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AMT Tech Trends: Packing Up

Ben and Steve are packing up for IMTS2022 and discuss their packing strategies. Benjamin introduces an article on robot risk assessment. Stephen talks about an aftermarket air filter for consumer polymer 3D printers ...
Sep 09, 2022

Episode 79: Ben and Steve are packing up for IMTS2022 and discuss their packing strategies. Benjamin introduces an article on robot risk assessment. Stephen talks about an aftermarket air filter for consumer polymer 3D printers. Ben brings up converting plastic waste into 3D printing materials. Steve mentions new Toyota AGVs. Benjamin closes with relying on and trusting data. Happy IMTS!

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Transcript

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, and I'm here with...

Stephen LaMarca:         Stephen LaMarca, AMTs technology analyst.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, how you doing?

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm doing well.

Benjamin Moses:          Couple of days before we shuttle off to IMTS.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:          Let's talk about travel prep strategies.

Stephen LaMarca:         I don't have a strategy. I just get nervous, and then one night I can't sleep and I decide to pack instead. And that's probably what's going to happen. I'm most concerned about how I'm going to pack shoes.

Benjamin Moses:          That's fair.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm only packing three shoes.

Benjamin Moses:          Only three shoes.

Stephen LaMarca:         Well, I'm only packing two shoes. I'm going to be wearing the third pair. Always got to fly with loafers.

Benjamin Moses:          Okay.

Stephen LaMarca:         With slip-ons, rather.

Benjamin Moses:          Slip-ons.

Stephen LaMarca:         Keep it easy. Yeah. We're all adults now, and we all have TSA precheck. So, there's no reason to be able to take off your shoes, but some of us fly United Polaris and want to be able to kick back and relax.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm just kidding. I've never flown... This is the only time. And it's only because I saved up rewards points. But yeah, I'm going to be bringing... This is kind of fun. I'm bringing two pairs of shoes, dressier shoes. Wolverine 1000 mile work boots, which sure, they don't sound like dress shoes, but in today's day and age where nobody actually wears proper made work boots to work, they are dress shoes. And they'll be placed nicely on the floors of IMTS. And of course, American made, well the Wolverines are also American made, and to keep the American made going, Allen Edmond's Park Avenues, in number eight.

Benjamin Moses:          Wow.

Stephen LaMarca:         So, the significance behind both of these shoes, is both American made, and they both use leather sourced from the Horween Leather Tannery, in Chicago.

Benjamin Moses:          Oh, we talked about that, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         So, I'm kind of pumped about that. And they're both number eight. I really love the color, number eight.

Benjamin Moses:          I have no idea what you just said.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's basically just like a purple-ish brown.

Benjamin Moses:          There's two things that I like to do. One is for my toiletries, I actually duplicate all my toiletries except for my brush and razor handle. Because, I use disposable double edge razors. So, I have duplicate soap, I have duplicate Q-tips, all that stays packed and it stays in, depending on what I use daily.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's awesome.

Benjamin Moses:          When I'm ready to leave-

Stephen LaMarca:         The toiletries are the biggest pain. Because, you can pack two days in advance, you still have to unzip everything to put the bag of toiletries in there.

Benjamin Moses:          Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:         Unless you have a duplicate. So, that's smart.

Benjamin Moses:          So, the reason I don't pack a toothbrush, because I have electric toothbrush. I'm not buying a second electric toothbrush. The other one I'm doing a little bit different, is electronic charging. So, I actually have a USB power distribution block, it has like five USB ports.

Stephen LaMarca:         Nice.

Benjamin Moses:          I take that to the hotel, so there's a strategy for charging all my stuff at the hotel, but also, I'm packing separate stuff to be onsite at IMTS. So, whatever I have that I need to charge at my desk, make sure I have enough power distribution either from the laptop, or I'm going to bring another brick to bring into my desk, so I can charge during the day. Because, normally if I'm at a conference I'm attending, I actually carry a portable battery. So, I can throw that in the bag.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's smart.

Benjamin Moses:          And then, just charge the laptop as I'm walking around, or charge the phone as I'm walking around, [inaudible 00:03:55] I shouldn't bring a battery, because we're going to film a bunch of exhibitors also, so I'm going to be walking around quite a bit. So, I will bring the small battery that can charge while I'm walking. But, in this case, I'm going to bring two separate charging stations with me.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's cool. And that's smart. And that reminds me, I totally forgot. McCormick has those fancy little vending machines for rental device charging battery.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:         You remember that?

Benjamin Moses:          No, I don't.

Stephen LaMarca:         Really? I remember seeing that in IMTS 2016, 2018. And of course, all the fab techs that I've been to at McCormick. I always thought that was so cool. I never rented one. And this year I'm really fortunate that I have a phone that does a day and a half of battery. So, I'm not worried about that at all, but the computer...

Benjamin Moses:          So, my strategy fell apart a little bit on my... I took a trip to Virginia Tech. We were doing a project with the undergrad student there, which is fascinating, because a bunch of years ago when we first launched MTConnect, a lot of the projects were PhDs and masters, now we're trickling down to undergrad students for the senior project, being able to pull data off, like a Tormach and a Stratasys.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's awesome.

Benjamin Moses:          And that's a senior project for this year. So, I drove down there, four hour drive, three hour drive, whatever a couple hour drive. But, when I was packing, the duplicate deodorant I had was empty. So, the container was empty. So, I got all the way to Virginia Tech and realized, no deodorant.

Stephen LaMarca:         No deo.

Benjamin Moses:          Which I mean, this toiletry is fine. I could solve that problem there. But, it was one of those things where I put so much effort into planning and everything was streamlined for the first seven months of the year. But then, I haven't traveled in about a month and a half or so. And everything fell apart now, which is good, because now for IMTS, I'm more prepared. I can go prepare everything, but on the way back, my car had some issues.

Stephen LaMarca:         Uh-oh.

Benjamin Moses:          I just want to bring it up, because it's a very entertaining scenario. So, it's a hybrid machine and on the way back, it threw a code. So, I could see the malfunction indicator lamp came on and it wouldn't go into hybrid mode. So, it stayed purely IC the entire drive back.

Stephen LaMarca:         The way it should be.

Benjamin Moses:          I had it set to maximize fuel economy. So, I got like 36 miles to the gallon, just on IC mode.

Stephen LaMarca:         Wow. That's not bad.

Benjamin Moses:          That's great. And if I had the hybrid mode, it would get a little more, because it would shut off when I'm just cruising, or off the gas. So, I probably could have squeeze in a couple of more miles gallon that way, but came back... And I bought it from CarMax. So, I said, "Hey CarMax, my thing's broken. Can you take a look at it?" They said, "No, we don't look at hybrids." I was like, "Okay, this is a thing you sold me and you said you could look at, but you're not going to look at." Fine. So, it's a Porsche. So, I take it to the Porsche dealership, I know it's going to be expensive. So, they have to read the code and diagnose it and stuff. So, go through that entire process. And during that process, I dropped off before my... I took a vacation down to Williamsburg.

So, as I'm driving down, I'm getting info about the updates and they're finding everything wrong, which is fine. I expect that. The battery's old, the tires are completely shot, which I didn't realize that, because the car sit so low and I normally look at the tires, but the alignment's been off and the inside wall's been wearing out. So, that's fine. Those are wear and tear items. I expected that to be changed. So then, they got to the core of the issue and there's the issue in, I think, the energy conversion. So, the DC inverter or something like that's broken. Guess how much that one unit is to replace. I have rough labor cost and the parts.

Stephen LaMarca:         So, my guess is going to sound excessive and I bet you, it comes up short.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         3K.

Benjamin Moses:          That doesn't cover the cost of the part.

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh my God.

Benjamin Moses:          The cost of the part is $5,000-ish, to install the parts full in $14,000, Steve. I was scrolling through the text messages. I'm like, "Oh, good. They... What?"

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh my God. I'm so sorry, Ben.

Benjamin Moses:          So, luckily I have an extended warranty through CarMax and 14K is covered through the extended warranty, which you have to pay the deductibles $300.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay. So, you get it serviced at the dealership.

Benjamin Moses:          Yes.

Stephen LaMarca:         But, CarMax covers?

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah, I bought the extended warranty through CarMax and they'll reimburse it.

Stephen LaMarca:         Smart. You watched Doug DeMuro, didn't you?

Benjamin Moses:          But, the funny thing is, the extended warranty will cover the parts and labor for that, but they don't cover taxes. So, I have to pay 5% on the $14,000 still.

Stephen LaMarca:         Take the money and run.

Benjamin Moses:          So Steve, it was a very entertaining experience as I was driving down, Dean was like, "What happens if you didn't have extended warranty?" "I'll just live with it." Just reset [inaudible 00:08:44].

Stephen LaMarca:         We're paying 20K. 15, 20.

Benjamin Moses:          Oh my God, Steve. I couldn't believe-

Stephen LaMarca:         How long does that CarMax warranty last?

Benjamin Moses:          I have another 10,000 miles.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay. And then, another 10,000 miles to a new car. And then they sell it back to them.

Benjamin Moses:          Exactly. Flip it back to them.

Stephen LaMarca:         They've scammed enough rubes. You'll be fine.

Benjamin Moses:          Oh, man. That was a very entertaining weekend.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's terrifying. But, I'm glad you're coming out on top.

Benjamin Moses:          Supposedly, I mean, it's a Porsche, does anyone come out on top on a Porsche? 10 years from now-

Stephen LaMarca:         I mean, you do, temporarily.

Benjamin Moses:          Temporarily. It's a win. I'm still glad we got the extended warranty.

Stephen LaMarca:         That was smart.

Benjamin Moses:          So, we'll see. So, I'm going to drop it off on the way to IMTS, and then hopefully, they'll get everything fixed.

Stephen LaMarca:         I only mentioned Doug DeMuro, because he's a YouTuber and he bought an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. 2008 or 2006, something like that. One of the most beautiful cars ever made. It was one of my dream cars, but Aston Martin, being an English company and a luxury super car company, it's one of the most unreliable brands you can imagine. The V12 version that Aston used for the longest time... Well, the V12 that Aston used for the longest time, was two Ford V6s, 60 degree V6s, essentially welded together. And it nearly put them under. Now, they're partnered with Mercedes and Mercedes sources their engines now, but there was a dark period where they were working with Ford, but their designer had the best designs ever. But anyway, he bought a V8. He bought the cheapest Aston Martin V8 Vantage, on the market, from CarMax and bought their unlimited mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Benjamin Moses:          That's right. I remember that.

Stephen LaMarca:         I think, unlimited mile, but it only lasts a year. And after a year he queued up some ridiculous amount of money. I think it was a hundred thousand dollars in repairs.

Benjamin Moses:          Geez. It's a whole new car at that point, but a warranty. Steve, that was awesome. Let's hear more about our sponsor.

Stephen LaMarca:         AM Radio is the new podcast from Additive Manufacturing Media. Join editors, Pete Zelinski, Stephanie Hendrixson 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 Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts, tune into Additive.

Benjamin Moses:          And we'll see them at IMTS.

Stephen LaMarca:         We will see them at IMTS. My second favorite podcast, by the way.

Benjamin Moses:          Would you get their autograph? Would that be awkward?

Stephen LaMarca:         I don't need their autograph, because I got their pizza. Except for Stephanie's.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, I got a bunch of articles and the first one I'll kick it off with, is robotics and automation. And I was thinking about robotics in general, and I think there's two barriers that a lot of companies have. One is the return on investment. If they're going to spend 200K on a solution, can they get that money back in a certain timeframe? And the other side, I think is maybe not spoken about in the preparation side, is the safety. I think everyone's always considered cobots are thing, which is cool, but it's a design solution. And jumping to saying, "I want a cobot." Right away, is probably skipping a few steps. So, I think the article I found from automation, Assembly Magazine talks about the need for risk assessment and kind of the standards out there related to it. So, it talks about the RIA 15.06-2012...

Stephen LaMarca:         Is that a standard, or a product number?

Benjamin Moses:          That's a standard.

Stephen LaMarca:         Okay.

Benjamin Moses:          A sku number. And the steps going through the risk assessment, so the first one is, identifying the tasks, then hazards and risk level and performance level, the category of the safeguards for compliant risk mitigation. So, basically the first step is, what are the risks? And it's basically going through the manufacturing process, but also looking at what-if scenarios, I think that's very useful. So, we used to do FMEA, fairly modes effects analysis, and design. So, if I had a product, if it failed what's the tasks creating effects of that failure and then come back and how do I mitigate those high ranking risks? So, if you've done that type of process, this is very similar. The article goes about some good probing questions right off the bat. What is the robot doing? How fast is it moving, the robot might be picking up a part and placing it somewhere.

Can worker's hands get in the way? Are there pinch points? And also, it talks about the environment around it. So, if there is an abrasive disc spinning at 10,000 RPMs? Are there noise considerations in the environment? So, I think it's very useful to look at preparation for, "I'm going to buy a robot." Take a look at the safety standards and being prepared to understand how to do a risk assessment and going about and mitigating those risks. So, that was a good article and always pointing back to the standard. So, awesome. You got one from Hackaday.

Stephen LaMarca:         From Hackaday. I really love their articles, because yeah, they're like consumer focused, but they go into a lot of detail, that I wish a lot of the industrial publications would go into. But, they have one, the title is, Nevermore is what you get when engineers design air filters for 3D printers. And it's basically an article on a company or a team of engineers rather, that designed an air filtration solution for home 3D printers, specifically plastic 3D printers, polymer 3D printers. And Nevermore is a new air filter designed specifically for 3D printers, it was created by a team of engineers who were frustrated with the lack of options for filtering out fine particles generated by 3D printers. The Nevermore filter uses a combination of HEPA and activated carbon filters, to remove particles down to 0.3 microns in size.

It also has a built-in fan to keep air moving and prevent particles from settling on services. The Nevermore filter is available for purchase now and ships with a one year warranty. So, what's cool about this filter, they really did put a lot of thought into it. When you buy the product, it comes with the integral fan to keep airflow inside your 3D printer, or even outside if you have one of those that doesn't have an enclosure. One of my neighbors has one. I see it through their window. It's never working. That's the life of a consumer 3D printer, I'm pretty sure though.

Benjamin Moses:          I'm glad you're looking through the window.

Stephen LaMarca:         I walk a dog. It's not just me being a voyeur. Charlie's a voyeur too. But, it has a fan to circulate air, it has what they've mentioned a HEPA filter, I'm assuming it's a paper or a fiber filter, but the coolest part is, this is a serviceable filter, in that you can swap out the activated carbon.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I'm a big fan of activated carbon filters. The article also goes into the detail on how to buy the right activated carbon for your filter. Apparently, you want acid-free activated carbon, some activated carbon comes from the supplier, acid washed. You don't want that. I honestly have no idea what kind of activated carbon is in my car filters, air filters. I don't have one in the engine air filter, but I'm a big fan of one of the cheapest brands out there that gets knocked a lot, FRAM. They make, in my opinion, the best car air filters, and they use activated carbon. The OEM filter for my car does not have activated carbon in it, but it neutralizes any awful smell that you may have. So, I'm a big fan of that stuff.

Benjamin Moses:          I also do like the underlying theme. There's a pretty big difference in industrial equipment, versus the consumer grade. There's a ton of consumer grade when it's just open-air printing, all that gas and stuff has to go somewhere. So, if you're printing right next to your desk for hours on end, you may want to consider what gases are coming out of that machine. So, it does-

Stephen LaMarca:         And that stuff smells, which is okay in an industrial application, but if this is in your home, for a home 3D printer, you want that activated carbon, maybe. Another case in point, I have a fancy Dyson vacuum cleaner, it has three filters, two of which are HEPA filters. But, it's got three filters in that thing. The thing stinks. Because, there's no activated carbon.

Benjamin Moses:          That's true. The article I have is somewhat connected to yours. So, it's from Washington State. There's a local news channel that reported on Washington State University, is doing research on converting plastic waste into 3D printing material. So, the article goes over the massive amount of plastics that's still being thrown away, not recycled properly. So, they're estimating 300 tons of material just tossed away and it takes roughly a hundred years to decompose. So, one of the problem statements is, it's sitting around. And I think Additives doing this in general, is making more a circular economy for their material.

So, what they're trying to do is, can they do anything with this material source? So, in their experiment, they transformed the waste into single long chains of plastic and creating resin out of it that we can use for 3D printers. So, I thought it was a very good short development for them. So, what they're doing is short term, can they use this for resin, for 3D printers? Next they want to kick it off to get to PET for plastics and get into some of the higher grade filaments for 3D printing. So, it's a good use case on recapitalizing raw material. And hopefully, they develop this further.

Stephen LaMarca:         That is cool. Because, there was a article not too long ago about either university, or another company, that was specifically focusing on PET plastic bottles, because we have a huge epidemic of plastic bottles being just thrown away, one time used plastic bottles. And there's some other either university or company, that is looking to recycle plastic bottles specifically for 3D printing.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool. So, you've got an article from Toyota with a T.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes. Not the D, but from direct industry news, Toyota launches the CDI120 new automated warehouse solution. So, Toyota launched the CDI120, a new automated warehouse solution. The CDI120 is an AGV that is designed to work with Toyota's existing automated storage and retrieval system, ASRS, to create a complete automated warehouse solution. The CDI120 is capable of handling up to 120 containers per hour. Oh, there's where the name comes from. And can be used in a variety of applications, including distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and retail stores.

So, I just thought this was cool, because we've seen a lot of these come back. This is by no means new. Many companies have done this. I guess, I am a Toyota fanboy. I like seeing that Toyota's getting into this, because I can almost guarantee that it's the most reliable one out there, but because it is... And other Japanese companies, not just car companies, but cough, cough, fanic too. Yes, it's reliable. But, because it's Japanese, they're very protective of their IP. So, it's going to be tough to crack into. And I'd be curious as to how nice it plays with automation products from other companies.

Benjamin Moses:          Yeah. That's fair. And it's funny, we were joking earlier about the cars themselves, Toyota, how someone's going to hack into it. And reflash ECU to get 50 more [inaudible 00:21:47].

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh, yeah. You want to reflash that ECU, you're going to have to wait six months, because they're going to have to crack it.

Benjamin Moses:          We put some stickers on it. You get five more horsepower out of it.

Stephen LaMarca:         Put a K&N filter on it. We may have to talk to Nevermore about... Or, K&N might be talking to Nevermore about making a K&N filter for 3D printers.

Benjamin Moses:          I think this extends your philosophy, because you really like Hyundai, because they bought Boston Dynamics and a bunch of other automation, robotic arm companies and they've insourced a lot of their automation. So, I think seeing these large companies extend their manufacturing technology is pretty cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         I wouldn't own one yet, but I wouldn't be surprised in the future, I do own a Hyundai.

Benjamin Moses:          They've come a long way on their-

Stephen LaMarca:         They've come so far.

Benjamin Moses:          ... Electronic vehicles recently, too. They look sharp.

Stephen LaMarca:         Their EVs are nice.

Benjamin Moses:          They look really sharp.

Stephen LaMarca:         A while back, we talked about how Hyundai and Apple were working on a partnership for Apple's iCar, or whatever they were going to call it. And I think, we're looking at the grandfathers to that right now. Because, they have an electric car out there. I forget what it's called. It's like a five door hatchback. It looks sharp.

Benjamin Moses:          It looks...

Stephen LaMarca:         And the wheels are really cool.

Benjamin Moses:          Now that you bring that up, it does look like a collaboration with Apple. It's Apple-esque in the design.

Stephen LaMarca:         It doesn't have the Apple logo on it yet, but...

Benjamin Moses:          It's going to be there.

Stephen LaMarca:         [inaudible 00:23:07] The iconic five. Is that what it's called?

Benjamin Moses:          Maybe.

Stephen LaMarca:         Oh, whatever. It's a Hyundai.

Benjamin Moses:          The last article I have, is about trusted data. So, when you're talking about AGVs, you're transmitting data all over the place, issued commands, finding its location. And I see as industry 4.0 becomes super mature and saturated in the market, the reliance on data for not just running machines, but collecting data and harvesting that for business processes, that's grown exponentially. And the reliance on data has just become more and more heavily weighted. And the article that I have from CPO Magazine talked about cybersecurity and kind of the need for operational technologies and information technologies to start harmonizing how they approach security. So, IT, securing your office, your printers, people working, just doing Word documents, that's fairly mature. And that constantly evolves. Applying those IT practices to the operational technology, that's where we start running into hiccups. And that's where we see a lot of limitations and a lot of workarounds that can be exploited very easily.

So, the article gives a pretty good use case of as we further develop our data maturity models for manufacturing, cybersecurity has to be riding on its coattail, so we can continue trusting the data. So, there's a lot of spoofing of data. So, if I'm transmitting STL files to a printer, there's a lot of research papers to try and embed flaws into those SDL files. A lot of that comes from the department of defense type scenarios. But, to be honest, as that scenario matures, obviously they're going to test it on commercial applications, too. So, the idea of manufacturing undetectable flaws, is a fairly big risk in the manufacturing sector. So, you have a bunch of processes that are being put in place, like CMMC is a big one to say, "Do you have security in place? And are you following the practices?" But, this article gets in a little more depth about the depth and need for more secure technologies as we go forward.

So, yeah. Something to think about, preparation of, if you are attacked by ransomware, do you have insurance? How fast can you recover? I think that this cybersecurity framework is still a very good starting point to understand where your threats are and how you move forward from there. And in the end, you're still running a business. So, you have, how do you continue running a business under attack? And how do you prevent liable issues from something that spoofed against you? So, I thought it was a good takeaway, piggyback off the AGV article where you've got tons of data. What happens if you get hacked and they just start moving your bots around?

Stephen LaMarca:         Yeah. How do you protect that IP?

Benjamin Moses:          Exactly. So, Steve, I'm ready to fly.

Stephen LaMarca:         I'm not. Don't get me wrong. I'm really excited for this IMTS. We're going to be so busy. But, it's going to be a blast. It's going to be amazing to have an IMTS again, in person. And we've been to some trade shows earlier this year and they were awesome. So, naturally IMTS is going to be the best.

Benjamin Moses:          It's going to be great.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's just going to be the Disneyland of manufacturing.

Benjamin Moses:          Well, I look forward to seeing everyone there. Steve, where can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca:         Amtonline.org/resources.

Benjamin Moses:          Cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         Bye everybody.

Benjamin Moses:          Bye everyone.

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Author
Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
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