MT Magazine January/February 2024




Special Stage: Vegas to Frankfurt Rally 2023


wasn’t much focus on additive technology, except for the sneak peek at Toyota and Stratasys’ collaborative effort to produce factory-supported race car parts, there was a solid amount of subtractive and CNC machining. In fact, I think SEMA may have marked the first time I’ve ever seen a vertical lathe. Titans of CNC was there exhibiting a one-piece milled grille/ front-end for a hot rod. Someone with no passion might say, “Looks like they made a $50,000 solution for a $500 problem,” but I say they were showing off what can be done when you have full creative and technological freedom and can spare no expense! For more SEMA breakdowns, follow the AMT Tech Trends podcast. And I want to leave you with this: SEMA is a magical event that, for one week out of the year, turns full-grown adults into 12-year-olds again. My face is still sore from smiling for 120 hours straight. The Green Hell: Nurburgring Nordschleife In 1997, Polyphony Digital, a game studio owned by Sony, released a little game called Gran Turismo. An addicting racing simulator, Gran Turismo allowed players to customize everyday cars (and supercars) and adjust settings like ride height, damper stiffness, and gearing before competing on digital racetracks based on real ones from around the world. It sounds like a digital twin to me! The “game” series, which would go on to sell over 90 million copies, was recognized by the FIA and could even greatly assist you in obtaining your international racing license. Even better, if you ranked among the best online players in the world, Polyphony Digital and Nissan invited you to join their GT Academy, where you’d be trained on a real race car and be given the chance to jumpstart an international racing career. Yes,

2023: the year I had the privilege and pleasure of hunting for manufacturing technology at a handful of end-use trade shows to see how it has been applied in industries that support

consumer interests, both niche and popular. The year started with a bang at the SHOT Show, as I recapped in this column in the March/April issue, and ended strong, returning home to manufacturing – though nowhere near home.


SEMA Show 2023 I’ve wanted to attend SEMA in Las Vegas, Nevada, for almost as long as I’ve been into cars. If you’re a fellow gearhead, you know SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, is not just another global car show for auto brands to show off their latest concepts and current releases. There’s some of that, but mostly it highlights the automotive aftermarket. It not only assures attendees that anything’s possible, but it introduces them to the people, tools, and technologies that can enable automotive personalization. And that’s why I was at SEMA – prowling for some hot manufacturing technology. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was elated with the tech I found! There was a surprising number of robots – mostly for welding, but in at least two cases, AI enabled robots were used for paint polishing. While there

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