It’s no secret that the United States’ once prominent and thriving manufacturing base has suffered over the past 4+ decades, as global competition eroded American competitive advantages. However, as global standards of living have improved and thereby increased the cost of overseas manufacturing, American manufacturers have embraced technology to regain competitive position. This adoption of automation, robots/cobotics, and data analytics have combined with manufacturing-friendly governmental policy to spark growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector. So what are these technologies and what do they project for the manufacturing sector at the quarter century milestone of 2025?
Jan 25, 2019 4:00:00 PM
Jan 19, 2019 4:00:00 PM
Old science-fiction movies and even Saturday cartoons (The Jetsons, anyone?) used to portend of a future where nearly everything was done by a robot. While the world hasn’t quite made the leap all the way there (yet), robots and artificial intelligence are definitely playing a bigger part in modern industry as well as ordinary day-to-day activity. With these advances, concern has arisen in some areas that robots will eventually eliminate jobs and work, leading to perpetual unemployment for wide swaths of the population. The reality, however, is that the opposite has proven to be reality.
Jan 4, 2019 3:15:00 PM
As many startup businesses evolve, they follow a common pattern. An entrepreneur is inspired by an idea or market opportunity and “starts in a garage” or a basement (or their parents’ spare room). That entrepreneur at the beginning “does it all”, from product design, to marketing and sales, to customer support to manufacturing and shipment or in person delivery.
Nov 30, 2018 3:00:00 PM
Robots have been an important part of manufacturing on a global basis for nearly 50 years. Perhaps most widely recognized for their place in automobile production, robots have been used to improve efficiency, quality and safety. Historically, traditional production robotics has been out of reach for mid- and small-market manufacturers due to their cost, scale and specific capability limitations. However, as the global economy has changed due to the reach of e-commerce and its enablement of these small and middle-market firms, interest in manufacturing improvements has grown, and this in turn has ignited the “cobot” movement. So what is a “cobot” and how does it compare to a traditional full scale production robot?
Jan 12, 2018 2:00:00 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.
Jan 5, 2018 5:50:29 PM
Read Time: 3 Minutes
What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a common question asked of kids. Firefighters, teachers, and doctors are all examples of responses one might hear. But what if that question was posed to business owners? What type of business do you strive to be? Answers might include best in class in service, product excellence, culture focused, team oriented, etc.; frankly, most businesses would probably desire to achieve all of those, including dozens of more higher-acclaimed qualities. However, it is imperative a business identifies who they are and what they stand for; their ultimate success depends on a clear initiative and awareness of their objectives, strengths, and opportunities.
Dec 15, 2017 3:44:40 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:
Dec 8, 2017 5:03:29 PM
Read Time: 4 Minutes
To outsource complete manufacturing of a product versus producing it in-house is a decision faced by original equipment manufacturers every day, and making the right choice can be key to the success of your business. A manufacturing company may decide to outsource products and services for a variety of reasons. To gain better insight from a client perspective, I recently asked one of our most-valued customers what were some of the reasons their business chose to partner with us for contract manufacturing. Their decision to outsource was researched thoroughly, and in the end, the company realized a host of tangible and intangible benefits. Below find the 10 reasons our customer chose Fusion OEM:
Topics: contract manufacturing
Dec 1, 2017 3:01:53 PM
Read Time: 4 Minutes
Engineering CAD software is a constantly evolving tool that allows engineers to design more rapidly and efficiently than ever before. However, one basic element that has been consistently required over time is a detailed drawing. Drawings are the key piece of communication between Engineers, Machinists, Fabricators, Vendors and Customers.
An important and critical way an Engineer conveys the design intent within the drawing is with the use of GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing). This isolates the functional and non-functional features, and creates a relationship from one feature to the next. GD&T provides a lot of information regarding how a part or assembly will be manufactured or assembled. Most importantly, it allows for repeatability for parts and assemblies in order to ensure that consistent quality is achieved. Below please find seven tips on using GD&T and things to consider when adding GD&T to your drawing:
Nov 24, 2017 3:00:00 PM
Read Time: 3 Minutes, 30 Seconds
Having a formal system in place to track and evaluate supplier performance is essential to the smooth operation and profitability of any business. As an AS9100D certified contract manufacturer, we are required to evaluate and select our suppliers based on their ability to meet our requirements and those of our customers. This assessment is essential to reduce the risk of nonconforming parts. Below please find the top six considerations we use when managing our supplier relationships to reduce the risk of non-conforming parts:
Topics: supply chain management