Meet William Kamkwamba, author of the new book " The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind ," written with Bryan Mealer. At the age of 14, William Kamkwamba was a poor farmer in Malawi, a country blighted by years of drought and famine. After he was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford to pay the fees, William was left to his own devices.
Many industrial components are designed and tested to withstand the rigors of the manufacturing plant, whether it's extreme temperatures, water, or intense shock and vibration. But have your components been tested to function under the terrifying dangers of the office dog? Reagan, iKey's in-house German Shepard, took the SLK-79 to task and gave it the rundown.
What is the most important thing on the mind of a manufacturing professional? Well, from most articles we read, there are two areas — improving manufacturing performance and reducing downtime with a wide array of solutions available to assist you with both. You can focus on integration with your business systems to improve the real-time aspects of production management and you can focus on better production analytics to squeeze additional performance out of the equipment you are monitoring.
A simple, self-lubricating machine. Now, if it could do something other than lubricate itself, the people at MIT who built it might be on to something. Wouldn't it be great if all our machines took this great care of themselves? Do you have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider ? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in a future deployment? Email me at Joel.
We use them. We love them. Good 'ol rubber bands. Perfect for flinging at co-workers, or even just holding a pack of index cards together. Whatever floats your boat. But I bet you've never thought about how the stretchy brown things are made. I, for one, did not know latex came straight from a tree, just like maple syrup.
We all experience the engineering prowess of our car's differential every day when we head off to work, go errands, or, for some, hit the apex just right. But do we really understand how it works? This video, as old as it is, features an excellent step-by-step explanation of how the differential works.
Most children spend countless hours building Lego airplanes that just fall apart after their inaugural flight. These enthusiasts? They built a Lego factory that builds its own airplanes. Beat that. These dedicated Lego builders take no shame in the $12,000 they poured into the project, nor the 2,000 man hours it took to complete.
Take a tour of domestic robots throughout history. Now that we're approaching a time where autonomous, human-interacting, robots will take over the home, how long until industrial robots offer the same type of complex decision-making processes? We've already featured a video on the necessity for industial robots that can interact with humans ( Our Robot Future ), but the question begs to be asked again: why are industrial robots so unfriendly to their human co-workers? Should there be a movement in manufacturing toward robotics that is self-aware, do not harm people, and yet do its task just as efficiently? Via ROCKETBOOM .
Innovation is key to our industry, so here at IMPO we like to showcase ways that individuals and companies are doing something unique with the tools that get used every day to make the products we all know and love, even if they're a little off-beat. The guys from Mana Energy Potions program a KUKA industrial robot to hurl heavy objects like a medieval trebuchet.
Managing storage space is critical in the effort to maximizing your productivity. In most storage facilities, a whopping 60 percent of floor space is wasted on aisles. So how do you add more SKUs to the same amount of square footage? What do you do when you run out of space? The Compact Storage Systems are a solution.
In recent years, modern packaging machines have become more intelligent. They are incorporating more decentralized intelligence in order to protect the machine from expensive breakdown situations using error diagnostics and reactions without any detour through the control. With today’s generation of intelligent servo drives, predictive maintenance functionality is now built into the electronics.
Ever wondered how ketchup is manufactured? This video will take you through (most of) the process, save for the "myserious" blue bags containing the Heinz secret recipe. And ironically enough, they actually have a test to make sure that the ketchup is next to impossible to extract from those glass bottles.
The CSB has investigated the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion of 2008, and has concluded that combustible dust was to blame for the deaths of 14 workers and injuries of many more. The company did not properly clean up after combustible dust, particularly that which accumulated on hard-to-reach places like light fixtures and beam, and did not provide adequate ventilation systems for dust in the air.
Scientists have created a new type of food wrapping that will someday leave the traditional plastic wrap unused in the back of some kitchen drawer. The new material is anti-microbial, which means things like fresh fruit stay fresh considerably longer. In addition, it's completly edible and environmentally-friendly.
These guys have developed a paint that changes colors when applying heat, and they thought it would be perfect for a cop car that goes from jet black to fully-marked in seconds. They strip the interior of an Escalade to attach massive heaters to the doors and, well, you can see the rest for yourself.
Watch the exciting conclusion of Gerard's long struggle with keeping his processes quick and error-free. With a robotic arm from FARO, Gerard manages to not only capture the attention and respect of his boss, but also a special someone... Do you have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider ? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in a future deployment? Email me at Joel.
Gerard still can't seem to stay on top of his work. After that many complaints, it's no wonder he gets sent to his supervisor. At the end of his rope, it seems like Gerard won't ever catch a break... Stay tuned for Part 3 . Do you have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider ? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in a future deployment? Email me at Joel.
Poor Gerard. The nerdy quality control inspector is mocked incessently by his co-workers for being slow and keeping things off schedule. In Part One of the series, see how Gerard finds a glimmer of hope in his effort to revolutionize his quality control process.
Poly(lactic acid) cup before and after adding hot water. Interest in biodegradable disposable plastic items has steadily grown over the last decade. With packaging materials, the reduction in usage of raw materials, re-use, and recycling is of course the best route to a sustainable lifestyle.
Via Hossfeld Bender . This video demonstrates the process behind creating a 180 degree bend in a length of pipe. See how to mount the 180 degree die, the back block, and the draw block, with additional tips to keep your components working strong well into the future. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.
Here at IMPO , we like discovering the best in new technolgies, whether it's a oddly-shaped device that encourages sedentariness from a major automaker, or a jet-powered, steampunk-inspired merry-go-round. Built by a Brooklyn-based arts collective, The Madagascar, the ride is relatively simple. Ignore the "Caution: This may kill you!" sign, fire up the massive jets, and get airbourne.
See how maintenance is performed on live, high-powered electric lines. Thanks to Michael Faraday's theory that a man enclosed in a metallic box will not be affected by an electric current supplied to the box, regardless of its voltage, this work is now possible. Every movement has an elegance and beauty, even when there's half a million volts flowing over his body.
Via FORA.Tv . At Maker Faire 2009 iRobot CTO Rodney Brooks had the opportunity to speak about the future of robotics in manufacturing. He argues that "untouchable" robots are a thing of the past, even though they're just reaching their hayday in manufacturing facility. But they're dangerous; no one can get close unless they're shut down.
The U3 X from Honda hopes to, like the Segway, "revolutionize" the way people move around their lives. The UX 3 is small, sleek, and looks relatively easy-to-use. It's certainly more attractive than the Segway. So what do you think? Can we abandon walking altogether yet? Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you'd like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.
Sure, we've all experienced the occasional stuck bolt, especially those charged with building and maintaining manufacturing equipment like yourselves. But what about a stuck bolt in space? In their latest spacewalk outside of the Hubble telescrope, American astronauts braved injury and death to install a new, $150 million dollar camera into the Hubble's aging body.