Manufacturing Journal

American Manufacturers working together to compete globally in the 21st century

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Here is a nice excerpt from the UK.
Mike Page, Editor, writes:Time to look at robots - many industries are under pressure from FarEastern competition. It has been said many times that the way forWestern manufacturers to compete is to reduce direct labourinvolvement in production. One gets the impression that somemanagements are still a bit 'scared' about robots. They are an unknownquantity, they are complex. They are prone to occasionally 'throw awobbler' - to use a cricketing term. Robots are also a very effectiveway of reducing direct labour.There is nothing 'scary' about today's robots or their programming.Programming robots - coupled with the extensive back-up that robotsuppliers offer - has never been easier. Some robot suppliers willcome and do the production engineering layout, proving-out andcommissioning for you.The common 'pick-and-place' robot can do wonders for production costsas well as raising consistency levels. It will always stack parts inthe cradle, stillage, box without getting tired or 'forgetting' andnor will it need the lights on at night. The robot can take thingsoff conveyors and put them in machines, paint plants, washingmachines and pallets - or onto other conveyors. Specialised robotscan deburr, fettle, polish and even carry out light machining,welding, riveting and nut-running as well as painting and - if thedevelopment work has finished - rubbing down and sanding.I always thought robot application stories interesting, which bringsme on to two 'Industry News' items this week - 'Captivate teenagers'and 'Manufacturing is not exciting enough'. The two items seem to go'hand-in-hand'. Older engineers will tell you that a lot of the 'fun'and 'excitement' has been removed from manufacturing. I would havethought there is plenty of both still around. The problem is the'media'. There is still not enough shown or said about manufacturing- particularly in television programmes aimed at young people. Maybewe need some computer games based on manufacturing? Academics candebate all the pro's and con's about why youngsters all want to beaccountants, insurance salesmen, lawyers or just load baggage at anairport. No-one in manufacturing or the 'academic ivory towers'really wants to admit that the biggest problem in attractingyoungsters to manufacturing is money! And particularly in the UK -status!I hope you find this issue of our weekly newsletter useful. Inaddition to the new products, news and ideas featured here, there arehundreds more on our website and dozens more being added daily, so dotake a look if you can.Alternatively, the full stories behind all the summaries andheadlines in this newsletter can be retrieved by email alone: seedetails below.In the meantime, if you have any suggestions as to how we might makethe site or the newsletter better, email me directly.Best wishesMike Page, Editormailto:news@


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