Document Actions

Society of Manufacturing Engineers Promotes Micro-, NanoManufacturing

by Editor1 last modified February 04, 2010 - 13:31

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is taking on a ‘Myth-Busting’ campaign to speed adoption of micro- and nano-manufacturing techniques among their membership. The campaign comes as a recent survey of SME members found that of all those who expressed an interest in these techniques, only about half were applying them in products today.

Society of Manufacturing Engineers Promotes Micro-, NanoManufacturing

In specific: SME wants to debunk seven (7) common-held, but mistaken, beliefs in the way of adopting these small-scale techniques for commercial ventures.

Myth #1: Nanomanufacturing and micromanufacturing are technologies that may be something great in the future, but they are not viable for today’s business environment.
Fact: Both nanomanufacturingand micromanufacturing are actively being used by many manufacturers. Nanomanufacturing is a key enabler of the new generation of lithium batteries for electric cars. Micromanufacturing is being used by Boeing, RubberMaid, Gillette and many other companies.

Myth #2: Micromanufacturing is only used in the electronics industry.
Fact: Not any more. Micromanufacturing reaches far beyond electronics. For example, it is essential in the production of many medical devices and critical aerospace systems.

Myth #3: Micro and nano are just reduced sizes of the “life-sized” objects.
Fact: The rules of the game are changed when dealing with these technologies. There are significant process and material behavior changes beyond size that you need to understand.

Myth #4: If I can machine “small” stuff, I can “micro” machine.
Fact: Machining micro pieces requires special tools and skills. In traditional machining, the greater force is exerted by the tool onto the material. For micromanufacturing, it flips, and the material exerts more force on the tool.

Myth #5: If I can mold “small” stuff, I can mold micro particles.
Fact: Molding micro pieces also requires special tools and skills. Often with micro molding, the piece or feature is smaller than the pellet size of the material. This requires special attention to the flow, pressure, fill time and increased impact of the material reaction with the mold wall and, most critically, the design of the mold itself.

Myth #6: Even if I wanted to use micro or nanomanufacturing processes, tools, suppliers and materials are practically non-existent.
Fact: While that once was true, it’s not so much any more. There are growing numbers of processes, tools, materials and suppliers available for manufacturers ready to move into micro and nano manufacturing.

Myth #7: What is happening in this field is all “hush, hush”, so I can’t find experts to teach me.
Fact: There will be plenty of experts sharing knowledge at the MicroManufacturing Conference & Exhibits and the NanoManufacturing Conference Exhibits, April 14-15, 2010, at the Hilton Phoenix East in Mesa, Ariz.

Learn more about SME's NanoManufactuing Conference - April 14-15, 2010  -- Mesa, Arizona

These SME events offer insightful information on cutting edge technology. At the MicroManufacturing Conference manufacturers will discover how to improve part quality and lower production costs, gain a better understanding of the proper techniques and applications that can be used in daily operations and learn effective solutions to real-world problems.

Attendees at the NanoManufacturing Conference will learn the latest nanotechnology applications and trends in top-down fabrication and bottom-up assembly, SME said.  Further attendees can explore ways to use nanotechnology to make products and obtain information in order to benchmark their operations against other nanomanufacturers worldwide. The leading developers of nano tools and manufacturing systems will also be on hand to discuss their products.