For small to medium manufacturers seeking to boost production, create lean facilities, and stay competitive in their markets, automation is an increasingly viable option. Falling equipment prices, small and flexible cobots, and advancing technology are bringing automated manufacturing equipment into smaller facilities. What’s more, “factories that automate boring, low-paying jobs with high turnover not only stay competitive but can elevate workers to more interesting, better-paying jobs,” according to Cutting Tool Engineering.
“Even though manufacturing is one of the most highly automated industries globally, there is still significant automation potential within the four walls of manufacturing sites, as well as in related functional areas such as supply chain and procurement,” according to research by McKinsey. In fact, their research found that, globally, 64 percent of working hours spent on manufacturing-related activities are automatable.
Brandon Mynatt, controls engineering intern, shares thoughts on his experience at Force Design. He joined us during the last semester of his high school career in 2017. He will soon be heading back to college in Florida for his sophomore year. So far, he has worked a full-time schedule here for two summers and a winter break (now that’s dedication!).
The Research and Development Tax Credit was implemented in 1981 and in 2015 it became a permanent part of the US tax code when the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act was signed into law. Greg Knarr, writing in Industry Week, calls it “our government’s primary incentive to reward businesses for driving industry progress and for keeping technical jobs on U.S. shores.”
This year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show, September 10-15 in Chicago, was the largest yet, with 2,563 exhibiting companies and 129,415 people registered. We enjoyed this fun opportunity to talk with exhibitors, watch demonstrations, and learn about trends to watch in manufacturing and automation.
Purchasing custom automation equipment is unlike most other capital equipment expenditures. Capital equipment purchases are often standard “catalog” items that have been researched, developed, optimized and sold over a long period of time. These off-the-shelf products are typically designed to accommodate a wide variety of customers. The purchase experience is predictable: buy, receive, plug in, and use for the lifetime of the equipment.
Since our beginning, Force Design employees have enjoyed a culture of teaching and learning. With just a handful of employees, open communication and information sharing was easy and necessary. As Force Design added team members, we continued to actively share knowledge and learn from each other. We saw the value of this trait and made the commitment to nurture it as we grew. Today, we recognize this trait as one of Force Design’s core values: Mentorship. Employees at all levels of experience, teach, and learn from each other.
When you think of robots, you might picture a vaguely humanlike machine marching around in a futuristic setting or perhaps you think of a massive arm swirling around objects on an assembly line. A new generation of robots has come on the scene and is growing in numbers and capabilities. First developed by General Motors in the mid-1990’s, collaborative robots, also called
How would you know if automation could ease some of your manufacturing frustrations? If you recognize any of the following six conditions, your processes could very likely benefit from a custom automation solution.
Manufacturing is an integral part of the American story. We love to hear about the hard-working, proud craftsman of the past who stretched the boundaries of what was thought possible. We see the things they built and are amazed. We appreciate how American manufacturing has evolved over the last century as new opportunities and challenges have come along. And we like to imagine where it will go in the future.