The Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit 2024 Predictions

Date: June 10, 2024

Despite the competitive nature of the manufacturing industry, there is a feeling of unity when attending the various shows, exhibitions, and summits hosted across the UK.

The opportunity to debate and share innovations to improve our operations comprehensively creates a stronger sector for our nation's economy and guarantees the UK maintains its position as leaders in quality manufactured metal components. Read on to discover our predictions for The Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit and why the discussions there have the potential to improve metal casting foundry operations further permanently.

What Is the Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week?

In early June, Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week will be hosted at the NEC in Birmingham. The events and talks are researched and produced by The Manufacturer, a leading voice in sharing vital news updates across engineering, manufacturing and our sector, metal casting.

This umbrella-style summit will compile many smaller events together to create an efficient programme that is highly informative and provides many opportunities for company representatives to meet face-to-face and discuss everything from the wider state of the industry to establishing new, beneficial partnerships.

Benefits of Attending These Events

Over recent years, certain areas of business have been losing the human touch. This is particularly true when much of the business is conducted remotely through email or video calls. One of the many reasons representatives attend these events is to meet with other experts as well as existing or new clients face to face. This often leads to stimulating conversations and discussing different aspects of our industry in a welcoming, friendly environment.

While we advocate remote communication to decrease lead times, we value reintroducing the human touch to business through in-person interactions where original ideas naturally develop and commercial potential emerges. This extends to other social opportunities that these events provide, such as networking, informative roundtables, and demonstrations of new products and ideas, such as what is predicted to appear at the summit.

Why Is This Summit Important for Metal Casting?

Whilst talks and events will provide valuable information, we at Dean Group International are focused on The Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit the most due to the positive effect the enclosed information could provide.

Enhancing productivity, efficiency, and sustainability are the three main focuses of the summit this year. This two-day event will discuss automation, digital transformation, and supply chain improvements, all of which are connected to the digitalisation of the manufacturing industry as a whole. Already, many companies are working under the term ‘Industry 4.0’ as they develop new ways of bringing more computer control to their operations and discussions like this summit are invaluable to improving the current status quo. Other areas planned to be discussed are the following:

  • IT/OT convergence opportunities for manufacturing.
  • AI machine learning for CAD simulations and 3D printing.
  • IoT integrations with 5G for improved supply chain connections.
  • Advanced analytical software improvements for improving automated processes.

So why does an event like this draw our attention as an investment and die-casting foundry? We at Dean Group International are always looking for new ways to improve our existing processes and remain one of the leading steel casting facilities in the UK.

This means we have to maintain the highest levels of knowledge and equipment for conducting our work, which nowadays means knowing the best ways to integrate computer technology for increased productivity and accuracy.

One area of our work we feel will benefit the most from the information shared at this summit will be our rapid casting prototyping service.

3D Rapid Prototyping for Metal Casting

The integration of improved automated technologies, AI potential, and general software advancements are set to revolutionise the existing prototyping system here at Dean Group International, and we are excited to see the improved results.

Prototyping has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means to address design complexities by creating physical models for evaluating design suitability. The benefit of our system is that it enables designers to eliminate problems at an early stage rather than after committing to tooling and casting.

This process is highly dependent on computer technology as we need to use CAD systems to refine the supplied design, much like the liquid metal simulation software we use to assess the effectiveness of the pour on a completed design.

To achieve the best printing results, wax is melted and used to fill the printer’s reservoir. Our ThermoJet wax printer utilises a print head to deposit fine layers of molten wax onto a build platform. The print head moves both horizontally and vertically, adhering to the sliced model's instructions. The printer constructs the wax model layer-by-layer, fusing each layer with the preceding one as they cool and solidify. Support structures are introduced during printing to maintain stability in overhanging or delicate features. Once printing concludes, these structures are easily removed.

We meticulously inspect the wax model for any flaws or deviations, vigilantly verifying dimensions, details, and functionality to ensure design accuracy. The wax model functions as a high-calibre prototype for evaluating and testing the intended metal casting. Our design clients can then refine their product concepts before investing in expensive tooling for alternative processes such as die casting.

By using 3D printing, we significantly speed up product development through rapid prototyping. Our 3D printing for casting service offers swift product turnaround and rapid part manufacture, which we expect to be sped up again with new developments shared at this summit.

Advanced Metal Casting Processes at Dean Group International

With our decades of experience, we have provided highly informative prototypes with our thermojet printer, and we know the importance of early issue detection in rapid casting prototyping. We embrace 3D printing's purpose within metal casting as the future of prototype manufacturing, and we expect the summit to agree with us.

Our team is excited to attend various events that are a part of the Smart Manufacturing & Engineering week and we look forward to meeting any of our current and potential future partners and clients.

Explore our case studies for examples of where this service has helped bespoke designers. Or contact us today to discuss what our rapid prototyping will do for your project.

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