For the past decade, carbon-fiber composites have been the darling of the aerospace sector, receiving countless praise and widespread attention. Reinforced polymers have dramatically changed the way that many types of airframes are designed and built.
Sooner or later, most manufacturers need to consider investing in automatic screwdriving equipment. If an assembly calls for multiple screws of the same size, an autofeed screwdriver is an easy way to boost accuracy, productivity and quality.
Vision systems are used to make critical measurements of parts and assemblies as part of a quality control system. Such measurements might be taken to determine the fitness of a component to progress to the next step in the manufacturing process, or they might be done at the end of the line prior to shipping the final product.
From the outside, a robot appears to be an independent entity that can do many great things all on its own. But, in truth, it's the internal technology and end-of-arm tooling that enable the robot to effectively perform many types of assembly.
Last month, Mazda and Toyota selected Huntsville, AL, as the site of a new joint-venture assembly plant. The factory will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually, with production split evenly between the two companies. Mazda intends to use the facility to produce a new crossover model for the North American market, while Toyota will use the factory to make Corollas.
The door latch on a vehicle doesn't do much. It doesn't power the vehicle. It doesn't aid in handling or braking. But, of course, it's vital to the safety and security of the vehicle's occupants. And, no company has been making latches better over the years than Kiekert AG.
Some manufacturers make cool products, figuratively speaking. But, Imbera literally makes them. Founded in 1941 as Industrias Montiel, Imbera is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial refrigeration units for liquid, food and dairy products.
Ralph Braun showed the world his many abilities over many years before dying in 2013. Born in 1940 and diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at 6 years old, Braun created a motorized wagon less than a decade later to help him get around. In 1962, he built a motorized scooter, which he called the Tri-Wheeler, and rode it to and from his day job as a quality control manager for a nearby manufacturer.