Tag Archive: manufacturing

  1. How to Reduce Scrap Metal in Manufacturing Processes

    Leave a Comment
    Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

    Scrap metal is unavoidable in any manufacturing process, but it is also a costly part of it. Sure, most scrap metal is recyclable, but to make it into a new piece, the factory needs to invest in more labor time and an entirely new manufacturing process. Reducing scrap metal is crucial for creating a lean and cost-effective manufacturing process.

    Before we dive into the details, let’s clear some things out. Scrap metal mostly refers to metal shavings that are left after the manufacturing process. However, scrap metal can also refer to bigger parts that can be recycled afterward. Waste, on the other hand, is metal that can’t be recycled at all, while rework refers to bigger parts that have some damage and can be repaired.

    1. Use Automized Manufacturing Process

    There are several ways to reduce scrap metal, as well as waste and rework in the manufacturing process. The most obvious one is minimizing human error. The obvious way to do that is by continually training the employees to new manufacturing techniques. Also, you need to make sure that the employees get a proper rest.

    The best way to minimize human error is to automatize most of the manufacturing processes. Unlike humans, machines don’t get tired over prolonged periods and can work with tighter tolerances. That said, the software that gives instructions to the tools still needs to be improved continuously with new algorithms, a task that is also done by a human.

    2. Optimize the Manufacturing Process Itself

    There are numerous advantages of lean manufacturing processes. Minimizing scrap metal, waste, and reworked parts are the most obvious. Optimizing the process depends on the parts produced, but it always starts in the product design phase. Here, engineers need to simulate the manufacturing process and find ways to improve it in every step. After the production starts, it is essential to continually monitor the procedure to see if there are errors or deviations in the process.

    3. Manage a Cost-Efficient Way to Recycle the Scrap Metal

    As much as the manufacturing process needs managing and optimizing, the same is true for the recycling process. In other words, a separate team should work out the details of the recycling process, including how the scrap metal will be disposed, contained, and reused for the production of other parts.

    4. Improve the Management

    Obviously, a well-managed manufacturing process produces less scrap metal. However, this is easier said than done. The design and manufacturing teams need to communicate often to minimize scrap and waste, especially when changes to the parts or the manufacturing process are introduced. The recycled-parts team should also be included in the communication, especially when it comes to choosing the right metal for the job.

  2. KeraCel Inc. is Preparing for Their 3D Printed Solid-State Battery Production

    Leave a Comment
    Credit: KeraCel Inc.

    KeraCel Inc. is joining the club of those who like to challenge the limits of additive manufacturing with a new type of a 3D printed solid-state battery.

    While this is not the first time that we hear about this technology, KeraCel promises that they possess the know-how to be the first to commercialize such a product.

    While the executives of the company enjoy letting the rumors propagate, creating anticipation, they actually revealed none of the technical details that underpin the manufacturing process. However, they had to give the press something, and Arwed Niestroj, the chief operating officer of the company did precisely that. He specified that the new printing process they are planning to follow is based on MIT’s powder-based binding technology. Moreover, he revealed that his company is planning to patent their approach to this new technology. 

    As Niestroj said, the main advantage that their product will have against the conventional lithium-ion batteries is that they will be able to use much less material, making every anode and cathode separator thinner without risking anything on the field of mechanical force resistance and chemical stability. This squeezing means that KeraCel’s new battery can feature higher power densities as well. He added that they are likely to be cheaper than traditional solutions, as the manufacturing will be a lot simpler, and we have a market-changer right here. 

    Finally, in regards to the materials that are suitable for this new solid-state battery, Niestroj points out that KeraCel is not limited to using cobalt. That’s another game-changer, as cobalt is expensive and already in shortage. As for the environment, KeraCel’s new battery will be easier to enter a recycling program, as older cells can be crushed into powder form which is perfectly usable by the 3D printers, and with minimal processing.