devices have adapted well and stay updated, if not ahead of their time. 

Sensory technology plays a pivotal role in all the industrial sectors of machining. Proximity sensors, more specifically, contributed to the boosting of the machining industry by serving the following functions:

Safety and Security Promotion

The prevalence of proximity sensors is more than evident in today’s society after the rise of COVID-19. In commercial industries, they are being used to detect body temperature and dispense disinfectants and sanitizers. 

In the machining realm, this technology promotes safety by identifying anomalies in temperatures for both the workforce and the working conditions. Proximity sensors also signal automated disinfection processes for the equipment and materials.

For security, proximity sensors identify suspicious activity and alert the department by triggering alarms. It is especially useful in detecting social distancing violations as well. 

A safe and secure environment prevents the likelihood of unfortunate events, which lets the workforce body be more productive without worry. 

Automatic Calibration

Manufacturers of advanced proximity sensors incorporate ASIC to increase efficiency and improve mechanisms. Compared to traditional sensors, new age ones are digitally calibrated through their applications and programs instead of manually, making them a low-maintenance asset for industry owners. This feature lets executives focus the workforce energy towards other aspects of the business. 

Manufacturing Operations

The fundamental role of sensors in the machining industry is their facilitation of industrial operations. Smart proximity sensors are now running the monitoring and control of machining processes with real-time data collection with its IoT connectivity for full automation. 

Automated systems are crucial in minimizing operational errors and increasing efficiency and progress. If implemented thoroughly, the resulting system will create quality outputs that will grow the business. 

Vehicle Navigation

The careful transport of heavy machinery and equipment is crucial in manufacturing. Advanced proximity sensors perform a wide array of functions to address this part of the industry and ensure it does not go overlooked. 

They pave the way for safer and more accurate navigation, with obstacle sensing and fault detection features applied in smart and autonomous vehicles. Transportation in extreme weather and environmental conditions is also made much easier with smart proximity sensors.

Market Drivers

Proximity sensing technology is vital in advancing the market for machining industries. Its acquisition and delivery of valuable data for industrial applications lets operations run efficiently. This leads to a radical increase in productivity and service output, resulting in a continuously growing business. 

Without this innovation, the advancement of the manufacturing processes involved would cease to exist, consequently ending in a stagnant industry. Contactless sensing made available by sensory technology now takes over the information acquisition, monitoring, and control functions in machining industries. 

Adaptable Systems

Since there is such a high demand that only continues to grow in the machining industry, the need for adaptable systems is non-negotiable. Not only do proximity sensors let operations run more efficiently, but they also accommodate innovations in machinery and adapt to ongoing modifications to continuously produce advanced products. 

The machining industry would not be the powerhouse today without the incorporation and utilization of smart proximity sensors in its systems and operations. 

Share this post

OKUMA America Corp and Morris Group Inc Announce New Tech Center & Grand Opening Event

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 1, 2022) – The management team of Okuma America Corporation, a world-leading builder of CNC machine tools, controls and automation systems, and the management team of Morris Group Inc. (MGI), are pleased to announce a new facility to serve as a product showroom and technical center to showcase CNC machine tools and associated equipment. The public is invited to register and attend a grand opening event to commemorate the new facility on March 15 — 17, 2022.

Okuma and MGI have been business partners for 42 years, with MGI serving as Okuma’s sales, service and product distribution partner in select regions throughout the United States. Today, the two companies announce the opening of a new facility strategically located in Elgin, Illinois, to serve as a product showroom and a technical center for machine tool users in the greater Chicago and Midwest region of the USA. The facility includes both office space and a showroom to house Okuma machine tools and other manufacturing-supportive technologies.

“Morris Midwest is responding to the needs of our customers with this new facility,” said Aaron Hornyak, COO of MGI. “The simple automation on display is an excellent solution to a skilled labor shortage and high product demand. We have created an environment where machines and automation will be on display together with experts to assist in providing solutions to help our customers gain a competitive edge.”

Elgin, Illinois, was strategically selected for the facility due to its proximity to Chicago and other tooling and machining groups in the area. The facility is also conveniently located just 29 miles away from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

“This new facility presents our customers the opportunity to explore a variety of Okuma machine tools and witness live demonstrations that showcase the latest CNC technology and the machines’ accuracy, high precision, and rigid construction,” said Jim King, President and COO, Okuma America Corporation. “Our decades-long partnership with Morris Group Inc., provides our customers with extensive industry expertise and comprehensive support and service to identify the best solutions for their manufacturing challenges.”

For more information, visit: https://www.okuma.com/chicago

To register for the grand opening event, visit: https://www.okuma.com/events/mmw-okuma-tech-center-grand-opening-2022

Share this post

Small and Medium Manufacturers Can Think Big and Start Small Towards Smart Manufacturing

Originally appears on MESA International’s ‘Where Manufacturing Meets IT’ blog

By Conrad Leiva, MESA Smart Manufacturing Working Group Chair and VP Ecosystem and Workforce Development, CESMII

Smart Manufacturing (SM) strategies have been evolving for the last decade among large corporations and many small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) might not realize that these strategies are not only applicable to them but are within reach when implemented in practical steps. Smart Manufacturing initiatives leverage technology to provide near real-time intelligent insights to optimize the orchestration of processes and become more responsive throughout the enterprise.

MESA has published a new guidebook, titled “A Low-Risk, Incremental Approach to Smart Manufacturing for Small & Medium Manufacturers“, that shows how SMMs have been implementing Smart Manufacturing initiatives and realizing not only the benefits of increased transparency and productivity, but also the transformative benefits of higher levels of coordination and speed within the enterprise and supply chain. The guidebook covers five reasons that SMMs should consider Smart Manufacturing techniques:

(a)    Achieving competitive advantage

(b)    Informed decision-making

(c)     Maintaining a single version of truth

(d)    Mitigation of risks due to scarcity of skilled labor

(e)    Improvement in profit margins

Considering that SMMs may have limited resources, this document suggests taking an incremental and modular approach to Smart Manufacturing. Examples of modular initiatives are provided in this guidebook including paper-based data collection, machine health monitoring, material tracking, quality inspection, supply chain and customer interactions. SMMs can think big by developing a Smart Manufacturing roadmap but start small with projects properly budgeted and scoped to achieve benefits at each step while also making progress towards the desired future state.

The ability to implement SM systems and connect them directly to the supply chain and the end-product manufacturer is becoming a competitive differentiator among Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers. A few examples of how manufacturers are demanding that their suppliers exchange data directly with them are included in the guide.

SMMs might prove to be the real winners in the race to realizing the Smart Manufacturing vision because large corporations might have more difficulty transforming legacy processes and scaling their initial SM implementations into the entire enterprise. SMMs can benefit from being “fast followers,” adopting technology that has been proven by the early adopters, and the increasing number of IIoT sensors, connectors, APIs, and cloud platforms available to thread SM solutions together at a lower investment level. The democratization of these technologies and techniques makes it more practical for SMM adoption.

The biggest constraint for SMMs could be a lack of experts to help them implement these SM strategies. That is why MESA is putting this guide together and helping expand the network of consultants knowledgeable on SM solutions. Implementing SM can also be a way to attract new talent into SMMs by demonstrating how these companies can be among the best places to work with the latest technologies and solutions. SM solutions can help train the new workforce, provide guidance and assistance to increase productivity and flexibility to work on different product lines and tasks. Increasing the flexibility of the workforce is another great benefit for SMMs.

Share this post

A Waterjet Cutting Machine. What is it?

Waterjet cutting is one of the world’s most rapidly evolving primary machine tools. Waterjets can cut almost anything. Businesses of all sizes and types integrate them in their operations to achieve improved efficiencies and productivity.

In the 1970s, waterjets were used to cut soft materials such as cardboard. But, later in the mid-1980s, the tool’s capacity was maximized to cut the hard materials. This fundamental concept is both easy to understand and complex. It’s easy to understand, use, and conserve. On the other hand, the procedure involves the highly complicated design and material.

Waterjet cutting is an engineering technique that uses the energy of high-speed, high-density, high-pressure water to cut objects. An ultrahigh-pressure pump pressurizes the water, which comes out of a small nozzle with a speed of about three times that of sound.

Kinds of Waterjet

Pure Waterjet machines and abrasive waterjets are the two sorts. The machine can cut practically any material, shape, and thick objects when used together.

  • Pure Waterjet: Soft materials, such as foam, paper, cloth, carpet, food and other similar soft things are cut using a pure waterjet.
  • Abrasive Waterjet: Hard materials, such as metal, ceramic, stone, glass, and composite, are cut using an abrasive waterjet. When abrasive is added to a supersonic waterjet stream, the cutting power is multiplied significantly.

The abrasive is introduced at the nozzle, allowing for a quick switch between pure water and abrasive cutting.

Nine Steps of Action

Step 1 Pump (Hydraulic):

Water is circulated from the reservoir tank through the hydraulic pump during the machining process. At low pressure of roughly 5 bars, water is directed into the intensifier using a pump. Further, a booster enhances the starting water pressure to 11 bar before moving to the intensifier.

Step 2 Intensifier (Hydraulic):

The intensifier increases the water pressure from 5 to 3000 to 4000 bars. The intensifier’s high-pressure water is directed to the nozzles and the accumulator.

Step 3 Accumulator: 

It stores high-pressure water and makes it available whenever needed. It’s used to prevent high-pressure machining of hard materials from fluctuating.

Step 4 Mixing Tube: 

Abrasive particles and water are merged in the mixing tube.

Step 5 Control Valve:

It controls the pressure and direction of the water jet.

Step 6 Flow Valve:

Water’s flow is controlled using a flow valve. 

Step 7 Nozzle:

High-pressure water moves to the nozzle, which converts the water’s high-pressure energy into kinetic energy. A narrow beam of water with a high velocity (1000 m/s) emerges from the nozzle. Within the nozzle, abrasive material like garnet is combined with water. The high-pressure water is mixed up with abrasives in a mixing chamber in the nozzle.

Step 8 Cutting the object:

When water with high-velocity contacts the surface, it cuts the material.

Step 9 Drain System:

The catcher system collects the water jet after machining. The garbage and metal particles in the water are eliminated here.

Benefits

  • It is capable of cutting materials preventing structural damage
  • It can cut objects sophisticatedly and minutely
  • The surroundings remain clean during the waterjet cutting process
  • Because of the fixed machine parts, it bears a very nominal maintenance cost
  • Because no heat is generated, the objects are prevented from damage
  • It can cut both softer and more complex materials such as rubber, plastics, and wood (WJM) as well as stone (AWJM)
  • It does not become toxic to the environment as it does not generate pollution
  • Machining accuracy is relatively high

Drawbacks

  • Soft objects can be cut easily. Contrary to this, more rigid materials having only limited thickness are dealt with by the AWJM
  • WJM incurs a weight cost at the start

Application

  • Water jet machining can be used for cutting, shaping, and reaming processes in various industries, including mining, automotive, and aerospace
  • Rubber, plastics, foam, leather, stone glass, food, metals/paper, and many more materials are widely machined by water jet (AWJM)
  • WJM is primarily used to cut soft materials; thin strips, woods, fabrics, composites, polymers, leathers, etc
  • WJM is often used to machine materials that are difficult or impossible. It’s used to cut thick steel, aluminum, and other industrial elements, reinforced plastics, metal matrix, multilayer composites, stones, and glass, among other materials
  • Aside from machining, high-pressure water jets are used for paint removing, surgery, cleaning, and peening to eliminate residual stress, among other things 
  • The AWJM can also be used for drilling, turning, and reaming

Conclusion:

In the end it is concluded that waterjet cutting has become the biggest tool in today’s era. If you’re thinking about buying one, this article is going to be very helpful for you to understand the points to consider.

Share this post

Custom Air Knives for Unique Applications

EXAIR’s Air Knives are an efficient and highly effective tool for blowoff, cooling, cleaning and drying in a myriad of manufacturing processes. To accommodate the wide variety of unique problems manufacturers face, EXAIR has the ability to customize and tailor Air Knives to different specifications. These Air Knife customizations can range from size, to shape, to material, custom mounting holes and dimensions. They are created to solve distinct manufacturing problems not already solved by the industry’s largest selection of Air Knives.

For customers with space limitations, smaller lengths or skinnier profiles can be created. In situations where the knife may need to be installed in a very defined spot, special mounting brackets, or additional/custom sized air inlets can be provided to fit a current system. For applications where stock aluminum, stainless steel or PVDF won’t work, other material options such as CPVC or glass filled PEEK thermoplastic have been used. Special marking requirements for tying knives to specific machines or critical processes can be accommodated. Unique shapes and profiles, such as double sided or curved Air Knives, can also be the solution to certain specialized processes.

Air Knives are available in Super, Standard and Full-Flow styles, and all versions are able to be customized to a customer’s specific needs. For help solving any specific blowoff problems, please contact an Application Engineer. All Air Knives are CE compliant, and prices start at $141.

Share this post

Countdown to World’s First Machine Tool Mega Show This Year

Taipei, February 10, 2022

TIMTOS x TMTS 2022, the very first alliance of two major machine tool shows in Taiwan, will be held in Taipei Nangang Exhibition Hall 1 & 2 from February 21 to 26. With a scale of 950 exhibitors in 5,100 booths, the event will be not only the largest trade show in Taiwan since the outbreak of the pandemic but the world’s first machine tool trade show in 2022.

TIMTOS x TMTS 2022 adopts the Hybrid model, which integrates a six-day physical exhibition with a one-month online exhibition. A series of hybrid activities and services are ready to serve domestic and foreign visitors and create a new trade show experience. The “Guided Tour” featuring smart manufacturing was fully booked as soon as the registration opened. Meanwhile, another popular service, “On-site Guide for Online Visitors,” attracts heavyweight buyers, including FAW China, Siemens Turkey Branch, Mighty USA, Timken China and Ohashi Giken Japan.

Share this post

Obsolescence management for manufacturing

It is estimated that almost every factory loses at least five per cent of productivity, with some experiencing as much as a 20 per cent loss, due to downtime. This translates into millions of dollars in revenue loss, so minimizing downtime is just as pivotal as maximizing quality and output to maintain contribution margins. Here, Claudia Jarrett, US country manager at automation parts supplier, EU Automation, explains how a proactive approach to obsolescence management can help manufacturers reduce the risk of unplanned downtime. 

Downtime in manufacturing is defined as any period when a machine is not in production. The total amount of downtime a factory experiences includes any stops during production that cause a loss of revenue for the company. 

Manufacturers understand that the cost of downtime is not just measured with numbers. Lost production and idle workers are just a small price to pay when reputation and customer relationships are also on the line. With the current state of the global market, upsets in production can lead to lost contracts because purchasing teams can find an alternative source so easily — and for almost anything. 

The occurrence of breakdowns can also cause collateral damage that can, in the worst-case scenario, take down an entire production line. For example, if a furnace control mechanism breaks, not only would product be wasted, but heat exchangers could break too, releasing toxic material. Furnaces also take a long time to cool, which further delays maintenance efforts and creates additional cost when compared with predictive maintenance, coupled with an effective obsolescence management plan. 

Getting knocked down

If manufacturers do not take preventative measures, these stops will occur without notice and can last any length of time, creating massive backups along the production line.

For example, machine downtime can be caused by part failures such as pumps, belts, sensors and motors that require replacement or repair. The length of downtime is determined by the availability of the materials necessary to make the required repairs, and if a maintenance technician is available to make those repairs.

Manufacturers must be able to quickly bounce back from unplanned downtime if they hope to avoid spiralling costs. The simplest way of doing this, in this instance, is by using a like-for-like replacement part, ideally an exact replacement from the same OEM. 

However, if the broken component is no longer in production, it can be difficult to source. This may lead to further delays or require an entire production line redesign. Not only are redesigns costy but undertaking one as a kneejerk reaction to a breakdown could alter the quality of the end product.

While manufacturers can opt for a redesign to remove the faulty component, they should also consider finding a way to source the obsolete part. Replacing a part is faster and more cost-effective than a redesign, but if there isn’t an effective obsolescence management policy in place, the plant manager could be forced to choose the more expensive option. 

Stockpiling large amounts of replacements is also not a feasible option. The cost of buying, storing and transporting the parts — and the depreciation in their value — will negatively affect profit, even if only on paper in the case of depreciation. Moreover, the parts will take up valuable space that could be reserved for finished products. A lean framework to help identify and plan for obsolescence is the answer.

Getting back up 

Obsolescence management strategies begin when the plant manager audits their systems to establish the life expectancy of each element, how long it has been on the market and if anything has or is close to becoming obsolete. This step is central to the strategy because, without it, it is impossible to gain a comprehensive picture of what must be done to protect the systems. 

Consolidating the data from the audit will allow for resource planning, which can include deciding on whether to employ a dedicated automation part supplier, like EU Automation, or manage the process in-house. 

Once the framework is in place, it can be fleshed out by performing a risk analysis of the parts. The analysis will take into consideration rarity of the part, risk of failure and the impact that failure will have on the entire system. Regularly contacting an automation parts supplier to keep track of availability will help keep the risk analysis up to date. When a part is high risk in all three areas, it would be best practice to stock it ahead of time.

Following these steps will make sure that you get the most out of your production equipment, minimizing unplanned downtime and allowing you create a well-rounded strategy. It is advisable to also keep an obsolescence logbook, which will help keep the strategy up to date and allow the whole team to understand company policy on obsolescence management.

Let’s return to our original estimation that almost every factory loses at least five per cent of productivity due to downtime. Now let’s imagine that you are the Colonial Motor Company, the Hawke Coach Network or Nissan, Toyota or Ford New Zealand. Instead of losing a few hundred thousand dollars a year, downtime is now costing millions. Investing in obsolescence management now seems essential. 

EU Automation recommends forging relationships with reliable spares suppliers. For more information on its range of automation components to support the sustainable surge, or to help you source parts, visit the website at www.euautomation.com/us.

Share this post

From Downtime to Uptime: the Need for Preventative Maintenance

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a catchy phrase, but it’s not a good rule of thumb. Unscheduled downtime and poor asset quality costs manufacturing and process industries an estimated $20 to $60 billion each year. Unfortunately, such reluctance to embrace new technologies, due in part to the upfront cost, has hindered progress in operations. Here, US country manager at automation parts supplier EU Automation, Claudia Jarrett, explains why maintenance technologies can boost a plant’s profitability through increased uptime. 

Manufacturers have long dealt with equipment failures. While they may be inevitable, equipment failures should not cause serious downtime, eat into profits or make manufacturers overspend their budgets. These are usually the worst-case scenarios — and the reasons why equipment failures must be avoided. 

These challenges are compounded by the fact that today’s manufacturing facilities are far more complex than ever before, consisting of data networks, integrated hardware and a host of automated systems, and as a result most manufacturers do not have sufficient maintenance methodologies in place. In fact, a report from Infraspeak states that 93 per cent of companies consider their maintenance processes to not be very efficient. 

This shines a light on the lack of effective maintenance programs in the manufacturing realm, leaving plants unsafe, less competitive and far less profitable. Thankfully, predictive maintenance offers a solution. 

Predicting the future

Predictive maintenance is a way to predict every possible hardware failure scenario, identifying when maintenance is required and alerting maintenance staff, when necessary, as well as providing preventative solutions. 

Anyone who operates within the manufacturing ecosystem will understand that failures and breakdowns happen day in, day out.  The intention of predictive maintenance is not just to prevent or reduce these breakdowns, but to help manufacturing plants achieve high-efficiency standards and deliver quality products in the process. 

A predictive maintenance program can reduce unexpected failure by up to 90 per cent, almost eliminating breakdowns. The first step to achieve this is ensuring your maintenance strategy follows best practices. For example, plant managers must schedule regular inspections, upgrades and troubleshooting to avoid breakdowns, forming a strong foundation for a predictive manufacturing program to build upon. 

Sensing danger 

To perform predictive manufacturing effectively, the plant manager should gather as much data as possible. This is crucial when implementing any preventative maintenance strategy, as the more data available to be analysed, the more accurate breakdown predictions will be. 

A starting point would be to use smart sensors. Smart sensors, coupled with machine learning algorithms, help to detect anomalies in industrial machines. Plus, with better trained algorithms, software can accurately predict when machines are at risk of failure. 

For example, smart sensors collecting data in industrial IoT environments can keep track of temperature, identifying worn components such as malfunctioning electrical circuits. Likewise, specialist smart sensors can perform vibration analysis on a particular component, identifying any cases of misalignment, bent shafts or other motor problems. As the technology grows more advanced, smart sensors can monitor more and more parameters, giving an increasingly accurate picture of the condition of a machine.  

From this data, manufacturers can perform an analysis of the critical assets to establish failure modes. Here, the focus is on the frequency of failures, severity of machine failure and the difficulty of identifying failure. 

By connecting condition monitoring devices to a CMMS, plant managers can set up alerts to inform maintenance staff of any faults or anomalies in the equipment. This provides the opportunity to plan for scheduled maintenance when parts need replacing, removing the chance of a serious breakdown from occurring. 

For example, sensor technology can be integrated with several different low-level fluid power products — from connectors, hoses and tubing to pumps, motors, actuators and filters. Here, some of the diagnostic data generated from control valves could be vital in troubleshooting power issues. 

On the uptime

A recent survey by PwC found that 95 per cent of respondents reported that predictive maintenance improved at least one key maintenance value driver, with 60 per cent seeing a clear improvement in equipment uptime. 

However, for plant managers to see this success in their facility, using sensors to gather information on equipment is a critical component required. Recent machines usually come with different options for real-time data acquisition, but legacy equipment can also be retrofitted with inexpensive add-on sensors. Predictive maintenance can be a vital asset when dealing with ageing assets, which require careful planning to source obsolete spare parts.

This is where expert consultants at automation parts suppliers, like EU Automation, can help source parts and assist those in their predictive maintenance journey. Whether plant operators are looking for smart sensors to begin their predictive maintenance journey, or replacement parts to perform corrective maintenance on legacy machines, developing a relationship with a reliable parts supplier is essential. 

While some extent of equipment failure is inevitable, it should not cause unscheduled downtime and poor asset quality, costing manufacturing and process industries billions each year. Instead, a fully-fledged and effective predictive maintenance plan will help to prevent and reduce downtime significantly, simultaneously boosting a plant’s profitably through increased uptime.

Share this post

Trends in CNC Routing for 2022

Yeti Tool, creators of SmartBench, the world’s first portable large-format CNC routing machine, have outlined trends in CNC Routing for 2022.

CNC is rapidly becoming a more mainstream technology, especially with carpenters and signage firms.

Yeti Tool are helping to make the technology easier to use in our SmartBench CNC routers.

This has been done by introducing touch-screen controls, simple set-ups, and free learning resources such as the CNC Academy.

Another trend in CNC Routing for 2022 will be the increased popularity of Smart Router machines for the campervan industry.

More customers are using SmartBench technology to build campervan projects than ever before, and this will continue into 2022.

Schools and colleges are becoming more interested in CNC Routing, and it is really rewarding to see education customers embracing this technology.

Another growth area in the second-half of last year was that of smaller companies getting Government funding to start their journey in technology and digitalisation programmes. CNC Routing can play a part in this.

Andy McLaren, co-founder and co-Director at Yeti Tool said:

“We believe that 2022 will represent exciting opportunities for individuals and businesses looking to increase their workflow and productivity with CNC Routing.”

“The growth in new and exciting sectors will see CNC routing becoming far more widespread in 2022, and we’re really excited to see that development,” he added.

“Our SmartBench is the world’s first portable large-format routing machine, and is transforming the CNC process for so many businesses,” he concluded.

Share this post

Are Our Cities Prepared for Micro-mobility with Electric Scooters?

Micro-mobility as a concept, solution and lifestyle really began to take root in the last decade. However, the concept of micro-mobility is not new. Roots of micro-mobility concept can be traced back to 1970s when the bike sharing program was first introduced in Europe. 

It took nearly five decades for people to rediscover micro-mobility through adoption of electric scooters, bikes, and motorcycles. Now when we hear micro-mobility, electric scooter is the first thing that pops up in our mind.

Currently, Micro-mobility is seen as a solution to reduce traffic congestion and as an effective tool to tackle environmental challenges. With rising fuel prices and Government promoting micro- mobility, electric two-wheelers are gaining popularity among urban population.

Gaining popularity in the west, electric scooters migrated towards east and eventually spread across the world. With more and more people seeing electric scooters as an easy-to-operate and convenient solution for getting around, the question arises – Can cities cope with the accelerating growth of electric scooters and other forms of micro-mobility?

Electric Scooters to re-imagine Urban Micro-Mobility In 2022

The sales of electric scooters in cities around the world reached new heights in 2021.  By making transportation enjoyable, electric scooter manufacturers quickly gained new market share and provided an easy way to travel in an environmentally friendly way.

2022 will be the year micro-mobility as a concept, solution, and lifestyle deepens its roots in urban societies. Rise of micro-mobility, increasing demand for reduced costs of commute, and growing need of easy commutation and emission control will make small electric scooters mainstream enough for people to consider buying their own. 

Driven by aforementioned growth opportunities, Future Market Insights in its “Electric Scooter Market” report has forecast the market to register a robust growth of 9% CAGR during 2022-2031.   

Urban population will open doors for further discussion about the impact of electric scooters and other micro-mobility forms on emission reduction and road congestion and traffic management. 

This year we can expect electric scooter manufacturers to introduce novel e-scooters and e-bike models in the market and leverage their market position to get their products up and running. 

Role of Electric Scooter in Resolving Road Congestion

Metropolitan cities across the globe are facing road congestion issues. As more and more people are migrating towards cities, the transportation system in the urban areas is getting stressed beyond the limit. United Nations in its “World Urbanization Prospect report” states that currently more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and could reach two-thirds by 2050.

As cities face rapid population growth, there is an increasing need to transport more inhabitants through existing transportation networks. As majority of people living in cities prefer to travel by private cars, traffic jam on the arterial roads of the cities are expected to rise in upcoming years.

Electric bikes, electric scooters, and mopeds are seen as solution to urban traffic problems based on its ability to reduce congestion by reducing the overall number of cars on the road. Many commuters have only one passenger per vehicle, which makes travel inefficient, occupies road space, and uses unnecessary energy to drive the vehicle. 

Traffic jam severely compromises productivity of the individual as well as business. Being stuck on the road wastes time and reduce productivity. Micro-mobility devices like electric scooters and e-bikes solve this problem by offering compact transportation system which reduces the overall number of vehicles on the main roads and highways. 

As most micro-mobility vehicles are not permitted to be driven on highways, the individual is required to use alternate routes. This helps in calming traffic and aids the rider to reach the destination early.   

Previously, public transport was considered as an ideal way to transport multiple passengers in one vehicle. However, public transport consumes a lot of time and people are looking to manage their own schedule and thus are unwilling to use public transport. Other issues pertaining to public transport is high CO2 emission, and very high probability of getting stuck in traffic due to enormous size of the vehicle.

Transport authorities have come to consensus that electric scooters are an excellent mode of transportation in large cities especially for short distance commutes. With e-scooters, short distance commuters can use shortcut lanes which public transport cannot pass through and reach the destination on time. 

Road congestion in the city cannot be suppressed, as number of vehicles hitting the road is increasing every day. Micro-mobility electric scooters are the answer to the problem of our roads being clogged. Fewer cars means more space for the driver to navigate when using the car responsibly. 

Development of Dedicated Safety and Charging Infrastructure to Address Micro-Mobility Related Concerns 

Currently, the number of charging stations in proportion to number of electric scooters and e-bikes are not enough to bridge the supply demand gap.  Range concerns associated with plug-in electric scooters has weakened the customer confidence in micro-mobility.

Manufactures are stepping up to this challenge by providing self-owned charging services and offer convenience of anytime and anywhere charging. Intensive charging stations is required in emerging economies to keep the sales of electric scooters afloat, avoid charging emergencies in remote areas, and make the charging process less stressful for users.

Lack of extensive network of dedicated micro-mobility safety infrastructure like separate lanes and parking slots is a major roadblock in micro-mobility adoption. With the exception of some cities, majority of them has prioritized private cars over all other public transport user. 

However tides are charging as some cities are focusing on building active mobility network for electric scooters, mopeds, and bike users. Soaring popularity of micro-mobility has fueled the development of connected corridor space for people to safely travel long distance using e-scooters.

As micro-mobility penetrates into the urban transport system, policy makers must rethink about multimodal and safe road design for a rapidly growing e-scooter driver base. Cities must become aware about their role within shared public and private responsibilities to promote secure services and support safe and comprehensive infrastructure. 

Asian cities like Beijing are allocating public resources, developing joint infrastructure and taking responsive steps in accordance with the mobility needs of residents. 

Global governments are developing bicycle and parking infrastructure near public places such as transportation hubs, hospitals and residential areas and allocating micro-mobility charges to support the planning and improvement of parking infrastructure. 

Guiding principles while devising laws for micro-mobility vehicles 

Government authorities must enforce laws and regulations to improve driver safety and discipline electric scooter drivers in using novel integrated modes of transportation on city streets and roads. 

Policy makers must evaluate all possible aspects of micro-mobility while developing regulations for electric bikes and scooters. For instance, interviewing citizens, transportation engineers, and traffic officials to understand the impact of e-bikes on urban infrastructure will help them in defining problems and make necessary amendments while drafting the law.

Governments must form initial set of adaptive rule and enforce them for trial period. Such rules can be updated quickly upon completion of trial period and according to market development. 

Cities must test the impact of electric scooters at different times and different geographical locations, by collaborating with vendors to discuss multiple testing approaches. However, law makers must be careful to devise policies based on factors that can be controlled by micro-mobility vehicle manufacturers. 

Cities must also recognize the reality of present infrastructure and user needs in order to make risk weighted evaluation of drafted policy.

Future Roadmap

Cities must encourage the adoption of electric scooters and e-bikes for short distance travelling. Electric scooters can be an important step towards sustainable urban lifestyle. Currently, cities are experimenting with the concept of micro-mobility and its impact on modern transportation system. As more and more people are moving towards sustainable traveling, sales of electric scooter will rise over upcoming years. 

Electric scooter market has shown resilience during the pandemic. Many people actually preferred micro-mobility devices over public transport to curb the viral transmission. This has further strengthened the role of micro-mobility in urban transport.

However, we need more innovation in electric scooter technology to make them more accessible especially in middle income countries. We must be agile and respond quickly to any shortcoming and insights associated with safety and security. Overall, the future of electric scooters looks bright as cities are adopting these devices into their transportation network to promote fair, sustainable and secure mobility for all residents. 

Author Bio: Nikhil Kaitwade, Associate Vice President (AVP) – Market Research at Future Market Insights

Nikhil Kaitwade is Associate Vice President (AVP) – Market Research at Future Market Insights, ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm Future Market Insights (FMI). The award-winning firm is headquartered in Dubai, with offices in the US, UK, and India. You can connect with Nikhil on LinkedIn.

Future Market Insights (FMI), is an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting market research company. FMI is a leading provider of market intelligence and consulting services, serving clients in over 150 countries; its market research reports and industry analysis help businesses navigate challenges and make critical decisions with confidence and clarity amidst breakneck competition. Now avail flexible Research Subscriptions, and access Research multi-format through downloadable databooks, infographics, charts, and interactive playbook for data visualization and full reports through MarketNgage, the unified market intelligence engine powered by Future Market Insights. Sign Up for a 7 day free trial!

Share this post