Many companies routinely hit capacity constraints and immediately consider adding overtime for existing workers, hiring workers for a new shift, or buying a new line. Relatively few companies have made the more modest investment that is required to optimize the performance of their existing lines.
For more than 5,000 years, investment casting has produced a wide variety of metal products. The process is currently used to manufacture everything from surgical implants to jet engine turbine blades.
The manufacturer needed to present thin steel blades down an assembly line in a specific orientation. However, the parts were essentially symmetrical, with the exception of a small notch that had to be presented on the right side. With no real differences in the part other than this notch, feeding them to an assembly mechanism with 100 percent accuracy was a challenge.
To handle simple material handling tasks in automated workcells, engineers typically opt for linear axes. However, assembling multiple linear axes into a Cartesian motion system can be a time-consuming process. You must connect each module to the next one, assembling subcomponents as you go, then wire each module, connect each axis to an external controller, and finally program the system.
Ultrasonic welding can handle most plastics assembly applications. Other friction-based processes, such as vibration welding and spin welding, can usually tackle the rest. However, that necessitates investing in three separate machines at considerable cost.
Consumers have always wanted their stereo speakers to sound great. Increasingly, they want the speakers to look great as well. Paradigm Electronics Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario, is dedicated to manufacturing speakers that meet both criteria.
The one constant thing about technology is that it is constantly changing and evolving. Don’t think so? In that case, ask the people who rushed out to buy the latest iteration of a smartphone, but then find themselves standing in line waiting to purchase the latest new-and-improved version just six months later.
One of the main challenges in forestry is removing bark from freshly cut logs. For many decades, the standard method involved loading logs into a hopper with a conveyor belt that moves the logs into a ribbed drum.