Episode 73: Steve starts up about maintenance again. Ben reflects on a recent trip to Heidenhain and DMG Mori. Stephen looks forward to going back to Detroit. Benjamin introduces an article about software enabling communication between robots and building infrastructure. Steve is jealous that a college in Maine was given a Boston Dynamics Spot via donation. Ben talks about adding rotary axes to CMMs. Stephen closes with Forbes writing out of their element.
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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 IMTS+. I am the director of technology, Benjamin Moses, and I'm here with the awesome-
Stephen LaMarca: Technology analyst of AMT, Stephen LaMarca.
Benjamin Moses: Steve, how are you doing.
Stephen LaMarca: First of his name.
Benjamin Moses: The first of his name. Wow, that's a new title.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Well, I mean, my dad's name was Lou, so I'm the first Steve. Second Stephen in the family, but like he was a great grandfather.
Benjamin Moses: I think we should use that more often.
Stephen LaMarca: I mean, Game of Thrones did it, but that ended terribly, so maybe not.
Benjamin Moses: It depends on how you want to end. Let's talk about maintenance. You briefly mentioned you had some good-
Stephen LaMarca: Okay, so this is a bit embarrassing on my end, since I just got off of... I've come down from riding this awesome wave of industrial maintenance, how to take maintenance seriously, and how you can better maintain your assets. I take a lot of pride in maintenance. That being said, to be fair, all of my vehicles that I pilot or drive are Japanese. They make the most reliable stuff out there. They don't really need to be maintained as well as I do, I maintain them. What you can get out of that is I deserve a Ferrari.
But anyway, I take great care of my stuff. I have this stuff documented. I even go above and beyond by doing ridiculous things like sending in every other oil change, well, every 30,000 miles I take an oil sample, send it to Blackstone laboratories in the med Midwest and have them run the oil sample through a mass spectrometer to tell me everything that's going on in my oil to... Then they take that data and they extrapolate a conclusion as to what's going on. What's the condition of my car's engine, or motorcycle's engine. Motorcycle doesn't have- It will be eventually, but it doesn't have enough miles on it yet. It's still brand new.
Anyway, I do stuff like that. Also, I've had things like- The car I drive is a sports car and I like to give it a quality alignment. Quality alignment means a lot. A sports car is all about the feel and the experience. If you get like a luxury car, you don't want to notice anything in your surroundings. A luxury car has to feel like a living room that just takes you somewhere.
Benjamin Moses: Right, you want to feel almost a little numb.
Stephen LaMarca: It's a very nice appliance. A sports car is like the opposite of that. Doesn't necessarily- A lot of people think it has to be fast or it has to corner well. No, it has to provide a visceral experience that delivers more than what a standard car would.
Benjamin Moses: That's right. You want to feel-
Stephen LaMarca: Not less like a luxury car.
Benjamin Moses: You want to feel the car and how the car's connected to the road.
Stephen LaMarca: Right. Jeremy Clarkson once said that a sports car suspension should not be soft and forgiving it should- Well, it should be forgiving, but it shouldn't be soft and delicate. It should be firm and it should give you feedback of the road, right? You should know everything about the conditions of the road that you are on. You should feel every surface change like when you go from concrete to asphalt and back, or you should feel every joint in a bridge. If you hit a squirrel, you should know what the gender of that squirrel was and what it had for breakfast.
Benjamin Moses: That's fair.
Stephen LaMarca: So an alignment's very important. I've had really nice alignments done to my car. I've even had a shop attempt to corner weight the suspension, which is not an adjustable suspension. So you can't really corner weight something like that, but you can at least get it on a nice alignment rack and they took a lot of care for it. They tell you what your alignment was before they changed anything, and they also show you the after. So you can see the delta in what your alignment looks like in the event that you are not astute enough to actually notice what's different in your alignment.
So anyway, I've had my car for now eight years and I still don't plan on getting rid of it. I love this car. I've noticed for the past maybe year or so that it starts to get... I start to feel a subtle vibration around 60 miles an hour. It's barely noticeable at 60. As I approach 80, really around 75, then it becomes more noticeable. It's still not bad and as I take it faster and faster, the vibrations become more and more intense, but it's still totally manageable and I've always written this off. For the past year I've written off this vibration as to being... The car's not a spring chicken anymore. It's not a new car anymore. These are old car vibes.
But anyway, one of our colleagues is having some work done on his fancy car. Very nice car. It's in between a luxury and sports car, which I just said, isn't a thing that can happen, but it is. He's got such a cool car. Anyway, he's got to have some work done to it and it's expensive work. So I told him, well, another colleague that, him and I, we share a very good mechanic. We suggested to this guy that's having the issues, "Go to this mechanic. He does the best job. Steven and I swear by him." And I do, I absolutely do. Met him at Tyson's. He hops from shop to shop, but he works for a company that owns all the shops, but he moves around because they know he's good.
Benjamin Moses: Right, so you follow-
Stephen LaMarca: With every move he gets a promotion, But thankfully they keep him on the shop floor. Because he's an artisan, he's an artist when it comes to working on cars. Anyway, so yeah, I'm just making sure that I can send our colleague to the right shop to meet with this guy, Carter. You may have seen him in the YouTube videos that we did for IMTS on the IMTS YouTube channel. He's in the video where I talk about is a mechanic, a machinist or vice versa. In this example, on the video, we prove that yes, a mechanic in this case is a machinist. But anyway, I want to send our colleague to him because he does good job and he treats you well. But in the process of going through all this, I see on the company's website, on their a la carte options for things to be maintained on a vehicle, road force balancing, $40 per wheel.
I'm like, I've actually never had this done before, because I've always seen rotate and balance the tires as a complimentary add-on that you have done with every service and I just assume that they do it because it's done for free. But then realize, how much are you really getting when something's done for free? Even though I wouldn't say it's done for free because the services, especially if you take it to a dealership, aren't the best deals that you're getting. But anyway, I've always had tires rotated and balanced, but I've never had a road force balancing done. So I ask Carter what his availability looks like and I set up an appointment and I dropped the car off for a road force balancing. $40 a tire times four, it's like 160 bucks.
He comes back to me a couple hours later and is like, "The road force looks good on all four wheels. So we don't need to change anything for the road force. So I'm not going to charge you for the road force portion of the balancing, but one of your wheels, your rear right, or something like that, is grossly off, and that explains A, the vibrations you're feeling at speed, and B, why a year ago you had to have a wheel bearing replaced. Because this kind of vibration will eventually make a wheel bearing go shot." When your wheel bearing goes shot, doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is expensive. Well, it's expensive enough to notice it and they're noisy when they go. You'll hear tire roar, what you think is tire roar.
But it makes the same noise that worn tires will also make. So that's why a lot of people blow it off, but bad wheel bearings will actually destroy suspension, one corner of your car too. So you'll need to get new bushings and stuff like that. It is a slippery slope if you let a wheel bearing go. What I learned is a bad wheel bearing can be caused by a bad balancing and this wheel has grossly off. So he fixed that only had to pay $90 plus labor and taxes. Well, including labor and tax. So he saved me some money because he's the best mechanic ever. Love you, Carter and take the car for a test drive after getting this road force balance, even though I didn't need- Get this proper balancing of the tires or the wheels and take it onto the 495 express lanes, bring it up to three digits.
Excuse me, this was a closed course. Professional driver in Mexico. Bring vehicle speed up to three digits. No vibrations. It is better than brand new right now.
Benjamin Moses: That's awesome. That's a great feel.
Stephen LaMarca: I hear a tire roar. Which I'm hoping isn't a wheel bearing, but I think if it was a wheel bearing, I'd probably feel it too. The tires that I have are summer tires, really high performance, summer tires, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S's. I've had them for about two years now. Well, it actually is exactly two years now. So, because it's a soft summer compound, they've probably worn enough that it probably is tire roar.
But I come off as this guy that's like- Or I try to, I'm a self-proclaimed maintenance guru of all things, industrial maintenance related and I totally let this thing slip past me and I feel awful about it. But at the same time, it's crazy that the slightest, the littlest thing that a lot of people overlook Because it's typically included in your periodic service that it actually makes such a huge difference.
Benjamin Moses: All the service stuff that I've seen, a lot of my cars are older, I've ever seen rotation and balance. I've seen rotation. Actually, I run a lot of staggered wheels also, so you're not going to rotate those anyway. So the balancing of tires actually rare for me. It only happens when I buy new tires, which with summer tires, they do wear pretty quickly. But yeah, I agree. It's one of those things that it's more reactive from my perspective that I don't know a lot of people that proactively check their balance, because why would it go out of balance? You'd lose a weight or something like that, then you notice it, right? So it's-
Stephen LaMarca: I mean and it's just weird because like I said, the car's eight years old. It's not supposed to drive perfect forever.
Benjamin Moses: So I took a trip, so the parallel would be, I was in a rental car for about four days, two weeks ago. We had a joint meeting over in Schaumburg, the west side of Chicago.
Stephen LaMarca: Yes. Tell me about this.
Benjamin Moses: AMT and NTMA got together and they hosted a joint meeting at two facilities. We stayed at DMG Mori and the next day we stayed at HEIDENHAIN. So the content was very good. We covered a lot of new forward-looking technology that's available now. There was an interesting theme throughout the entire content where we look at how we can accelerate the manufacturing process through simulations. So instead of getting to a physical part right away or cutting the part or actually doing a lot in the more simulation world or the digital world where you can prove out your process and get to almost the first part correct mentality. But there's a lot of interesting technologies that looked at integrated computational materials engineering.
Looked at FEA software and different predictive tools for additive. We looked at simulations and human-to-machine interactions on automation. So that was a very interesting look at how important the human side of automation is, right? Not just largely the equipment and things like that, but how do humans interact with this equipment going forward? I was really impressed with both facilities. So DMG Mori, it was a very clean environment, which is very on-brand for them, obviously there's a lot of-
Stephen LaMarca: Oh my God, yeah.
Benjamin Moses: So you enter through the lobby and then you walk through their manufacturing floor and then the conference area's elevated, but it overlooks that area. So it was actually very loud.
Stephen LaMarca: That's cool.
Benjamin Moses: So equipment was running, they're cutting parts. They're cutting chips so they had a lot of AV equipment that you could obviously hear over. So it was a fantastic facility and we saw their hybrid, they were running the hybrid machine for us. So they're actually cutting chips for our tour at the end.
Stephen LaMarca: So this is DMG Mori
Benjamin Moses: DMG Mori.
Stephen LaMarca: Okay.
Benjamin Moses: They ran their hybrid machine. So it was growing a part as we were there also.
Stephen LaMarca: I had no idea. This is really speaks bad to me. I didn't know they had a hybrid machine. Do they partner with anybody to do the additive part?
Benjamin Moses: I don't know. I don't know.
Stephen LaMarca: Okay. Is it laser powder bed fusion or powder bed fusion?
Benjamin Moses: No, it's DEP. It's direct energy position.
Stephen LaMarca: Okay. Wow, that's so cool.
Benjamin Moses: It was really cool to see, because they're growing fins on a shaft and the shaft will stay an inch ancient diameter and the fins were probably about another inch or so off that.
Stephen LaMarca: Kind of like a blisk?
Benjamin Moses: Kind of, it was more like a prop.
Stephen LaMarca: Okay, got you.
Benjamin Moses: Underwater propeller.
Stephen LaMarca: A screw.
Benjamin Moses: A screw. Underwater- Thanks. So it was just interesting that when you look at power bed, you don't see the part, you just see that layer and then you don't see-
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, you see the rastering of the laser, which looks so sick.
Benjamin Moses: You don't see how fast it's growing. So on the hybrid machine, it was growing fairly fast. So it was probably there for a couple of minutes and it grew probably about three of those fins within four minutes or so. Then I think that's where the advantage of hybrid is, you grew it on the part itself, on the shaft as opposed to starting-
Stephen LaMarca: Oh, okay. So this wasn't a fresh part, this was a repair.
Benjamin Moses: So you started with the shaft and it was growing the fins on the shaft.
Stephen LaMarca: Got you. So the shaft was like bar stock.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Stephen LaMarca: That's really cool. That is something I haven't seen before. Tell me about HEIDENHAIN. I know you posted it on LinkedIn that you were at HEIDENHAIN and then I commented asking if you had seen any rotary encoders, and you said you saw all of the encoders. But I'm semi-serious about that. I don't know what a rotary encoder looks like. All I know is that HEIDENHAIN makes the rotary encoders that are on the James Webb Space Telescope.
Benjamin Moses: I think so. Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: I forget the first name, but the Webb Space Telescope that's better than the Hubble by like 2000% or something like that. They use HEDIDENHAIN encoders and the importance of those encoders is such a big deal because when they see something interesting that's light years away or whatever, they have to know exactly where it is and what allows that is the precision of those encoders.
Benjamin Moses: That's right.
Stephen LaMarca: So what does an encoder look like, and did you actually see them?
Benjamin Moses: Let's back up. DMG Mori is more of a tech center, so they're showing off their equipment, it's a wide variety of equipment. They do training there and obviously sales support. HEIDENHAIN, they do assembly there. So they actually are assembling their controllers. They're assembling a variety of different things there. So, they got raw PCB boards that they're making. They're making their own wires.
Stephen LaMarca: Wow.
Benjamin Moses: So it's a fascinating facility. It is a manufacturing facility. It's a electronics manufacturing facility. Of course, they're doing all returns. So anything that gets returned that goes back to that facility for repairs and they can have a rolling inventory.
Stephen LaMarca: That's so cool.
Benjamin Moses: So when you talk about what did we see there? We saw everything that basically they had, right? So they have, I guess, a couple of brands of controllers that they had. So they talked about that and we saw-
Stephen LaMarca: You imagine somebody, if they sent back the James Webb Telescope for repairs. Just the whole thing.
Benjamin Moses: Just the whole thing. So when you saw the encoders, right? They weren't making those there, but they had kits where you can retrofit an email, like a Bridgeport or I think they have some other brands.
Stephen LaMarca: No way.
Benjamin Moses: So if you want to convert it to have a digital readout, or you can also-
Stephen LaMarca: A drow.
Benjamin Moses: Or you can add motors to it too, so you can have it fully CNC and manual control.
Stephen LaMarca: That's so cool.
Benjamin Moses: It was cool to see.
Stephen LaMarca: So HEIDENHAIN makes those kits? That's awesome.
Benjamin Moses: They send you a full box and then you can have your maintenance department do it or a tech do it.
Stephen LaMarca: We need a Bridgeport.
Benjamin Moses: That's heavy, man.
Stephen LaMarca: I know. They will know. This building will never... Totally break our lease.
Benjamin Moses: Yep.
Stephen LaMarca: All right.
Benjamin Moses: So that was a good time.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, sounds fun.
Benjamin Moses: Today's sponsor is IMTS+. Manufacturing digital content to get you ready for IMTS and after. We're hosting videos and articles on topics relevant to manufacturing technologies and the business of manufacturing. Importantly, it's all free. I guarantee you'll find something that you like. So Steve, the first article I have is from... Where's this from? Straits Times, maybe? I don't know. They talk about autonomous robots AMRs and AGVs. Particularly in the medical industry, in healthcare. The interesting dilemma that is coming about is, healthcare is deploying a lot of these autonomous or automated vehicles dispensing medicine or running equipment back and forth-
Stephen LaMarca: Or sanitizing-
Benjamin Moses: Or sanitizing.
Stephen LaMarca: The hospitals.
Benjamin Moses: So going from point A to point B, it's a thing. But hospitals are fairly complex. It may have to traverse an elevator. It may have to open doors. There's a lot of, we'll call them obstacles, that could prevent a robot from getting to its final destination. This article talks about how Singapore's effort to help create a common language for robots to interact in a building infrastructure.
Stephen LaMarca: Wow.
Benjamin Moses: So it's fairly interesting where you're combining equipment and building infrastructure, which I wouldn't say a lot of that occurs, but I'd say... So they-
Stephen LaMarca: So the robot could communicate with an elevator. So it's called as it's approaching.
Benjamin Moses: Right, so instead of putting a finger or arm on it to push buttons, which is fine, you could do that too.
Stephen LaMarca: That's really cool.
Benjamin Moses: They could wirelessly communicate to each other.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. I also like the fact that you bring up the use case of, just from delivering something from point A to point B, this could greatly reduce the chances of nurse Jackie's.
Benjamin Moses: Maybe, but there's no fun in that.
Stephen LaMarca: You're bad, Ben. You're bad.
Benjamin Moses: So they're coming up with a standard, it's called [inaudible 00:20:01] so there's a bunch of groups working on this.
Stephen LaMarca: I'm glad they didn't try to get cutesy with it.
Benjamin Moses: No, no, not too cutesy but it's a common language. It's more of a middleware between digital devices. So obviously this is a starting point and I was thinking about this more, right? So, in the article, they use a phrase, common language. I think that's where we are in the digital transformation age. Industry 4.0, maybe four and a half, five, is things are just communicating, right? It's not just data collection. It's more of devices devices communicating, devices to humans, communicating to us. So I think the next shift more towards, in general, and we see growing obviously with empty connect as more device device communication, but the underlying principle is just more increased communication.
Stephen LaMarca: Right, right. It's messed up, Industry 4.0 is the millennial of industrial advances. Because we talk about mass production, the assembly line, Ford's assembly line as this immediate click, this "Aha" that happens. Meanwhile, Industry 4.0, it's just things talking to each other. Nobody's jumping right into it. Nobody's flipping a switch on it. It will be 10 years from now and people will be like, "oh yeah, I remember when that happened." But nobody remembers the exact point. Nobody, no organizations, no job shops, no facilities will do it with another facility at the same time. Everybody's going to bloom at their own pace.
Benjamin Moses: It's one of those things where I think at hindsight, you can say, "This specific thing occurred, therefore industry 4.0 occurred." Right? I don't think the Ford assembly line they're in the middle of it like, "We're in the industrial revolution." I'm sure some... It occurred much later, right? Someone said, "This is a cool thing that happened. We'll put a marker there."
Stephen LaMarca: Well, this company's doing this.
Benjamin Moses: They're doing it.
Stephen LaMarca: Maybe we should jump into it.
Benjamin Moses: Infrastructure. I mean, there is some- Okay. So there is some building infrastructure communication standards in general, you have like BACnet and things like that where, yeah, if you're trying to aggregate. So, the use case would be your metrology room. You need to control the environmental conditions plus equipment in there. You probably want to aggregate that information, because all of that is critical together. So being able to aggregate, was the air conditioning on?
Stephen LaMarca: Do you need a clean room?
Benjamin Moses: What's the temperature? Do you need a clean room? Was the humidity in that room and then was the machine on at that time, right? There's all those factors that you could kind of lump together into a single scenario where you have to control the environment. Was the door open? Was the door closed? All those are scenarios that kind of can aggregate together into a use case.
Stephen LaMarca: Also building infrastructure as advanced as a lot of buildings today, want you to feel that they are, there's a lot of buildings that are still really junk. We work in a really awesome building. You can hear the wind blowing . during cicada season, somehow those little guys make it in here. Fortunately, none of the bees on the roof have come in here.
Benjamin Moses: That'd be fine.
Stephen LaMarca: But I would imagine what kind of commotion that would stir. But-
Benjamin Moses: The use case is improved efficiency or what is the goal, right? Like at my house, I use ecobee for the thermostat. The complexity of that controller is that it can sense when someone's there so if you have a schedule that's wrong, like if I leave and it's supposed to be for the home setting and no one's there, it'll just go into eco mode, right? But the benefit is I get lower energy bill, right? If you go to the manufacturing side or even the industrial side like here, we could definitely save some money by getting better installation, more closed loop thermostats. But on the parts side, how do you verify this super- when you're holding really tight tolerances, the changes in temperature affect the part drastically, right? So yeah, get into those areas.
Stephen LaMarca: An industrial company, an industrial manufacturing company has made it big when they release or when, not release, but when they have their name on common household thermostats.
Benjamin Moses: Oh sure.
Stephen LaMarca: You'll hear in the office, "These are Siemens thermostats." If it wasn't for us working in this industry, we would have no idea what Siemens is. Maybe somebody in passing would be like, "Oh, they make hospital MRI machines. They make hospital equipment."
Benjamin Moses: A big conglomerate, yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: My apartment has a Honeywell thermostat. We haven't upgraded Google Nest or anything like that.
Benjamin Moses: Is it like a dial Honeywell or is it-
Stephen LaMarca: No, no it's a modern Honeywell with buttons and a screen, but it's like, "Yeah, there're a huge beltway bandit that gets government contracts, but they also make this thermostat."
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. That's-
Stephen LaMarca: I had a Honeywell fan in military school that we kicked out of the window.
Benjamin Moses: So you got an interesting one on sharing technologies. You got something from Colby University.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, I'll be honest with you. So I thought your article was going to be about automation. So I wanted to tie it in together. So have you heard of Colby- It's not Colby University, excuse me, Colby College?
Benjamin Moses: Colby College. No, I'm not familiar with Colby College.
Stephen LaMarca: They're in Maine. In New England there's a dime a dozen. Well, I'm not saying- That's mean. There's a lot of- Well, there's a good amount of colleges and universities in New England close to Canada that are very small and few people have heard of, but they're very good schools. I went to one, but in Maine, Colby College is a college that exists and there's this guy that lives up in Maine. This article introduces him and what he's done, but this guy took it upon himself to Fritz Onion bought a Boston Dynamics Spot, fully loaded Spot too, by the way, not just one of them random dancing dogs, but the robot dog with collaborative robot arm attached to it. So full on IMR or AMR if you would.
But yeah, it's got the robot arm and everything and this guy, I'm pretty sure bought it because lives in Maine, probably has good amount of money. Thinks the tech is cool and guy buys a one of these robot dogs to like scan his lawn for sticks that blew over in the last Nor-Easter, pick him up, move him out of the way, stuff like that. Anyway, this guy's like, "You know what? I don't really have a use for this expensive $80,000 robot. I'm going to donate it to a local school."
Benjamin Moses: That's cool.
Stephen LaMarca: Colby College gets the donation of this awesome Spot robot dog and they're using it for obviously educational purposes, but they're sharing the wealth. They're sharing the experience and the ability to work with and on this robot with some local, as low as junior high schools in the area. So it's just really cool that this technology is... Sure, I'm looking for more use cases on Spot. I love documenting and talking about, "Oh, Spot's doing this now. Spots are being used for this." It's also really cool that people are buying this as a tech pet. I'm going to put it like that, a tech pet.
Benjamin Moses: That's a new term.
Stephen LaMarca: It's awesome. I wish I had the funds or even a lawn to use a robot dog to scan for weeds and whatnot.
Benjamin Moses: That an interesting use case. Yeah, I agree to that.
Stephen LaMarca: I want nothing to do with a lawn, but if I can buy automation, industrial automation that will take care of it for me instead of hiring a crew to come out every week, done.
Benjamin Moses: I'll get back to that. But I do like the idea of sharing technology. So the idea of, I mean the user market for manufacturing equipment's massive, but the idea of. "I bought a thing, I don't need it anymore. Let me donate it for someone else."
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.
Benjamin Moses: I think that's solid for the industry in general, right? So getting new experiences at the collegiate level and obviously they're sharing it with lower grades too. But the idea of, "Hey, here's a IMR basically, let's figure out what problems it can solve." That knowledge is super useful later to understand more technology adoption.
Stephen LaMarca: Right. I'm sure there's somebody in our industry that has been like, "You know what? I think my garage needs a..." Somebody probably with a huge wine cellar was probably like, "Yeah, I think I got some garage space, but I don't want to buy another car. Let me buy a Mazak or something like that, just to throw in there. See what I can do on my own time." Eventually comes to their senses and was like, "I don't want to maintain this machine, so why don't I just donate it to a local university or college, something like that." So I see that.
Benjamin Moses: At my old company, we bought a lot of used equipment. Partly because their manufacturing style was to use a lot of twin spindles, which are really hard to come by at that time. Probably still now. So we're buying like all the- One brand had a specific type of twin spindle that we brought that we'd liked. We're buying all used equipment for that market. So that was interesting, definitely. Wouldn't recommend it doing that a lot, but the used market for manufacturing is pretty solid.
Stephen LaMarca: My apartment's garage is actually... I've got a good amount of space behind the cars in the garage and I know there's power outlets down there. I wonder if I could just buy a Bridgeport and put it down there. Nobody's going to steal it
Benjamin Moses: If it runs on 110, yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: Do you need like, 240?
Benjamin Moses: That's a question for the next episode.
Stephen LaMarca: Next episode. All right. Oh, also speaking of the robot dogs, I also am going to share as a link in the description below, a Instagram post of that friend that always leaves the door open letting the dog out. I saw this great post. These two dudes, this guy is about to leave the apartment. Then he comes back in, leaves the door open, like, "Oh, I forgot my keys." and the other guy's like, "Hey, close the door. You're going to let the dog out." Then the door's still open. The guy says, "What dog?" And then a Spot robot. Well, a Spot-like robot dog. It's definitely not a Boston Dynamics, but walks out the door. It was amazing.
Benjamin Moses: Quadruped. Oh, one last thing. So automated lawn equipment scares the bejesus out of me. So there are, I forgot the brand, but there are a couple of self-driven lawnmowers.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, that's scary.
Benjamin Moses: That's too much power.
Stephen LaMarca: Corded?
Benjamin Moses: No wireless.
Stephen LaMarca: They are wireless. Okay, so at least it can't run over its own cord, but that's still nothing stopping it from running over a child.
Benjamin Moses: Or animal, or-
Stephen LaMarca: That is terrifying.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah, kicking up rocks or something like that. I'm not brave enough to venture into that world yet.
Stephen LaMarca: That's smart of you.
Benjamin Moses: The last-
Stephen LaMarca: You have a lot of home automation.
Benjamin Moses: I have a fair amount. It gets the job done.
Stephen LaMarca: All right. What's next?
Benjamin Moses: RPI launches new rotary access table for portable CMMs.
Stephen LaMarca: This is cool.
Benjamin Moses: Another trend in manufacturing is faster metrology.
Stephen LaMarca: Makes sense.
Benjamin Moses: Bashing queuing to getting [inaudible 00:31:37] on machine inspection. So you verify the part is complete and correct when it comes off the machine as opposed to getting into inspection and getting it back. I think that's obviously a huge trend and also all the cascading stuff. So you have tool probe touching and verifying the tools are correct. So this is another way that we're seeing obviously acceleration, right? So the idea of putting a bunch of parts on the CMM depends on the industry, depends on your quality requirements and sample parts, and how much of your production you have to check, but just getting a part through the CMM can be long. It's just like a machine, right? You need access for all the probe and all the features. In some cases you have to do multiple setups for a single part. So in the article they have a valve head cover, fairly complex.
Stephen LaMarca: Cool.
Benjamin Moses: Right? But if you don't want to do multiple setups, as in the human takes it off and then rearranges it so you can get access to the other stuff-
Stephen LaMarca: Really complex for a part that really isn't that important.
Benjamin Moses: A hundred percent true. So, attaching a rotary head solves a lot of problems in terms of human breaking down for a second setup to get to other features. So the article is just a quick, a reminder of, hey, if you have a CMM that you're moving from machine to machine, or if you have a quick setup, it may make sense to have a rotary head where you could free up a lot of time. So the article actually talks about in a lot of cases, they can reduce their inspection time by 40% by incorporating a rotary head like this. So I thought that was fascinating.
Stephen LaMarca: There's some cool points from my perspective on this article. Number one, at Rapid recently, I happened to see one of the metrology companies. I forget who it was exactly. Not like I'm trying to hold back a name. Forget who it was, but somebody had a five axis CMM on display. So your standard CMM is three axis X, Y, and Z. CMM, coordinate measuring machine. Then they threw on a rotary table like you said, and then that rotary table is on another rotary table. So it can do A and B a axis, rotary axis. Saw it on display though, that's at a show, shows aren't producing. They might be doing actual demo parts and stuff like that. But-
Benjamin Moses: [inaudible 00:34:04] In the world-
Stephen LaMarca: Who's going to demo a CMM at a show? Who's going to be one of those nerds and just who has to sit- Nobody wants to sit next to that booth where somebody is displaying a CMM that's booping the entire time,. But yeah, I would appreciate that, but I'd imagine other people wouldn't. Before Rapid started, Nina Dayton and I got to tour LIFT Manufacturing USA Institute. Pretty sure I spoke about this last episode, don't need to go in too much detail. They had a CMM there on display that had one of these rotary tables. So it was a four axis, but it had X, Y, Z, then rotary table. I was like, "This is really cool to see this in a production facility." They're not churning out parts there at LIFT, but they are a production facility and it was really cool. I'd never seen one before, at least one in person at a facility.
So that kind of had taken me aback. It was cool seeing that. But the other thing that I want to talk about is, expanding CMMs to four and five axis, adding rotary tables and other rotary axis, actual axis to a CMM makes sense. I mean, they did it with CNCs. Why not add it to CMMs too? It totally makes sense. If it can be maintained its degree of accuracy, why not? The only problem that I see is the same problem with going from a three axis CNC machine to a multi axis CNC machine. It becomes so much more complicated to program.
Benjamin Moses: Potentially, and that-
Stephen LaMarca: So you have that.
Benjamin Moses: I think that's where the subtlety is, right? Like the five axis CMM that you mentioned, that's probably very expensive and super accurate.
Stephen LaMarca: I hope.
Benjamin Moses: It's probably measuring as a contour. So it could be articulating all the axis and measuring. Where in this case, all it has to do is index so now the part can reach or the probe could reach it. It doesn't always have to-
Stephen LaMarca: So three plus one.
Benjamin Moses: Exactly.
Stephen LaMarca: Not necessarily full on four axis or five axis, we're talking- Nice.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah, and you can have the program set up to re-zero after it's moved, verify its new target and do all the verification again, that it is in the correct orientation, right? So, I think you can cut a few corners on the rotary table by building a more robust program in this software. I think that's where, when you add equipment to the CMM, someone's going to say, "Is it accurate enough?" Well, does it have to be? In this case I make the argument, no, it doesn't have to be super accurate.
Stephen LaMarca: Oh, old.
Benjamin Moses: You can have the CMM reoriented itself when the part gets in the new orientation. So this is something to keep in mind. I think it's a good experiment too. I think, just like when someone's experimenting go to three-axis to five-axis, I think once you go that route, you'll realize how much more value there is in there in that.
Stephen LaMarca: I see what you're saying now. Yeah. Adding an axis to CMM actually doesn't need to be as precise as adding an axis to a CNC machine. Because if you're just, re-indexing a measurement process, then you're starting an entirely new file anyway. The part's just the same and it's just changing position because it needs to. Fascinating.
Benjamin Moses: You've got our last article on nanotech. It's been awhile since we talked materials and nano.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.
Benjamin Moses: Tell me about some nanotech.
Stephen LaMarca: Okay, nanotech. First off, this article's from Forbes so, what do they know?
Benjamin Moses: What do they know?
Stephen LaMarca: I thought they did money stuff, but okay. Three key areas where nanotechnology is impacting our future. TLDR, let's just go through these three areas. Material science, namely construction. So something we kind of care about.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah, like nano coatings or-
Stephen LaMarca: That one I'll be interested in. What kind of nano machines are they putting in my buildings. Nano medicine. This one, in my opinion, is such vaporware. I've been hearing forever now about nano robots going to the right part of my body to properly and more effectively administer the dose of medicine that I need. So, let's say you're trying to study nano stuff, nanotechnology, and you need to take an Adderall. Do you really need all 20 milligrams? That affect your heart rate and give you palpitations and make you grind your teeth at night or could it be done better if you only use three milligrams of methamphetamine and have nano robots deliver it to the exact part of your brain or nervous system that needs it? I get that. But this is vaporware. We've been talking about this since Metal Gear Solid three and it still hasn't happened yet, so forget that. Then thirdly, there's device engineering, electronics and wearables.
Benjamin Moses: That's a long pause there.
Stephen LaMarca: Oh yeah. It's just- [inaudible 00:39:11] What are we going to do with that? But it's interesting. It's something to think about, but man, take this with a big old brick of sodium chloride.
Benjamin Moses: I do agree with you, Steve. I think the last two points have a lot more to progress in terms of, this is a real thing. I think the nanocoatings and the applying harder-
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. I'm not going to talk smack about nano coatings. Nano coatings are awesome. We love our coatings.
Benjamin Moses: Love a good coating,
Stephen LaMarca: But nanorobots delivering medicine, no. I got to look more into device engineering. Maybe if they're talking about nanomachines to help assemble things better,
Benjamin Moses: That's probably where they're headed. There was an article on a millimeter size robot that I glanced over, but I kept going.
Stephen LaMarca: Nanotechnology shrinks the device into a convenient size for the home. Okay. Still needed an example. It increases the performance and intelligence capabilities. Again, these are comments that hold no merit. There's no evidence. It allows for new functions within similar tech for increased potential. All right. I'm just going to stop you here. You got to read this article or don't to understand what they're talking about, but I've got nothing against nanotechnology, but-
Benjamin Moses: If you're doing something in nanotech, send us an email.
Stephen LaMarca: Send us an email. Write it on the back of a three by five inch note card made of exactly one layer of graphing.
Benjamin Moses: And send me your product.
Stephen LaMarca: That too.
Benjamin Moses: That's the key is, we've been talking circle- There's still so much research, but I can't go buy now. That's the problem. Steve, that was a great episode. Where can they find more info about us?
Stephen LaMarca: Are we done already?
Benjamin Moses: That was a hot-
Stephen LaMarca: Wow.
Benjamin Moses: Hot episode.
Stephen LaMarca: You can find more about us and if this article- Or if this podcast episode wasn't enough for you either, go to AMTonline.org/resources to find more episodes just like this, to get your fix [inaudible 00:41:21].