Although the Elise is not available in the U.S.—it doesn't come equipped with airbags—the car, which was introduced in Europe last year, has stirred up a sensation. Key to the car's looks and driveability: the clever use of materials, including plenty of aluminum.
We put the question to a non-scientific cross-section of users and machine builders. What we found was a whole class of machining centers aimed at higher-than-traditional volumes. Speed and flexibility for operational agility is the name of the game.
Given advances in hardware and software functionality, it may be that PCs will be doing more real-time control tasks, this industry analyst suggests.
A new line of CNC machine modules, developed by Toyoda, are ideally suited to powertrain, brake and component parts manufacturing.
Thanks to advances in several related technologies—especially computer interfaces and microprocessors—machine vision has evolved into a highly capable and flexible tool for both mass-production and custom manufacturing of suppliers and OEMs alike.