Last year's California wildfire season was a record-setting one for the state. By the end of 2020, more than 9,600 fires had burned nearly 4.4 million acres, or more than 4 percent of the state's roughly 100 million acres of land.
Some challenges that manufacturers face are simple, while others are multi-faceted. An example of the latter is continually providing customers with products that are stronger and more durable, yet lighter and smaller to minimize shipping costs.
Kaizen, or continuous improvement, is a basic tenet of lean manufacturing. It says, in effect, that less-than-optimal is never acceptable. The concept can be applied to every major assembly process, including resistance spot welding.
Medical doctors have increasingly become specialized during the last 25 years or so. But, industrial robots have been specialists by design since they began being used for manufacturing in the early 1960s.
Computer-aided-design (CAD) software has a been friend to part designers and manufacturing engineers for decades, which is old news. The good news is this type of software is friendlier than ever, enabling both specialists to perform functions ranging from analyzing the strength of an assembly, to determining the best design for a given set of parameters.
Custom metal fabricator Miller Welding & Machine Co. has experienced steady growth since its founding in 1963. The keys to this growth are implementing process control, creating high-quality products and always being open to using new technology.
Some Tier II suppliers provide a wide range of parts to the automotive industry, while others are better suited to focus on only one type of part. Grand Rapids, MI-based Erwin Quarder Inc. (EQI) specializes in making plastic-injection overmolded, two-shot-molded and insert-molded parts.
Faurecia has been the world's largest manufacturer of vehicle interiors for the past several years. Automotive OEMs all over the globe install the company’s seats, dashboards, center consoles, door panels, acoustic modules and decorative elements.
In recent years, engineers have come to realize that motion control can be smart. This type of control involves machines that can digitally interact with operators, track each step of the assembly process, ensure quick product changeover and provide the real-time status of available resources.