Get lean, get automation, get help

Get educated, get help, get lean, and apply automation where it makes sense to do so. These were among recommendations shared with attendees to a June 1, 2008, best practices and ideas session at “A Passion for Manufacturing, 2008 SME Annual Meeting & Interactive Unconference,” in Detroit.

07/01/2008


Get educated, get help, get lean, and apply automation where it makes sense to do so. These were among recommendations shared with attendees to a June 1, 2008, best practices and ideas session at “A Passion for Manufacturing, 2008 SME Annual Meeting & Interactive Unconference,” in Detroit.

Advice to engineers presented at the meeting and in follow-up interviews with Control Engineering , includes the following.

  • After lean initiatives, manufacturers should reapply the latest in automation and robotics. Automated Manufacturing & Assembly technical community leader, Raul Fernandez, Ph.D., said he often finds it helpful to explain to those who doubt the value of automation how mean time between failure (MTBF) can be better with robotics than with certain machine tools and pieced-together systems. Generally, if integration of more than two axes is involved, a robot usually is a better value, in total cost of ownership terms, because of software, simplicity, maintainability, MTBF, wiring, and system integration of controller and feedback of devices, Fernandez said.

  • Use controls as the key differentiator in making operations more effective, especially in converting from part information to process information more effectively, said Dennis S. Bray, president and CEO of Cincinnati Inc., a builder of machine tools for the metal fabrication industry ( www.e-ci.com ).

Bray’s company is involved in one of the additive manufacturing technologies known as metal powder compacting. Precision movement of more than a dozen axes of motion compacts the part then releases pressure so as not to crack the part. “We’re producing highly complex parts at speeds of 10 to 30 parts per minute, which would be very costly to do by traditional machining techniques. Automation helps makes the pressure of faster lead times and lower batch sizes possible,” he said.

  • Work with your local Manufacturing Extension Partnership ( www.mep.nist.gov ). MEPs offer help, said Bonnie Knopf, owner of Intrepid Plastics, an injection molding business. She said MEPs saved manufacturers an estimated $1.3 billion in costs over the past year, added to top line growth, and improved processes, supply chain growth, and business operations.

  • Meet locally with SME technical communities ( www.sme.org ). These communities are organized by topic and include: automated manufacturing and assembly, forming and fabricating, industrial laser, machining and material removal, manufacturing education and research, plastics, composites and coating, product and process design and management, rapid technologies and additive manufacturing.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me