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AMT Tech Trends: Big Screw

Ben and Steve drool over the new 2022 season F1 car designs. Benjamin and Stephen also share their disgust with the “big screw” industry. Ben features an article about the consistency of change in transformative technology.
Mar 14, 2022

Episode 67: Ben and Steve drool over the new 2022 season F1 car designs. Benjamin and Stephen also share their disgust with the “big screw” industry. Ben features an article about the consistency of change in transformative technology. Steve has one on flexible robot arms controlled utilizing augmented reality. Benjamin announces the first mass-production IEMs made with metal additive. Stephen shares his thoughts on the development of CMMs and what’s next. Ben closes with a $54 million grant from the DoC for manufacturing.

For the latest in Manufacturing Technology news www.amtonline.org/resources


Benjamin Moses: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the AMT Tech Trends Podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturing, technology, research, and news. I am Benjamin Moses, the Director of Technology. I'm here with amazing?

Stephen LaMarca: Stephen LaMarca, Technology Analyst. Thank you, Ben.

Benjamin Moses: You're welcome, Steve. On this cold, rainy day in Virginia.

Stephen LaMarca: Cold, disgusting day.

Benjamin Moses: This is a miserable part of winter.

Stephen LaMarca: We needed it.

Benjamin Moses: I need a good cleanse.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: Steve, I know you're a big Formula 1 guy.

Stephen LaMarca: Yes. Well, it's tapered off in the years. In college, I was big into Formula 1. Then I made the beautiful transition to follow... And a lot easier to follow by the way. Actually that's debatable, made the transition to Le Mans racing. But no, let's talk about Formula 1 real quick. I'm really dating myself and it makes me feel old now, because I'm a big fan of high revving, naturally aspirated engines that tend to scream and shriek, high pitched engines.

Benjamin Moses: You like the audio side of Formula 1.

Stephen LaMarca: Yes. I love that sonorous scream that whale of a Formula 1 engine.

Benjamin Moses: Even through the TV, it sounds amazing.

Stephen LaMarca: Even through the TV, it sounds amazing. You put on some open [Backen Hiers 00:01:28] even better, but since probably the early 2010s formula, whenever they implemented this dumb Turbocharged V6. Everything went to poop.

Benjamin Moses: Fairly recent.

Stephen LaMarca: Alright let's go back around the era of when Brett Favre killed the stock market, 2007, 2008.

Benjamin Moses: You want to explain that real quick?

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. So everybody thinks everything went downhill in 2007, 2008 because of the stock market crash. Well, why did it crash? It crashed because... Not because of bankers selling things to Ireland or whatever they claim it was. I don't know, finances.

Stephen LaMarca: I'm not going to claim to know that stuff.

Benjamin Moses: Nobody does it.

Stephen LaMarca: It was because of Brett Favre. Brett Favre for two years straight was like, I'm going to retire. No, I'm not going to retire. I still want to play. But I'm getting tired and I got some gray hairs and I got this deal with Wrangler jeans at Walmart. But no I'm going to keep playing, no I'm going to retire. That went on for two years straight. And it covered up not just ESPN. When I was trying to learn about this new kid in Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel, who was just dominant. People totally forgot about Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. And were like, why does an energy drink team have a dominating Formula 1 team and well, an up and coming Formula 1 team? And who is this kid, Sebastian Vettel from Germany.

Stephen LaMarca: Is he from Germany?

Benjamin Moses: He speaks German. So it seems so.

Stephen LaMarca: I think it's German. And no, we couldn't know any of that. Because Americans know nothing about Formula 1. And I was like, I feel like I was up there. I was getting a lot of news from the internet. And I thought it was a big deal when... And in my roommates, in college at the time, my roommate Chuck is huge, Yankee fan. Still is he. He was so ticked at ESPN, because 2007, 2008 were incredible years in the MLB. Incredible baseball seasons. But you wouldn't know because Brett Favre was dominating the news. And okay, let's stop talking about sports.

Benjamin Moses: Let's get back to Formula 1.

Stephen LaMarca: No, let's talk about what happened in that... The reason why the stock market crashed is because everybody was being updated in ESPN and just like the news in general about what Brett Favre is going to do.

Stephen LaMarca: And all of these shareholders and stock brokers, weren't able to stay up to date with industry news and stuff. So everything... When money started moving, they couldn't keep track of it. Because all they knew was Brett Favre. And that's why the thing crashed.

Benjamin Moses: All Brett Favre.

Stephen LaMarca: And that's why everything went to poop.

Benjamin Moses: Thanks Brett.

Stephen LaMarca: Thanks Brett. And because of that Formula 1 went from these 2.7 liter screaming V8 2.4 liter, V8 high rate like 16,000, 19,000 RPM, to turbo in line sixes or not in line six V sixes that sounded like vacuum cleaners. They sound awful. It's been almost a decade now. I want to say it's been at least a decade. It's been at least 10 years and they still sound awful. And to add insult to injury, the cars even got ugly too.

Stephen LaMarca: They looked like there were a few Formula 1 teams that not only did the cars, just... It was like we reverted back to the '80 where everything was designed with a straight edge roller in cocaine to... It wasn't even that. Because at least that had some excitement.

Benjamin Moses: To character.

Stephen LaMarca: That was the cocaine. The Formula 1 cars just looked like a child with a ruler and looked down at his or her pants, saw genitals and put it on the front of the car.

Benjamin Moses: There was a lot of genital talk on-

Stephen LaMarca: It was really gross. Those cars were hideous in the early 2010s. And on top of that, they sounded awful and they still sound awful. But the good news was in 2019 when the world was only starting to go back to the status of being awful again, Formula 1 decided, hey, this is the next layout.

Stephen LaMarca: This is the next template. The design template for the next generation of Formula 1 cars. You teams get ready to start designing your cars to look like this. And 2022 comes around that 2019 concept car is now being implemented. Formula 1 cars for the longest time have had these minuscule, 15 inch, 14 inch wheels. When no car in real life has a wheel that small now Formula 1 cars still finally have 17, 18 inch wheel on them, which look really nice. And it's cool. So the styling is there. The next step is the engine, but I have a feeling I'm not going to get my hopes up. With gas prices the way they are, we're not going to have any high revving wailing engines anymore.

Benjamin Moses: I fill up the car this morning almost had triple digits.

Stephen LaMarca: Dude, it cost me $15 to fill up the motorcycle yesterday. $15, I've never spent more than $8 to fill up a tank, motorcycle.

Benjamin Moses: I went through my own struggles this past week. I bought a new red dot for one of my pistols. I went from a fairly inexpensive one experiment, try out red dots to something higher end like a loophole, went to the loophole, Delta Pro. Fantastic looking, just holding it. I didn't come with mountain screws because that's part of the mountain kit. Depends on the mountain kit that you have. So the amounts that... I couldn't find any screws in my house, that cracked length. So I go to Home Depot to check the threads that I have on the Mount itself, figure out it's a number four thread, number four by 20 I think. Look around Home Depot they got screws, they had the thread checker there.

Benjamin Moses: No small size they have is number six. This is going to be great. So I'm, putting around... I spent a half hour because if you have a threat checker there, there's got to be a number four screw, nope. So went back to the house. And of course these are counters, sunk screws. So I was checking the length of the one that came in the package. One's not going to fit, but the overall length that should go into the Mount. So I thought I had that length correct. Ordered something on Amazon, I went for the slow shipping because I'm trying to package all my stuff together, not have 10 packages delivered different days. So the half inch length that came in, put it through the red dot. Didn't make it through the red dot.

Benjamin Moses: Didn't touch the [inaudible 00:08:34] I don't know how I screwed up the length. So I placed another order for the next size and the next size of that. So I'm going to... so I have 50 screws of number four that's half inch long that I'm never going to use. I've got two packages of 10 that I'm probably going to only use two of those. So I'm going to have a 20, 18 more screws laying around that I'm never going to use. This is fantastic.

Stephen LaMarca: So as we all know, I went through a similar thing with the robot arm recently. I think we talked about this, the last podcast, so I'm not going to touch on it again. However, I totally feel the screw thing. And my first question before I go on is did you try contacting the red dot manufacturer. To be like, hey, could you send me another set of the screws that came with this thing?

Benjamin Moses: No, I didn't try. So I looked on their website. So I looked at the mounting plate company.

Stephen LaMarca: It's the mounting plate.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah. They would've had that. So I checked the website to see if they had enough information. They didn't have the thread size and pitch and they didn't have recommended screw lengths. They recommended the screw holes, but they had a list of their red dots and they had recommended whole locations. But they didn't have any information on what length you should buy. So it was a little frustrating on that. I coulda call them but I don't like calling people.

Stephen LaMarca: I've got two more screw stories for you. And don't worry, it's not that kind of podcast. But I recently, well for Christmas or my birthday, I forget which one it was. They're both around the same time.

Stephen LaMarca: I got a second hard drive. I got a second terabyte from my gaming rig. Nice. And I opened it up. I have Sean, our IT guy come over to my house because we're that awesome. And he helps me with installation because I got to move the graphics card out of the way. I got to take that out to get to the NVMe M.2 Gen.3 slots and to plug in the SSD. And the standoff is there, there's no screw in the standoff. So we call it a day. I contact Corsair who build the PC and they also make the case that my, every of the components are in like, hey, could you send a hardware kit because I need... I want to expand the hard drive capacity, the storage capacity. And I'm missing a screw for this standoff. They send me a kit about a week, a week goes by, I get a kit in the mail, comes from all the way from China. I have the tracking number and everything.

Stephen LaMarca: Get the kit in the mail. It's got a screw in there.

Benjamin Moses: It's not the right screw. Of course not.

Stephen LaMarca: Got all this other stuff too that I do not need. But the one standoff screw in there, isn't the right screw.

Benjamin Moses: That's a bummer.

Stephen LaMarca: So I probably shouldn't be telling you this, Sean and I are just like, okay, well Sean's like, okay, we're going to the office. We go into the IT storage room.

Benjamin Moses: It's some circle up there.

Stephen LaMarca: To dead computers that need to be parted out, anyway. And we get some standoff screws. They fit perfectly in the PC. He got two of them. Just so because the original hard drive SSD that came on the computer has a chrome screw. Screws in the IT office are black or sub dude. So you're like, we're getting two for consistency. We're going to swap out the other one too.

Stephen LaMarca: So he does the solid that... Story, number two, I totally feel the pain. I'm collecting action screws for my Remington 700 right now. Because, none of them are standardized. Every single little pair of action screws has a different length. Red Hawk Rifles, the company that you like. I ordered a set of action screws from them. They're like, we just, we're going to send you these long screws and it's going to be your job to cut them down to the length you need. It's like, I don't have this technology.

Benjamin Moses: That's a fair proposition if you have the tools.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. So, like Lou. I have a collection of sets of action screws for the Remington 700 and I've just gone with the best fit right now. The front action screw still quite isn't long enough.

Stephen LaMarca: When you open the bolt and you look into the chamber well, the log area, you can see that there's still... I'm still missing a few threads. And with a 30 yacht six, you want as much thread contact as possible. We've talked, big screw is almost as bad as big pharma and the food industry.

Benjamin Moses: If you work-

Stephen LaMarca: This is terrible, if you work for big screw, I hope you never have another cold beer in your life.

Benjamin Moses: See, let's get in some articles, man.

Stephen LaMarca: Let's do it.

Benjamin Moses: I got one on, Doug actually wrote a pretty good article that we posted on AMT online, about the consistency of change and transformative technology. So, it's a good look at where we are as a manufacturing technology industry. So the rate of new technologies being released is mind boggling. Our feeds are constantly blowing up with new machines, new modifications, new machines, and tangential technologists being brought in.

Benjamin Moses: So a couple of codes here. So while machining in the macro may be the same process. It was 20 years ago in any given operation, it may be entirely different. Everything from the chemistry of the inserts. We've gone from significantly different materials on that side and code Incs to the capacity of spindle drive, control algorithms for each of the different axis. So even the... A big machine break it down to small components changes throughout the entire machine, right. Even the cool length, the cool, the breaks rate of change of you trying different, cool length also it's throughout the entire article. A good use case, right? So if you talk about technology that's fine, but if you're using technology, what does that actually mean? So, Doug also talks about the concept of rapid prototyping.

Benjamin Moses: If you look back, Doug keeps using the term 20 years. That's half of my life, but fair point because I was early in the manufacturing industry then. So, 20 years ago, if you said, I need to rapid prototype something, versus if I need to rapid prototype something, now the definitions are completely different. So, one of the use cases were back in my previous company, we had a welded assembly and there was a casting on the end. So we had to verify that the tooling or the fixture for making that well assembly was correct when we needed mockups. So, we had elbows tubes that we had in stock that we could rapidly prototype to see if this thing fixed. But we also had a casting on the end. The casting lead time was like a year.

Stephen LaMarca: Really?

Benjamin Moses: It was really long just to get in the queue, get the material, get the-

Stephen LaMarca: It's almost as long as the ex arm seven from your factory.

Benjamin Moses: It's outrageous. And it was early in the development cycle. So this is a new casting we had to make, but we're not going to wait for a year to see, okay, this thing might work. So we really printed the casting. The final version of the casting and we put that into the fixture and we printed several different versions to account for the tolerance variation that we're concerned about. That cycle took a week or so to-

Stephen LaMarca: Just a mockup of the casting?

Benjamin Moses: Just a mockup.

Stephen LaMarca: Until the [inaudible 00:16:09] actually.

Benjamin Moses: Exactly. We're dealing super hours, we're not going to print a casting out of plastic and ship it.

Benjamin Moses: But the idea of a rapid prototype of testing something, right. That took a week. 20 years ago, how would you have mocked up the casting? You'd have had some machine components-

Stephen LaMarca: So you guys actually did that?

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: That's sick. How much did that cost?

Benjamin Moses: Oh, we had a Stratasys 3D printer in the house. So we just paid for the material. The printer that we had was like 75K range. So it is a great experiment. It's exactly what we bought that machine to do is, do things very quickly as fast as we could on the manufacturing floor. So it was... We weren't doing production through the printing, but... And so the idea of being able to rapidly test something or prove something, that's where we are today. The big takeaway is the time to manufacture, time to market, it's significantly small, shorter than it was decades ago.

Benjamin Moses: And that's a big takeaway is, right? It's the adoption and our implementation for new technologies has become a shorter cycle. Right. So, if you're in a manufacturing world, if you're a manufacturer, what does that mean? Right. Either you're constantly on the lookout for new technologies to make you faster, make you in a lot of cases, more accurate, more resilient, but also ways to constantly harvest value. Right? How do you get to a faster manufacturing process? How do you get... How do you reduce your lead time to start cutting ships? Or how do you cut ships faster?

Stephen LaMarca: It was a cool article.

Benjamin Moses: I thought so.

Stephen LaMarca: I like his title. You like the title?

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: The consistency of change in transformative technology. Consistency of change. What's the Doc from back to the future. What's that guy's name? The care's name?

Benjamin Moses: I don't know.

Stephen LaMarca: With the flux capacitor?

Benjamin Moses: Doc Brown.

Stephen LaMarca: Doc Brown. Doug is acting like right now with that title, the consistency of change. That's his flux capacitor. He's trying to capacitate the change in something.

Benjamin Moses: Do you think Doug would appreciate being called Doc Brown?

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: We'll try that later since it's just us three in the office. He yells at us, only I hear it.

Stephen LaMarca: I guess we'll find out in about a week when he listens to this. If he can get past the spiciness from our banter.

Benjamin Moses: You got an article on robotics?

Stephen LaMarca: Yes. Alright, which one? Let's go with the first. Let's go from left to right.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, let's do that.

Stephen LaMarca: So this first one is from Unite.ai. I don't think I've ever read an article from this website, full disclosure. Flexible robotic arm guided by AR goggles.

Benjamin Moses: That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca: Ben, we are so trend setting. Our last episode sponsor, AM radio. By Gardner business media, with Stephanie Hendrickson and Pete Zielinski. They had an episode of their podcast four months ago, that was titled the Additive Manufacturing Industry is being directed. The Development in Advance in that Industry is being led by Curmudgeons. That's us bro.

Benjamin Moses: We're the curmudgeons.

Stephen LaMarca: We're the curmudgeons. But to get back to trends that were setting, not just following. You just published an article, or maybe you submitted the article, but it's going to be published soon. Of what the heck happened to AR? What's going on with AR? This is the freshest article. This is the freshest evidence we have now. The article's already been submitted. And somebody's read it and decided to do something with it, but what do you think of this? First off flexible robotics are really cool.

Stephen LaMarca: Flexible arms, so they're trying to imply a industrial application using an arm. And then to... Because there's just not enough buzz going on, they want to implement AR goggles to help control this robot.

Benjamin Moses: There's a lot going on in this article.

Stephen LaMarca: There is so much going on, that I think we should just stop there and move on the next article.

Benjamin Moses: Well, I do want to differentiate one thing, right? So, flexible versus soft robotics. There is a subtle difference there that they think audience should be aware of. So I think-

Stephen LaMarca: So our get us learned.

Benjamin Moses: A standard robotic arm has specific joints where you have a motor and it only bends at that one point. When you go to the extreme of flex soft robotics, the entire arm is movable, but they use either a liquid or a gas right in pockets and it moves like a bug at some point, right? When you look at flexible robotic arm, the entire arm is flexible, but it's more rigid than soft robotics. So that's where we get into that industrial space.

Benjamin Moses: It's a middle ground between the hard rigidity of jointed robotics versus the softness of soft robotics. So I think that's a subtlety where... And then the integration of AR. So I think what they're trying to do is, you could do a remote teaching of the robotic arm in a more natural way. So it's not... You're not limited by the joints on the arm. You're limited by the flexibility of that robotic arm in this case.

Stephen LaMarca: The thing that boggles my mind is... Last week we had Andre here of Silicon valley robotics. And she mentioned to me in a meeting and other people that were also in that meeting, that the common upper limit that you typically see on robot arms, both industrial grade and collaborative is really six, maybe seven joints. But we know they also, there are a handful, few companies that offer nine joint robot arms.

Benjamin Moses: Infinite, mild joints.

Stephen LaMarca: Does a flexible, but not soft robot. Robot, but a flexible. Is it actually flexible or are there like actual joints in there that just there's too many to... That more than what's worth documenting.

Benjamin Moses: There're different ways to quantify the flexibility.

Stephen LaMarca: How does the arm move?

Benjamin Moses: Good question. Are we read the article and find out. We should try that next time. It is an emerging technology, not a lot of people have adopted flexible robotics. I think it's worth exploring how these things work.

Stephen LaMarca: Not a lot of people have adopted AR a match made in heaven.

Benjamin Moses: All the fair points. Steve, I've got one on additive and your favorite company in the world, Sennheiser.

Stephen LaMarca: Alright, man. I thought you were about to troll me.

Benjamin Moses: No, that's for later in the afternoon. So, Sennheiser launches metal, 3D printed IE 600 earphones

Benjamin Moses: So, IE 600 is the model.

Stephen LaMarca: So, [IEMs 00:23:22] not earphone.

Benjamin Moses: In-ear monitors or earbuds for the lay person. That's a troll.

Stephen LaMarca: Don't you, they're in-ear monitors because they go in here ear and they were originally developed so musicians could monitor what they're playing and what their particular instrument, if they're in a band, sounds like while the actual speaker cabinets that they're playing for, the audience are cranked way up and blasting and melting their faces. They can still hear exactly what they're playing to make sure what is melting the faces of the audience still sounds good. Which is why it's an in-ear monitor.

Benjamin Moses: And we've talked about 3D printed in-ear monitors before the variation here-

Stephen LaMarca: It's very common.

Benjamin Moses: The variation here is the housing for these monitors are metallic. So the 3D printing metal-

Stephen LaMarca: And this is a consumer good.

Benjamin Moses: Consumer good.

Stephen LaMarca: A mass produced, consumer good. I'm going to look up the price on these right now. I bet you, they're probably a thousand plus.

Benjamin Moses: So these are interesting material since it's electronics and its wearable electronics. These are zirconium, not too familiar with that. These special grade from-

Stephen LaMarca: Zirconium nitride?

Benjamin Moses: No, it just says zirconium. So, interesting. And they get into these trumpf lasers for their system. So it's cool. Article that-

Stephen LaMarca: Very cool.

Benjamin Moses: They talk about obviously 3D printing that you're going to have to require some finishing, because you're inserting electronics into the housing. So they're finished mostly by automation, but they are including some hand finishing also because it's so small.

Stephen LaMarca: You can see the layerings in the product. Like when the actual had the actual picture up. That's a rendering, which is why it looks all pimple in the... Not pimply but there's the layering. That's beautiful.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah. We'll include a link in the description. So I thought it was a cool article that one who were getting to-

Stephen LaMarca: They're not using BOW armatures, this is a 10 millimeter dynamic driver.

Benjamin Moses: That's great news. I think. So, interesting material choice and mass producing, it's fairly small, right? it's a in-ear monitor. It's not the big headphones that I like to wear, but I think it's a great take and they we'll see what the future looks like for Sennheiser. And Sennheiser is known to produce high quality goods for both the professionals and consumer grade equipment.

Stephen LaMarca: And then there's a few cool takeaways here. So number one, and most important to us, this is Metal AM being used for mass production. These are not custom fit IEM.

Stephen LaMarca: These are mass produced, IEM which is awesome. Article's about to be published that I authored about how additive manufacturing is by no means in emerging technology. It has emerged it's here. You were just talking about how in your last job, you guys 3D printed a mockup.

Stephen LaMarca: Now that was a mockup and we've come a long way from mockup since then. But you worked for Eaton, a huge company that had already been implementing additive manufacturing, not necessarily for production, but for prototyping. Which is still a big deal. Stop calling it an emerging technology, additive is here. And this is further proof on the consumer level and not a mockup. This is mass production of a final product. That's sick. That's really awesome. Number two, now my second cool takeaway is, you mentioned additive manufacturing, at least for polymer, additive manufacturing, thermoplastic, additive manufacturing has been used for a long time now. In-earbuds manufacturing, for both custom fit.

Stephen LaMarca: Well, mostly for custom fit. And not just SLA or... SLA is used a little bit, but at digress. This is the first case of metal additive, at least that I know of.

Benjamin Moses: For ear.

Stephen LaMarca: For any ear monitors.

Benjamin Moses: Not a lot of metal in-ear monitors in general. I think they've shifted away from that.

Stephen LaMarca: Acoustically speaking, one of the beauties of using a metal is you're adding weight to the product. Then that may cause discomfort for the user long down the road. But typically weight is really good for acoustics. In terms of minimizing reverberation. Or at least unwanted reverberations or... Like in the case of exhaust systems, drone weight is always a good thing.

Stephen LaMarca: That's why titanium exhausts always sound really raspy and gross. Is the weight reduction where worth it, bro. But for any... This could be... I'm really, I bet you, these have a really warm sound to them.

Benjamin Moses: Want you buy something and find out.

Stephen LaMarca: Hold on, let me... I still haven't found a price. So I might need to ask for a raise.

Benjamin Moses: This could be a problem. We'll spend all our podcast budgeting on your mind.

Stephen LaMarca: But here is the frequency response curve and it's a nice V-shaped curve.

Benjamin Moses: Let's get into the next articles-

Stephen LaMarca: Which is definitely for a consumer. Is typically for a musician, somebody who's using in-ear monitors for actual monitoring, its a flat curve.

Benjamin Moses: That's the dilemma I face. A lot of this stuff I buy at home for my home use audio wise is very, very flat.

Benjamin Moses: When I come to work and I use my Sony headphones and it's got a different curve. I'm torn if I still like the flatness of it. Or if I like the natural sound, that's straight from them or a little boosted from-

Stephen LaMarca: Sometimes you do just want just some subtle gentle coloring to your audio.

Benjamin Moses: Color is the right word. Tell me about your next robotics article.

Stephen LaMarca: Next, alright. So, not necessarily robotic. This is about metrology. From my favorite source metrology news. The article came out March 7th, 2022 Shaping the Future of CMMS, coordinate measuring machines. This was really cool because in the first paragraph, the opening paragraph of the article, they say, CMMS have been around for a long time. Roughly 35 years, which is cool. And also crazy. It's like, how is it foundational, this technology is to manufacturing? Especially manufacturing, good stuff.

Stephen LaMarca: And they talk about how it's a really bulky technology. And it takes up a lot of floor space and real estate and headroom. And at first I realized, or I was thinking to myself, it was like, that's every little CMM I've seen. Is actually not that big. It's about the size of a table or a desk. And then I realize then they... Well written article goes on the second paragraph to clarify. They're not that big. But they need to typically traditionally speaking, they need to be secluded from the rest of the factory or the rest of the environment that they're in. They need to be in a lab. Not necessarily clean room, but they need to be in a separate room from where your five axis CNC would be.

Benjamin Moses: Temperature, variations is detrimental for accuracy in that case.

Stephen LaMarca: So this article's really cool because, again the title is Shaping Future of Coordinate, Measuring Machines. They're highlighting the drive for all of these CMM manufacturers and metrology manufacturers, contact based manufacturing manufacturers of CMMS and not just CMMS... But I don't the Renishaw Equator, I don't think is exactly. It's not technically a CMM. It's also a CMM. It does what a CMM does.

Benjamin Moses: It's a contact.

Stephen LaMarca: But it's just like a Delta arm version of a CMM, where a CMMS typically three axis gantry. But a lot of these companies are working to develop CMMS that can work on the shop floor. And a lot of them are selling solutions. So you don't just get the CMM, but you get a CMM and a robot. And the robot is designed to take your part from the machine and put it on the CMM for you. Which is great for repeatability, which is very important with metrology and data collection.

Stephen LaMarca: And that's basically where the article was going. They mentioned a lot of companies in their modern forward thinking solutions. This was just a really fun article.

Benjamin Moses: That is.

Stephen LaMarca: And-

Benjamin Moses: It is cool getting a part that's verified out of your cell. Right. So if you're running a couple machines. Even if you're just running one machine, knowing that this part is good when it leaves your cell. That's an amazing feeling. Not having to wait a couple of days because it's got to get queue to the inspection lab and then get the results later. And the supervisor comes, yell at you that you're at a spec. You could have modified a program, two parts in.

Stephen LaMarca: And think about the amount of logistics that this is cutting down. Because we've talked a lot out in the past few years, I want to say about Closed-Loop in the integrated metrology in a machine. You can put a touch probe in a CNC machine, but it will never be CMM accurate. But also you just mentioned once a part's being done or done being cut, you have to send it to inspection. Well, why is it got to go all the way to inspection? And then you find out it has come all the way back from inspection that it failed. Why doesn't in...

Stephen LaMarca: Every operator, technician, machinists is probably thought at some time in their career, why does an inspection come here and get it? And those companies have answered the call and they're like, forget Closed-Loop inspection, forget sending it to a different room in your facility. How can we get metrology closer to where the action is happening?

Benjamin Moses: One subtle thing that I help people also consider. The automation side of its fantastic, but there are some subtleties once in a while. So for example, you may have to clean the part before you put on the CMM, you have to make sure that your program includes the burring and the radius and things like that. So there's a couple subtleties there, but overall that's fantastic. See...

Stephen LaMarca: Also, I love this one picture in the article of this big FANUC arm. Putting something barely being able to fit into a Renshaw equator to put something in place.

Benjamin Moses: I like that.

Stephen LaMarca: You see the little UR robot on hexagon solution. Another question I had, where is it? The ZEISS DuraMax. Which DuraMax came first, the Chevy diesel engine or the Zeis? I think they should duke this out.

Benjamin Moses: I think so. I'll put, some calls in we'll. We'll figure this out. See, the last thought I got is a good one, I guess it's to know that governments is investing into manufacturing. Commerce department awards, 54 million in American rescue act grants to increase access to advanced manufacturing opportunities. So this is being funneled through NST national Institute for standards and technology.

Stephen LaMarca: Nice. How much money?

Benjamin Moses: 54 million.

Stephen LaMarca: Going to the America Makes Institute?

Benjamin Moses: Well, I'll get there. America makes don't jump to the conclusion, Steve. So yeah, they award 54 million for 13 high impact projects, research development, and test beds for pandemic response. So they're obviously looking at what they've learned from the pandemic and how to continue moving forward, because we're still in a pandemic.

Benjamin Moses: The funding was provided by the American Rescue Act which supports projects at eight manufacturing innovation institutes. You're manufacturing USA institutes. Working with more than 80 partners. So I got a couple of the projects and the institutes that are working on, obviously there's stuff on big pharma on there, which I glossed. I'm not too interested in those in a audience. What are you a arm out of Pittsburgh, PA advanced robotics and manufacturing. They got almost 5 million to create a robot, the robotics and automation decision framework for agility and resilience. I don't know what's going on with that title, but to allow small and medium sized manufacturers systemically evaluate cost to benefit ratios for integrating robots. So basically a spreadsheet that answers your question. Should I buy a robot? That'll always answer. MXD got 3.8 million to drug product marketplace orchestrator.

Stephen LaMarca: 3.8. You said?

Benjamin Moses: 3.8 million. Actually they got two of them. So they had a great marketing team. The first one is a marketplace for consumers and manufacturers of emergency health and medical goods to ensure rapid responses across the supply chain is met demand for particular items. So they're basically you orchestrating who has needs and who can manufacture goods, right? So if you have a sudden need for face masks or something else, right? You put a need in the system and manufacturers can pull that need and manufacture on demand. America makes actually did this early in the pandemic with some of the... Either test equipment for the virus or protective equipment. They asked hospitals what their needs were, what face masks they're looking for. And manufacturers had their designs. They had an open marketplace where they can pick and choose. And then the FDA got involved in saying this is okay.

Benjamin Moses: Not truly certified, but it'll work in this pinch. So it's interesting, good or orchestration. The second one, they got was 2.3 million to create a privacy protecting health, a local health alert system to conduct contact tracing analysis.

Benjamin Moses: So that's when your phone pops up and be like, hey, do you want to activate this app that we installed for you behind your back?

Stephen LaMarca: Exactly. But, they want to test out using blockchain. So, we'll see.

Benjamin Moses: Of course, good marketing again.

Stephen LaMarca: I'll go on record saying I'm not a big fan.

Benjamin Moses: Of blockchain?

Stephen LaMarca: Blockchain. I'm a fan of everything we've mentioned so far until blockchain.

Benjamin Moses: The last one I got is our favorite America makes they're at a young sound Ohio. They got 3 million to use additive manufacturing to create prototype of N95 level non-woven filter material for respiratory.

Stephen LaMarca: How much should they get?

Benjamin Moses: 3 million.

Stephen LaMarca: Alright. We're still shy at 54.

Benjamin Moses: There's a bunch of other ones.

Stephen LaMarca: But these were the fun ones.

Benjamin Moses: These are the fun ones that I like this 30.

Stephen LaMarca: We don't pick favorite Ben.

Benjamin Moses: I do. Steve, how can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca: You can find more info about us on AMT online.org/resources.

Stephen LaMarca: Subscribe. Unless you're big screw. You can go step on a Lego

Benjamin Moses: Fire one. Have a great day.

Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
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Steve talks about his first time in Detroit! The good, the terrifying, and of course, the reason he was there in the first place: a trade show. Ben shamelessly plugs this episode’s sponsor: IMTS+ (us).
Ben and Steve get amped for MFG! They discuss Amazon’s BIG investment in automation innovation, a new military rifle, DOD 3D printing the largest structures, Honda coming for 3D design repositories, the blockchain revolutionizing copyright laws, and more.
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Ben and Steve discuss maintenance woes; how AMRs/IMRs get their charge and Ford’s AMR, Javier; shot peening metal AM parts; Canada’s first North American-made collaborative robot; and F1’s implementation of the latest inspection metrology.
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