Great story, Glenn. Sounds like a die design problem. "Die spit" (molten metal shooting out of the die) shouldn't happen if the die is properly vented, and "dirt" shouldn't build up on the die surfaces if it has sufficient overflows. Diecasting is a complex process with a lot of variables, but it all starts with good tool design. (One question: shouldn't something building up on the die make the parts thinner, rather than thicker?)
I don't recall ever naming robots or other machines, although I have worked in shops where machines had been given names. And my father alays told me that machines are female, so no, she (the robot) didn't drink beer.
Glenn, I am very impressed by your methodical approach to the problem. Many times someone will come to one with the culprit rather than with the problem. The fact that the robot could not speak for itself was probably the reason in this case. The QC manager should have just said the parts were "bent" and left it to someone like yourself to determine what happened.
I ran into something similar with a piece of networking software. It turned out that it was the application design that was the culprit. The customer had put a network analyzer on their system and tried to lead me in that direction. The only problem was that there were almost no parameters that could be adjusted in this particular software. Once they took my suggestions about how to use existing mechanisms to restructure the software, performance was greatly improved. I even gained a reputation as the one who had solved a big problem for another company (who was using the same software). Really, it was only a couple of hours of work.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.