Scientists in the UK have developed a microscopic molecular machine that can be used to assemble individual molecules. The technology could allow scientists to build drug molecules from scratch, as well as help with drug discovery.Read more
IN 1970 William J. Bank, president of the Blue Jeans Corporation, predicted that there would be a man on Mars before the production of apparel was automated. Almost half a century later, he has not yet been proved wrong.Read more
The world is on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution, and it could change the way we use everything from cars to shoes.Read more
THE factory of the future will be a building stuffed full of robots making robots. A factory in Amberg, a small town in Bavaria, is not quite that, but it gets close.Read more
SINCE the dawn of civilisation, people have used yeast to leaven bread, ferment wine and brew beer. In the modern era, such fermentation has extended its range.Read more
SLOWLY but surely the sole of a shoe emerges from a bowl of liquid resin, as Excalibur rose from the enchanted lake. And, just as Excalibur was no ordinary sword, this is no ordinary sole.Read more
TYPICALLY, a new manufacturing company begins by making small numbers of high-value items for niche markets before tooling up to produce stuff in large volumes for mass consumption. But Domin Fluid Power, a five-year-old firm based near Bristol, in England, has used 3D printing to go about things rather differently.Read more
MANUFACTURING advances often take time to catch on. Only later does their real significance become apparent. The flying shuttle, invented in 1733 by John Kay, a British weaver, allowed the production of wider pieces of cloth.Read more
It’s hard to teach a robot to sew.
Robots are good at handling materials that are rigid and easy to lift, cut and maneuver. It’s why they’re are widely used in auto manufacturing.
But it’s a different story with making clothes. There’s some automation in garment manufacturing, but you still won’t find robots sewing clothes from start to finish.Read more