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3-D Printing Update 0

Posted on 20, September 2019

in Category Blog

Not so long ago, 3-D printing looked like the best thing since sliced bread — which, come to think of it, isn’t as exciting as it used to be. We were thinking that additive manufacturing would make it easy to create prototypes, small runs, and extreme customization. We were ready for 3-D printed food, clothing, and body parts. Now that the thrill of novelty has worn off a little bit, we have to admit that there are some negatives. The environment Leaving aside the body parts and hypothetical pizzas, most 3-D printing uses plastic filament, a material with byproducts and [&hellip

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U.S. Factory Production Gains 0

Posted on 18, September 2019

in Category Blog

The latest Federal Reserve figures show that output in American factories increased across the board last month by .5% after performing badly for most of the year. This is the strongest increase in the past 12 months, and much higher than the predicted 2%. If mining and construction are included, total output expanded by .6%. Experts warn that this may not signal the end of the downturn in manufacturing. Manufacturing has been in a decline for the past year, and is still .4% lower than it was a year ago. The trade war with China and depressed global demand are thought [&hellip

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Taxing Robots 0

Posted on 16, September 2019

in Category Blog

Automation benefits workers in many ways. Jobs are safer because of automation, the environment we live in benefits from automation, and consumer goods are more affordable, too. But automation also benefits management, and there are those who worry that workers aren’t getting the goodies company leaders are getting. In this scenario, the owners of the robots get the benefits of increasing productivity and lower labor costs, concentrating wealth in fewer people. Workers may lose jobs, get pushed into the less-lucrative service economy, or just stay where they are while their bosses gain. One solution to this could be taxing robots. [&hellip

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Like a Bosch 0

Posted on 13, September 2019

in Category Blog

  Bosch Rexroth has been wooing customers with high-concept videos that don’t focus as much on the power and precision Rexroth is already famous for. Instead, they mention that power and precision in passing while focusing on the concept of the connected world. Using examples like getting coffee or sodas and arranging transport, Rexroth says, “The world is already connected. Catch up!” It’s true that Industry 4.0 is being delayed not by limitations in technology but by organizational inefficiency. Concerns about cybersecurity, uncertainty about where to start, and plain old resistance to change keep manufacturers from making use of new [&hellip

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Repair or REMAN? 0

Posted on 11, September 2019

in Category Blog

When you rely on Rexroth electric industrial automation, you don’t need to do much troubleshooting or tweaking. Rexroth servos, drives, and controls function perfectly without maintenance for decades. When you finally encounter a problem, your first thought might be to replace the unit. Rexroth modular design means you can pull the defective unit off the machine and quickly replace it with a new unit. This reduces downtime and keeps your facility on track. You’ve already gotten your money’s worth from the Rexroth motion control system, so you can see the value of spending on a new Rexroth component. But replacing [&hellip

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First Remote Robotic Surgery 0

Posted on 9, September 2019

in Category Blog

Robot-assisted surgery has become commonplace, now. The use of tools like the da Vinci system allows surgeons to work in less tiring, more comfortable positions, using a screen and very small tools to perform surgical operations that used to take longer. Fatigue was an issue, so doctors could complete fewer surgeries. The da Vinci system in particular was used in 570,000 operations in 2014 alone. Initially, inventors imagined that robot-assisted surgery could be used on battlefields or other hard-to-reach places, with surgeons many miles away. In practice, they found that the lag time between the doctors’ movements and the robots’ [&hellip

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Robots Solve Hiring Issues 0

Posted on 6, September 2019

in Category Blog

The debate over whether robots will leave humans unemployed continues. But the other half of the conversation — will robot solve the hiring issues that plague manufacturing — has gotten a positive boost. It’s hard for manufacturers to find qualified workers. It’s also hard for small to medium sized manufacturers to come up with the up-front investment required for automation. Think of a smaller company looking for a welder. It’s hard to find qualified welders, and it’s very hard to find qualified welders who don’t have the level of experience and seniority to price themselves out of entry-level positions. So [&hellip

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How Smart Does Your Factory Need to Be? 0

Posted on 4, September 2019

in Category Blog

One visitor to the Rexroth Factory of the Future demonstration was a little bit bemused by the smart drill press. A drill press, he clearly felt, doesn’t need to be all that smart. But after going through the full experience, he had a different takeaway. “The drill press demonstration drove home the point that with the power and lower cost of technology, any asset on the plant floor can be made more intelligent to improve productivity, quality, and maintenance.” A drill press with MEMS (Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems) sensors is a drill press that can tell you how healthy it is and [&hellip

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Meet the Smartest Robot Arm 0

Posted on 2, September 2019

in Category Blog

MIT Technology Review is introducing the world’s smartest robot arm. They begin with a reminder about the limitations of robot arms: they can’t do anything they haven’t been programmed to do, they can’t tell a marshmallow from a cube of lead, and picking up any single piece of chicken and setting it into a bento box would be “an act of genius.” In fact, that is what the incredibly smart robotic arm in the article can do. It can pick up one piece of chicken from a pile of chicken pieces and set it into a bento box. A two-year [&hellip

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The Importance of Error Codes 0

Posted on 30, August 2019

in Category Blog

Apollo 11 was hurtling toward the moon, preparing for the first lunar landing in history. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were staring at the screen of their on-board computer, which showed an error code: 1202. Neither Armstrong nor Aldrin knew what the error code meant. Nor did the controllers in Houston. They searched frantically through their notes. The astronauts had a manual, but there was a problem with that. “We couldn’t look it up in the book to see what the problem was ’cause we were watching where we were going!” Aldrin explained, according to Space.com. You may never have [&hellip

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