Engineers at a major manufacturer of portable electronic devices had a problem. They needed to rivet a small, thin electrical contact to the device’s charger subassembly, but how could they head the tiny rivets—0.02 to 0.03 inch in diameter—without crushing the assembly?
DETROIT—Robotic glove technology developed out of a partnership between General Motors and NASA for use on the International Space Station is finding new life on Earth in health care, manufacturing and other industrial applications through a licensing agreement between GM and Bioservo Technologies AB, a Swedish medical technology company.
Washers are a vital component of many fastened joints. Washers are critical to the operation of virtually every device with moving parts. They perform a variety of functions beyond just securing bolts, nuts, screws and rivets. They can insulate, seal, lock, provide spacing, improve appearance, supply spring force, align parts, and distribute loads.
Lean manufacturing was not a concern for Mark DeWys in 1977 when he founded DeWys Manufacturing Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI. The focus of his one-man shop back then was the fabrication of fireplace inserts, racks and various small metal parts.
Efforts to reduce vehicle weight have mostly focused on aluminum, plastics and composites, but another lightweight material is also getting attention: magnesium. The ninth most abundant element in the universe, magnesium is as strong as steel, but 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 60 percent lighter than titanium, and 75 percent lighter than steel.
If we are to build a better world, politicians tell us, power must be placed in the right hands. This statement will draw no protest from assemblers. After all, these skilled workers require state-of-the-art power tools to build long-lasting quality products on a daily basis.