SME’s AeroDef Manufacturing 2015 Explores Potential of Flexible Manufacturing

Michael Maher of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected as speaker

DEARBORN, Mich. October 29, 2014


Michael Maher of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will deliver a keynote speech on the potential of flexible manufacturing for aerospace at the 2015 AeroDef Manufacturing Conference + Exposition, the aerospace manufacturing industry's leading event produced by SME.

The concept of flexible manufacturing is gaining interest among aerospace manufacturers who are seeking ways to maximize capacity when demand is low, as it is now in the defense sector, and drive down production costs when demand is high, as it is now in the commercial sector.

DARPA, the research arm of the Department of Defense, is credited for development of many technology breakthroughs, including the Internet and global positioning satellite (GPS) technology. Maher is in the Defense Sciences Office where he is exploring lightweight, multifunctional material systems. Maher's presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with industry experts on the topic.

AeroDef is developed in partnership with the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and SME, an organization dedicated to supporting manufacturing through training, events, media and membership.

Registration is now open for AeroDef 2015, which will be held April 20-23 at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, with exhibits open April 21-22. The new location was selected for its proximity to the thousands of aerospace and defense companies throughout the Southwest. Given the surge in demand for aircraft, AeroDef is increasingly important for those making capital investments for their enterprise.

"Anyone with an interest in aerospace will have something to gain from attending AeroDef, whether they're looking for new knowledge and technologies to increase production and delivery times, or to meet the people who influence the industry's future," according to George N. Bullen, president/CEO, Smart Blades Inc.

The OEMs support AeroDef as a way to collaborate with suppliers across the extended manufacturing enterprise and to find integrated solutions necessary for long-term competitiveness. The exhibits, speakers, panel discussions and technical conference will focus on issues and technologies critical to the industry, including the digital tapestry in manufacturing, additive manufacturing and the use of advanced materials in aircraft.

The exposition floor is arranged by technology zones:

*Composites, metals and advanced materials.
*Contract manufacturing services.
*Precision machining and tooling.
*Finishing and coatings.
*Quality, measurement and inspection.
*Integrated assembly and robotics.
*Digital and additive manufacturing/3D printing.

Technical conference tracks are:

*Composites manufacturing and advanced materials.
*Additive manufacturing/3D printing.
*Integrated assembly and robotics.
*Precision machining and tooling.

For more information about attending, exhibiting or presenting, visit aerodefevent.com or call 800.733.3976. For the most up-to-date details, follow @AeroDefMfg on Twitter or join the LinkedIn AeroDef discussion group.

About AeroDef Manufacturing
AeroDef Manufacturing - Collaboration for the Future of Aerospace, is the leading technical conference and exposition for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. Produced by SME in partnership with industry OEMs, its mission is to foster innovation across the extended enterprise to reduce costs, expedite production times and maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy.

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for the industry. Follow @sme_mfg on Twitter and facebook.com/smemfg.

Featured Product

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots is a result of many years of intensive research in robotics. The product portfolio includes the UR5 and UR10 models that handle payloads of up to 11.3 lbs. and 22.6 lbs. respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lbs. with reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. Repeatability of +/- .004" allows quick precision handling of even microscopically small parts. After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing even within small- and medium sized companies regarding automation as costly and complex. If the robots come into contact with an employee, the built-in force control limits the forces at contact, adhering to the current safety requirements on force and torque limitations. Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves within 195 days. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2009, the company has seen substantial growth with the robotic arms now being sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.