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AMT Tech Trends: Settled Dust

Ben and Steve have returned home from IMTS2022 and discuss their IMTS postpartum depression. Benjamin tries to go over eight critical takeaways from IMTS 2022 without interruption. Stephen ensures his failure with his drooling over ultrasonic additive.
Oct 10, 2022

Episode 80: Ben and Steve have returned home from IMTS2022 and discuss their IMTS postpartum depression. Benjamin tries to go over eight critical takeaways from IMTS 2022 without interruption. Stephen ensures his failure with his drooling over ultrasonic additive.

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Transcript

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

Stephen LaMarca:         Stephen LaMarca, technology analyst.

Benjamin Moses:          Steve, welcome back from IMTS.

Stephen LaMarca:         Thank you. You welcome back.

Benjamin Moses:          Thanks. I was just thinking about that because right after IMTS, I turned everything around and went down to Georgia Tech for a quick trip.

Stephen LaMarca:         God bless you. I love how you do that, you get right back into the swing of things. And simultaneously, at IMTS, you were like, you told me, "Steve, next week work from home." And then in the same conversation I'm like, "Hey, I just also want to take the week off after that." So I'm just getting back in the swing of things two weeks later and you went right into another trip.

Benjamin Moses:          I went right into another trip. So one of our members is working with a couple of universities to start up an industry university cooperative research center. So these are areas where they work together with industry and university to develop new technologies and a lot of it comes from NSF funding. So NSF has a full channel to set up these IUCRCs, and the topic that they're working on is Center for Digital Factory Innovation. So if you look at the list from NSF, this is probably one of the gaps in the manufacturing sector. So it was really cool to go down to Georgia Tech and work with them on the first workshop that they have to walk through the process.

Stephen LaMarca:         I love visiting them.

Benjamin Moses:          So it was fun. I flew back Sunday and then I think I flew out Tuesday. So quick turnaround for all my suits at the dry cleaning.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's incredible.

Benjamin Moses:          I made sure I went to ZIPS, dropped it off like 8:00 in the morning.

Stephen LaMarca:         Is everything okay? Any puckering?

Benjamin Moses:          No puckering. Since I was at Georgia Tech, it's in Atlanta, which is a thousand degrees warmer than it was in Chicago, so I love the suits that I wore down there. Again, I was sweating a lot, so I didn't dry clean those suits right away. So I'm going to wait a little bit. A little for breeze...

Stephen LaMarca:         That's smart.

Benjamin Moses:          ... so to spray on the suits, so we'll see. So my wife was making fun of me about not dry cleaning those right away, but I was like, "These suits need to last me."

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So I'd rather...

Stephen LaMarca:         That's the thing. A lot of people don't realize that suits are fragile. The only way you can clean them is dry cleaning.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         But if you dry clean them too much, eventually you get that puckering that you see around the shoulders. Well, it's most common around the shoulders when you dry clean them too much.

Benjamin Moses:          And you get a little bubbling also. The bubbling not cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         You can get bubbling, that's an infused canvas suit. But this conversation is for a different podcast, one titled Smoking Tweed Sons of Britches.

Benjamin Moses:          That's pretty good.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's my fashion podcast.

Benjamin Moses:          I know you had a positive time during IMTS. We had a great time.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          But you came down on a little bit of lull afterwards.

Stephen LaMarca:         So it's always because you end up getting physically fatigued...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... before you get mentally fatigued.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I think that's common across everybody and it's disappointing and depressing even because it happens as early as Thursday. Fortunately, it didn't happen until Thursday with me. In the past it's happened as early as Wednesday morning. But Thursday afternoon when my schedule was cleared, finally when I had done everything that I needed to do on Thursday, I wanted to go walk around the rest of the show...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... the part of the shows that I hadn't seen. I wanted to go visit with all of the other fellow influencers that I feel terrible because I didn't get a chance to really meet any of them.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         There was a few that I met and I finally got to meet Alex Kingsbury...

Benjamin Moses:          Cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... and work with her in person. That was great. But again, that was work we had to. I wanted to get a chance to meet Megan and Drew Crow, some personal heroes of mine.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         But that was disappointing and a lot of the end of IMTS, the IMTS aftermath depression comes from being physically fatigued before you're mentally fatigued.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And it is mentally draining...

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... going to that, but because it's just such a big show, you get really worn out. But I was talking about this end of show depression that comes on because 2016 was my first show.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... and I was like, "Man, I really wish it was two weeks and not just one week." And a lot of people told me why that it's a good thing that's not two weeks...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... because a lot of exhibitors as much as they love IMTS and as good business it does for them, it's draining...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... on financials. Sure, you close big deals...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... while there, but it costs a lot of money to be there. Anyway, that was just crossed out real quick. But every IMTS I've always gotten some FOMO that I didn't see the whole show.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         Fear of missing out.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And this show I feel like I saw the most, even though I didn't get to meet as many people as I wanted, still got to meet a ton. This was my most successful show yet.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         And the most successful show yet, which was really awesome. But I was talking with Mo over in Marcam and she was like, "Because Marcam especially, they are all hands on deck nine months before the show...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... and pulling their hair out and getting gray hairs as early as a year out prepping for IMTS. And when it finally comes to fruition and the show closes and it's over, you'd think you get a sense of relief, and I get a sense of relief. I know you get a sense of relief."

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         But the way she described it and I never realized it, but we totally experience this, is like a postpartum depression.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         There's definitely a postpartum depression to the end of IMTS. And I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way because you do get like, "Did I see everything?" I know this year, this time I saw everything that I needed to see.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         I didn't see everything, but I'm sure there's some great things that I did miss, but I got my fill. I wish I had talked to more people.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         That I felt terrible about. But that was just physical fatigue.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         I never got to shake the hands of Andrew Crow. I never got to have a meaningful long conversation that got in the way of other meetings with Megan.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I just got to say hi to Pete Zelensky.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         Julia Heder and Stephanie Hendrickson in passing but we didn't get a chance to stop and actually say what was the most exciting thing you saw there. But that's what these are for.

Benjamin Moses:          One fun thing was we were on the main stage from Tuesday to Saturday.

Stephen LaMarca:         That was really fun.

Benjamin Moses:          That was a lot of fun. And it was a new experience being in front of everyone...

Stephen LaMarca:         It's a great experience.

Benjamin Moses:          ... bright lights, sweating like nobody's business.

Stephen LaMarca:         Being on a huge platform with nobody to filter you. That is a power. That's a good feeling.

Benjamin Moses:          That first day was over intoxicating.

Stephen LaMarca:         A little bit. I'm surprised I haven't gotten a reprimand for that yet. But you know what?

Benjamin Moses:          People are on vacation. Just wait.

Stephen LaMarca:         If I keep talking about it, they're going to go back and look.

Benjamin Moses:          They go back...

Stephen LaMarca:         So I better stop.

Benjamin Moses:          Well, there's a bunch of holidays and vacations that are coming up, so my goal is to kind of repackage our IMTS time on stage recordings and probably package that into something for the holidays. So keep an eye out for the end of year holidays, whatever holidays you have, they'll probably package up during then.

Stephen LaMarca:         Sweet.

Benjamin Moses:          It's going to be fun. Steve, you want to tell us about our sponsor.

Stephen LaMarca:         Our sponsor today is IMTS+, the people behind technology. The stories driving the future of manufacturing. The thought leaders and people like us creating the products, the opportunities and solving the challenges of our industry. Explore a new digital destination designed for manufacturing technology community where you can watch, read, learn, join, and connect. Go to imts.com to cure your postpartum IMTS depression.

Benjamin Moses:          Good segue, Steve. I appreciate that.

Stephen LaMarca:         You bet.

Benjamin Moses:          So since we're talking about IMTS, I thought it'd be useful just to recap what our highlights were on the technology side, but I was using the framework of article from IMTS+ where it talks about a key takeaways from 2022.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          So the first one is we saw automation everywhere.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          I think that's solid.

Stephen LaMarca:         It is an absolute takeaway. Automation was everywhere. To be fair, that's nothing new because IMTS 2018, 4 years ago, automation was also everywhere.

Benjamin Moses:          True.

Stephen LaMarca:         However, 2018 automation was at the beginning of its surplus. I predicted in 2018 that the cost of automation would go down...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... and it certainly did. I was right about that. Yes. I called that. I'm so proud of it but what I never expected was, and I want to discuss this with you. Do you think that cobots are becoming obsolete? Because in 2018, cobots were all the rage.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Fast forward to 2022, we just came from IMTS, there were still a lot of cobots there and more companies providing cobots than ever...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... before. However, we saw some really disruptive technology in automation...

Benjamin Moses:          We did.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... which I was wrong about by the way, because back in 2018 I did say that robots are going to become more plentiful. There's going to be a surplus. They're going to go down in price but really the technical innovations aren't going to keep up.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Man, was I wrong? And thankfully, because we saw a lot of unsafe guarded industrial robots.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And that's brings up my concern to are cobots obsolete already?

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         Because one of the companies that we saw that we can't stop blabbing about with one of the greatest booth designs ever, Veo Robotics, totally empty booth.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Just nice plush carpet and people to talk to. And the only things in their booth was this big screen on the backdrop, a big like 60 inch, 65, 70 inch television screen. And in front of that screen was an industrial robot swinging around at full industrial speeds...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... well exceeding 15 Newtons of force and no safeguarding in sight.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         The safeguarding was hidden up top in the gantry, the catwalks of the booth.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And it was what I assume lidar and it mapped, you could see on the screen everywhere there was a soft target in range and every time a soft target got within range of the industrial robot, it came to a screeching halt.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Not literally a screeching halt, but it came to...

Benjamin Moses:          To stop.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... a complete stop. And it was incredible. I had never seen anything like that before.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         We've known this is possible but we didn't know you could cross these bounds.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         So going back to my original question, seeing this done with an industrial robot...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... do you think cobots are obsolete? And this is a huge discussion by the way on LinkedIn.

Benjamin Moses:          Interesting.

Stephen LaMarca:         There's a lot of people out...

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... there that talk ill of cobots.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         So what do you think, Ben?

Benjamin Moses:          So there's a couple of [inaudible 00:12:43]. So the shift from active safeguarding where you have fences and restraints to keep people away from it to passive. That bone booth we saw showed a very cool demonstrator of that. And one other thing. So it also detected humans, but also I talked to the people in the booth a little bit and what they're also looking at is the future point cloud of the robot itself. So add a specific pose, where all the potential future are poses of that and it puts a future cloud on the robot.

Stephen LaMarca:         That's what that yellow cone was.

Benjamin Moses:          Exactly.

Stephen LaMarca:         It wasn't a cone, it was like a hemisphere.

Benjamin Moses:          Hemisphere. Right. So as you approach it from say the backside, you can approach it closer because the future cloud is further away from you. But if their future cloud gets close to you, then it turns off or it pauses the robot. And that's a key element, it pauses that. So it's actually interrupting the path programming that says pause and then once you're clear of that and then allows you to resume. So that's the current implementation of it. There's another booth where I think they're using probably sonar or some other type of passive technology to slow then stop the robot. So as you're getting closer to the robot then it turns it off.

Stephen LaMarca:         You saw that a lot at Yaskawa. You saw a lot of implementations of that. Not just at the FANUC booth but at other booths...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... with FANUC bots.

Benjamin Moses:          And we've seen that in the past and just automation in general where use a series light curtains. So as you get...

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          ... closer to either conveyors or other pieces of automation equipment, it'll start slowing down the equipment. And the logic is fairly solid, right? As you cross certain light curtains, it slows it down till you hit the last one then it turns it off. So the question of are cobots becoming obsolete? I would say in automation, it's very use case dependent.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So the nice thing about cobots is the ability to teach on the fly. So you can still operate a cobot in a very safe manner...

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          ... manually moving around. So you can teach it by pushing it to the pose and then using the teach pendant and say pose one, linear, rotational, whatever. And then you can build your series of the program that way. So if you're doing like high mix, low volume scenario, so you're constantly changing part numbers, changing orientation, I think that's a great scenario for more towards cobots.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          If you're in the scenario where you need access to stuff around the robot, so maybe in the scenario like palletizing, right?

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          That could be a scenario where you're constantly moving stuff out where it makes sense to have passive scenarios, but also the speed of the industrial robots versus the cobot. And that's where I think the advantage is, right? The speed of industrial robots is higher but I'm not constantly interacting with the robots.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So I think that's a scenario where you probably see more segregation of "am I interacting with the robot," or there's also a collaborative assist scenario. So one of the booths showed, and they had a collaborative robot where they're working on a bicycle and it would change the orientation of the bicycle. So it was ergonomically correct to the operator. So if you imagine working on transmission or a larger factory where it's supporting the object so you're not bending over, or if you're getting an [inaudible 00:15:56] position, you're bringing a tool over. That's another scenario where a cobot is probably going to be safer than industrial robot.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right. I would love to see an auto mechanic...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... doing not an engine swap but an engine out operation on the car on the cobot is lifting the engine for the mechanic, but at the same time, cobot by law and standard can't exceed 15 newtons.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Pulling that engine would be so slow...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... because that's a heavy [inaudible 00:16:26] of metal moving to not exceed 15 newtons of force. That's moving slow.

Benjamin Moses:          Right. Or the other scenario is if you're working on the top of the car, right? So you have to take off say the valve cover or something heavy, right? The valve cover's not super heavy but it's kind of awkward, right? Having that assist pull off that stuff where you're reaching over and instead of pulling the three pounds of object, you have the robots supporting you.

Stephen LaMarca:         It'd be so cool to see mechanic working with a robot.

Benjamin Moses:          That would be cool. So I think the collaborative assist you're probably going to see more of that in the future.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I guess, the answer to the question is...

Benjamin Moses:          No.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... the same as every other answer, which is it depends on the application. It's like if you would want to use, yes, a collaborative robot would be obsolete and unnecessary in a nearly total lights out lean manufacturing application where if there's barely any humans in sight, you don't even need the lights on. Don't use a cobot.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         But if there's a ton of humans around and you need the assistance of a strong robot arm, you want cobot.

Benjamin Moses:          So the next bullet we have is everything is connected.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes.

Benjamin Moses:          Which I thought was, and back to your point earlier about the automation, it's continuing the connectivity, right? We saw that in the last show, but now we're seeing a significant more interconnection of all the connected applications but also a drive towards standards, right?

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So it was a matter of "are they using MP connector to drive data?" And most of the time was yes.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right? And the standards really make everything easy...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... which is good for the handful of facilities that I visited just this year alone that are incredibly advanced facilities with high end machine tools. And the big thing that they're pushing for, the next piece of technology they're looking to acquire is a network to connect it all.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         And fortunately those standards are already in place and then used at other facilities. So they've been tested.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         And they're in a good opportunity. Now, they just need a good developer to put it all together for them and hopefully they have a good IT department.

Benjamin Moses:          Definitely. The next bullet, I'm probably going to jump around a little bit because... The next one is ease of use is a growing priority.

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes. Ease of use. I know I keep harping on it, but I saw that the most... Well, with how far automation has come, machine tools have gotten a little bit better. I'll come back to them. But automation, a lot of our colleagues who are new to the manufacturing industry came to me and be like, "Hey, when are you free because I want you to take me around the show and show me what's cool." And Mo and I actually went to the Student Summit together.

Benjamin Moses:          Cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         I made it to Friday without having seen the Student Summit, maybe even Saturday, don't tell Greg, without having seen the Student Summit. And I finally got to go down there, Kristen, her husband, Mo, and I think Chris Downs too...

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... went to the Student Summit together. I hadn't yet seen it. MO hadn't yet seen it yet. We went to the FANUC booth because of course they had multiple booths.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         We went to the FANUC booth down in the Student Summit straight up taught Mo within 15 minutes how to operate a cobot arm.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         An advanced top dollar collaborative robot arm. And it really is that easy. I'm not just say that Mo's dumb because she is not, but it's the Student Summit. They're also getting middle schoolers...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... maybe even elementary schoolers learned on programming a FANUC cobot. Have they gotten easier? Absolutely. But to harp back on traditional CNC machine tools, who else was down there? Doosan. Well, their new name DN, which means Doosan now.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And what's the other word?

Benjamin Moses:          I think that's it.

Stephen LaMarca:         If you saw a brand at IMTS that had this Panther logo and you're like, "how did this new company get this huge booth spot at IMTS where there's all the big booths are taken by manufacturing industry veteran companies." This new companies actually Doosan, but they changed their name to DN Solutions.

Benjamin Moses:          Yes.

Stephen LaMarca:         I think that's it.

Benjamin Moses:          That's what it was.

Stephen LaMarca:         DN Solutions was also in the Student Summit showing how easy it was to run their machine. Their machines aren't as easy to run as collaborative robots, but really easy to run for 5-axis CNC machines. But going back to one of my favorite brands, Penta Machine, formally known as Pocket NC...

Benjamin Moses:          Which we have here.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... they have come so far to cough looking like they had Windows 95, 98 Mitsubishi controller...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... which don't get me wrong, it works and it's standardized. In the industry, you should know how that works, just like you should know how to operate a Bridgeport. It's that old school mind sweeper looking controller. But now machine tool controllers are so easy to use and you don't need somebody there to teach you. I set up the new Pocket NC. It helps that we had, this is our second one, so I've operated one before, but the UI, the HMI is totally new on the new one. And I only looked at the getting started guide...

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         To physically set up the machine to make sure everything was plugged in properly. And I used it only to get to the web browser and to refer to what the correct IP address to the machine was so I could connect to. Once I was connected and I got the notification on which web based controller that it was connected to the machine, it was totally self-explanatory.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I knew exactly what to do from there and it was really easy to operate the machine. And it shows and it's really cool that a bunch of companies are investing in this easy to use layout, this UI, this user interface for future operators. They're actively trying to close this skills gap. It's not just a Student Summit thing anymore, the industry's actually trying to do this, which is such a beautiful thing to see. They're actively making things easier. It's easier to get into the manufacturing industry now as an individual worker. I mean, Penta, I know I keep piping them up, but I love their UI designer came from Pixar.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         He worked on the firework scene in the movie Madagascar. He knows how to make things look pretty.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         And pretty to the point that anybody could figure out how to use a 5-axis CNC machine.

Benjamin Moses:          That's impressive.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's so cool.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool. And I think that's a big takeaway across the board is that the scenario where we program the cobot and also the shift with the Pocket NC and the Penta and their interface, human to machine, the HMIs interfaces have come a long way.

Stephen LaMarca:         They've come so far.

Benjamin Moses:          It's a lot more intuitive. So not only are machine tools or subtractive equipment using G Code to get the actual path of the stuff, but the interface on top of that, that's what's probably changing the most, right? So instead of flooding the user to go to G Code right away, providing the layer that allows for that kind of middle ground interpretation helps a lot.

Stephen LaMarca:         And I want to give a little bit of that credit to the additive industry because you look at a lot of these additive machines and sure nobody's like manually additive, doing additive or else that would be just welding.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         But you look at a lot of industrial 3D printers, they're all touchscreens.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         There's not a button in sight. The ones that know what they're doing and actually want to be industrial have an e-stop button...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... but everything else is on a touchscreen. That actually disappoint me as much as I love Formlabs...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... I think it was Jake [inaudible 00:25:01], he did show me, I think he pointed out to me that Formlabs doesn't have an e-top on their machines.

Benjamin Moses:          That's interesting.

Stephen LaMarca:         But you're not going to be in there anyway. If you have the door open to the point where you can get hurt...

Benjamin Moses:          Right. It's not going to run.

Stephen LaMarca:         It's not going to be moving. And so lights and lasers anyway.

Benjamin Moses:          Is that what the definition of industrial equipment? An e-stop.

Stephen LaMarca:         It got to have an e-stop. A big serious, scary looking red button with a yellow trim around it.

Benjamin Moses:          We have the sit-standing desks and the ones we have are motorized. I think I'll make mine industrial by putting an emergency stop on.

Stephen LaMarca:         It should have a foot pedal.

Benjamin Moses:          A foot pedal.

Stephen LaMarca:         Foot pedal e-stop.

Benjamin Moses:          Or their two handed operations. So you have to push both controls so they know.

Stephen LaMarca:         Have watch keys.

Benjamin Moses:          I think the last one we want to talk about is Fabrisonic. You got article from...

Stephen LaMarca:         Fabrisonic came out with a press release recently, but nobody's written an article on it yet. But I wanted to talk about Fabrisonic because what's really cool about them, they're an additive company.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         Well, excuse me. They're a hybrid additive company. So additive and subtractive technology. But they are different because they use ultrasonic sound waves to fuse layers, sheets of metal together. One thing that's tough to do and not commonly done in additive is printing pure copper.

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         Fabrisonic is one of the companies that can do it.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca:         They take pure copper sheets...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         They can ultrasonic fuse them together. I don't want to say weld, but they fuse the sheets together and if you want any design, you need any intricate pathways, what have you that can be subtractively removed layer by layer as the layers are added.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         But what's really cool is, I remember one of the very impressive companies that I saw at my first IMTS in 2016 was Acoustics.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         A spindle company and it's tough to find them on the web now, but they were a spindle company that vibrated, if I remember correctly, they vibrated at an ultrasonic frequency, the spindle head to evaporate any coolant or debris...

Benjamin Moses:          Sure.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... it's cutting...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... to extend tool life, cutting tool life. Well, the patent holder behind that ultrasonic frequency technology for Acoustics back in the day is the same guy that holds the patent for the guys and girls at Fabrisonic.

Benjamin Moses:          Nice.

Stephen LaMarca:         And it was really cool to see that...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... how my most recent, It's easy to go back to 2018, see what's happened then. But being able to link all of my IMTSs, my so many IMTSs back to each other...

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         ... and that was just fun.

Benjamin Moses:          That's cool. And I do like the ability, so...

Stephen LaMarca:         Yes, I know where you're going. Their ability to print PCBs.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Actually use additive manufacturing in its entirety to make a PC, not print a few layers, then stop, somebody comes in and installs the wiring loom or harness or whatever. No, it does it in one shot.

Benjamin Moses:          Yep.

Stephen LaMarca:         It can do it in one shot and because of its a hybrid technology, you can make a PCB, which just sounds a little weird, but you can print a PCB entirely out of metal.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         You can have your insulatory layers in there. But what it is essentially a metal PCB board.

Benjamin Moses:          Right.

Stephen LaMarca:         Computer board. And that was just wild to me and they make really pretty parts. Not going to lie, their subtractive technology, really good surface finish.

Benjamin Moses:          I like that.

Stephen LaMarca:         Like Swiss watch quality.

Benjamin Moses:          That's what caught your eye.

Stephen LaMarca:         Very pleased with it.

Benjamin Moses:          And that's big takeaway for me is getting the mixed materials. I did find an article their running low on time is about is pined circuit boards, But the idea of modifying the circuit board, so not everything's 90 degrees, which is kind of the current fabrication method to allowing the board go like 45 degrees as you grow it. So I do like the concept of mixed materials and if you look at a lot of assemblies, there's always a mixed material scenario, right? It's rarely one material. That's a big advantage of additive also is putting the right material where you need it.

Stephen LaMarca:         Right.

Benjamin Moses:          So if you have an abrasive section or a section that's constantly in contact, make that harder than the rest of everything else, right? That's a fascinating use case and I like where they're headed with that and wish them luck. That's going to be cool in the future.

Stephen LaMarca:         They're going to be awesome.

Benjamin Moses:          Where can people find more info about us, Steve?

Stephen LaMarca:         amtonline.org/resources. Like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

Benjamin Moses:          Bye everyone.

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Benjamin Moses
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