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NOVEMBER2020 I NEWEQUIPMENT.COM 39
High-Strength Forklift Extensions
offer 4,000 lb.-capacity per pair
High Strength Fork Extensions provide the extrasupport needed to lift large heavy objects with aforklift. A 3/16-in. thickness and an included liftinghandle offer simple placement of the extension ontothe lifting fork. These models are almost 40% lighter than standard fork extensions and the 4,000-lb.capacity is evenly distributed per pair.
Vestil Manufacturing Corp.
When it comes to Io T, connecteddevices, and all the smart stuff of theworld today—from flexible robotics toMachine Learning—the opportunity forinnovation has never been more exciting.
Just look at the wild range of COVID-related productsthat have sprung up seemingly out of nowhere thesepast few months. We have proximity detectors, contacttracing devices, high-speed and multi-person anonymoustemperature scanners, even self-guided robots that canchart their own paths to disinfect whole workspaces.
And even beyond the solutions to our current predicament, these smart tools have been harnessed inmyriad ways, all of which are extending the capabilitiesof manufacturing further than ever before, making theindustry far more effective, safe, and productive in theprocess. Better yet, we’re only scratching the surfacehere. As these technologies mature and as adoption ofthem proliferate, we’ll see innovations and applicationspopping up that we can’t even imagine today.
But there is a danger to all of this, too.
As I see it, the innovation process works best whentwo conditions are met: When engineers have a clearand unfettered vision of the products and changes theyare making, and when those products/changes arealigned with the real needs of the customers or users.
Here, the laser focus on smart tech has the potentialto actually stand in the way of innovation. By focusingon this single avenue for improvements, there is a riskthat engineers can miss gigantic opportunities sittingright before them to fill needs through very differentmeans. Locking in on one single solution source—evenone as broad and potential-rich as smart tech—limits that“clear and unfettered” requirement for true innovation.
This is what really struck me about the GorillaProstory in this issue (pg. 20 ). The fundamental problemH.B. Fuller was trying to solve was twofold: First, multi-part adhesives are often mixed incorrectly (or so poorly maintained that the mix becomes ineffective), andthat MRO techs often don’t have the supplies they needto complete their repair and installation tasks.
As I mentioned in the article, the natural temptationhere, given the high-tech state of the world, would beto focus on the first part of the problem—developing asophisticated new machine that mixes everything justright, keeps every component in perfect condition, andprobably alerts purchasing and maintenance whensupplies are low or conditions change. Chances are, thiswould be a very cool machine that would solve a lot ofproblems. But it wouldn’t solve this one. As H.B. Fullersaw it, MRO techs needed a solution with them on thejob, not back at a machine. And so they went a verydifferent way with it.
This is the real lesson here (an old one, sure, but oneI’m still excited to see play out). When we lose our focuson the needs of the users, when we forget the actualconsumers in our rush to employ the latest, coolesttools, even the most powerful solutions will fail. Sometimes (oftentimes?) the answer can be AI-powered,Bluetooth-enabled collaborative 3D printing robots.Other times, it’s a simple packet that users just have tocut open and stir with a stick.
The key is always, always to keep those users square inthe center and to keep our imaginations open enough tobuild the solution around them,
no matter how smart or howsimple that solution may be.
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Intelligent Welding Positioner
saves up to 35 work cycles and 1,750 positions
PEMA Skymaster PRO welding positioner represents a fusion of modern digitality and Pemamek’ssignature positioning technology. All the uniquelycapable features are controlled with an intelligenttouch screen system.
The series expands the handling capabilities ofprevious Skymaster positioners with new intelligent PRO software that enables pre-programmingof work cycles and handling positions. Thanks tothe visual software tool, the operator gets a betterunderstanding of the overall production, improvesmanufacturing capacity, and saves time especiallyin serial production.
The software can memorize numerous weldingpositions, so the valuable knowledge each welderhas can be saved and applied for later use. Additionally, the software brings new dimensions to theservice and maintenance of the welding positioner.The PRO dashboard can be managed with a mobile,tablet, or laptop device. The wireless connectionbetween the welding positioner and digital deviceis based on WiFi.
Currently, the PRO feature comes as a standard
for Skymaster models with handling capacity from
750 up to 35,000 kg.
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FROM THE EDITOR
FOR A MEDIA KIT VISIT:
A Simple Act ofReinvention