Vision system integration has come a long way. With increased processing power, more powerful algorithms, and lighting and optics designed for more demanding requirements, more applications can be solved today than ever before.
Like soldiers, rows of BalTec Corp. manual assembly presses stand ready to work at electronic manufacturing plants throughout North America. Workers there use the presses to crimp wires to terminals and connectors.
ASSEMBLY magazine has been around since 1958. In that time, we’ve had lean years and great years. We’ve changed our name three times, and we’ve been bought and sold at least five times. We’ve survived tidal shifts in both U.S. manufacturing and publishing. (If you had told me 26 years ago that I would be spending 30 minutes a day on something called Twitter…)
To boost the energy output of wind turbines, manufacturers are developing taller structures with longer blades. That’s because the wind at 100 meters blows more steadily and 4.5 percent faster than it does at 80 meters, with an energy gain of about 14 percent.
There’s an old joke that the factory of the future will be so automated that it will have just two employees: a guard dog and someone to feed it. Fortunately or not, such a scenario remains the purview of science fiction. Indeed, despite advances in robotics and automation, people remain the most flexible assembly technology.
Standardization is a key concept behind lean manufacturing. It allows assemblers to reduce variation, increase consistency, cut costs and improve productivity by following a prescribed set of work instructions.
"We’ve managed to pack quite a lot of power density in a small package." —David Ma, Yaskawa America
September 9, 2013
Semiconductor processing equipment is a notoriously demanding application for motion control engineers. Extreme precision, reliability and smoothness are absolute requirements. At the same time, space is at a premium.
Rochester, NY, is home to several well-known companies, such as Bausch & Lomb, Eastman Kodak and Xerox. It’s also home to cutting-edge electronics manufacturing research, thanks to the Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly (CEMA).
U.S. manufacturers that source low-cost components offshore often face several challenges. Among the most common are language barriers, lack of timely responses, long lead times and problems with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Another problem is receiving a perfect prototype initially—followed by subsequent shipments of poor-quality parts.
Papenburg, Germany, is home to the world’s largest shipbuilding dock hall, which is operated by MEYER WERFT GmbH. There, more than 2,500 workers design and assemble some of the largest cruise ships in the world.