Whenever anyone mentions hybrid-electric vehicles today, most people automatically think of cars, buses and trucks. But, up in the sky, the technology is also getting a lot of attention from aerospace engineers. That’s because electric systems are greener, lighter, quieter and more energy-efficient than traditional alternatives.
Comparative claims can be positive or negative, subjective or objective. But, in every instance, their main purpose is illustrative. A common example is when someone claims that a person or process is “as slow as molasses” (which, by the way, has a viscosity of only 5,000 to 10,000 centipoise [cps]).
The need to reduce vehicle weight has spawned myriad new technologies for assembling aluminum, high-strength steel and other materials. These new technologies include self-piercing rivets, flow-drilling screws and friction-stir spot welding.
If you can’t see it, you can’t measure it, and if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it! This is the simple mantra of successful manufacturers the world over. Manufacturing excellence can only come from manufacturing visibility.
Among Forrest Gump’s greatest life lessons was the insight that you could never be certain what you would find inside a box of chocolates. Although Gump never actually clarified what that uncertainty is, it’s generally assumed he was referring to the various types of fillings hidden in chocolate candies.
Due to rapidly advancing technology, industrial automation has experienced explosive growth in recent decades. From early relay logic, to the introduction of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and now robotics, adaptive logic, networking and wireless technology, automation has provided significant opportunities to improve most manufacturing processes.
At some point during a philosophy 101 class, college students learn about Aristotle’s belief that the best way to understand something is to break it down to the smallest components. For an increasing number of manufacturers and integrators, however, the best way to assemble a product is to use a machine built with modular automation components that quickly and easily fit together.