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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.

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.

Automating Aerospace Manufacturing with FANUC

Aerospace is thought of as the industry with some of the most advanced technology, including automation. However, especially in automation, that may not be exactly true. In this podcast, Bruce Morey senior technical editor for Manufacturing Engineering magazine talks with Rick Schulz of FANUC America about some of the challenges and misperceptions in using automation more fully in aerospace manufacturing. Mistakes to be avoided, such as simply replacing humans with a robot, and how to use collaborative robots. The main message is that employing automation to its fullest requires a systematic approach to the entire manufacturing process.

The Gears Have It

When it comes to making something move, whether it be a robot arm, machine head, assembly line or more, you need to get the power from where it is generated to where the movement happens – enter gearboxes. Mike Quaas, President of DieQua, sits down with Chris Mahar, Associate Editor, to talk about the world of automation and how gearboxes are critical to its deployment. Gearboxes have been around for hundreds or years, but today’s engineers have more choices than ever in how to utilize their power.

Autonomous Manufacturing, The Next Level

In this podcast, Bruce Morey, Senior Technical Editor for Manufacturing Engineering Magazine discusses with Robert Ravensbergen Marketing Director-Omnirobotics how today’s automation technology can make your manufacturing operation autonomous and its benefits to companies with a high mix of products.

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.