We all know that concurrent engineering is supposed to bring design engineers closer to the manufacturing process than they have ever been before. In fact, "design for manufacture" and "design for assembly" have become priorities for more and more product development teams. Even so, unless they work for small companies and have actual manufacturing duties, many design engineers are still "going to school" when it comes to appreciating the latest thinking on production. If you're in that category, I'd like to recommend a little book that will give you a quick education, All I Need to Know about Manufacturing I learned in Joe's Garage (Bayrock Press: (208) 376-2266).
In this easy-reading book, authors William Miller and Vicki Schenk highlight some of the chief concerns of manufacturing today, using a mythical Saturday shelf-building project in Joe's garage. Bit by bit, the book reveals what the authors see as the "Ten Commandments" of manufacturing excellence:
Improve product design to enhance manufacturability and to increase functionality and reliability for customers.
Reduce the per-unit consumption of purchased material and supplies.
Pull production stingily through the factory pipeline instead of mindlessly pushing material and labor into it.
Build and ship rapidly to improve manufacturing productivity, rather than storing and moving inventory.
Squeeze time out of the cycle from order receipt through shipment by eliminating redundant tasks that don't contribute directly to output or quality.
Refine the production process to promote simplicity and to trim resource consumption.
Identify and eliminate manufacturing errors at the point of commission.
Simplify information and control systems and make sure to integrate them efficiently with design and production.
Cooperate and coordinate with suppliers and service providers to share knowledge and increase joint effectiveness.
Strive continually for incremental improvements in all activities that relate to the design, manufacture, and delivery of the product.
Take a look at this list and consider your own company's production system. How have you changed the way you design products based on the increasing pressures to manufacture more efficiently and with higher quality? If you've got a good success story to tell about the payoffs of closer design-manufacturing ties, please send a fax to me at:FAX: (617) 558-4402.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.