Most model railroad enthusiasts love to build custom layouts piece by piece. However, some hobbyists prefer to purchase a preformed layout that includes track and scenery, all they have to do is plug it in and start running their trains.
Most manufacturers are keen on automating production, so long as it can be done cost-effectively. This goal applies as well to KEEN Inc., a Portland, OR-based company that makes outdoor and lifestyle footwear.
At the Automate trade show in Chicago last week, the exhibit hall was buzzing with talk about collaborative robots. The next-generation machines allow robots to operate side-by-side with humans on assembly lines.
CHICAGO—Advanced industrial robots could power a new wave of productivity growth in many industries and lead to changes of up to 5 percentage points in the cost competitiveness of major export economies relative to the United States, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group.
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.