A decade or so from now, you may find yourself traveling along an interstate in a caravan. Your automobile is separated by just a few inches from the vehicle in front of you and the one behind as you speed along at 150 miles per hour.
Some assembly technologies evolve too fast or too slow, while others change at a pace that's just right. Hydraulic presses belong in the latter category, according to some suppliers, and that's a good thing.
Production engineers often get excited about new technologies and tend to think that the benefits of investing in them are obvious to everyone else in the company. However, enthusiastic engineers can get an unpleasant surprise if they are not prepared to argue their case properly.
Most people take gravity for granted. But, manufacturers know better, especially when it comes to moving large items through a plant for assembly, finishing, storage and order-fulfillment purposes. The proof is in their use of gravity conveyors to per-form these tasks.
Remember Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts? With the Saints trailing 10-6 at halftime, Saints coach Sean Payton made one of the gutsiest gambles in NFL history, calling for an onside kick to start the second half.
Like other manufacturers, machine builders do all they can to optimize the assembly processes in their plants. Industrial technology specialist Rockwell Automation understands this goal, and has developed several products to help companies achieve it.
Remember the nursery rhyme about the old lady who swallows a fly? She swallows a spider to catch the fly, a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, and so on, until she finally swallows a horse and dies.
Hot upset riveting is a permanent forming and fastening process that uses precision heat and pressure to form hardened workpieces. This process achieves maximum hole-fill, creating a robust joint. Depending on the part requirements, the result can be a fixed or movable joint assembly.
When lean tools are used effectively every day, manufacturers eventually arrive at a destination: lean culture. All the continuous improvement efforts along the way will drive a cyclical culture that's sustainable.