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How Machine Shops Can Benefit from New Automation Technology

As automation technology becomes more effective, cost effective, and easier to implement, job shops are automating more and more of their processes. In this episode, Alan Rooks, editor in chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Michael Gaunce, group manager, stationary workholding for Schunk Inc., about what a small to medium size job shop should consider when starting and exploration into automation; the particular machines or jobs that are easier to automate over others; why high part quantities are not needed in order to automate a job; what types of skills a shop should look for in employees working with automation; and how to define categories for the different styles of automation used in machine tool tending.

Targeting the Skills Gap in Forming and Fabricating

As in other industries, U.S. forming and fabricating companies are experiencing a critical shortage of skilled labor. In this SME Media podcast, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Robert Tessier, National Director of Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Airgas about the skills gap in the forming and fabricating industry; changes needed in the education system to fill the need for skilled labor; how automation factors into efforts to reduce the skills gap; and efforts at Airgas to develop workers for manufacturing operations, including a special program for military veterans.

The Growing Role of Automation in Finishing Operations

Finishing operations have traditionally been manual, but automation and robotics are making major inroads in this key manufacturing process. In this podcast, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine talks with Normand Stoycheff, Business Development Manager for AV&R, and Giovanni Bevilacqua, Business Development Manager also with AV&R about emerging trends in automation/robotics; the main reasons allowing robotics to evolve from traditional pick-and-drop usage to more elaborate processes; how robots help the surface finishing process throughout the industry; and how surface finishing operations are developing the capability to inspect and repair.