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AMT Tech Trends: Nice Tech

Ben got to go to Oak Ridge National Labs and Steve didn’t. Stephen hasn’t bought a new Pocket NC because the credit card’s maxed out. Benjamin is impressed by GE’s specialty composites and performance-efficient jet engines.
Apr 11, 2022

Episode 69: Ben got to go to Oak Ridge National Labs and Steve didn’t. Stephen hasn’t bought a new Pocket NC because the credit card’s maxed out. Benjamin is impressed by GE’s specialty composites and performance-efficient jet engines. Steve says MIT says cellulose nanocrystals can produce plastic that is tough and strong. Ben goes hypersonic. Stephen closes with a new era of accessible industrial robots.

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Benjamin Moses:          Hello, everyone. Welcome to the AMT Tech Trends podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology research and news. Today's episode is sponsored by AM Radio. I am Benjamin Moses, the director of technology.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I'm Stephen LaMarca, AMTs technology analyst.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, how are you doing?

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm doing well.

Benjamin Moses:          I just came back from Oak Ridge. Well, not just came back, but I was at Oak Ridge National Labs. That's a fun time. We had a committee meeting there and it's ... I think I visited there about three or four years ago and they've grown significantly. So they've moved their manufacturing demo facility to another building, I think, but they've developed it significantly so they have a lot more equipment there.

Benjamin Moses:          So in general, they're really interested in industrial research into applications. So they're taking problems from industry and they work with industry to say, "We want to solve this problem in six months, in one year." So they have very short lifespans for a lot of their projects and they have a lot of products that get spun out of there that get put into industry use either as new products or internal. So I definitely recommend checking them out if you have a really complex problem or something that you're interested in exploring with them.

Benjamin Moses:          But one of the cool applications they talked about is very simple solutions. I'll say loosely simple. So one of the cool things that they have is a cell where they have three robotic arms doing 3D printing, metallic 3D printing on those synchronized arms.

Stephen LaMarca:         Like the end of arm tooling is additive?

Benjamin Moses:          Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay.

Benjamin Moses:          Which is really cool because it's all synchronized, which is fairly novel in this case. But one of the simplest solutions they solved was there's a big trend in growing large metallic parts, massive, several thousand pounds of material used. There's a lot of reasons for that. There's one with some, I think defense related where they're doing nose cones.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So instead of machining that or waiting for a big casting like, "Can we print this?" Like, "Sure." And it's several feet in length and several feet in diameter.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          So they can be printed. When you're flowing that much volume, the surface finish is terrible. So you go from 3D printing, now have to post process it, which gets into additive manufacturing.

Stephen LaMarca:         Sure.

Benjamin Moses:          So the idea is, "Okay, let's print it then machine it. That's what everybody does, right?"

Stephen LaMarca:         Hybrid.

Benjamin Moses:          "Can I print it?" "Yes." Now you've got this three foot long section that you've got a tool up for, so you've run into scale problems in the subtraction side, which has been solved before, but these problems still do exist in sheeting that scale where you've got vibrations long tool. You have to support the tool itself. Then you've got issues on access.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          So what if we close off a corner? You're not trying to machine like a blind corner, so you could use boring bars. So the very simple solution is just machine after a little bit of printing. So instead of printing three feet of length, print one foot, machine it down, weld prep, of course, because you got to clean the surface to make sure you can weld again basically, and then print your next section, machine print in next section. So it's not ... it is rocket science at that point because it's-

Stephen LaMarca:         It's a nose cone.

Benjamin Moses:          But yeah, it's a very simple solution, but you wouldn't have thought about the impacts unless you started that trial and error.

Stephen LaMarca:         Sure.

Benjamin Moses:          I thought that was pretty cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         It is fascinating. So they started with 3D printing machine tool chassis, right? What are they? They're not chassis.

Benjamin Moses:          The car chassis, you mean?

Stephen LaMarca:         No, no, no. For a machine tool it has to have that-

Benjamin Moses:          Oh yeah, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's typically made out of cast iron.

Benjamin Moses:          Right. So the new experiment that they're running is getting -

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh, this is new. Okay.

Benjamin Moses:          ... getting castings for machine bases is very difficult. There was an issue a couple years ago where basically you can only buy them from China. There's no other place in the world. Large casting of that size died down in the US many years ago. So if there's issues on boats, if there's issues with their casting houses, where are you going to get casting from?

Benjamin Moses:          So the question is, what other materials can we use? So they need something dense, very strong. Then the idea of a concrete base came up. So the idea is, 3D print the mold and the housing out of very high strength polymer and then backfill that with concrete. So now your base, now they're using a three axis gantry style, but the idea of using concrete for large scale machines has been around for a long time.

Benjamin Moses:          You can use reinforcements in the rails and the ways and things like that. But using concrete that's surrounded by the polymer is what they're experimenting, and the cool thing about it is they're using poured concrete. They can put in sensors inside the concrete or right at the edge, so they can put vibration sensors. It's embedded into the base itself, so it's fairly ... and they have that up and running.

Benjamin Moses:          So they have a control set up to it, and of course they want to machine large parts, so the idea of manufacturing or subtractively manufacturing parts that are larger than the machine, it's always a problem. So if I want to machine a big blade, you're going to have a massive gantry or you can have the parts sticking out of the machine. That's what they're looking at is, if they want a machine like a turbine blade or a windmill blade.

Stephen LaMarca:         Or a screw on a ship.

Benjamin Moses:          Or a ship or screw on a ship. Exactly. You could machine a portion of that, feed it into the machine more. You index it, of course. That's the line. You have to have a line marks or something like that in the machine a little bit more and then keep feed eating it through the machine. So if you've ever seen those infinitely printing 3D printers where it's got a conveyor, basically you're printing at an angle and just feeding along conveyor is along the same concepts. So they're looking at those type of styles and there's a couple other companies that are doing that too for different techniques, but yeah, it's on their machine and they're trying to figure out how to scale up both the capability of that type of machine and the long term impacts of basically having a concrete base.

Stephen LaMarca:         Sure. Wow man.

Benjamin Moses:          Some smart people there.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. [inaudible 00:06:16] is crazy. We've got more smart people to talk about later this episode.

Benjamin Moses:          We do.

Stephen LaMarca:         But until then, let's talk about the test bed in that I don't really have anything to update because we were going to buy another pocket NC. That was on the plan.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         I've been trying to order another pocket NC. They got back to me with a quote and everything, and they're excited to be at IMTS, which is really sick.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice. That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         Hashtag we brought it to IMTS first, but we don't have it on order yet.

Benjamin Moses:          Oh no.

Stephen LaMarca:         We maxed out the credit card.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. My team ordered a bunch of replacement laptops. So we had some ... yeah, we'll get into that later. That's a surprise. So yeah. I think we talked about this before. We sent the other pocket NC down to our tech center in Mexico.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          They're using it as a digital demonstrator to get information off the machine.

Stephen LaMarca:         One of the purposes of our test bed is that it can be mobile, and it can be mobilized and shipped all over the world, all over the country. But also, it happens to be all over the world as well. So it went down to Mexico, they loved it and are like, Hey, can we keep it? And instead of being like, well, we were just like, there's a newer pocket NC, a newer hotter pocket NC out. So yeah, go ahead. Keep it. We'll just get another one. They're still cheap, thankfully.

Benjamin Moses:          Thankfully. But you got the connections.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm really excited to see the new pocket NC because not only is it more capable. So there's a big old, massive chuck in the bed now to help center parts. They have a new design device that comes with it, which this is all stuff that you could have done on your own. But I'm not a manufacturing engineer or a machinist, so they've done it for me. But one of the big things is they have an entirely new operating system. They have a new control which I'm really excited to see. So the old pocket NC was ... the control computer was a beagle bone black. It may still be a beagle bone black running a form of Linux.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And the actual controller and HMI was open source software program called Machine Kit, which is a watered down ... there's no other better way to say it, but it's a watered down version of Linux CNC, which is an open source Linux-based HMI.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Control software for a CNC machine. Now they have their own in-house proprietary CNC software, control software, which I'll be really excited to use and really excited to ship it straight out to Charub and have him make it MT connect with compatible.

Benjamin Moses:          That's awesome. Yeah. I'm excited to see that. I think it'll help us in our journey to automation too. So the previous one, I think had some control, not control, but some access issues where I think the new one will allow us to automate the entire cell a little quicker.

Stephen LaMarca:         I just hope I can keep the same old password.

Benjamin Moses:          Password is password.

Stephen LaMarca:         Poop Smith.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, tell us who our sponsor is today.

Stephen LaMarca:         Our sponsor is AM Radio. AM Radio is the new podcast from Additive Manufacturing Media. Join editors, Pete Zelensky, Stephanie Hendrick and Julia Heider as they share stories of companies succeeding with 3D printing today. Talk about emerging trends and discuss the future opportunities and potential for AM in the context of the larger manufacturing landscape. New episodes are published every other week. Subscribe now on the Apple or whatever you listen to podcasts. Tune in to additive.

Benjamin Moses:          Thanks, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca:         That was like the cleanest read ever.

Benjamin Moses:          Congratulations. You can read. It's tough to read on my-

Stephen LaMarca:         Maybe I read that a little fast. I think it could have been a little bit slower, but-

Benjamin Moses:          We'll work on that.

Stephen LaMarca:         Wow. I didn't think it would be a one take wonder like that.

Benjamin Moses:          Well, I hope it is the way we record.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          So I've got a lot of articles, actually two articles on aerospace. The first one is super material helping adaptive cycle engine deliver transformational performance. There's a lot of marketing words in that, but they're using carbon matrix composites in their turbine blades. So it's fascinating material. And the reason I want to bring this up is they've been testing this for a while, and they're at a maturity level where the technology is proven to be robust based on number of hours on the aircraft. But also they've been exploring the supply chain for this. So it's not like you're going to run down a Granger and pick up this material. It's very customized material because they can handle the thermal environment of the turbine section. What's the whole point of that? The key is get sustaining higher temperatures in the turbine section so they can get better performance in the end. In this one case where I think it's the XA 100, which I think is used on the F 35, they're getting 25% better fuel efficiency.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's an engine?

Benjamin Moses:          That's an engine.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. Sorry.

Stephen LaMarca:         No worries.

Benjamin Moses:          It's a turbine engine and they're getting 25% better fuel efficiency out of it and 10% better thrust. So significantly better performance out of-

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah, that's incredible.

Benjamin Moses:          ... being able to control the thermal properties through the engine better. So it's fascinating. Now it'll cascade into my next article later on, is that there's a lot new materials coming out. You look at some of the skin or some of the structure within aerospace, it's still going to be aluminum, still going to be 60 61, T6 or whatever.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          But the cutting edge material where there's going to be a lot of the material. You're going to use how many turbines are you going to build, and then the number of blades. The supply chain for that's going to be fairly large. They're doing a lot of cutting edge stuff where there's significant growth and new materials, the benefits of the new materials.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So as a person that flies a lot, I'm never going to see 25% cheaper flights because they're saving more money. But the whole idea to be more efficient is fantastic.

Stephen LaMarca:         Have you seen the bill on the F 35? They're trying to pinch pennies where they can at this point.

Benjamin Moses:          I mean, the helmet itself.

Stephen LaMarca:         The helmet's sick. Speaking of what happened to AR, they put the HUD in the helmet. That's still really cool to me. I know they did that like decades ago at this point now. At least it feels like decades. It's probably at least one decade, but still.

Benjamin Moses:          Side tangent. It's weird that the obvious applications for lot of technology still isn't adopted that readily. So like an automotive in my car. If my dashboard, all the gauges on my dashboard are all heads up display, which heads up displays have been around for a long time. It's not that hard to do.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          You could get rid of 80% of the dashboard, just have that on your screen.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's been around since Nam. The F4 Phantom had a heads up display and probably planes before that.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah, absolutely.

Stephen LaMarca:         Wow.

Benjamin Moses:          Let's talk about what you want to talk about, Steve.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay. What did I have next?

Benjamin Moses:          It was the robotics one.

Stephen LaMarca:         MIT, speaking of smart people. MIT. So I may have spoke about it in an earlier podcast episode. I definitely spoke about it in a past tech report. MIT's CNC, and by CNC, I do not mean computer numeric controls.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         I mean, cellulose nano crystals.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         Man. I don't know why I'm struggling on it so much, but yes. So in a previous article when MIT first released this research that they had been doing, it's MIT, so it's really smart. As soon as it's released, people are going to need a little bit of time to understand what they're saying, and such is proven by the first article I reported on which misreport on the sustainability potential of CNC. But the truth has now emerged, now that people understand what it is that MIT did. Are you familiar with toughness versus strength in terms of materials?

Benjamin Moses:          A little bit. A little bit.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay. I'm not.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. Tell me.

Stephen LaMarca:         In terms of pocket knife science and engineering, when you talk about blade steels, some blade steels have a higher toughness and some blade steels have a higher strength.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         This article actually laid out the differences between toughness and strength beautifully.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         They said a plastic bottle is tough.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         You step on a plastic bottle and it crunches and deforms, but it still stays whole. It just flexes and, because it doesn't break, it is tough.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         A glass bottle is strong. It doesn't change its form. It doesn't deform. But when a certain threshold is met or exceeded, it shatters.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's strong, but it's not tough.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         The article goes on to explain that traditionally materials can't be both.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm sure there's some compromise materials that are a little bit of both, but not really good for either one. Anyway, MIT's research has proven that cellulose nano crystals, which are derived using a lot of energy, are derived from wood pulp. The same basically raw materials, trees. Processed trees to make wood pulp. That wood pulp is used to make paper. Same stuff that is used to make paper. Cellulose nano crystals can be used to make a new polymer, a new essentially organic polymer that is both tough and strong.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         And it sounds incredible. I'll link the article below.

Benjamin Moses:          It is fascinating. Yeah. You and I were talking about being more environmentally friendly or our consumption of different products have changed over time. There's a really big push to reduce our paper consumption, reduce tree usage, and that's gone down quite a bit.

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh man. Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          Now we've shifted to reducing our plastics waste, which is fair, because that's really floating everywhere.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          And increasing our recycling utilization. So being able to harvest basically wasted byproduct in the petroleum process to make products that could be recycled in the futures.

Stephen LaMarca:         The problem. So with trees and cutting down our paper usage is great because, by using less paper, by going paperless wherever you can, you're saving trees.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         This material wasn't necessarily sustainable because let's say it is the greatest material of all time. We got to start cutting down more trees because it's that great of a material.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         And it costs a lot of energy to processed, like the wood pulp into said material. We give plastics a lot of heat because it's just ending up in the ocean, but it would end up in the ocean or wherever people and big corporations dump stuff anyway, instead of sending it to space the way we should be doing it, because all these plastic bottles and stuff that's being used and wasted and can't be recycled, or at least as effectively as some people would want you to think, whether or not you drink from a plastic bottle does not dictate the use of the plastic. Because if you don't use it, it's just going to be thrown away by whoever's cracking the oil and creating it as a byproduct, because we're still burning the gas.

Benjamin Moses:          Right. I think the key takeaway is we need to launch our trash into the sun.

Stephen LaMarca:         We need to send it to space, dude. We need to make ... Honestly, as crazy as it sounds, all billionaires that are having their measuring contests by sending stuff to space and going to space, dude, find out how to make space travel as cheap as possible, not for human consumption, but for trash consumption. The universe is ever expanding at an accelerating rate.

Benjamin Moses:          Let's put some stuff out there.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's the greatest trash can ever.

Benjamin Moses:          I got an article on next flex. So it's a manufacturing USA Institute. And the article talks about hypersonics. I really like this because GE, on the previous article on GE engines, they're pushing thermal limits of the materials in their engines to get better efficiency and better thrust out of it. These guys are ... Actually, there's been a lot of talk about hypersonics recently.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah, there has.

Benjamin Moses:          Do you know what hypersonics even mean?

Stephen LaMarca:         Doesn't it mean like really, really, really faster than sound.

Benjamin Moses:          Was that five reallys?

Stephen LaMarca:         Maybe.

Benjamin Moses:          Yes. Then that's true.

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh wow.

Benjamin Moses:          So the idea, you're measuring yourself in relation to speed of sound. Well, sonic is, right?

Stephen LaMarca:         Super sonic is faster than sound.

Benjamin Moses:          Everything below mock one-

Stephen LaMarca:         Sub sonic.

Benjamin Moses:          Sub sonic, and at sea level, there's about 760 miles an hour. So if you're at sea level and you're doing 761 miles an hour, you're doing mock one. So super sonic is once you're above mock one and roughly just below mock five. That's the range of super sonic.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's super sonic, okay.

Benjamin Moses:          Super Fast.

Stephen LaMarca:         And mock five being five times the speed of sound.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay. So 761 times five. I can't do that really fast, but I'm sure somebody did.

Benjamin Moses:          And then hypersonics is mock five and above. So now, if you talk about the X 15 was a demonstrator a bunch of years ago. They hit mock 6.7.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay.

Benjamin Moses:          So that's the idea that yeah, it has been done, but now the idea is trying to get that to a commercial level where we can do this over and over again. And at those speeds, you got a lot of funky things happening, chemistry wise.

Stephen LaMarca:         I can only imagine.

Benjamin Moses:          You got the heat build up. So on the X 15, the skin was made out of nickel titanium. When's the last time you heard of a material of nickel titanium?

Stephen LaMarca:         In additive or some sort of electro plating process because nickel and nickel alloys are really good for electro plating and galvanization.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         So other than that, not for speed and going fast.

Benjamin Moses:          You've heard stories of the SR 71 where, if it's on the ground, there's so much thermal growth at that temperature that it's operating at that, when it's on the ground and it's cool, they have gaps in their system.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So you're leaking fuel, but once it's that temperature, then everything grows and everything fits accordingly. That's where Netflix is getting in. So they're interested in hybrid flexible electronics because of probably along the same lines where the aircraft grows so much at mock five. It's probably going to grow a couple of feet. What do you do with your electronics? You just have them coiled up and hopeful goes well?

Stephen LaMarca:         Right. Formula one car engines won't start at ambient temperature.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         They're totally locked up. They have to be warmed up with these little sleeves and blankets to bring the engine up to temperature before it's even started just so the crank can turn over.

Benjamin Moses:          It is exactly the same principle. So at these ... and they're looking at UAVs too. So this is a hypersonic UAV, and Netflix is on board to help provide the research for the electronic side at these crazy temperatures. Cause assuming you have a plastic board, a motherboard in this machine, and if you attach to the anywhere, any type of structure that's going to grow that significantly, it's going to be a problem in the future. So they awarded 17 million to look at RND for supporting this project. I think we'll see significant more growth in supersonic and hypersonic. The military is significantly looking at hypersonics for their missiles and the weapons. But also there's been a lot more companies to looking at super sonic for commercial travel too.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          Obviously the Concord was the most well known and there's issues with super sonics going overground. You have the Sonic boom where it's currently, you're not allowed to travel because the sonic boom over ground.

Stephen LaMarca:         It makes a lot of noise.

Benjamin Moses:          Makes a lot of noise. So there's a lot of things to overcome, but the idea of getting from here to there faster, and back to the engine article, there's capabilities of achieving that. So a lot of new materials coming out, that's the big takeaway.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay. So I want to just cover some numbers real quick because I think that would be fun.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         761.16 speed of sound

Benjamin Moses:          At sea level.

Stephen LaMarca:         Convert that into SI because we're not animals.

Benjamin Moses:          You are not.

Stephen LaMarca:         Is 340.27 meters per second.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         Let's multiply that by five to get hypersonic. That is 1701.3 meters per second. Let me convert that real quick. Just real quick to ... I want feet per second.

Benjamin Moses:          That's a lot of feet.

Stephen LaMarca:         Feet per second. I want to say this because I'm jumping around from units I know. That is 5,582 feet per second.

Benjamin Moses:          Per second. That's pretty impressive.

Stephen LaMarca:         I forget what the maximum speed of a projectile is that you can attain with combustible propellant, but I do know that firearms cannot exceed hypersonic speeds or can't go hypersonic speeds because they use combustible propels.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Of course gun powder. Which is why the Navy and you know, other crazy Naval forces, probably Australia, have gone to rail guns to really send, really yeat some projectiles at their target and exceed that threshold, which is wild to me. So maybe we're going to see, start seeing some more of EM propulsion could be for stuff like that, at least for launch.

Benjamin Moses:          Could be. Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         Which is wild, but then again, you can't exceed. If you're going to put passengers in it, like human passengers, you can't exceed a certain amount of Gs. You may want a [inaudible 00:24:55] propulsion system.

Benjamin Moses:          Now, then you get into hybrid machines, like the Sr 71 had a turbo fan, but then it converted to a scram jet later on. So propulsion is going to be an issue in the future too.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. One more fun fact. Do you know I'm faster than you?

Benjamin Moses:          Elaborate.

Stephen LaMarca:         In physics.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         As an object approaches, see the speed of light and vacuum, it's mass approaches infinity.

Benjamin Moses:          Oh.

Stephen LaMarca:         I've cultivated more mass than you. So I'm faster.

Benjamin Moses:          Well done, Steve. You're you're winning. The last article we got is on robotics.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes. So it's not really an article. I'll be honest. I'm going to have to find a link to put in the description, but AMT has recently partnered with Silicon Valley Robotics.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         The president founder CEO, the head honcho over at Silicon Valley robotics is this nice lady named [inaudible 00:25:51]. We got to host her at the AMT HQ a while back, and she was awesome. She was really delightful and really full of knowledge. Anyway, recently she shared this robot and automation technology development competition with our president, Doug.

Benjamin Moses:          Cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         Doug came up to me in the kitchen and was like, "Steve, Andre sent this competition and you're going to love some of the technology that these competitors, these entrants brought to the competition. I'll fill you in on some of my favorites." He picked the good ones. One really stood out to me that meant a lot to me and my take on the manufacturing industry. So the one company that really stood out to me as hopefully at least I can influence an honorable mention. But my favorite company of these technology awards was a German robotics company called Fruit Core Robotics.

Benjamin Moses:          Okay.

Stephen LaMarca:         And they're German. I can't emphasize that enough. They're horst line of industrial robot arms.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm sure I'm mispronouncing that five letter word horst. It's spelled H-O-R-S-T. There's a German high end firearm manufacturer called korth. It's actually called korth, but it's spelled K-O-R-T-H and, for the longest time until I heard a proper person pronounce it for me, I found out it was quart, but it's spelled korth. I'm sure horst is the same lane and I'm butchering it to God knows what.

Benjamin Moses:          I'll ask our one German listener to email us the proper pronunciation.

Stephen LaMarca:         Please send it in an audio file. Well, anyway, the Fruit Core Robotics horst line of industrial robot arms ranges from 10 K to 20 K USD.

Benjamin Moses:          Wow. That's pretty cool. 10 K for industrial robot. 15 K average. That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's wild because we have the XRM seven.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         The U factory XRM seven, seven joint collaborative robot that we got for just above 10 K, I want to say, but that's Chinese. A German company has brought an industrial robot to market in the 10 to 20 K US dollar range.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         And it's wild. It's never been done before, at least by a non Chinese company.

Benjamin Moses:          We talked about-

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm bringing it up because it's cool. It's huge for the industry. And it once again proved me right back in 2018, IMTS 2018 when I told everybody, after walking the floor of the student summit, seeing fantic robot arms, just chilling there unplugged on the floor, holding bags for students to come in and grab a bag and fill it up with a swag from the exhibitors. It was like, that's a 70 K coat hanger.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Robots are going to become popular. They're going to be all over the place. Because the supply will go up or the demand will go up and the supply will go up, probably faster than the demand will because people love implementing new technologies slow, the price will be driven down and such has happened.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         I think we're witnessing that.

Benjamin Moses:          We just talked about the new company out of Canada, that's got fairly inexpensive robotic arms too.

Stephen LaMarca:         What was their name?

Benjamin Moses:          I don't know. A Canadian.

Stephen LaMarca:         They'll forgive us.

Benjamin Moses:          So we'll definitely have to look up some more info about these guys and we'll see if they're around for a little bit too. They're inexpensive, but-

Stephen LaMarca:         We'll see if they hold up.

Benjamin Moses:          Longevity sells in manufacturing.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          So that's pretty exciting. I do like the competition. That is very inexpensive. We'll see, Steve, I'd like to thank our sponsor AM Radio. Where can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca:         AMTonline.org/resources. Thanks, Ben.

Benjamin Moses:          Thanks Steve. Bye everyone.

Stephen LaMarca:         Bye.

Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
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