Smart manufacturing comes to the AMF in Birmingham
By Sanjay Thakore
Last week at Autodesk’s newly-launched Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF) in Birmingham, UK, I was on hand to help show off the newest product in our manufacturing portfolio, Autodesk Fusion Production. The AMF was an ideal place for its debut—it’s a state-of-the-art technology center outfitted with the latest equipment and tools to enable smart manufacturing.
Autodesk uses the AMF as a “lab” of sorts for advanced manufacturing, where we come together with customers to tackle their biggest challenges with new techniques like generative design, additive manufacturing, and augmented and virtual reality. The newest technology in this lineup—Fusion Production— is a cloud-based tool that combines production scheduling, job tracking, and CNC machine monitoring using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into a single, complete offering.
We announced Fusion Production last November at Autodesk University in Las Vegas as part of our vision to democratize smart manufacturing for all of our customers. Available in the browser or via smartphone app, it provides a real-time view into production status to design, manufacturing, and operations teams, enhancing collaboration whether the teams are co-located or remote. It also allows data to be shared in upstream processes to unify the disciplines of design and manufacturing.
Fusion Production is a significant step towards our push-button manufacturing vision – and one of our proof points that showcases the convergence of design and manufacturing. It’s built on top of our Forge platform, enabling an easier way to build a connected manufacturing ecosystem. For example, we can automate the process of sending data from PowerMill directly to Fusion Production, where we can start the machine right within the app’s interface. Simple automation like this can streamline the flow of data from design and manufacturing through to production and reduce the risk of manual error . It introduces a level of autonomy and reduced operator interaction with the equipment that wasn’t previously possible.
The ability to capture and feedback data to different areas of the production process really resonated with the customers that I spoke to—it’s something they’ve struggled to do before with a single tool. Essentially, now they can assess their current production performance, identify existing bottlenecks and use data driven insights to make decisions to improve throughput.
This is an exciting time for the manufacturing industry, and we’re proud to be making tools that put our customers on the path to smart manufacturing. And there’s still so much more to come.