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.
In the nautical disaster movie, “The Perfect Storm,” three weather fronts converge off the coast of New England to create one of the fiercest storms in U.S. history. A similar convergence is occurring in the manufacturing world today. It’s called Industry 4.0 and it promises to transform the way that engineers design and build products over the next two decades.
Cell phones, tablets, GPS devices and other mobile electronics are smaller, thinner, lighter and more powerful than ever. Wireless Internet connections, RFID and Bluetooth have become essential features of these devices, necessitating highly complex transmission mechanisms.
High-efficiency ballscrews are ideal for precise, high-speed linear positioning. However, back-driving can be an issue, especially if the ballscrew is in a vertical position. If the ballscrew is not held properly, the load could drop quickly and cause damage to the payload, machine and workers.
Walk into any modern assembly and packaging facility, and the conveyor systems may very well resemble roller coasters at an amusement park—going up steep inclines, moving down drops, and twisting and turning around equipment and machinery as they transfer product from one area of the plant to another.
Today’s typical automobile features nearly 100 exterior and interior sensors, with the number likely to increase in the near future. Those located on the outside (axle load, steering angle, blind spots, air temperature, etc.) require special protection from the elements and unique production methods.
Successful manufacturers never get tired of facing new market challenges. This statement applies to companies across all industries—including those involved in the annual manufacturing of more than 1 billion tires worldwide.