AMT Tech Trends: Braking the Internet
Release date: 26 June 2020
Episode 28: Stephen declares that pickling and oiling techniques used in manufacturing is like seasoning and cleaning cast iron. Ben is considering buying an expensive pure breed robot dog. Stephen talks about Porsche using carbide cutting tool tech for their new brakes. Ben closes with on-machine metrology for mass additive applications.
Benjamin Moses: Hello everybody and welcome to the Tech Trends podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology research, and news. I am Benjamin Moses, the director of Manufacturing Technology, and I'm here with?
Stephen LaMarca: Stephen LaMarca, Manufacturing Technology analysts.
Benjamin Moses: Steve, how you doing, man? How was your day?
Stephen LaMarca: Doing great. It's been a busy day. It's been a busy week, and week's only
Tuesday, as of right now. You people will hear this Friday, but last week was busy. So, hopefully by the time people are hearing this I'm still alive.
Benjamin Moses: It very ominous, but it's very positive, I think it will be okay.
Stephen LaMarca: I'm pretty sure I'm going to be [inaudible 00:00:43].
Benjamin Moses: What we want to talk about this week?
Stephen LaMarca: Well, first off, what did you have for lunch?
Benjamin Moses: Lunch, my usual nothing.
Stephen LaMarca: Nothing?
Benjamin Moses: Well, I've been snacking, so I probably had potato chips.
Stephen LaMarca: Okay. I wouldn't complain about that. That sounds pretty tasty. I made some fish, some beer battered cod.
Benjamin Moses: Nice.
Stephen LaMarca: But my favorite thing about that meal, other than eating it, was cooking it. I actually used my cast iron pan for a majority of that cooking. I can happily say that I've really built a strong rapport with this cast iron pan. When I was watching a video on YouTube about how brake pads are made, this company NRS Brakes was talking about their steel backing plate on their brake pads. Typically, brake pad companies will treat that steel backing plate, it's first stamped, and then they coat it by either painting it or galvanizing it. Well, this company NRS Brakes, they pickle and oil the steel backing plate on their brake pads. So I looked that up because it sounded... In the brief explanation during this one video I was watching, I thought about, no way, this can't be. It sounded a little familiar. And sure enough, using my Google machine and looking up, and pickling and oiling steel for manufacturing purposes, it is almost exactly how you should be cooking with cast iron pans, or cast iron cookware in general. Often with cast iron you'll hear people talking about like seasoning it and you're breaking the iron up to a certain temperature, then you're pouring some oil on it and then spreading out the oil, because at a high temperature the pores in the cast iron or carbon steel for that matter, open up and allow the oil, which has thinned out at high temperature to sip into those pores. That process is called polymerization, and then you turn off the burner or the oven, whatever you have your iron in, whatever you have heating your iron, rather. As it cools down those pores close up and it keeps that oil in there. That keeps the surface slick and also prevents the surface from rusting. That takes up the oiling part of pickling and oiling. The pickling part is really when you're cooking or at least what you should be doing when you're cooking using cast iron, and that is applying a little bit. You don't want to take a lot of acidic material to cast iron because that will rust it, but a little bit is okay. Once you start browning some food really nicely to make sure you get all of that flavor out of the cast iron and certainly to clean up the cast iron so it wipes clean when you're done with it, you want to deglaze the food, and that is most easily done by pouring a little bit of wine into the pan. The acid in the wine releases anything that might be stuck to the material and the surface impurities. Or just stuff that you don't want on your pan to help clean it up and bring that flavor into the food when you take it out of the pan, that's the process of deglazing, which is essentially a more culinary take on the pickling process. Pickling and oiling steel material for manufacturing, they actually take bar stock or what have you, and they marinate it for the lack of a better term in hydrochloric acid for a prescribed amount of time. If you don't do it long enough, it won't remove surface impurities or blemishes. But if you do it too long, it will actually make the material too brittle and will allow for cracks. Those negatives aren't exactly the same. If you use too much acidic material with cooking with cast iron, you're at risk of rust and you're at risk of stripping your seasoning, your beautiful seasoning that you've worked years to form, but it was just wild taking that science and that, most importantly, manufacturing science and seeing how closely it applies to cooking with cast iron. That was really fun.
Benjamin Moses: That's a really good parallel from life applications to manufacturing. We processed a lot of stainless steel parts and Titanium through our plating shop, which did pickling. It's interesting that we process so much stainless steel through the pickling shop because you'd assume one of the reasons you pickle it is to prevent corrosion in the future and your processed steel, why would you get corrosion? Is because you're processing stainless steel with all these other manufacturing tools that aren't stainless steel. Those will corrode. Those could get embedded or get organic material on the stainless steel. You got to remove all that at some point.
Stephen LaMarca: It's really difficult to manufacture in a clean room-
Benjamin Moses: It is.
Stephen LaMarca: -if it's possible at all.
Benjamin Moses: So, a lot of times we'll pickle our stainless steel parts before we ship it out to the end-customer, either final assembly or welded assembly to prevent any type of corrosion. Also, for day Titanium, it helps a lot too where Titanium oxidizes in an oxygen atmosphere, which is just sitting on a tool rack. It develops this layer on the surface and to remove that before we begin welding it, so you minimize porosity is you'll pickle the parts. You're exactly right, the time and duration is very sensitive to process the parts, to make sure you get enough of it removed, but also, so you don't damage the part, and there's a lot of risk of that acid with the stainless and the metals. That's cool. That's a really interesting life application. I always will remember one of my freshmen year of college chemistry professors telling me, telling the class rather, or asking, why is stainless steel stainless? Because it rusts so well. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds good and I'll go with it.
Stephen LaMarca: It's funny. Some materials will develop a layer of rust on the surface and stop. Some will just keep eating through. That's funny. One thing I wanted to bring up was, a couple of weeks ago, we talked about Boston Dynamics, their four-legged [BGV 00:07:42].
Benjamin Moses: Spot.
Stephen LaMarca: Spot. You can call it Spot, I'll call it a robot. I'll call it a machine. I refuse to provide human qualities. It's a machine.
Benjamin Moses: It's not a dog.
Stephen LaMarca: It's not a dog.
Benjamin Moses: But the ability for it to react to environment. So reacting as in, you give it a command and it is able to articulate and understand the environment and move accordingly. It's pretty impressive. There's cameras and sensors and all these ways for it to sense its surroundings. It's Pretty cool. But Verge published an article that you can buy one of these robots. As in buy, I'd logged onto the website and there's a Buy Now button and there's a price listed to it. So you can buy this robot, probably with some accessories and a few other things to control it for $74,500.
Stephen LaMarca: That is one heck of a pure breed.
Benjamin Moses: That's an expensive dog. There's two things that I like about this article. One is, they give you the price upfront, Steve. Do you know how hard it is in manufacturing to get a price upfront? If you say, call me for a price, I'm going to throw my laptop out the window. I [crosstalk 00:08:44] that.
Stephen LaMarca: I will tell you the first few months working at AMT that people hate talking about prices. I get that in some cases, it's probably an antitrust thing.
Benjamin Moses: Maybe.
Stephen LaMarca: But come on man, if I'm going at you with money, you should be willing at least give me a price. This isn't the high-end watch industry where if you have to ask, you don't have enough. Come on
Benjamin Moses: I'm trying to buy a commodity or stuff, give me a price up front, give me a Buy Now button. I don't want to talk to anyone. The second big takeaway was, I can buy it. So me, Benjamin, living in Virginia, if I had $75,000, which I never will in my life, I could buy that thing now. It's not like they're advertising to a discreet customer. They're advertising to a knit shop somewhere. I'm in a community where someone down the street could actually buy this and I could see it running down the street where I live.
Stephen LaMarca: Was there a button next to Buy Now that said, finance with a firm for a 0% deal?
Benjamin Moses: They'd take you're some shady 0% interest company that'll...
Stephen LaMarca: I have a feeling they're going to get a lot of that.
Benjamin Moses: That's not a bad... Well, I should partner with them. I'm on it. I thought that was really interesting that it's a really cool approach to say, hey, we have this thing. You can buy it. Here's the price. Leave us alone. Just buy our stuff. That's cool, man. I really like that.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, to make it easy.
Benjamin Moses: Make it easy.
Stephen LaMarca: With the new generation of people coming into the manufacturing industry-
Benjamin Moses: The young kids.
Stephen LaMarca: -I can tell you right now that my generation, millennials and younger, we don't want to talk to people when spending money. My generation does enough of research buying stuff, you're not going to tell... I'm not going to say that. But it is very unlikely that you, a sales person, are going to tell me something I don't know about something I'm about to throw down tens of thousands, and if I'm a manufacturing machine tool buyer for some huge factory, a couple million dollars for maybe a set of or a couple of machine tools. I probably know about it, and I'd rather buy it on a web-based platform where I can just enter my information myself and not write a check because I'm not some boomer that likes to print my own money.
Benjamin Moses: Got to factor credit card number.
Stephen LaMarca: I collect gold coins.
Benjamin Moses: That's the other thing-
Stephen LaMarca: No man, let me give you a debit card and get out of here.
Benjamin Moses: If you have to tell-
Stephen LaMarca: Tell me when my stuff is going to ship, give me a tracking number.
Benjamin Moses: Telling someone your shipping information over the phone is the worst way to send that information. I have them read it back and it's wrong like three or four times. I cannot get it straight every time I would do that. Let's talk about the test bed, man.
Stephen LaMarca: Oh dude.
Benjamin Moses: What do we got going on the test bed? Whether we're back to work?
Stephen LaMarca: I can happily report back to work. It took a while to get used to being back in the office, but I finally got used to working from home so naturally.
Benjamin Moses: Now we've got to change it.
Stephen LaMarca: You've got to adapt to change once again.
Benjamin Moses: You and four people are in the office?
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. It's probably four people.
Benjamin Moses: Out of a staff of almost a hundred. That's weird.
Stephen LaMarca: I was the only person on our side of tech side of the building. I was the only person in our quadrant of the floor.
Benjamin Moses: That's funny.
Stephen LaMarca: It was wild. After getting settled in and hooked up to everything again, the network and whatnot, last week, I get a call from [Alon 00:12:21] who had a... One of our industry analysts in the strategic analytics department. He calls me up and he's like, "Hey, I've got this 3D printed part out of ABS plastic, solid, no internal lattice structure, and it has a hole going through it, but I need a stepped hole on one side of the part that's only going to be like a couple millimeters deep." I bought the drill bit, the special drill bit and I can't do it with hand tools. This is what he tells me. Is it cool? Do you think we could do something like this in the pocket and see? I'm like, "Dude, send the nudes. Let me see what the part looks like and..."
Benjamin Moses: I'm hoping they get them mixed up.
Stephen LaMarca: Fortunately, I saw this part and I was like, "We can put that in the vice."
Benjamin Moses: Awesome.
Stephen LaMarca: "We can clam down on that. We can put our jaws around that part."
Benjamin Moses: Good.
Stephen LaMarca: So he comes over yesterday to the office, brings the part, brings the tools, it's a high speed steel, Forstner drill bit. I don't know if I'm saying that right, but it doesn't matter. It's high speed steel and it's a drill bit, whatever.
Benjamin Moses: Nobody cares.
Stephen LaMarca: Nobody cares about that. So it's a 5/8-inch tool. When he called me last week, he was like, "What's the biggest tool that you can fit in the Pocket NC. I was like, "Wow, man, this is really going places." I tell him, "The largest [inaudible 00:14:01] we have for the spindle is a 5/16th-inch [inaudible 00:14:04]." While it can theoretically take a tool bigger than that, the shank cannot exceed 5/16th, that's the biggest I can do, at least in the next few days. He was like, "Great, I've got the tool." He comes in with this 5/16th shank 5/8th-inch Forstner drill bit and we get the work holding all set up. We get the tool in place. We get everything lined up so it looks nice. I've cut plastic before, I've cut machining wax and I've cut [inaudible 00:14:37] before. Let's crank up the speed to a five to eight and a half to 10,000 RPM, which is what I know with the Pocket NC, how it likes to chew through plastics. Again, that's typically done. I typically cut plastics on the Pocket NC that are not ABS plastic, but [inaudible 00:15:03] and wax, and I'm using carbide. So this is our first red flag that I didn't pick up on at all. We do few first few [pecs 00:15:12] at like 8,500 RPM. Few pecs, and it starts to smell bad, smells terrible. Stop the spindle. We look at the hole that we've made so far, the half millimeter deep stepped hole that we made and it's just gummed up, melted ABS everywhere. Not every, it sounds worse than it was.
Benjamin Moses: But you're seeing it melt.
Stephen LaMarca: We've seeing it melt. The sound was okay there. Surprisingly, it wasn't that much chatter. The tool was doing fine and the machine was doing fine. The plastic didn't like it. I'm like, "Man, well, what's the speeds and feeds with high speed steel and ABS plastic?" and Google didn't come back to me with anything. But then Alon did notice that on the tools packaging he's like, "Ah, Steve, this tool says do not exceed 2,400 RPM." So, we also learned yesterday that we could have turned that high speed steel drill bit into a grenade and we were lucky that that didn't happen.
Benjamin Moses: That's a little fast going almost five times it's rated speed
Stephen LaMarca: So much faster than what was recommended. So, we turned down the speed. I turned down the speed to 2,400 RPM. But even before I started to spindle again, I tried a new technique that I've always wanted to do with the Pocket NC, but I never see it on the YouTube videos of people using machine tools. I've never seen this done. I didn't know how possible it is, but running through it, hypothetically in my head, I'm like, the spindle is an electric motor. Electric motors have 100% of their torque at zero RPM. There shouldn't be a problem if I just run the spindle with tool right up to the part at zero RPM, right until it's just touching, and I can still manually turn the spindle with my hand, so it's just starting to scrape some material away. Then I turn on the spindle and now I already know that I'm making contact with it, and I slowly walk the tool into the workpiece 100th of an inch at a time. I did that, it worked beautifully. The part came out to desired spec. Alon told me that it's not working, but that's not my problem.
Benjamin Moses: That's his problem.
Stephen LaMarca: The operation went beautifully though, and I'm happy with what I learned.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. I see things aren't really up. So the technique that you used is called touching off. I just thought about it as you just now recapped about it. There's a lot of ways to do that. Some people will do just like you mentioned, and then record that measurement, look at the digital readout, record that measurement, and then feed that back in, so they'll actually back out and then put that position back into the feed. They'll use a piece of paper to see if that fits or it doesn't move there anymore. Also, the one thing you got to keep in mind is if you manufacture correctly and it doesn't work, design engineering fault, it's not your fault, it wasn't made right.
Stephen LaMarca: It's not me.
Benjamin Moses: Just throw your hands in the air, give the part, you're done. That's it.
Stephen LaMarca: I worked properly, the machine tool worked properly. I'll even give it to Alon's tool, that worked properly too, even though we abused it by sending it to three times it's speed.
Benjamin Moses: Also, this is a really common application for a Bridgeport knee mill. We talked about that a couple of weeks ago. That's everyone's favorite manufacturing technology that-
Stephen LaMarca: Yes, sir.
Benjamin Moses: -nobody talks about, is that, you'll only find a Bridgeport somewhere reworking parts to make a hole bigger or making a countersink. You would have just set that up on a [cart vice 00:00:18:41] on a Bridgeport, found the center and countersunk the hole and you're done. That's awesome. I want to get into, the first article this week was about a crossover that I'm interested in. I've been watching a lot of This Old House. Do you ever watch that?
Stephen LaMarca: Dude, I haven't seen This Old House since I was in the single digits of age.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. That's fair. Bob Vila back in the day?
Stephen LaMarca: Okay, boomer.
Benjamin Moses: I definitely saw a lot of that when I was growing up also under PBS, so Public Broadcast System. I would watch tons of that with some other local shows. Now, it's a streaming through one of the free TV streaming apps that I'm using. But I've been watching a lot of that since I've been at home, and it's interesting that both my wife and my kid hate it when I watch that, so I only get a few minutes when either they're sleeping or I can squeeze it in when they leave me alone. But when one interesting thing that I've seen there is the amount of manual... Of course, there's tons and tons of manual labor and construction, but there are new techniques and new technologies to help alleviate or support the human in the construction space. One thing I saw was manufacturing the house off site. So they prebuilt a complete house in a factory and they ship panels and then they just assemble onsite. It was completely fascinating that you can work in complete environmentally controlled atmosphere with full machinery to support humans as they're moving the panels around. Everything's rolling on floors on wheels. So there's very little overexertion of the human. So they build up these panels fully finished with drywall paint and everything. Even the exterior walls with electrical work and plumbing that they take it over. They do the quick connects between the panels and then you basically have a shell of a house and then assemble them in a couple of weeks, two days on site, basically. So that was one, the other one was, they were doing custom... I don't want to say custom, but say, copper gutters for one of the houses. Instead of shipping 40-foot-long gutters on a back of this giant trailer, they actually had progressive roll forming in a Ford transit van. They're forming onsite. I was like, wow, this is absurd.
Stephen LaMarca: That's wild.
Benjamin Moses: It was really cool. I was very surprised by that. They said, we need a hundred feet. They just had a spool of material, a bunch of progressive dyes and it kept feeding. The only limitation was how many supports that they had to support the length of the tubing. But, manufacturing on site was a thing that exists for outside gutters. Other things may not be possible. But I found an article from Robotics Tomorrow when they talked about advanced manufacturing getting into the construction site. There's two applications that they talk about. One is additive in construction. So additively grown houses is the thing now. The article talks about the biggest 3D printed house. It's about 6,900 square feet of floor space, which is really big. That's a big house. I think that size of a house facilitates the additive processes that they chose, but it's a demonstrator house that they're using. They expect that type of processing [inaudible 00:22:07]. So their application is more say, the higher end market. I've seen a couple of articles where they talk about say, more economic-focused printing. They do smaller houses say, a thousand square foot dome style where they could print something on site within a couple of days, and then you run plumbing and all that stuff to it. That's very interesting. The article quotes that they can estimate that companies can do this 25% of the projects with 3D printed structures and potentially reduce labor demand by 70 to 90%. For that style of houses, my big takeaway is, you're reducing labor demand, but it's accelerating the building process. It's not just reducing the cost of humans onsite, is increasing your processing time. The other application that they talked about was this one robot called a TyBot. What they're doing is they're tying rebars on a construction site. So, in this, they have a bridge, the bridge is going to be concrete reinforced with rebar. When they lay down the rebar, they have to manually tie every single one. They do have some specialized machines to do that. But in this case, they have an autonomous robot doing this rebar attachments. My takeaway for this is, the article states that in 2014 there were 19,000 overexertion injuries from construction sites, just in the US alone. The 19,000 injuries can be scaled down to something more manageable. My big takeaway of these advanced technologies getting into the construction site is, one, removing the risk of humans being put in danger, and also the fact that you don't have to lift these heavy things. We can have the machinery do that for us. That was a pretty interesting article of the cross cutting technology of automation and robotics. We're seeing a lot of robotics and entertainment and moving industry. I'm glad to see it transfer into construction.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, absolutely.
Benjamin Moses: Well, what was the article that you found?
Stephen LaMarca: More breaking stuff.
Benjamin Moses: Breaking stuff.
Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. So, to continue my theme I got going on right now with talking about break beds earlier and with the pickling and oiling. Last week, one of my favorite YouTube channels, Engineering Explained, released a new video on Porsche's new breaking technology. Porsche was one of the first companies going as far back as, I think the mid-80s, making carbon ceramic brake rotors. Not accessible, definitely not accessible, but bringing them to the actual consumer market in the hypercar form. But carbon ceramic brakes are, with exception to the expense of them, are the perfect brake rotors for performance application. They're fade free, they generate very little dust and they take forever to wear. Race teams are really shocked whenever they have to replace a carbon ceramic rotor, and it's not often due to wear. But again, the limiting factor here is costs for consumer. You'd lose your mind if you pulled into the dealership to get a break job done, and it ends up running $32,000 at least all four rotors.
Benjamin Moses: It'd be better just to buy a Spot the dog and ride home on that, buy cheaper.
Stephen LaMarca: I thought it wasn't a dog.
Benjamin Moses: Oh my bad. Spot the horse.
Stephen LaMarca: But anyway, compared to conventional brake rotors, which are way less expensive, ceramic brake rotors weigh a quarter of the weight. So, you can get four carbon ceramic brake rotors that way as much as one conventional cast iron brake rotor. But what Porsche has done now to take the benefits of carbon ceramic brake rotors being essentially a fade free ride that instant initial bite at any temperature and low dust, low noise driving characteristics, which everybody... You want all of those awesome performance characteristics with brakes, but you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for carbon ceramic brakes. It doesn't make sense to put carbon ceramic breaks on your Corolla.
Benjamin Moses: Right. Maybe.
Stephen LaMarca: Maybe. Depends who. But what Porsche has done is, you think about the noise that brakes make, that can be associated with machine tool chatter. Brake rotors are very similar to cutting tools. Conventional brake rotors are like high speed steel tools. To get more performance, you go with carbide. So Porsche has essentially taken the carbide cutting tools technology and put it on brake rotors. Now, we'd be going in the opposite direction if they made a full-size brake rotor out of carbide, because that would be the heaviest and would have the most rotational mass, and have the most unsprung weight, which would be terrible for performance aspect. What they've done is they took tungsten carbide powder, run it through essentially a rocket engine, through rocket nozzle, and directing that jet of fire and tungsten carbide, they put that on the braking rotor surface of the cast iron rotor to plate the cast iron rotor in about one [foul 00:28:11] of tungsten carbide. It's expensive, but it's still a lot less expensive than a carbon ceramic brake rotor. You're getting all of the benefits that you see when you make the jump from a high speed steel cutting tool to a carbide cutting tool.
You get longer life. You can push it harder and not get as much chatter, so that's where you're getting... It has higher braking performance. It still has low dust and low noise, because low dust is wear. It doesn't need any new parts, but it's just sick, because instead of spending... They're still crazy expensive. Doing that tungsten carbide coating... Even if you could have conventional cast iron Porsche brake rotors, that's expensive, but you bought into the Porsche life. You already know that nothing's going to be cheap, but this is at least cheaper than carbon ceramic brakes and it's still like 11k to replace all four rotors.
Benjamin Moses: That's a lot, I see.
Stephen LaMarca: That's better than 32.
Benjamin Moses: There's a couple of things that he does bring up in the video that I like a lot. You're only applying a [inaudible 00:29:16] of material, but the wear rate versus the brake pads is significantly different. They do a couple of wear testing, so everyone's concerned. I'll just do one without. Once that one without is gone, do you replace your rotor? For most people, I would probably just keep going, because I can. He did bring that up. Also, he brings up the fact that you have to apply a more uniform pressure so you don't crack it or if you don't wear it down, then now you've got to step up to 10 piston calipers. That's another honking piece of metal. Plus the pads themselves are probably really big. I could definitely see that. He'd brought up an interesting point that I need to consider and keep thinking about more. He mentions that the powder or the brake dust that's generated that gets everything dirty, the caliper and the wheels is from the rotor actually wearing. Porsche's brave enough to say that this will reduce the dust so much that they made the calipers white in the video, which is- That's a bold move.
Stephen LaMarca: They were almost polished white. No, I'm sorry. You're talking about the calipers-
Benjamin Moses: The calipers, yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: -[crosstalk 00:30:21] rotor. But yeah, they did. It was a bold move for them to make those calipers white because you know-
Benjamin Moses: That's crazy.
Stephen LaMarca: -it's not really good if you get a little bit of dust.
Benjamin Moses: It's not going to look at it all. Awesome. That's a really good article.
Stephen LaMarca: I also applaud Porsche, real quick, because talking about brake noise, the squealing that brakes make. Apparently, there's a lot of Porsche buyers... When you buy a Porsche, you're buying a performance vehicle. It's a sports car. You're going for performance over comfort and stuff like that. I applaud Porsche because they actually had to make a video to their customers explaining that, yes, we know your brakes probably squeal every now and then. Yes. It's normal. No, we're not going to do anything about it. That's performance for you.
Benjamin Moses: I like it. Put your foot down Porsche. That's awesome. The last article I briefly want to touch on, it's a large scale 3D printer that incorporates some measurement as part of the process on machine measurement. I thought it was an interesting article that this company ThermoWood, has a large additive manufacturing. It's not a 3D printer, because it'll print, but also it'll trim, and with the measurement capability, it'll probe the part itself. They incorporated some technology from applied automation technologies to be able to measure the part, but also feed those measurements back into the system, back into the CAM processing itself. I thought that was very valuable in terms of creating a closed loop manufacturing process. They break down the application to three processes. So you've got a pre-process. Now I've got a part that I want to set up. So, incorporating the measurement capability of the machine and being able to define where the part is exactly through the software and being able to modify the part in the machine is fairly interesting, but also... Now, in process, so the second phase of it, being able to automate, cut, measure and cut again and a closed loop process. I thought that was really fascinating. So being able to, in this case, grow the part. If you need a machine and you cut it, measure the part to see where it is and then machine again to get the highest level of precision that you're shooting for. The last part of it is the post processing. This is where I find it a little bit interesting. They don't completely illustrate a use case for the process, the data afterwards. But if you think about it, now I've got process and machine capability. I define the surface, now I'm measuring that surface on machine. Now I've got data of what I wanted to do versus what I can do, and then I come back and do a closed loop manufacturing. But now I can store the information to see if I have variations in my processing over time or if I have other factors that are contributing to variations in my process. I thought that capability is fairly interesting. But I do want to highlight that measuring in machine, it's a little bit risky. There's a couple of drawbacks to that. One is the drawback of, I've got a ProBond machine, so now what is the capability and calibration and rigor that I'm controlling my machine to my quality standards. That's something you got to be a little careful of. I've got this robust machine that is precise, but is it repeatable and accurate to your standard? That's the key thing, is being sure that you know the relationship of that machine back to the standard. The second part is, are you measuring the part in the restraint condition, which gets a little gray and a gray area for most manufacturing processes, where a lot of times they insist that the parts should be measured in the free state, which is fine and most CMMs or hand tools will measure the part in the free state. But in this particular application when you're doing machine parts or when you're measuring parts in machine or in situation, now you've got a little bit of restraint, so controlling that or allowing the engineering documentation to say, yes, you can measure in under strain condition. These are your boundaries so you don't damage the part or measure it how you'd want to see it in the application. I think that's an interesting conversation to have as we move forward, integrating measuring capability in most of our subtractive manufacturing processes. I thought that was a fascinating article. The big takeaway was the 3D printer or their additive machine is so big that it doesn't make sense for them to print a part, manufacturer the part and then take it to another large CMM. They want to do it all within one capability. So where they'd have 10 large machines, they can get away with one. I thought it was an interesting article.
Stephen LaMarca: It is. It reminds me that the next piece of tech that I really want, and I think you can agree on this. I think we both really want to see this on a test bed next is some advanced metrology.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: I got to give metrology credit. It keeps developing and getting better and better, which the downside to us especially is that means it's not getting cheaper any time soon. It's going to be still relatively inaccessible for us, but I'm just waiting till something's within our budget and we having to implement some advanced digital metrology, and hopefully that'd be really nice to have a closed loop.
Benjamin Moses: Yep. Yeah, absolutely. I think we've got a ways to go and I agree. Our next step is some piece of metrology equipment. Hopefully you can connect it between the robotic arm and our factory or our factory cart. But I agree, we just got to find the right price point for us. That's the current issue. Our pricing is a limited.
Stephen LaMarca: But hey, this week, at least we did our first hybrid process.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. You-
Stephen LaMarca: We cut additive.
Benjamin Moses: You cut [inaudible 00:36:34].
Stephen LaMarca: We followed up some additive process with... That was not in-house, but with subtractive. So, hey, I think that counts.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. We'll take that. Awesome, Steve. Where can they find more info about us?
Stephen LaMarca: All right. People can find more info about us. You can find our podcast on your favorite podcast app just by searching AMT Tech Trends. For more news and research, you can sign up to the weekly tech report @amtnews.org, and you can follow my Amateur Machinist Blog at swarfysteve.blogspot.com.
Benjamin Moses: Awesome, Steve. Man, I had a really good time recording this. This is a good time.
Stephen LaMarca: It's always a pleasure. This is a really good one.
Benjamin Moses: Yeah. Great one in the [crosstalk 00:37:18]
Stephen LaMarca: Hope this one crushes it.
Benjamin Moses: All right. Bye everybody.
Stephen LaMarca: Bye.