With automation becoming an ever-important aspect of manufacturing, more thought must be put into the safe interaction between humans and their robotic "coworkers." While Asimov's First Law of Robotics states that a robot must not hurt a human, we all know this is not the case in a manufacturing setting.
Elon Musk revolutionized the way we pay online with PayPal, and then moved on to Tesla Motors, where he's still trying to change the way Americans drive from point A to point B. As if that wasn't enough, Musk founded SpaceX, which builds space-capable rockets, with the hope of eventually shuttling people and cargo into space.
Volvo brought in a stockpile of journalists and reporters to see the latest model of its S60 sedan, with the City Safety crash-avoidance system, which is meant to use multiple sensors to help a driver stop quickly enough to prevent a rear-ending accident. Volvo drove a semi out onto their test track, and then launched one of their S60s at 30 mph, a perfect speed for demonstrating the effectivenss of their new system.
WASHINGTON (AP) — During the depths of the auto industry's collapse a year ago, Ford told shareholders at its annual meeting that they might have to wait until 2011 before the company started making money again. It turns out they didn't have to wait that long. Thanks to well-reviewed cars and trucks, aggressive cost-cutting and goodwill from consumers for avoiding a taxpayer bailout, Ford Motor Co.
VENICE, La. (AP) — In the weeks after an oil rig exploded and killed 11 men in the Gulf of Mexico, worried environmental groups scoured the water for oil plumes, set up animal triage centers and stretched boom across shorelines. Activists hope their involvement doesn't end there; maybe, they contend, this is the catalyst that America's green movement needs.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Officials in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi are investigating after workers from a factory of Japanese camera maker Nikon Corp. protested over the handling of an apparent gas poisoning incident. Local media reports said more than 50 workers at Nikon Imaging (China) Co.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose to a 15-month high as rising oil prices pushed crude oil imports to the highest level since the fall of 2008, offsetting another strong gain in exports. The larger deficit is evidence of a rebounding U.S. economy. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade deficit rose 2.
ILION, N.Y. (AP) — About 100 new jobs are expected within the next year at a Mohawk Valley firearms manufacturing plant scheduled for a nearly $6 million expansion project. State and Herkimer County officials announced the new jobs and expansion Tuesday at the Remington Arms Co. plant in Ilion (IHL'-ee-uhn), 55 miles east of Syracuse.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's Foxconn Technology, a contract maker of the iPhone and other consumer electronics, insisted Wednesday its treatment of workers is world class after a female employee became the company's eighth Chinese worker to commit suicide this year. "We regret to see the recurrence of such incidents," Foxconn said in statement that came a day after a 24-year-old Foxconn factory worker surnamed Chu killed herself by jumping from her rented apartment in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
HONOLULU (AP) — The Gas Co. and General Motors Co. have teamed up on a pilot project to test hydrogen refueling technology for fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii. The companies said Tuesday that the project will take advantage of The Gas Co.'s 1,000 miles of pipeline on Oahu and its ability to produce hydrogen at its plant at Campbell Industrial Park, which makes synthetic natural gas from byproducts of imported petroleum.
In any modern plant, communication is key. But just what level does your facility really need and, perhaps more importantly, what can you manage? ERP (enterprise resource planning) was once considered a software solution for large manufacturers. Designed to serve as a tool to integrate all business facets into a real-time communication platform—from operations and materials considerations, all the way to accounting and human resources elements—ERP is widely used as a customized solution, requiring manufacturers to build a system from the ground up, rather than cannibalizing current software platforms.
Any application involving moving machinery and constant repetitive motion will benefit from a cable carrier system. In recent years, plastic cable carriers have emerged as an alternative to metal and steel cable carriers and have replaced these types of systems on most kinds of automated machinery.
RNR Plastics, Inc. (Raynham, MA) has developed a clear vinyl pouch that allows technicians, mechanics, and maintenance personnel to keep important documents nearby while protecting them from oil spills or other contaminants. The Critical Documents pouch is made from clear PVC and is ideal for instructions, schematics, production schedules, maintenance logs, or other documents that need to be used close to the work.
The PSENopt safety light curtains from Pilz Automation Safety (Canton, MI) can be used for finger, and body protection by safeguarding danger zones whenever a production process requires active yet safe access. According to the company, the PSENopt barriers comply with stringent industry standards.
The NewAir I.B. Express system from Sealed Air (Saddle Brook, NJ) is the newest inflatable cushioning system that quickly creates Barrier Bubble material for cushioning, or blocking and bracing applications. The I.B. Express allows operators to make cushions with widths of 12” and 24”, plus the availability of options for film strength.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP, Winchester, VA) introduces a new line of heavy-duty carts and trucks, which consists of 55 products made out of Rubbermaid’s Duramold structural resin and metal composite structure. According to RCP, the Duramold compound has been tested to hold and transport up to 2,500 pounds of weigh load capacity.
Apprion and the Enterprise Mobility Solutions business of Motorola, Inc. recently announced they have completed work at Huntsman Corporation’s facility in Port Neches, TX on one of the largest and most ambitious industrial wireless application networks to date. Huntsman Corporation undertook an aggressive program to eliminate injuries, product defects, and environmental releases at their Port Neches facility.
If you’re a manufacturer, you know how gather materials and put them together for the purpose of creating a product that is of value to you as well as your customers. You know how to design products according to safety requirements and government regulations, and you know where you can and can’t cut costs before and during production.
Recent updates to the NFPA 70E offer increased safety and protection for workers working on energized electrical conductors or circuit parts. One of the ways the new edition of the NFPA 70E seeks to improve safety is through its expanded requirements for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Innovation is not just about coming up with new ideas and products— it's also about changes that lead to growth and differentiation. Before you address new products, services, technologies, and processes, you need a foundation that leads to innovation. Here are 6 factors that will help foster an organization of innovation: 1.