Preparing for Chinese New Year: Everything you need to Know about CNY

Preparing for Chinese New Year:
Everything you need to Know about CNY

What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year (CNY), or “Spring Festival” is considered the Thanksgiving or Diwali of China only on a much larger scale. To give you an idea of the scale: the largest migration in the world occurs during CNY month, an estimated 2.98 Billion trips taken in 2017. The time of the year when gifts & “Red Envelopes” containing money are exchanged within families. Especially important among factory workers, this is the only time of the year factory workers can see their families.

Source: Baidu 2017 - Migration of Urman workers during CNY period.

Chinese New Year Dates & Length

Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar Calendar, the exact date changes every year, but normally falls between January 22nd and February 19th. This inconsistency ads to confusion and planning complexities.

CNY 2020: January 25th - 30th

Chinese New Year 2020 starts on Saturday 25th, however many factories will cease operation before that date. Chinese offices and factories typically close for about three working weeks, allowing workers time to travel back home to spend the holiday with their families.  

Since China is an economic giant in global exporting industry, effects of CNY can ripple around the world, especially industries involved in manufacturing.

Below is a list of future CNY dates for the coming 5 years.

2021: February 12 

2022: February 1 

2023: January 22

2024: February 10

2025: January 29

Why does Chinese New Year affect global manufacturing so much?

  1. Length of Factory Closure
  2. Payment Request before CNY 
  3. Production Length & Quality issues after CNY

How to minimise your impact of Chinese new year on your business?

1. Work with Trusted Manufacturing Partners

If you just started doing business with your supplier during this time of year, it would be difficult to get any attention especially for low-volume production. If you’re the newest account in the factory, chances are, you are not going to get priority when it comes to completing production. If you’re working with a manufacturing partner, ensure that they have experience in handling the CNY rush. One of the advantages of working with a manufacturing partner is that they have years of experience building a trustworthy network of manufacturing suppliers that can help you navigate during this stressful time of year. Ask your manufacturing partner what processes they have in place to help their customers plan for CNY. 

2. Plan Inventory

Planning for CNY starts between September – October. Well organised factories will send their largest customers a note asking to place large orders that need to be shipped before CNY. It is important to accurately forecast high-volume parts you require before CNY.

3. Stay on top of production

Stay on top of production so that you are aware of the status of your parts and at what stage they are. Highlight and work aggressively to keep them on schedule, in our experience, often the customers who insist get their parts delivered on time.

4. Have a Quality Control Plan

We have many times heard of nightmares like receiving orders of goods essentially defective or of poor quality right before CNY and they needed to wait until after CNY to have anything done about it. This is when working with a trusted supplier or manufacturer will avoid this terrible situation. We strongly urge clients to thoroughly inspect their parts and inform our production team in a timely manner as to reduce the risk of delays caused by quality problems.

5. Plan ahead of shipment

We would like to remind you that Chinese New Year (CNY) is from Jan 25th – 30th! In order for us to deliver your parts manufactured and delivered on time without having to worry about delays, login and place your orders by Jan 15 to avoid any delays.

Upload Your Parts and Get a Quote

Simply Drag and Drop your 3D CAD files onto the platform. Specify your requirements and get a quote within 24Hrs. Parts shipped in as little as 5 Days.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

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Healthcare Automation Trends to Look Forward To

Healthcare Automation Trends to Look Forward To

December 17, 2019

Written by: Annie Fuller

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The healthcare industry has seen a massive technological transformation across the globe and automation has inspired progress, innovation and efficiency. Similarly, digitalisation brought about by IoT technologies is enabling intelligent automation procedures which enhance productivity and allow for better healthcare outcomes.

The healthcare IT market is expected to top $390 billion (£302 billion) by 2024 and while it has been resistant to large-scale technological change, it is sensitive to the ‘butterfly effect’, where even small-scale changes can have dramatic effects. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the trends disrupting healthcare in the next few years.

3D Printing

Much like it has transformed other industries, 3D printing is enabling customisation, prototyping and in-house manufacturing for healthcare. The global market for 3D printing is expected to reach $2.3 billion (£1.8 billion) by next year, and it’s not surprising. From producing physical objects like a 3D printed model of a human heart to printing prosthetics, the technology has afforded much more patient-specific and personalised care for every individual. Additionally, many medical devices and surgical tools can be 3D printed cost-effectively and in less time. New 3D printing technologies like tissue engineering is revolutionising the industry and enables medical professionals to recreate intricate body parts and organs that were not possible a few years ago.

Marketing

Through effective patient engagement and personalisation, marketing automation can improve long-term customer experience and have a substantial return on investment. Medium explains that a marketing automation program allows marketers to be more strategic in creating an efficient targeted campaign to reach out to patients. It eliminates repetitive tasks and allows marketers to focus more on strategic thinking and learning. The process of automation is most effective, however, when used in conjunction with a comprehensive marketing strategy. This is why healthcare professionals should be leaning on SEO as a way to inform patients of their services, as well as gather and analyse the right data. Ayima Kickstart regards SEO as one of the most crucial aspects of digital marketing, noting how establishing a ranking presence in Google is no easy feat for any business or website. While a variety of factors need to be considered when creating a marketing automation program, the most important aspect is the digital marketers themselves, who’s effort will ultimately drive better patient outcomes and experiences.

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR)

The technology has made a huge impact in the gaming industry but it’s now being used for vital purposes in healthcare automation. With VR and AR in the healthcare market reaching $5.1 billion (£3.9 billion) in the next 5 years, the technology is becoming an indispensable tool for training and surgery simulation. While VR has helped patients with trauma, PTSD, depression, cancer, and autism, AR is helping surgeons during brain surgery and other complex procedures.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the rapid growth of AI, it’s potential in the industry is strong in the field of marketing automation, that we mentioned, but more importantly as an invaluable tool that can reduce and mitigate the risk of preventable medical scenarios. One of its most important uses is to discover those in need of medical intervention and generate alerts for medical staff to create custom care plans. AI-enabled robots can also act as physicians to diagnose and triage minor medical issues, while health practitioners and doctors concentrate on more serious cases. With AI in healthcare estimated to grow to a $6.6 billion (£5.1 billion) industry by 2021, it can help reduce the spread of disease and help populations stay healthier.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Manchester tops list of the most innovative cities in the UK

Manchester tops list of the most innovative cities in the UK

December 4, 2019

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At Geomiq our business revolves around helping inventors and designers create prototypes of their products, and since launching we’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of inventors from every corner of the globe. So, as we begin to move into 2020, we decided to look at which areas of the UK are the most innovative, based on how many requests we’ve had from each city – here’s what we found.

Based on our request data we’ve curated a list of the ten most innovative cities in the UK, with Manchester coming out on top followed by London and Bristol.

To form this list we interrogated more than 48,000 data points from the last two years, relating to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland they’ve received.

Manchester topped the list, with 13,695 requests for prototypes in the last two years. London and Bristol complete the top three, with 9,301 and 7,712 requests in each city since 2017, respectively.

The ten most innovative cities in the UK, and the number of requests for prototypes received from each, are as follows:

  1. Manchester – 13,695
  2. London – 9,301
  3. Bristol – 7,712
  4. Birmingham – 6,207
  5. Edinburgh – 3,337
  6. Brighton – 2,100
  7. Liverpool – 1,769
  8. Leeds – 1,731
  9. York – 1,486
  10. Southampton -1,342

The industries that have seen the most innovation in the last year, as well as the number of requests within each sector are as follows:

  1. Health – 8,836
  2. Eco-tech – 6,340
  3. Beauty – 4,002
  4. Education – 3,873
  5. Cooking – 3,201
  6. Energy – 2,997
  7. Robotics – 2,989
  8. Home Appliances – 2,871
  9. Baby-tech – 1,519
  10. Mechanic Appliances – 1,372

Outside of these sectors, the platform also serviced more than 13,000 additional requests.

Another interesting take away from our findings is that since the Brexit extension was announced on October 28th, we’ve actually seen seen a 31% increase in the number of requests coming in when compared with the month prior to that announcement, despite the widespread uncertainty and doubt gripping the UK.

Sam Al-Mukhtar, founder of Geomiq, said,

“Since launching a few years ago we’ve worked with thousands of inventors and businesses, almost all of whom were looking for a prototype of their new products, so with the year coming to a close we decided to look at which areas of the UK was the most innovative. As expected, eco-tech continues to be an area with huge potential for innovative solutions, and as ever health is one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of innovation.”

“There were thousands of data points to look at, but Manchester came in at the top by a surprisingly large margin – my assumption, prior to looking at the data would have been London given the number of amazing startups the city attracts! We’re excited to continue helping inventors realise their dreams going into 2020, and to see how this list changes over the next twelve months.”

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How to increase productivity in Solidworks with formulas, equations & Linked Global Variables

How to increase productivity in Solidworks with formulas, equations & Linked Global Variables

Program your dimensions & tolerances using global variables on every element of your part. Step by guide by experimenting with this useful tool.
November 6, 2019

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Why hassle trying to fiddle with every single dimension & tolerance one by one. You can now program your dimensions & tolerances using global variables on every element of your part. Now whenever you need to change the dimension of a repeating element within your part or assembly you can now change the value of just the global variable & instantly this would change all programmed elements. We will demonstrate a step by step by guide on the Geomiq icon logo by experimenting with this very useful tool. Please open your part and follow the same steps for you own part / assembly.

Step 1

Open your original sketched part. I have opened our company’s icon logo which I work from.

Step 2

Open the equation manager by right-clicking & selecting on the equation’s icon on the features section on the tree alternatively you can right-click on the part, hovering over hidden tree items & selecting the equation manager. You will be promoted with a new window.

Step 3

Program your different dimensions that you require that need to be duplicated across different elements by assigning different letters to different values that you require. Type in a letter in the global variables section & type the desired value next to the equal sign. For Our case lets put A =50, B=25 & C=10. You can also create a simple function / equation by programming a previously created global variable and putting a mathematical operation in front or after it. In our case we use the addition operation by adding 10 to global variable C. Now press OK to save it.

Hint: You can also use more complex global variable for trigonometric functions e.g. sine & cosine. Another option is adding file properties e.g. Volume & mass.

Step 4

Now when selecting a dimension type in the equal sign & select the global variable that you have create. In this case I will choose the global variable & I will select is on the elements that will have that same dimension which are the outside edges of the Geomiq icon. Now you can do the same with the other global variables on other sides if you like on your part.

Step 5

We can also also explore this feature in 3D. By extruding the boss of the part from the features tab, you can now select the depth of the extruction using a global veriable by again typing in the equal sign & pressing the letter of the global variable that you require. In my case I will pick global variable C. Then press OK.

Step 6

Now let’s say that you need to change the dimensions of the outer whole part in order to scale it up or down. Now you only need to change the value of global variable the rather then changing the dimension values of every single side. Just open the equation manager again & type in your new changed values. I will now change mine from A=70 & C=100.

Step 7

You can also create global variables on the fly by selecting a global variable dimension that you have not yet programmed. Just select a previous untaken latter and press that button that looks like a globe & press yes.

Step 8

In order to create a global variable of a new element that is equal to an existing element for example the depth of the original Geomiq Icon logo here, just press equals and that side, this will automatically create a variable named =”[email protected]″. This will depend exact feature & letter of your global veriable.

Thank You for using this Geomiq guide, make to like & follow our page, as we will be regularly bring out new tips & tricks for SolidWorks to help you to become a much better mechanical engineer & designer.

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What’s new in Solidworks 2020.

What’s new in Solidworks 2020.

Dassault Systemes, Solidworks 2020 what are the key features, enhanced tools, how to streamline your workflow, new capabilities and core features that will boost your productivity.
October 31, 2019

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Geometry-Based Boundary Conditions

Assign boundary conditions such as Injection Locations, Control Valves, and Mould Wall Temperatures directly on geometry entities. In addition to the mesh-based assignment of boundary conditions, you can assign boundary conditions directly on geometry. This will let you position Injection Locations or Control Valves more accurately and associate boundary conditions assignment directly to geometry when changes to the part geometry occur. The boundary conditions are directly saved to your .sldprt file.

Geometry based boundary conditions in Solidworks are going to significantly improve your workflow, help you make Solidworks Plastics 2020 analysis more accurate and more importantly save you time.

Searching For Materials

One other great feature of Solidworks 2020 is the ability to search for materials. This might be self-explanatory but it’s here so that you know it exists. This feature can save you a lot of time when trying to figure out the material you need from the Solidworks database.

Adding a Selection to a Selection Set

A new feature in Solidworks 2020 allows you to add to an existing selection set.

On your 3D model select multiple items in the FeatureManager design tree or graph area, right-click the selection and save selection. To add an item to a new set, New Selection Set – To add an item to an existing set Selection-set#(##) where # indicates the order of creation and ## indicates the number of items in the set. Clicking Selection Sets will show the selection set.

Adding Reference Axes and Reference Planes to Mesh Bodies

3D scanning and 3D printing technologies continue to be more accessible and affordable, design workflows can take advantage of 3D CAD software. Solidworks solutions allow you to create reference geometry based on this imported scanned data. Scanned geometry can be imported into Solidworks as a Mesh Body, the 3D model is broken down into triangular faces (one issue is that these triangular faces are planar, this poses a problem where non-planar geometry is represented incorrectly Rounded geometry, fillets, circular holes are going to be broken down to thousands of triangular faces. This greatly increased the file size and rebuild times due to the number of planar faces)

User Interface Markups

Solidworks 2020 features a new Markup functionality ability for non-touch devices to use your mouse for creating markups and markups for drawings. This was originally known as the “ink Markup toolbar” it has now been renamed as the “Markup toolbar” in Solidworks 2020. There are minor differences to the Markup toolbar depending on the type of device you are using.

Custom Scales for Drawing Sheets and Views

In SOLIDWORKS 2020 it’s possible to quickly define custom drawing scales AND save them for future use for quick access. This is a faster way of choosing your new sheet scale & setting them a default location.

Warning Users when transitioning Files

Displays a warning if you try to transition a file through a workflow transition without selecting a recipient. SOLIDWORKS workflows can be used to notify team members when a file changes state. This is particularly useful when you need a team member to review a file or engineering drawing and approve the design.

Simulation Evaluator

The purpose of this CAD software tool is to check the setup of a simulation study, prior to solving, to determine if the setup is correct for a successful simulation. Simulation Evaluator performs a number of system checks prior to running the study which aids the user in the successful setup of the study. It first checks conditions related to the results folder, including the storage capacity of the results-driven. This provides helpful information to the user of where the results are being saved and the disk space available. The next check that Simulation Evaluator performs is related to the materials used in the simulation. If any parts or bodies in the study have not been assigned a material, a warning message will appear alerting the user to this oversight. The last check that Simulation Evaluator performs is a comparison between the volume of the mesh and the volume of the CAD geometry. If there is a large difference between mesh and CAD volume this will get flagged and could be the result of a gap in the mesh. If there are any conditions in the study that would prevent a successful simulation run, the Simulation Evaluator dialog box provides information for corrective action.

Pattern and Mirror Support

In 2020, you can pattern the entire Structure System using a linear or circular or mirror patterns.  You keep the intelligence integrity for all your members and any additional Structure Systems that are added while referencing the patterned members.  When patterning bodies, this is not possible. After exiting the Structure System, the Corner Management tool determines the corners between the new members.  This is based on the first Structure System and its patterned members, which then determines the proper Trim Tool Member and Trim order. You have the ability to create and modify structural members of different profiles in a single feature.

Body Compare

With SOLIDWORKS 2020, bodies can now be any type for body comparison not only solid bodies: classic BREP bodies, mesh BREP bodies, or graphics bodies. Classic BREP and mesh BREP can be solid or surface bodies. You can take your mesh data and compare it to your SOLIDWORKS 3D model. This is not a metrology application by any means, but you can scan your manufactured part and compare it to your design data.

Visualize

SOLIDWORKS Visualize now supports AxF™ measured materials. The .axf file format from X-Rite stores digital material representations, most notably measured materials, from their BTF scanning technology. To add .axf files to a project, drag from Windows Explorer into your scene, or add them from the pallet. You can now export *.gltf and *.glb file formats of your SOLIDWORKS Visualize project data for use in augmented and virtual reality viewers. SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2020 can now handle duplicate geometry, such as patterned components from SOLIDWORKS assemblies, more efficiently. Typically, for larger SOLIDWORKS assemblies, the use of duplicated geometry requires less GPU memory and reduces the likelihood of running out of GPU memory. However, appearance part-grouping mode does not support this functionality, so you’ll want to use the advanced mode when exporting to Visualize. Now, SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2020 supports full editing capabilities of vMaterials. You can adjust bump heights, texture scaling, colors, and even add additional textures for things like fingerprints or dust on glossy surfaces. The materials now accurately show up in preview modes when you want to quickly adjust textures without ray-tracing.

Flexible Components

Flexible components allow features, driven by external references, to update effortlessly as the externally referenced entities move within the assembly. Some practical applications include; springs, bellows, and hinges to name a few, as well as many impractical applications.To create a flexible component there must be a single degree of freedom that is not in-context of the component itself.

This guide will help you with solidworks, draftsight & every other solidworks product which is part of the dassault systèmes family of products. Solidworks is a design 3D CAD Software which enhances the 3dexperience traditional Computer-aided-design process. This 3dexperience platform will enable you with designing, testing, simulating & with product data management.

Learn more about new features on www.solidworks.com

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency.
October 22, 2019

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The automotive industry is an economic sector that involves designing, construction, supply, and trading of motor vehicles. It provides a mode of transportation in many countries like the use of commercial vehicles and collects huge revenue. The best and high automotive producer countries in the world enjoy a good income from this venture as compared to low-volume production or non-producing countries. Manufacturing is cost-effective and requires high levels of machinery. It is defined as the process of transforming raw material to construct motor vehicles and their construction parts.

Automotive companies

Automotive companies refer to groups or organizations that are involved in the automotive manufacturing sector. The creation of these companies can be described as progress for the companies to cope up with better advancements. There is a massive competition among the companies resulting in improvement in efficiency and the rise of new technologies to outdo each other. Better producers who come up with automobiles that are more advanced and more comfortable are going to compete better in business and make more sells. Besides producing the best automotive producers, the best companies entail the best framework to ensure they have the best marketing and even branding techniques an essential tool for marketing.

These companies have slogans to market their products and gain unique identification in the market. For instance, Volkswagen AG Company has a slogan that identifies its products. Volkswagen’s marque has helped the company to achieve the market globally. Some of these companies include ford that originated in the United States, Nissan, and Toyota that originated in Japan and the jaguar land rover. These producers are known to be among the world’s best producers and remain relevant in the market. They always come up with new productions or make even better advancements in their creations.

Automotive manufacturing techniques

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency. Some of the techniques used in manufacturing include:

Injection Molding

Injection moulding is a process that is useful in the formation of parts of motor vehicles by inserting molten material into a cavity. The equipment takes shape, size, and configurations of the mold after cooling. The molten material is injected into metal cavities or steel depending on the preferences in the construction material of the parts. Currently, it’s applied in the construction of plastic parts of motor vehicles. This can be molded to any required shape as the shape depends on the shape and size of material you are going to pour the hot mold into.

3D Printing

3D printing is a technology that involves the use of 3D printers to apply layers to products. The process is computer-controlled. It has enabled the production of finished products with complex shapes and improved accuracy. The application of this technology in the manufacturing sector has led to the creation of digital models on finished products. Most of the automotive in recent times digitalized. This helps to make their operation less complicated, comfortable, and updated; hence, technology plays a part and is very helpful.

CNC Machining

Computer numerical control machining is a technology that uses computers to control machines such as drills and lathes automatically. It involves feeding a computer numerical control machine with coded information that it uses to execute its functions without being handled manually. CNC is an automated technology and has enabled faster production of products as compared to the non-computerized machining. A computer numerical control machine is a free tool that is controlled by a computer. CNC is cost-effective and more convenient. This technology has helped in the production of more beautiful and more precise productions as it is more accurate as compared to manual handling.

Sheet Metal Fabrication

This technology is automated and applied in car modification sustaining and satisfying customer needs. Sheet metal is used because of its plasticity and elasticity. Sheet metal fabrication is also involved in the construction of unibody parts, car restoration, and roll cage work, thus improving the performance and safety of these components. The best producers also focus on the best ways of improving safety, whereby sheet metal can also play a role.

New technology

Advancement in the use of computer systems in this industry has resulted in rising of better techniques in the manufacturing of motor vehicles. The transition from old technology to new technology has posed a lot of benefits. Some of the advantages include faster production of products; they are efficient, convenient, and allow customization of products according to specifications. The technologies that are advancing include:

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing is a computer-based technique of manufacturing products that are currently used. It has enabled engineers to establish convenient manufacturing techniques to improve the finished product. The producers can give accurate information on the production period, and even durability as this type of manufacturing is entirely very reliable. On-demand is the following technologies

Addictive Manufacturing

It’s an automated process that applies a layer after a layer on the finished products. It has enabled the use of fewer workforces, and therefore the manufacturing cost is reduced. It has also resulted in the production of products at a faster rate, saving time, and a lower price. Every manufacturer aims to make profits after the sale of output. It means coming up with technologies that will save a lot in terms of production costs to make the difference, which is the profits.

Rapid Manufacturing

Rapid manufacturing has enabled the production of a large number of products over a short period. It’s also an automated process hence quicker. This has helped to match the demand in the market with the supply hence a stable economic state.

Cloud-based Manufacturing

Cloud-based manufacturing enables access to information from various sources used in the production of the products. It’s open to social networks and helps to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and facilitates good response to customers.

Three-dimensional Modeling

Three-dimensional modeling is a technology that enables engineers to modify tools to be used in the manufacturing process, thus reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping has accelerated the development of products, minimized errors, and led to higher accuracy in product manufacturing. It involves CNC applied in construction and soft tooling silicon modeling. Its a more efficient technology in manufacturing.

Advancement in technology has resulted in a reduction in the cost of manufacturing, improved accuracy of many processes, and minimum value used. It has also enabled autonomous driving. The independent driving of autonomous vehicles has improved safety on the roads, welfare, and reduced traffic congestion. Advanced technology has also enabled the construction of more sophisticated cars such as BMW, electric vehicles, and ford.

Automotive sector

This sector involves a lot of activities ranging from construction, supply, and marketing the products. It’s one of the leading industries in revenue earnings in many economies like the UK economy. The supply chain in this sector includes many relationships between the sales channel, suppliers, manufacturers, and the transportation sector. In the industry, low volume production occurs when there is a need for prototyping, manufacturing of niche vehicles, and initial production of new models.

Current six automotive trends in the automotive Industry

  1. Acceptance of autonomous vehicles in most parts of the world with less concern about safety.
  2. The use of internet in the sector enables the vehicle to vehicle communication, thereby enhancing efficiency in this sector.
  3. Sharing of automotive vehicles hence there’s a decline in ownership of cars, and this has helped reduce traffic congestion inroads.
  4. Digitization and automation of automotive products that have resulted in better efficiency and quicker action in production
  5. The improved requirement for social skills and is helping to reduce the unemployment rate in the economy.
  6. The emergency of hardware and software updates.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Public Appeal: Applicants needed to find face of new line of robots

Public Appeal: Applicants needed to find face of new line of robots

October 11, 2019

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Robots have been at the forefront of technology for decades, and are widely considered the future of our technological advancement. However, there is still a long way to go, and new robotic products are coming into fruition all the time. 

Here at Geomiq.com we help people develop and create products and prototypes across practically any sector, including robotics. However, after a recent request came in, we realised that we needed some assistance fulfilling it.

A few weeks ago we were approached by a robotics company asking if we could help it with the finishing touches of a state-of-the-art humanoid robot it’s been working on. Details of the project are scarce due to a non-disclosure agreement we’ve signed with the designer and his investors, but this is what we do know.

The company is searching for a ‘kind and friendly’ face to be the literal face of the robot once it goes into production. This will entail the selected person’s face being reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide. 

Obviously, this is not our usual remit of request, which is why we’re making this public appeal to try and find the right person. The designer knows that this is a big deal, and has agreed a fee of £100,000 to license the rights to the right face.

The company is privately-funded and says the robots’ purpose will be to act as a ‘virtual friend’ for elderly people, and is set to go into production next year. The designer has said that the project has been in development for five years, and has since taken on investment from a number of independent VCs as well as a top fund based in Shanghai. 

The company says the need for anonymity is due to the ‘secretive’ nature of the project, however it believes the robot will soon be ‘readily available’ to the public and hopes the campaign will create extra buzz ahead of its eventual release.

In conversation with the designer, he has also asked us to convey to hopeful people that even though we can’t release too many details at this early stage, candidates who make it through the next phase will be given full details on the project. The designer has also stressed that unsuccessful candidates will not be contacted.

We know that this is an extremely unique request, and signing over the licenses to your face is potentially an extremely big decision. However, if you think this could be one for you please make a submission below:

Submissions are now closed. Unfortunately due to the large volumes of applications, only those successful will be contacted.

 

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Fueling the Future of Tech campaign, Crowdcube, Britbots & Linklaters partnership.

October 7, 2019

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Fueling the Future of Tech campaign, Crowdcube, Britbots & Linklaters partnership.

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Crowdcube. Who have launched Fuelling the future of tech campaign, enabling the brightest minds in robotics, AI and automation.

Big changes are occurring in the robotics industry and radical new forms of robotic technology are not far away from reality. Over the years the UK has proven to be a strong advocate of pushing the boundaries of technological development. Automation and robotisation is just one of the solutions to address global issues posed by industry inefficiencies and falling productivity.

Crowdcube in partnership with Britbots (The British Robotics Seed Fund) has allocated a £2m early-stage investment fund. Seeking the most promising emerging tech business in the UK to help them move into their next phase of growth.

This partnership has the ability to strengthen our ties with the community and give the necessary kickstart to companies who are set to change the relationship we have with technology.

With the support of Linklaters, innovators and early-stage companies will receive access to their online platform designed to give tech businesses key legal documents, insights and resources needed during early stages of growth.

We’re proud to support UK businesses who leverage advanced robotics, AI and automation technologies.

 

Read more & apply here:

https://www.crowdcube.com/explore/raising/robotics-ai-automation

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Why Choose Injection Moulding?

Why Choose Injection Moulding?

October 2, 2019

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Injection Moulding

Injection moulding is the process of manufacturing parts in large quantities. It is mostly used in occasions where the same parts are being produced thousands or millions of times at a time. One of the advantages of using injection moulding is the ability to produce in masses. After the initial cost has been paid, the prices per unit in the process are extremely low. The prices also drop further as more parts are produced. Some of the other advantages of the injection moulding process include:

It Produces Low Scraps and is Repeatable

When compared to other manufacturing processes like CNC machining, the rate at which scraps are produced in plastic injection moulding is very low. CNC is known to cut off substantial percentages off the original plastic block. However, injection moulding can also not be compared to processes like 3D printing which has even lower scraps. The waste produced in plastic injection moulding services come from four areas: the runners, the sprue, gate locations, ejector pins, and the runner system. The sprue is the part that guides molten plastic from the spout of the injection moulding machine to the injection moulding tool. The runner consists of channels that meet with the sprue.

Their function is to guide the molten plastic to cavities within the plastic injection moulding tool. The gate is the part that comes after the runners leading directly to the part cavity. After the injection process, the cooling plastic leaves solid pieces along with the sprue, runners, and gates, if not appropriately contained. After the first part has been created, the second and the rest that follows are practically identical from shape to part size. This is a brilliant characteristic, especially when trying to keep up with brand consistency as well as high volume production of parts.

What Is the Down Side To Injection Moulding?

The process has an upfront cost which is usually very high due to the testing, design, and tooling requirements. Now that the other parts look identical to the first one produced, you will need to make sure that you get the first part right when producing in high volumes. Otherwise, the process that follows including thousands of parts will be a mess. For the first part to be perfect, you will need to:

•    Design and the prototype the part itself to specification- The prototype is first designed on a 3D printer using a different material such as ABS plastic.


•    Design an injection unit tool for the initial production- This is required for generating 300-1000 prototypes with the production material.


•    Refine all surface finish in the injection moulding tool before mass production.

Injection moulding requires uniform wall thickness. For instance, if you were to cut a cross-section, you would realise that the wall thickness is about 2-3mm. This prevents uneven cooling and deformation of part shapes, their wall thickness, and strength. Some of the potentially negative aspects of injection moulding include:

High tooling cost and large lead times

Tooling is quite a huge process by itself and is only a phase in the whole moulding process. The high cost and time needed come about because you’ll first need to produce a prototyping part before producing the actual moulded part. After the prototype is made and perfected, you’ll now need to come up with a perfect mould tool that can produce duplicates in large volumes with zero error. As you can now see, getting a prototype right and moulding tool with fine details for mass production requires both time and money.

Difficult to make changes

These tools are typically made of steel, so making any changes to them is quite a hustle. In cases where you need plastic added to the tool, you can always make larger cavities by cutting away steel or aluminium depending on what the tools made of. If in your case you need plastic removed from the metal, then what you need to do is decrease the mould cavity size by adding metal to it.

Material Suitable for Injection Moulding

One of the most important factors to consider during injection moulding is the type of material used. These plastic materials directly affect the moulding manufacturing process and performance as well. For you to choose the right material, you have to consider its function and environment. Other factors to consider in thermoplastics are material strength, flexibility, durability as well as color and cost. Below is a list of the most commonly used materials:

Nylon

Due to its toughness and high melting temperature, nylon is mostly used to produce plastic products like gears and bearings. It is best known for resisting chemicals as well as tear and wear and is cost-effective.

Acrylic

This material is used to produce transparent parts like lighting equipment, window panes, and walls. Due to its tensile strength, it’s often used as an alternative to glass. It’s also scratch-resistant. One of the most common uses is to create food containers. This is as a result of its tasteless and odourless nature hence making it perfect for food preparation and storage.

Polyoxymethylene

Often used for making parts that would be made of metal, this material is used for the production of hardened plastic parts. Its chemical compound makes it very strong, rigid, and tough. Its common uses include making knife handles, gears and ball bearings.

Conclusion

What makes a material suitable for use in injection moulding machines or not depends on what is being manufactured. The materials used should meet property requirements as well as be resistant to the environment of the application. For instance, parts that are often used in the kitchen or as part of a moving mechanism would require the use of Polyoxymethylene due to extreme heat and clamping. Places that need lighting or translucent walls like public offices would mean that the material used for construction be made of acrylic material. There are many other considerations to make during the injection moulding process. It all depends on the purpose of the parts being produced. 

We’re Heading to TCT Show 2019

September 19, 2019

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We’re Heading to TCT Show 2019

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be traveling to Birmingham, UK to attend the annual TCT Show.

This event is particularly notable and relevant to our industry as it’s one of the very first tradeshows to directly address 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping. It’s been in existence for some twenty years, for a long time it was only one of the few events that you could attend and see 3D printing equipment in action.

With over 10,000 visitors yearly and well over 300 exhibitors, it is the one we are most excited about this year. The show features a number of hands-on activities, presentations and speeches. Most importantly TCT learning zones which allow industry leaders and practitioners to dive deeper into all aspects of digital manufacturing services that are available now and in the future.

It is important for us to meet face to face with companies who are interested in digital manufacturing services but maybe are not yet convinced. It is quite another level to understand on a practical level how digital manufacturing services are applied to a given business.

If you are thinking of attending the TCT Show UK 2019, and would like to learn more about how Geomiq’s digital manufacturing services can benefit your business, come by our booth B62 and one of our design engineers will give you a walkthrough our platform and the services we offer.

We are looking forward to this event, and if you happen to attend as well, we’ll be very pleased to meet up with you and discuss your project. Drop us a line at [email protected] and we can make arrangements. See you there!

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.