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Small Parts Cleaning System
works well for complex geometric shapes
BvL’s Niagara MO cleaning system is a two tank machine
that features a flood spray cleaning system and revolving
wheel technology. Niagara’s cleaning technology includes a
holding fixture that revolves or swivels around the horizontal axis. A special nozzle frame provides the best cleaning
and nozzle/nozzle frames can be adapted to the workpiece.
Maximum permitted load and the permitted dimensions
are adjustable. Processing takes place in several steps
including washing spray cleaning, flood cleaning, injection
flood cleaning and ultrasound cleaning.
German Machine Tools of America
At a tradeshow recently, I ran into
a guy on a frantic mission to find
“some kind of really smart software” that would prevent, as he put
it, “another catastrophic f**k up”
in his plant.
Apparently, an entire line of machines had run a full shift out of
spec—five machines running full-tilt
to produce eight hours’ worth of
scrap. Which certainly explained his choice of words.
What got me about this was not just the immediate hit
the company took in terms of material cost and on-time
delivery, it was the collateral damage. They guy lost a
third of his day to this mistake, which meant days or
weeks of overtime and frenzy, scrambling to make up for
lost time, to get the old orders filled and keep the current
orders running—it meant plant managers were spending
their time apologizing to and updating upper management,
who spent its time apologizing to and updating the customer. It was a total, chaotic, top-to-bottom mess, all from one
simple coding error that resulted in invisible imperfections.
A catastrophic screwup of epic proportions.
It made for a great story. But not a terribly original one.
No matter what industry you’re in or what your company produces, firefighting is almost certainly part of
your job. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve personally spent
maybe 30% to 40% of my working life fixing yesterday’s
problems (or hunting for the right person to solve them).
Which also means I’ve spent over a third of my working
life achieving zero productivity.
Whenever we talk about smart technologies—be they
performance-tracking hand tools or AI/machine learning
systems or anything in between—we tend to focus on
the incremental productivity improvements they can
offer. Leaders can make more informed decisions, workers can get more done per shift, etc.
But maybe the real benefit to these technologies is
somewhere else. Maybe the real, immediate potential of
all these sci-fi gadgets and systems is in their potential
to save us from a lifetime of firefighting and scramble.
This, at least, is the promise detailed in this issue. From
deep-learning systems that can detect any misalignment
during assembly (or, presumably, a coding error that would
result in a shift of scrap) to wearable devices that can show
us what to do before we do it (or connect us with someone
who can show us how), we’re presented with a future without human error, without production mistakes, with no
frenzy or collateral damage to clean up. The potential of
that is enormous—taking my estimates, that would mean
up to a 40% productivity boost right from the start, without even improving any active processes.
In this sense, I think the trade show guy might have a
jump on us. Maybe the first goal in the digital transformation can be just to find some kind of really smart software
to prevent catastrophic f**k ups. After that, the incremental improvements these smart technologies offer could
add up to truly transformative growth. Travis Hessman
MORE ONLINE: nedinfo.com/76472-112
MSC Apex Generative Design, a design optimization
solution, improves quality through unparalleled auto-
mation of design processes with embedded manufac-
MSC Apex Generative Design aims to improve productivity by up to 80% compared to classic topology
optimization. The software produces a part design
that is ready for additive manufacturing within a few
hours—a fraction of time usually required—making
reliable additive manufacturing more cost efficient
The designer only needs to specify the boundary
conditions and design objective. Multiple lightweight
design candidates that explore the possibilities of the
design space will be produced that provide optimal
stress distribution and minimize weight. This enhances
the creative process, so designers have more time to
optimize the product’s concept and integrate additional features that add value. The software’s intelligent
smoothing technology ensures that every candidate
has a perfect finish that is ready for print.
MSC Software Corporation
MORE ONLINE: nedinfo.com/76471-113
FOR A MEDIA KIT VISIT:
Deep learning and the hidden value
of smart technology