The ASSEMBLY Blog is written by our team of editors and industry experts. It provides thought-provoking opinions on issues and trends in manufacturing, as wells tips, tricks and suggestions for implementing assembly technology.
When my sister and I were kids, we dared not let our parents catch us doing nothing. “If you need something to do,” my mother would say, “I’ll give you something.” Nine times out of 10, that something would be an onerous chore. My parents were big believers in the adage, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. A couple of articles in the news recently made me think about that adage in a grim new light.
Researchers at Cornell University are bringing science fiction closer to reality. They have developed a self-replicating robot consists of independent motorized blocks. Their work has implications for space exploration and "lights-out" automated factories.
The most daunting challenge of automating assembly of very small products, such as hearing aids, is how to feed and manipulate tiny screws and other parts. Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby have designed a gripper and an automatic screwdriver that overcome this challenge.
Several years ago, everyone was crying about all the American manufacturers closing their doors and shipping production to China, Brazil and other countries with low-cost economies. But, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) has announced that it will soon begin exporting vehicles made at its plant in Normal, IL, to China. When the Eclipse sports car goes on sale in Shanghai later this year, Chinese consumers will be eyeing a car that was assembled in the middle of an Illinois cornfield.
Ever since Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species was published in 1859, the theory of evolution has been used as a metaphor for many other disciplines, including business. Now Peter Cooke, a professor of automotive management at the University of Buckingham in England, is talking about something called the Galapagos Syndrome with reference to North America’s Big Three automakers
It wasn’t all that long ago that people with intellectual disabilities were institutionalized-isolated from their families and communities. These days, thankfully, attitudes are much different. A number of organizations are providing win-win situations: enabling people with intellectual disabilities to obtain training and fulfilling employment, while helping manufacturers assemble their products for pennies on the dollar.
While the United States leads the world in advanced medical technology and services, escalating spending on health care is taking a toll on employers. The burden of footing this bill is making U.S. manufacturers less competitive and provides a considerable incentive for moving manufacturing jobs to low-cost labor markets. Since this is an election year, it would be wise for everyone to see where the three remaining presidential candidates stand on healthcare.