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The Resurgence of American Manufacturing
The resurgence of American manufacturing is upon us and things are quickly heating up. There is a renewed focus on bringing jobs back to the US and establishing new processes based on the current climate. In particular, the requirements to create social distancing between workstations and reduce human touches are of the utmost importance.
That being said, both of these initiatives can be accomplished by automating your processes. At first glance, this may seem intimidating to those unfamiliar with automation.
Delta Technology can be your guide through the journey, as we offer several programs custom-tailored to help you find the solution you need to quickly and economically take advantage of your unfair share of the market.
Among these are:
Pre-engineering programs – Get started on your project with a low-cost option.
Premier Consulting – Leverage our decades of experience to discover your optimal solution. It costs you nothing to talk to us, and we encourage you to contact us for more info.
Build-to-Print–Have a project you’ve designed and engineered? We can review that design, and build it to your exact specifications in conjunction with our precision Machining Solutions division.
Tax Advantages of Capital Equipment – Start your investment in Cap-Ex now and see how it can be tax deductible for 2020. Review the IRS guidance on their website here.
Contract Manufacturing – For companies that do not wish to automate in house, Delta Technology has a robust contract manufacturing program to help you increase your profits without a large upfront capital investment.
As of last month, we are seeing a surge across all of our business sectors, and we highly encourage you to contact us promptly so we can begin your journey to automation together. We look forward to working closely with you to achieve your manufacturing goals for the remainder of 2020, 2021, and many years to come.
If you are in the Phoenix/Tempe area, we welcome you to schedule a visit to our facility. Plan your tour of Delta by calling us at 800-586-3272 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We love a challenge, and look forward to partnering with you.
Thanks for your time,
Lyle Rusanowski, CEO
Automation in Agriculture Series: Crops and our Food Supply
National Farm Safety and Health Week is the third week of September. In 1944, FDR declared the first celebration of it, as he believed every single one of the food growers in the United States being safe and in good health was paramount to supplying our troops nutritious food during World War II, which would lead the country to victory. This time of year is when farmers and agricultural workers put in tremendous effort to finish the year as strong as they can, which partly means harvesting the crops as efficiently and completely as possible. Unfortunately, farming-related mishaps tend to increase during this season as well, with 2018 US Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing almost 600 farmers experienced a fatal accident, and nearly one-third suffered a non-life-threatening injury.
The Yamaha RMAX and FAZER are unmanned helicopter drones, and the company worked with UC Davis to test it by assisting the vintners in the job of spraying the vineyards. The task is tedious and time-consuming, and the terrain is treacherous at best on a tractor. At this point, the company sends a few workers out to clients in Napa Valley to control the device and take care of the crop spraying services. Even though the robocopters are not autonomous, they still offer a valuable alternative to grape growers or their workers risking their lives.
A yellow and black squared-off robot makes its way to its handler, whose encouraging and supportive voice says, “Fluffy…come here! Let’s go, Fluffy! It’s time for a busy day at work!” As it gets closer, walking like a dog with stiff joints from arthritis, she says “Good dog.” Adorned with a nametag reading ‘Fluffy Ford’, and above it “SERVICE DOG” and “DO NOT PET”, Fluffy is a Boston Dynamics robot, working at Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Manufacturing Center.
Paula Wiebelhaus, Fluffy’s “master”, uses a controller, similar to that of what a video game console comes with, to send her four-legged co-worker commands and move it through the facility. Scouter, another robot utilized by Ford, can’t climb stairs or get into the tight spots Fluffy does with ease.
In those tight quarters, as well as other areas at the Advanced Manufacturing Center, a laser on the quadruped robot dog completes scans of the facility. Ford engineers use the images created to develop new vehicle programs that will more effectively, efficiently, and accurately use the available space. Fluffy helps the car manufacturer save money, and both retool facilities and bring new offerings to market faster
At Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant, Fluffy has a robot dog brother, Spot. They are both on loan from Boston Dynamics to collect data, which will be used to create digital models the engineers will use as they make future plans for their facility.
Fluffy and Spot weigh in at 70 pounds each, and both sport laser scanners and five HD cameras. If the surface is flat and secure, they simply walk; rough ground or grates calls for their ambling stance; and for stairs, they employ a “special speed”. They are even capable of navigating inclines of up to 30 degrees. They can crouch down to the floor and stretch to their maximum height easily and quickly, and should they tumble, Fluffy and Spot can flip themselves upright. Their onboard equipment also senses and avoids objects in their surrounding area, eliminating fender-benders or factory floor pileups. The two quadruped robot dogs have certainly earned the respect of others at Ford. Mike Goderis, the Digital Engineering Manager at the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Ford Motor Company, shared, “We used to use a tripod, and we would walk around the facility stopping at different locations, each time standing around for five minutes waiting for the laser to scan. Scanning one plant could take two weeks. With Fluffy’s help, we are able to do it in half the time.”
Scouter pulls ‘his’ weight too, capturing 3D point clouds and creating a CAD drawing. ‘He’ also pulls the weight of Fluffy and Spot – literally – as they can hitch a ride on ‘him’, then be deployed to complete the job when an area is too cramped or otherwise inaccessible to Scouter. Also on Spot’s resumé is a stint at the Denver International Airport, where a point cloud was needed during the construction of a building at the terminal.
In early August, Boston Dynamics loaned Fluffy and Spot to Ford, and if this trial program is successful, the robot dogs could be used in all of the car manufacturer’s plants. The technology completes facility scans at significant cost savings. Mark Goderis is looking forward to the possibility of remotely operating the robots and reviewing reports from any Ford facility that way. For now though, the robots must follow a programmed-in route, and the operator and controller must be within 50 meters of Fluffy or Spot to dispatch commands. The entire setup is cutting edge – from the design of the robots and their capabilities to the way Ford is using them.
Call us today at 602-243-1514 to find out how, or click on the button below to request more information