Artificial Intelligence for Aluminum Extrusion Manufacturing: Where Are We?

That’s a fair question. The short answer: We’re in a good place and it’s getting even better.

Here’s a slightly lengthier explanation.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in varying degrees throughout the entire spectrum of manufacturing operations. It’s also making an impact in alloy research and development. In manufacturing, AI-driven machine learning is rapidly gaining a foothold as the tool of choice. AI can be both practical and affordable, resulting in increased efficiency and profitability as it continues to be integrated into the evolution of existing systems and to develop new processes and product development.

Short-term scenarios include the monitoring of the production process in real-time and monitoring status inputs like tool wear. Design, process improvement, reducing the wear on machines, and optimizing energy consumption are all areas AI is being applied to in the next generation of aluminum extrusion manufacturing.

It’s an evolution that is well underway. Today, much of the AI in the aluminum extrusion manufacturing industry is used for measurement and production-related processes. Newer fabrication systems feature screens with human interfaces and electronic sensors that can provide feedback on a number of production aspects, including raw materials, system status, power utilization, and others. Workers have the option to visualize what work they’re doing, either on a computer screen or on the machine itself. As time passes it’s becoming clear that the range of possible manufacturing scenarios is increasing.

One of its other benefits is that AI doesn’t replace people in the manufacturing industry. It allows robots and personnel to collaborate to accomplish tasks. As machines become smarter, they’re able to take on greater numbers of repetitive tasks. This will free human workers to spend more time in their areas of specialization and less time carrying out mundane and repetitive tasks. AI-assisted machines can detect a tool wearing out, or the unexpected—even anticipate an issue about to happen—then, work around the problem before it has a chance to develop.

Precision and speed in manufacturing miniature aluminum extrusions will continue to improve as AI systems are implemented. AI plays an important role in quality control and inspections, identifying flaws in extruded components to minimize the need for manual inspection, decreasing material waste, and optimizing extrusion procedures.

In the years to come, AI will be making even greater contributions to more precise and innovative product design and manufacturing processes, as well as problem diagnosis and resolution when defects crop up in the production process.

For the most technically accurate, high-quality miniature aluminum extrusions, Minalex is ready to help. Contact us here.

 


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Specifications

We extrude and supply aluminum profiles up to 3.500 inches (8.89 cm) in diameter. Our aluminum extrusions can have tolerances as tight as +/- 0.001" on one or more dimensions of an extrusion, depending on the shape.

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Alloys

Minalex alloys are sourced in North America and feature a number of series, including alloy 1100, 3003, 6063, 6463 and 6061.

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Capabilities

Our capabilities include Lbs/Ft <= 1.500, kg/m <= 2.2322; Sections >= 0.003 in, >= 0.076 mm; and circle size, <= 3.500 in. <= 8.890 cm.

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Prototyping - The Aluminum Advantage

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