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AMT Tech Trends: Dehumiliated

Episode 43: Ben wrecks his new RC car! Stephen announces car part manufacturer, Edelbrock, will no longer be manufacturing products in California for all the best reasons. Benjamin nerds out about the latest innovations in machine vision. Steve gets...
by AMT
Feb 12, 2021

Release date: 12 February 2021

Episode 43: Ben wrecks his new RC car! Stephen announces car part manufacturer, Edelbrock, will no longer be manufacturing products in California for all the best reasons. Benjamin nerds out about the latest innovations in machine vision. Steve gets upset about the DOD’s egregious additive spending. Ben pivots and closes with the industry’s shift in AM.

- https://www.thedrive.com/news/39112/edelbrock-is-leaving-california-partly-because-spacex-hires-too-many-machinists

- https://www.amtnews.org/post/innovations-in-machine-vision-for-the-manufacturing-industry

- https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/ge-research-awarded-14m-to-3d-print-portable-device-that-produces-water-out-of-thin-air-183892/

- https://www.amtnews.org/post/a-new-way-of-thinking-sizing-up-the-shift-in-additive-manufacturing

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Benjamin Moses: Hello everyone. And welcome to The Tech Trends podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturing, technology, research and news. I am Benjamin Moses, the director of technology. And I'm here with...

Stephen LaMarca: Stephen LaMarca, AMT's technology analyst, manufacturing technology analyst. This is the first time I fumbled in a little while.

Benjamin Moses: It's only the beginning of the year. Don't worry, we've got a few more episodes we can get to [inaudible 00:00:29] fumbling then.

Stephen LaMarca: [crosstalk 00:00:31].

Benjamin Moses: How are you doing today, Steve?

Stephen LaMarca: Doing great. It's been a productive day. This is the second time I've been on a camera today, so just getting used to the new norm, I guess.

Benjamin Moses: We got some bad news. This is the last time I'll bring up remote control cars probably for a while.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh no.

Benjamin Moses: The reason for that is, I broke my new RC car already.

Stephen LaMarca: Is it catastrophic? Is it repairable?

Benjamin Moses: Everything with this RC car is repairable. So, I was driving at a baseball field, some diamond nearby, obviously everything's closed, because it's cold outside, winter time. I got a little close to the fence and I was driving parallel to the fence. Then my driver's side front wheel caught one of the holes in the fence and just almost ripped the entire wheel off the suspension.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh man.

Benjamin Moses: I was going to fall through it. I feel I was going like 35, 40 miles an hour next to that thing.

Stephen LaMarca: And this was the fence of a baseball diamond?

Benjamin Moses: Yeah. Where he could watch, right on this...

Stephen LaMarca: Got you.

Benjamin Moses: Home base and first base.

Stephen LaMarca: Ripping that thing around the infield must be really fun, because it's smooth enough, but also soft to the point where it's got to be the perfect to scale replication of [inaudible 00:01:54]. Just got to be the perfect to scale kind of simulation of what a scaled down rally stage would look like. With exception to a rally stage being really narrow and having a lot of trees. You got like a wide open field, but it's got to be like that dusty grit of a gravel rally stage or something.

Benjamin Moses: There's a lot of fun to slide around the infield.

Stephen LaMarca: It's cool.

Benjamin Moses: So, all the plastic piece are obliterated from that front left side. I ordered some metallic components. Not that I need metallic, I told my friend that if I started upgrading anything or if I replaced any components, I'd see if I could buy metallic components. So, they have aluminum replacement, the front suspension. It'll break again if I put the aluminum parts in, but it'll be a fun challenge getting it off [crosstalk 00:02:40].

Stephen LaMarca: Either metal or carbon fiber, there's no looking back. No plastics.

Benjamin Moses: No plastic. All right. Let's get-

Stephen LaMarca: Unless.

Benjamin Moses: Unless what?

Stephen LaMarca: Unless it's like a biodegradable plastics, which I'm sure some people would shake their head to. But I feel like that's the direction plastic's going.

Benjamin Moses: I wouldn't mind that.

Stephen LaMarca: Let's hop into an article, Ben.

Benjamin Moses: Kick it off, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca: Speaking of cars, well, not RC cars, but cars and car parts.

Benjamin Moses: Real cars.

Stephen LaMarca: Edelbrock is moving out of California.

Benjamin Moses: What? Edelbrock, give me the [crosstalk 00:03:08].

Stephen LaMarca: Edelbrock, all of the people who are in the car industry or just car enthusiasts in general, they know the name Edelbrock. I've never purchased anything that was Edelbrock, because mostly Edelbrock caters to the American mussel crowd. But they've since really expanded to the European car market, and of course the JDM bros.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: There's a Edelbrock supercharger kit for my car, for example. But anyway, Edelbrock's been based out of California forever now and they're moving out. Some people may see that as, oh no, this is bad news. It's terrible. But it's actually good news in a few different respects, because... At first it may sound negative because, Oh man, can they not afford to base all of their operations out of California anymore? And that's actually not the case. It has nothing to do with finances.

Benjamin Moses: Interesting.

Stephen LaMarca: Even though finances might help, because we know when companies move out of an expensive state that are manufacturing things, it's really helpful to the finances. Clears up a lot of things. The workers are happier, because now they don't have to pay an arm and a leg to live there or deal with a terrible commute. Because I can't imagine doing the commute in California. Then again, we're not in the best commuter friendly area anyway, but we're working from home, so there's no commute. It's from the bedroom to this desk.

Benjamin Moses: That's fair.

Stephen LaMarca: But another reason why a company like Edelbrock would move out of California is, California is pretty strict when it comes to automotive regulations. Whether it's emissions or safety, California is a strict one. I'm not going to knock on California too much, because at the end of the day, I'd rather be caught driving recklessly in California than I would Virginia. Because in our state if you're doing more than 80 above the speed limit, you could actually be in jail for three days. It's wild, but that's true. That's why a lot of car enthusiasts actually avoid our state of Virginia. But California is not too much better in that they've got really tight emissions regulations for cars' fuel systems and whatnot. They've got to meet a lot of EPA standards. I think the carb regulations are even stricter than the federal EPA regulations. So, that really puts a hamper or really puts a... It holds back tuners from doing what they could do. But at the same time, I wouldn't want too many people driving around me catalysts.

Benjamin Moses: That smells bad.

Stephen LaMarca: Another example of California, California, you can actually be pulled over if your car is too loud. If you have a performance exhaust on it, a cop can legitimately pull you over, write you a ticket just because they think your exhaust is above 95 decibels or whatever. Then you have to see a state ref, state referee who will actually hook your car up to listening devices to verify that you are within or out of spec. If you're out of spec, then they can fine you a minimum of a thousand dollars and require that your car is fixed by this data or it's impounded and crushed. It's wild. California is not friendly. So, that could be another reason why an Edelbrock is moving out, but it is not. It's actually a great reason why Edelbrock is moving out of California. It's because SpaceX is hogging all of the manufacturing or the machinist talent in California. SpaceX is hiring-

Benjamin Moses: That's funny.

Stephen LaMarca: ... machinists, both beginner and highly experienced machinists left and right. Because Elon Musk is crushing it right now, Edelbrock can't keep up.

Benjamin Moses: That's awesome.

Stephen LaMarca: As awesome as Edelbrock has been doing, because they're commonly thought of as an after-market car part company. They've actually made a lot of parts and kits or systems over the years, that... Integrations, that's our word. Over the years that have been implemented by OEM. They're actually a manufacturer of OEM spec parts now.

Benjamin Moses: That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca: So there's a good chance. There's a lot of enthusiast cars out there that actually have US made... Like the Lotus Evora, an English sports car, almost entirely made in England, but to be competitive around the world, they decided that the Toyota Camry power plant... The engine and transmission that is used in the Lotus Evora, which was made in Japan, isn't quite powerful enough for a premium sports car. So what did they do? They supercharged it. And the cars that are sold in the US actually use Edelbrock supercharger kits. The supercharger is sourced by Eaton, but the integration is done by Edelbrock, which is really awesome.

Benjamin Moses: That's fascinating.

Stephen LaMarca: Edelbrock is doing great. They're crushing it right now. They're making OEM parts and they're hiring more machinists, just not in California. Because SpaceX is getting all the machinists. So, it's great to be a machinist right now in California.

Benjamin Moses: In demand.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: That is interesting, because when I hear about companies moving, I normally hear they're moving about the first two reasons that you talked about. Either financial or the some regulation that pushes them out. It's been occurring a lot in the firearm industry recently.

Stephen LaMarca: Absolutely. Colt and FN.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, exactly.

Stephen LaMarca: The reason Why FN is crushing Colt, FN... They're both supplying the same contracts, both companies are making the... Have the TDP, the technical data package for the M4-A1 and the M16-A4, I think is the one that they're on, to make those for our armed forces. FN is making way more profit, even though they're paying Colt who owns the IP to the TDP, the technical data package. Colt owns the technical data packages and FN has to pay royalties to Colt. But FN is making more money off of the rifles supplied to the military, because FN's doing all of their manufacturing in Columbia, South Carolina. Whereas Colt, they're called Hartford horseys for a reason. They're in Hartford, Connecticut, and it is expensive to live up there. That's where people who are successful in New York go to retire.

Benjamin Moses: That's a challenge. I've been hearing a couple of things on, say, shifts in high tech area. Austin is starting to grow as another hotspot where people are shifting from the West Coast to Austin, which isn't that far, to be honest. Austin has been fairly interesting in that. I think they're growing that talent pool there, but I think it was the end of last year also that Miami started actively recruiting companies, big tech firms, to start positioning or setting up bases there also. So, I find it very interesting that, SpaceX isn't doing anything differently, they're just gobbling up employees. But Edelbrock's feeling the pain of another company hiring all this talent, when in general, it's fairly difficult to find machinists. I'm wondering if they move also, what are they going to do to continue developing that talent locally? I'm curious of what their plan is. So, that'll be very interesting to see.

Stephen LaMarca: That is going to be really curious. You could see California actually doing a huge push statewide, like in the public education system.

Benjamin Moses: True.

Stephen LaMarca: How can we get students into manufacturing? That's actually a really great opportunity for everybody.

Benjamin Moses: Absolutely. And California is a big manufacturing hub, along the West Coast. You've got tons of casting houses that are there and you've got all of aerospace that's further up North. So, you do have a lot of manufacturing-

Stephen LaMarca: It's so cool.

Benjamin Moses: ... centric on the West Coast area. That's awesome.

Stephen LaMarca: There's a bright future over there.

Benjamin Moses: Maybe. I wouldn't want [crosstalk 00:11:21].

Stephen LaMarca: Just hopefully they don't keep catching fire.

Benjamin Moses: Or they fall in the ocean. I wouldn't-

Stephen LaMarca: [crosstalk 00:11:26] stop.

Benjamin Moses: I wouldn't want to live there. I need my loud cars. Not that my car is loud.

Stephen LaMarca: It's got to be so nice. I know some people over here, when they buy used cars, they'd be like, man, is it a California car? Because if it's a California car, it's sweet. Because it hasn't been exposed to salt-

Benjamin Moses: It's a well taken care of baby.

Stephen LaMarca: ... Or nasty road conditions.

Benjamin Moses: That's fair. All right, Steve, the next article I have is about machine vision system. FANUC wrote the article.

Stephen LaMarca: Nice.

Benjamin Moses: David Bruce, the engineering manager of FANUC forwarded an article to AMT, and he talks about innovations in machine vision for the manufacturing industry. It's a very interesting look at the vision systems that are being integrated into robots and automation equipment. So, it kicks off, to talk about briefly, 2D digital systems use to detect, locate, measure and classify objects with an image. That in itself sets the framework of what machine vision systems can do. The first thing is doing is just taking a picture of the object, then it's measuring and detecting, separating everything within the image itself. And in the article, he has a couple of videos that he likes to. One is, doing real-time, 100% inspection of an object. And the speed it's doing it at is a thousand parts per minute.

Benjamin Moses: So it gives you an idea of what they're doing and how fast they're able to do that. I found that very fascinating, especially when we look at automation of equipment in manufacturing, like machine tending, conveyors, and some custom automation equipment. It's fairly slow paced. It's kind of plugging along, it's going as fast as the rest of the machinery around it is. So, it's moving along, but it's not blink-of-an-eye fast, but this guy matches... A thousand parts per minute is absurdly fast, how fast things are being inspected. I thought it was very fascinating. And he goes very in depth on the different types of cameras that are involved. He talks about one thing as a hyperspectral camera, it looks at almost the entire space spectrum of light. That could be 3D systems, passive and active.

Benjamin Moses: When you read through the article, for me, the there's two big takeaways from the article. Probably three, actually. One is, the importance of light for machine vision systems. So, light and the type of structure, the color, the type of light it's being reflected on, those are all actually very important to understand in designing and picking out their equipment in the beginning. So much so that you may actually have to build enclosures, close off any of the ambient light to define what kind of light that you want in that vision system. I thought that was very interesting.

Stephen LaMarca: Wow.

Benjamin Moses: It depends on how broad the system is. If you're in an open environment, obviously going to have a different camera then. If you could have something that's fully enclosed and that limits your capability too, or that may define some of your capability, I should say. That was very fascinating. So, that's one. The second is, the integration of machine learning and deep learning. Towards the end of the article, he talks about some of the best of artificial intelligence, machine learning. And gets into a real use-case of deep convolutional neural networks. I'll just leave it there, because I can't explain it better than he can. It's not useful for us to talk about-

Stephen LaMarca: Thank you.

Benjamin Moses: ... in the broadcast. I'll probably fall asleep if I try and do that. But the article is actually very well written. He goes over a background and a competition that is used in machine learning of how fast they can process something. There was a new technique that was developed where they basically crushed any of the previous times. So, that's very interesting on the use-case of machine learning, and also the impact of it. A lot of people understand the idea of machine learning, but there's a cost in processing power and computational need that's required to process something. That's why you're not going to take a 4k image and try and parse through that. There's much smaller resolutions that are needed based on what they're trying to inspect. That's why you often see 720p cameras or even 1080 resolution might be, like the ultra high end. But you don't need that in a lot of cases. So I thought-

Stephen LaMarca: Right. Like 4k and 8K.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, exactly. You're not going to be needing that high resolution in a lot of the manufacturing cases. So, I thought that was a very good article, very well written about some of the different technologies that are available, how the cameras are used. The third takeaway is, you've got to ask someone if you're interested in getting a vision system. To be honest, there's so much information. I feel like as a small business, it's useful to understand the overall landscape, so you can ask probing question. That's the intent of these articles, to help you inform, to help guide the discussion, to help prepare your factory. That when you're ready to talk to an integrator, to have certain things prepared.

Benjamin Moses: Like what are the objects that you're going to measure? How well conditioned are the objects? What kind of environment are the object going to be in? How fast am I going to process this? Those are all preparational questions that need to be answered before you get to an integrator. But in the end, relying on the advice of the experts and asking probing questions. What other options are available? If I go this camera versus that camera, how does that change the environment? But man, there's so much involved in spec-ing out the machine vision systems that I find it very difficult for a small business to take that full burden on themselves. Unless they're looking at a longterm journey to experiment with different systems in the future.

Stephen LaMarca: Can I be honest with you? When we ordered the xArm 7 for the test bed, for the AMT's technology test bed, Zoe from UFACTORY called me up, we actually had to schedule a phone appointment. I spoke with Zoe and some of the other Chinese engineers that were developing and assembling these robots. Based on each customer's use-case, they would ask different parameters that you were looking for with your robot. This probably was one of the reasons why it took us so long to get our robot in the first place. But when she said... She would ask questions like, what kind of accuracy in repeatability are you looking for? Are you looking for sub-millimeter or sub [inaudible 00:18:12]? And I'd be like, give me whatever's the most accurate you can do. I had no need for any of that stuff, but I was like, dude, if it's the same cost, give me the most accurate thing possible. There's some lessons to be learned there.

Benjamin Moses: To be fair, the parallel is to digital manufacturing. If you're not fully informed in digital manufacturing, you'll say, "just give me all the data." In your case, there is probably a trade-off of speed versus accuracy. So, if I want something faster, I probably can handle something with the wider tolerance range.

Stephen LaMarca: And whether that speed is your shipping time or not. How quickly can they get it to you if you need the most accurate thing ever?

Benjamin Moses: It's always just give me some parts, that's all I want.

Stephen LaMarca: I'm glad they didn't talk about the vision system that came with the robot, because... Or rather that we had to wait another six months for it to arrive. Because of course they didn't show up at the same time, but not thinking about it. If they had asked me, do you want a 720p camera or a 1080p camera? The lessons learned now, now that I've gone through the first part of it is, well, what do I need? At the end of the day, I don't need any of it, because we're running a test bed. We're not actually making parts that we have to get out the door to make a profit, we're doing experiments.

Stephen LaMarca: And I was like, I don't know what I need, but why would somebody only... Why would a 720p camera be good enough when your 4k cameras available and whatnot. That's more of a question I would have for you. I wouldn't know that. Figure out what you need first.

Benjamin Moses: Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca: It's the same thing that applies to the digital thread.

Benjamin Moses: Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca: If you're going to implement MTConnect, when you think, okay... When [Sharub 00:20:12] would ask me, okay, what data do you need off of this machine? I'd be like, give me all of the data. That is not what you want to say.

Benjamin Moses: That is not what you want. You're going to clog your whole system.

Stephen LaMarca: I want all five axes and to know whether or not it's turned on.

Benjamin Moses: Absolutely. See what's our next article.

Stephen LaMarca: The next article I got here, this was a fun additive article I found. It is from 3D printing industry. GE Research awarded 14 million, it's actually 14.3 million to 3D print a portable device that produces water out of thin air.

Benjamin Moses: Out of thin air.

Stephen LaMarca: It sounds really scifi and fantasy, so naturally I was like, okay. And it's got 3D printing in it and it's working with the DoD, Let's see what it's all up about. So the DoD works with DARPA, if not DARPA... I don't know how to the relationship is. I don't know if DARPA's like a company that just exclusively contracts with the DoD. But I know DARPA and the DoD work really tight, hand in hand. DARPA has this program called atmospheric water extraction program, the AWE program. I don't know if they call it awe behind closed doors, but it would... Seems fitting. But anyway, GE was... Towards this program. The atmospheric water extraction program, GE was recently awarded by DARPA, well, through DARPA by the DoD $14.3 million for a four year project that GE calls the air to water or AIR2WATER project.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: But anyway, they've basically been awarded that much money over four years to develop and design a device that can be 3D printed or additively manufactured, that can be deployed to an area. And it can pull water out of the atmospheric air around us and supply clean drinking water to, let's say a 100... I think they mentioned 150 soldiers for a foreign forward operating base.

Benjamin Moses: Cool.

Stephen LaMarca: It sounds great. I was reading the article and I was writing up the blurb for the weekly tech report last night, then it hits me. I was like, dude, the DoD, which has this budget provided by us, the taxpayers. The DOD is paying GE. I'm like, I'm going to be nice to GE, I'm not going to mention them.

Benjamin Moses: They're playing DARPA first, then DARPA is paying GE.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Let's blame DARPA first.

Benjamin Moses: [crosstalk 00:23:11].

Stephen LaMarca: They're spending 14, almost $15 million of taxpayer money to... What essentially is, they're doing is they're just spending $15 million over four years to just send some bloke down to their local Walmart to buy the cheapest dehumidifier they can find. Tear it down, figure out how they're going to 3D print each component and be like, yeah, we're just going to send this over. This is it, we did it. Money, please.

Benjamin Moses: Mission accomplished.

Stephen LaMarca: It sounds a little ridiculous at first, but think about it from a military standpoint. Sure, it's going to be packaged up by a bunch of corporate executives as this awesome forward thinking device. That means that we're saving so much of the taxpayer's money, because now we don't have to ship gallons and tons of drinking water overseas to these forward operating bases. And it's like, okay, so now the soldiers aren't going to get any water whatsoever. When they're being interviewed by the BBC and Al Jazeera, it was like, "so you guys don't have any water." And the American soldier's just going to be like, "yeah, Biden's not sending us any clean drinking water. They gave us this broken 3D printer instead that we're supposed to print our water apparently."

Benjamin Moses: That's funny.

Stephen LaMarca: I don't mean to pick on Biden.

Benjamin Moses: Sure. Yeah, it is-

Stephen LaMarca: That's how it's going to go.

Benjamin Moses: That's exactly how it's going to be. Four years from now we'll have the same thing that we have now, which is empty set of hands. The department of defense, especially... We've talked about some of the added of experiments that the army has been doing, and the army is a little behind compared to the Navy, I think, and maybe the Air Force. Because when the army prints a sighting tool versus the Air Force does like a full-

Stephen LaMarca: They're printing a wrench.

Benjamin Moses: A wrench, yes.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh my God, I'm glad that you actually brought it up.

Benjamin Moses: Do have the wrench?

Stephen LaMarca: One of my rifles has Magpul sight. Magpul sends you this wrench to adjust the sight, and this is a-

Benjamin Moses: That's the same one.

Stephen LaMarca: ... front post sight adjustment tool. They're spending so much money just to 3D print this.

Benjamin Moses: For those of you listening and not able to see Steve data, it's basically a butterfly-

Stephen LaMarca: It a T handle tool.

Benjamin Moses: A T handle with a castle on the end that allows you to adjust the front post.

Stephen LaMarca: Fits in the Palm of my hand. I'm pretty sure this is injection molded.

Benjamin Moses: The defense is trying to move additive to point of view, basically at the forward operating base. Whether it'd be a ship or whether it'd be a forward airfield, the army carries a forward operating base. The front side post is an interesting example that they chose for some random reason, maybe something on a tank or something more productive would have been great, but whatever. They did it. So the idea of them having additive equipment at a base makes a lot of sense, and the fact that they're doing sustainment activity is great. The idea that GE is going to puff their chest trying to extract water out of air on a large scale, to support 150 people is kind of a large nugget to chew on. But strategically it makes a lot of sense. I don't know what will actually happen. I don't know, man.

Stephen LaMarca: Every soldier's going to have 3D printed dehumidifier.

Benjamin Moses: It's the future.

Stephen LaMarca: Hopefully it's every soldier.

Benjamin Moses: It's the future.

Stephen LaMarca: Excuse me, a high efficiency dehumidifier. And I don't mean to sound like I'm talking a bunch of smack, at the end of the day, our industry, the manufacturing industry is doing everything right. Additive is here and they're doing everything right. I just wish there was a little bit more thought that went into the department of defense and their implementation of additive. Give soldiers a little bit more credit and to water for that matter. What else could you do with additive? I'm just thinking about, think about like wipes in a suppressor.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: Polymer rubber wipes in a suppressor, they wear out after a few shots. Let's say you have some special forces who are beyond enemy lines and they need to replace the internal baffle system of a suppressor. Because they just went out on an op, the suppressor's shot out. Why not use an additive machine to print a new internal lattice structure that will more efficiently absorb the expanding gas and the vibrations from that... Sound generated from that expanding gas to absorb that pressure, and thus making a suppressor user serviceable with the 3D printer. That would be using they're noodle.

Benjamin Moses: That would've been interesting.

Stephen LaMarca: But no, they're 3D printing dehumidifier.

Benjamin Moses: To be fair, the packaging of this-

Stephen LaMarca: $15 million.

Benjamin Moses: The packaging of this content is a little rough. I wish they didn't tell me about it, they shouldn't have published anything. They should've made it top secret. It's hard not to be mocked for that kind of project.

Stephen LaMarca: I think the right headline here was the military... Not the military. I don't want to sound like I'm... The DoD is still trying to figure out how to use additive.

Benjamin Moses: Fair.

Stephen LaMarca: That's the proper headline.

Benjamin Moses: That's the proper headline. Speaking [inaudible 00:28:46], the last article I have is about additive. So, we have-

Stephen LaMarca: Nice.

Benjamin Moses: ... an article from [Neuro Assessments 00:28:50] that they provided to us. It's a new way of thinking, sizing up the shift in additive manufacturing. We've had this journey about the business side of additive manufacturing. To your point, Steve, the last thing you talked about was the idea behind additive and how to best leverage it. I think people are still trying to put their hands around, how do I make the best out of this tool? The article talks about a round peg and a square hole, which is actually fairly true in additives case where replacing it for traditional manufacturing processes is not the best application for it. Sure, it can be done as a shortfall if you need to print something versus machine it. You can do the same shape, but you're not harvesting the true value of a unique design, less weight, unique materials. Being able to do this on a tabletop potentially versus a factory.

Benjamin Moses: There's a lot of nuances that people are trying to wrestle with. And to be fair, the GE case is a very interesting application where they're trying to understand the nuances of, do I need metallics? Maybe do I need plastics? What is the whole... Hopefully they're attacking the infrastructure, the digital infrastructure of trying to print out a forward operating base. But for 15 million, they're probably not going to do that, but that's a different problem. So, you talked about what's plagued implementation of additive, is mainly inflexible corporate structures. The idea of a paradigm shift within a culture when you're looking at additive is really what's needed. Then of course, he highlights two approaches to help in that cultural change. One is, he labels as earning the technology. By that, I think he means by experimenting with it, doing some research, doing prototyping, getting your feet wet.

Benjamin Moses: There's probably another term that can be used at the idea of absorbing the knowledge right away for additive, as opposed to, I'm going to go start this journey. And state will be another journey that kicks off, is really what you're looking for to additive. It's a set of series of incremental journeys, it's not a single stop. I can't buy a CNC machine and then learn 80% of it right away. I'm going to start this thing, learn a few things and that's going to progress me to learn a bunch of other things. I think that's the first step of earning the technology. The second one is connected to implementing machine vision and automation in certain cases, turning to the experts. Additive has been around for a fairly long time. There's a lot of people that are experts in the field, both on the business implementation side and the technology.

Benjamin Moses: Being able to bring those two together, understanding your weaknesses first and turning to the people that you need to for your business. So, if you need business understanding or understand the business applications of additive. Or if you want to understand the technical side of it, then those are different approaches that you can reach out to. Taking a shift at the leadership level at a company is what's needed for a value add implementation of additive. The article does a pretty good job of taking a step back and looking at... Yeah, you can say, "Hey, manufacturing or design engineer." Additives should be a new thing. That's a starting point, but that mentality has to shift all the way up to the top management layers.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: So. I thought [inaudible 00:32:35], and to be fair, the government's doing its fair share or the department of defense they're experimenting. I wish they would do better projects than a wrench for a sighting tool on a M249, but you've got to start somewhere.

Stephen LaMarca: The next step from going to a wrench would be a high efficiency dehumidifier, which actually like... Now that I've calmed down of missing out on my $15 million, it's actually a great idea. And it's really cool.

Benjamin Moses: It is.

Stephen LaMarca: In the long run, it would save taxpayers a lot of money, because we wouldn't have to worry about floating the bill for that logistics bill of shipping so much water overseas.

Benjamin Moses: To be fair, they'll shuffle the money around. It'll still cost us the same.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, you're right. [inaudible 00:33:33].

Benjamin Moses: Steve, where can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca: Amtnews.org/subscribe. Check it out, and join us in our next episode.

Benjamin Moses: Awesome. Thanks, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca: You're welcome, Ben.

Recent technology News
Episode 53: Ben’s fed up with seeing Spot the robot dog dancing and not working. Steve saw farming equipment at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Benjamin declares AI must get read up on material science to help put a stop to worldwide waste.
Episode 52: Stephen tears off into a rant about self-checkout and how without it we wouldn’t have curbside pickup at grocery stores. Benjamin shares some vehicle performance data from his recent road trip to Tail of the Dragon. Ben then introduces ...
Episode 51: Ben and Steve share their pre-college manufacturing and tradecraft education and experiences. Stephen claims Boston is the new Switzerland in terms of precision manufacturing. Benjamin talks about the precision of manufacturing electric...
Episode 50: Ben and Steve are excited to be going back to the office soon! Benjamin tries to open with an article on printing crack-free tungsten, but Steve keeps interrupting with random facts about one of his favorite elements. Stephen compares Tesla...
Episode 48: Stephen gets wound up over digital twins helping to find real-life exploits and sim racing making its way to the Olympics. Steve also thinks that the latest photonics research could lead to a silicon replacement in computer chips.
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