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Is now the time to get a cobot?

In this podcast, Bruce Morey, Senior Technical Editor for Manufacturing Engineering Magazine discusses collaborative robots, or cobots, with Steve Apel. He is a Regional Automation Manager for Acieta. In this role, he helps solve customer challenges through the adoption of new robotic automation technologies.

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.

Deburring in Forming and Fabricating: Part 2

Because it is a production cost, reducing the need for deburring can help the bottom line. In this podcast, part two of two, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Dr. LaRoux Gillespie, a researcher, engineer, manager, consultant, and writer with an extensive knowledge base on deburring and finishing. In this episode, the discussion focuses on ways to reduce deburring costs in forming and fabrication operations, such as improving product design; preventing burrs; minimizing burr properties; and removing burrs during the main fab process. Also discussed are how shops can determine if deburring or edge finishing is needed, and how they can choose among the 124 different deburring processes.

Spotlight on Welding with AWS

April is National Welding Month and exciting things are happening within the industry. In this podcast, Chris Mahar, Associate Editor of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Monica Pfarr, Executive Director of the American Welding Society Foundation about what’s happening in the industry and what AWS is doing to celebrate. From the industry as a whole to the current market temperature and the workforce, this podcast is a welding one-stop-shop.

In-Depth On Custom Automation

SME interviewed at FABTECH Greg Morehouse. He is the Executive Vice President for operations, Acieta, a leading RIA certified and FANUC Authorized System Integrator. This podcast describes how Acieta defines custom automation and how one should approach the task of engaging an integrator like Acieta in procuring an automation system, whether your shop has three people or 300.

Automation, AI, and Interoperability for More Resilient Manufacturing in a Post-COVID World

Vecna Robotics’ David Clear and SVT Robotics’ TJ Fanning go into reasons manufacturers might want to consider automation and AI. They also look at how to test assumptions and scale with so many variables changing moment by moment. The adage “change is the only constant” has never been more apropos. So, it’s a great time to hear what separates a complex system from a complex adaptive system.

Exactly How to Use Automation to Relieve Pressure

Catalytic CEO Sean Chou explains the difference between process automation and robotic automation, as well as what it looks like to use automation to augment existing workflows. Importantly, he describes how manufacturers can use automation to do more with less—to lessen supply chain pressures that have grown because of globalization and the Covid-19 crisis. And he details which processes manufacturers can automate to optimize resources and productivity.