For years, Tom Bullock has been one of the most vocal and visible figures in the motion control business. Bullock worked at Giddings & Lewis for 28 years, where he drove many important product development initiatives and left in 1990 to form his present consulting firm, BullsEye Marketing. He has been featured in many trade magazines in the automation business, and continues to shape the direction of our industry. Here, regular contributor to Manufacturing AUTOMATION magazine, Perry Marshall, discusses Bullock's perception on important issues, past and present.
Automated control systems modified for weight-based road marking vehicles eliminate mistakes for customers In the road marking industry, competitiveness among private contractors is intense. Vying for regional and local projects with rigorous specifications, contractors work hard to gain a competitive edge. Implementing strategies that help achieve specification requirements and reduce mistakes can vastly improve profitability and the likelihood of winning future contracts.
At Ford Motor Company, new vehicles accounted for more than half its volume in sales during the past year. Among them are the Freestyle crossover vehicle and the Ford Five Hundred mid-size sedan, which has "crossover characteristics" by way of its vehicle platform, cargo capability and command-of-road seating. With its new product offering, Ford plans to establish itself as one of the industry's largest-volume producers of all-wheel-drive vehicles and a leader in continuously variable transmissions.
Steady growth in its network systems and components business swelled Cabletron Systems inventory of manufacturing components and testing equipment from 850 SKUs to 6,500 SKUs. This growth threatened to push existing storage space to its limit, jeopardizing productivity and plant safety.
Marinette Marine Corporation is a full-service shipyard located on the banks of the Menominee River in Marinette, Wis., just upstream from Lake Michigan. The company was founded in 1942 to meet the United States' growing need for naval construction. Since then, Marinette Marine has built more than 1,300 vessels and is a leader in designing and building technologically advanced vessels. Its facility and team of workers build both freshwater and seawater vessels for commercial and military applications.
In the medical supply manufacturing business, product reliability and precision is crucial. For a medical IV assemblies manufacturer in the United States, quality control involved manually inspecting sample valves as they came off the assembly line and measuring for uniformity under a microscope. The process was not only arduous for workers, but it also ate up a significant amount of manpower and time.
Nightmares–we have all had them. As students, we may have dreamt of arriving at an exam without having cracked a single book all year. As adults in the high-tech manufacturing world, we may dream of waiting helplessly for a test equipment part to arrive while our production line piles up, or an approaching army of customers babbling complaining non-stop about poor product quality, because we didn't calibrate our test equipment correctly.
In the past, robotic vision was confined to the laboratory and perhaps a few custom applications. Nowadays, robust robots are using sight in non-fixtured, unstructured factory environments, thanks to the integration of artificial intelligence with traditional industrial robotics. A camera, robot and robot controller are linked to a computer, allowing the robot to see, move and react much like a human being. Many automotive parts manufacturers have embraced vision-guided robotics (VGR) and integrated the technology into their factories.
It was business as usual when Windsor, Ont.-based Tri-Way Manufacturing Technologies Corporation received an order from an automotive parts supplier. The order was to build an eight-station dial table machine, which would produce left and right aluminum rocker covers for General Motors.
An eight-camera machine-vision system helps a 21st-century fighter jet prepare for takeoff
When BMW Manufacturing Corp. decided to introduce the world's first luxury sport activity vehicle at its South Carolina plant, the X5 SAV, the automotive manufacturer knew it would have to expand its production and storeroom floor space. The company figured it would require an additional 900,000 square feet to accommodate the new models and increase in production volume.
The perfect bun: That's one of the goals of an automated product-inspection prototype under development by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers working with Flowers Bakery in Villa Rica, Georgia. The first phase of the work is introducing continuous imaging technology to the large-scale production of sandwich buns for fast-food restaurants, which hold to exacting product specifications.
Motor & Drive Systems 2019
January 23-24, 2019
2019 Automation and Technical Showcase
February 4, 2019
ARC World Industry Forum
February 4-7, 2019
Hannover Messe 2019
April 1-5, 2019
April 8-11, 2019
Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Canada
June 4-6, 2019