Conventional wisdom in many corners of industry may steer seekers of outside services such as systems integration (Optimation’s business) to those firms with direct exact and typically singular experience in a given field.
The Internet of Things is revolutionizing all areas of our lives. In manufacturing, Industry 4.0 is a revolution as transformative as the first industrial revolution that began 300 years ago. Advancements in manufacturing analytics are coming fast and furious. Not all manufacturing analytics are totally new however.
A quarter century ago, at the height of the silver halide dominance in imaging, systems engineers at Kodak had developed a process monitoring analytics system that was decades ahead of its time. This powerful toolset was one of the methods that enabled Kodak to manufacture high quality and consistently uniform chemicals, dyes, and emulsions in plants operating in five different continents. Using the analytical capability of their proprietary product, Kodak was able to find process malfunctions before they occurred, predict product response performance, summarize massive and complex data to an actionable data subset and as a result they could reduce the manufacture of off-specification product.
Earlier this year it was announced that Rochester ranked 23rd in the U.S. for STEM workers in a study done by WalletHub. WalletHub is a social website that offers financial tools and information for consumer and small business owners. They ranked 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas on 17 metrics from per-capita job opening for STEM graduates to projected demand for STEM workers by 2020. This is great news for the area, but how do we move up on this and ensure that we at least hold our position and move higher on the list?
As a new year begins to unfurl before us, and we consider trends that may become popular and successful, one technology that is poised to have a significant impact on how goods are manufactured is 3D printing. This breakthrough method, which relies on building plastic, ceramic or metal components by fusing together droplets of liquefied feedstock or particles of finely ground powder, offers several thought provoking advantages. So, let’s talk about 3D printing…
Last week the New York Photonics & Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster held their annual meeting. The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster has been around for a long time and its predecessor the Institute for Optics was founded in Rochester in 1929. The photonics industry has been around a long time in Rochester. We haven’t been talking about it very much for all that time, in fact hardly at all until recently. Now it’s a big deal. Chuck Schumer, Louise Slaughter and Dr. Ernest Moniz, the Secretary of the Department of Energy himself, came to Rochester to attend the meeting. It was held with a great deal of pomp and ceremony at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. It was no doubt the largest attendance at an annual meeting ever, so large in fact that the event was “sold out.”
A great deal of news, discussion and time is spent dealing with cyber security. For a quarter of a century, since the time the internet first became available for commercial use, there have been security issues and computers and accounts have been hacked and their content compromised. I can remember discussions immediately after 9/11 about the concept that the next great terrorist destruction in the US would be by hacking of infrastructure rather than physically the way the twin towers came down.
Image Credit: Sam's Club
We hear frequently about 3D printing and all the potential it may have. It’s mind bending to look at how far 3D printing has come and how quickly it is moving, making it essential to stay current with developments in technology.
Password management gets more important as we access financial websites, corporate portals, and an ever-increasing number of cloud-based resources as part of our online activity. In addition to passwords, it is good to secure personal data such as Social Security numbers and other sensitive information that should be kept out of the wild from identity thieves.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) remains a hot topic, offering tremendous benefits to manufacturers, especially for complex parts. Inroads are being made in newer and more sophisticated applications than previously thought possible by most users. 3-D printing was the domain of small plastic parts, rapid prototyping, and some rapid tooling. Now the technology offers a very wide material set and is on the brink of becoming commonplace. That would however understate the promise that AM offers today's manufacturers. Global names like General Electric (GE AM), Moog (Moog AM), and others are investing into this in a big way with much research and development effort and funds into this promising technology.
It is difficult to search software titles for very long without coming across something being sourced by a Git server (such as GitHub). As the default workflow for over 10 million software developers, coupled with the recent announcement that Google Code is being retired, there seems to be every reason to believe that Git is here to stay. How can those of us writing software for controls systems take advantage of this tool in our everyday work flow?