Jacob Miller

Recent Posts

Top 3 Reasons to Use Wire Ferrules

Posted by Jacob Miller

Jan 12, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes

A wire ferrule is a copper plated tin tube that slides over the stripped end of a stranded wire. It is available in both insulated and non-insulated versions.  The insulated wire ferrule contains a nylon extruded jacket intended to reduce signal leakage, creepage and reduce gas intrusion.  The nylon jacks are color-coded by wire AWG (American Wire Gauge) or the Cross-Sectional Area of the conductor in millimeters squared (mm²).   The color code will either follow the Industry Standard, which is commonly found throughout North America, or the DIN Standard (German Institute for Standardization) commonly found throughout Europe.

There are many benefits to using wire ferrules that far outweigh the minor cost per piece and additional labor and tools required to install them.  Below is a list and explanation of the more common benefits, to help you make an educated and informed decision before using or omitting them.

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Topics: engineering

5 Keys to a Solid Design Plan Checklist

Posted by Jacob Miller

Dec 15, 2017 4:44:40 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes

A successful Kick-Off Meeting is one of the most critical aspects of a design project, as it sets the tone and trajectory of the entire project.  Often, in the excitement of introducing and starting a new project, many important yet seemingly small details can get misinterpreted or simply forgotten.  When missed details surface late in the project, they result in higher implementation costs, increased frustration, and lack of confidence in the design team.  A simple, yet fundamental tool to help mitigate this risk is the Design Plan Checklist.  A Design Plan Checklist, is a collaborative list of pre-conceived, common questions.  Asking each of these questions during every Kick-Off Meeting will not only help guide the meeting, but will help spark deeper conversation and deeper confidence around decisions on critical points.  Below are five key areas to address when developing your Design Plan Checklist:

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Topics: engineering

What’s the Difference Between Servo and Stepper Motors?

Posted by Jacob Miller

Oct 20, 2017 4:40:13 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Servos and Steppers are the names of two different device types used to control motors.  From a distance, both device types can appear similar, as they both allow a user to control speed, position, and torque.  However, the control methods, capabilities, and prices of each type differ enough that it becomes important to understand, even from a high level, so a system can be properly sized, both for performance and for the cost.  Below are the three main differences, as well as an introductory overview of those differences, to help you choose the best method of control:

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Topics: engineering

What You Need to Know About PLC Program Structures

Posted by Jacob Miller

Aug 4, 2017 6:10:42 PM

Read Time: 9 Minutes 

A program is the brain behind any automated system, it takes inputs from various sensors or devices, makes logical decisions based upon that information, then determines a desired output, such as moving a load, communicating information, or even waiting for more information.  As you can probably guess, even a relatively simple system can quickly get complicated as user adjustments, environmental influences, and interruption recovery are accounted for. Any seasoned programmer knows there is more than one way to control a system and achieve the desired effect, and each solution is as unique to the programmer as their personality.  While this flexibility is an advantage to ensure each system is optimized for its physical differences, it also adds a particular and challenging problem when it comes to multiple programmers working in, or supporting the same piece of logic.

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Topics: plc, programming

Leadership Styles: Leader-Follower vs. Leader-Leader

Posted by Jacob Miller

Oct 16, 2015 5:21:30 PM

Useless meetings. Unengaged employees. Weak performance. All of these are hallmarks of a company culture that desperately needs to be rebuilt. The question is, how does one revive a culture and inspire employees to take ownership of and pride in their work? David Marquet’s book, Turn the Ship Around! describes his struggles, setbacks, and ultimate rewards of his efforts to tackle these issues. A Retired US Submarine Captain, Marquet was assigned to one of the worst-performing submarines in naval history, and decided to develop his own approach to conquer the challenges it presented.

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Topics: employee engagement, employee training

Our 5 Training Best Practices

Posted by Jacob Miller

Jun 19, 2015 6:30:00 PM

Forward-thinking contract manufacturers realize the importance of training their employees early and often. Developing an effective training program is an investment that can prove extremely important for the long-term development of your manufacturing organization. It’s essential to ensure a thorough training program is in place, one that both employees and managers appreciate and value. If your proposed manufacturing training program doesn’t incorporate these best practices, it could be a waste of time and resources.

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Topics: contract manufacturer, oem, employee engagement, employee training

Does Your OEM Contract Manufacturer Conduct Engineering Release Meetings?

Posted by Jacob Miller

Jan 9, 2015 6:51:00 PM

 As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), the goals of outsourcing work to a contract manufacturer (CM) are twofold: create a high-quality product and maximize your spend. Both of these goals can be successfully accomplished if your CM holds Engineering Release Meetings.

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Topics: oem, original equipment manufacturer, contract manufacturing, lean manufacturing, product development, process improvement

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