August 28, 2012 | Category: Industry Insights
Tim Shinbara is VP – Manufacturing Technology with AMT. His key objective is to research, compile, and disseminate manufacturing technology information to AMT's membership. He has an intensive background in additive manufacturing and brings that technology expertise to AMT.
I come from an aerospace and defense background. I worked for Northrup Grumman Aerospace Systems, leading manufacturing technology for Space Park in Redondo Beach, CA. I was the technology thrust for additive manufacturing and also worked with NDE (nondestructive evaluation) and NDI (nondestructive inspection) technologies.
From these efforts, some key additive programs were won and transitioned into U.S. Department of Defense platforms. One was a high-temperature solution for nonstructural subcomponents for F-35, which incorporated carbon fiber for electrostatic dissipative properties embedded in an inherently insulative polymer.
Other efforts included matured electron beam melting (EBM) processes of TI-6AL4V for applications in unmanned vehicles and space products. I also gained experience with auto identification for multisensing applications — RFID, RTLS, GPS, and sensor tagging — as well as automation and robotics, specifically large-volume accurate robotic drilling.
I also had the opportunity to work on development projects with universities, government (Office of Secretary of Defense, Air Force Research Labs, Joint Program Office — F-35), and national labs for polymers, metals, and composites. This has given me a good sense of the fundamentals for collaboration among government, private industry, and academia. I was able to identify fundamental enabling technologies at the forefront of university research while understanding the end goal and requirements of the government customer.
Additionally, by using the MRL (manufacturing readiness level) procedural approach, coordination with internal R&D efforts complemented by the national lab capabilities provided a lower risk and quicker transition from development efforts to actual production.
This background of cooperative development and technical understanding can be quite beneficial to the manufacturing technology community in general, and to the additive community and AMT members specifically. My goal is to help companies learn about available and developing technologies, so they can make informed business decisions that will help them compete better in the global market.