Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Release date: 8 November 2019
Ben and Steve blab again about home IoT and their preferences for either manual or fully automated vacuum cleaning. Steve celebrate his successes cutting brass and his next steps in producing a watch dial. Ben gets going on about supply chain and machine learning. Steve start up about progressive HMIs for the blind. Ben then talks about a feat in machining Inconel made possible by data optimization. Ban and Steve both wrap up by rambling on about hand tools.
Benjamin’s Linked In www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-moses-b13b44a2/
Amateur Machinist Blog swarfysteve.blogspot.com/
Music provided by www.freestockmusic.com
Benjamin Moses: 00:13 Hello everybody and welcome to the Tech Trends podcast where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology, research and news. This episode is by sponsored by MT360, The Conference. A great lineup of speakers where we discuss the latest transformative technologies, specifically around new technologies, implemented use case and how to drive partnerships so we can further enhance the adoption of new technologies that further get a better return on investment. I’m excited for the event, probably because I was a content manager for the first iteration. It will be in Santa Clara Convention Center on May 12th through the 14th, 2020. Go to MT360 Conference to see the speakers and technology in the factory.
Benjamin Moses: 00:55 I am Benjamin Moses, the director of manufacturing technology. I’m here with-
Stephen LaMarca: 01:00 Manufacturing and technology analyst.
Benjamin Moses: 01:03 Thanks Steve.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:03 Stephen LaMarca.
Benjamin Moses: 01:05 I’m glad you’re here today.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:06 AMT.
Benjamin Moses: 01:08 I got to get used to talking about sponsored content
also. I’m sure I was a little-
Stephen LaMarca: 01:15 I had actually planned that awkward introduction for myself.
Benjamin Moses: 01:19 Nice.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:20 But yeah, I do want to say MT360, I’m really looking forward to going to this [crosstalk 00:01:25]. It is going to be great and it’s going to be fun and we’re going to see a lot of cool stuff. It’s a smaller IMTS but more on the data and the backend and more the integration and stuff like that.
Benjamin Moses: 01:40 Speaking of which, we talk about advancing technology, so I’m looking for a new smart vacuum cleaner. The one I have, it’s considered a dumb vacuum cleaner. It’s insulting to the vacuum, but it uses straight forward sensors. It doesn’t map where it’s going and it’s randomly driving around. Great introductory price, great for testing. A major pitfall I have with that is I have to empty the container that it vacuums up, which is on the machine itself. It’s small so I have to do it every day. It’s got two filters, which is another consumable, which is another thing that grinds my gears is filters. So I’m looking to get another vacuum cleaner that actually empties into its own container and I can empty that container once a month.
Benjamin Moses: 02:23 There’s a new series of vacuums-
Stephen LaMarca: 02:25 That’s cool.
Benjamin Moses: 02:26 It is cool. And it’s the bagless style too, so I just take the whole tray up and dump it into the bag, which is great. But the drawback is at that level of technology, they include a bunch of other devices on it. It uses LIDAR for mapping itself around and it does-
Stephen LaMarca: 02:41 Wow, that’s absurd man.
Benjamin Moses: 02:42 Pattern direction as opposed to randomly driving around. Then the thing that I’m not overly excited about is the connectivity to the phone. I can define keep out boundaries of where I want to keep the robot away from, not vacuum under. Also scheduling, all the fancy whistles within a connected device. But it’s another thing in my house that connects to a server, that gets back to my phone and those steps I don’t have full control over. I’ve got control over the device in my house connected to the Wi-Fi. But the connection through its server and then what’s stored there and then the connectivity back. These are all things that I’m not super excited for, I don’t really care much about.
Benjamin Moses: 03:25 And finally because I’ve been talking to a bunch of groups about security manufacturing and I’ve been using the Verizon Breach Report, which we’ll link in the show notes as the benchmarking for what’s going on in manufacturing. They cover a bunch of different sectors and they actually collect data on actual breaches within those sectors, which is super useful. And they also work with the FBI if they’re significant breaches, so keep that in mind too. If you do get breached, you should contact a local police agency and see if there’s help in resolving that breach.
Stephen LaMarca: 03:54 Yes, absolutely.
Benjamin Moses: 03:55 But the main thing, the big takeaway from the report is on the manufacturing side. It’s the C level of executives are 12 times more likely to be targeted. Now what that means is they’re getting phished or they’re getting social media scammed to get their logins. Then they can have access to all the backend information.
Stephen LaMarca: 04:15 Well, I mean we’re talking about C suite level employees. The people who barely know how to open a PDF.
Benjamin Moses: 04:22 And they probably shouldn’t be opening PDFs.
Stephen LaMarca: 04:23 And they should not be opening certainly sketchy PDFs or zip files.
Benjamin Moses: 04:27 Which is another thing that ground my gears where using email as the be all end all for all communication. Send me a link. Send me a link to a One Drive or a SharePoint. Don’t embed files, that’s old school.
Stephen LaMarca: 04:40 I would even argue that I bet you it’s not even the C level employees being targeted more than the rest of the employees. I’m sure the targeting is equal. These people who are sending out phishing emails, they just want to hit as many people as possible. It’s just the C level are probably the more susceptible. They probably don’t know what to do when they see that stuff. Anyway, you just mentioned a whole lot of stuff including home IOT and all this automation integration in a vacuum cleaner. And I still can’t get over the fact that you have or are looking at a vacuum cleaner with LIDAR in it.
Benjamin Moses: 05:19 That’s crazy, isn’t it?
Stephen LaMarca: 05:20 I just want to say that I prefer manual vacuuming. I like a good 18,000 RPM spindle Dyson and using my own hands, my own two hands.
Benjamin Moses: 05:32 Way to keep it old school, Steve.
Stephen LaMarca: 05:33 I feel like I do a better job than any programmable vacuum cleaner. No, I’m just kidding. It must be nice to just go to work and you’ve got Amelia goes to school, [Deepa 00:05:44] goes to work. And the house cleans itself almost.
Benjamin Moses: 05:48 That’s one of the funny part about automation. I’ve got a home security system too. I have a bunch of windows, the way I have it set up in the living room with the vacuum cleaner is with motion sensors. So if it detects motion, then it’ll set off the alarm. There’s a concern [inaudible 00:06:02] that I’ve read about. The heat generated from the vacuum cleaner is enough to trigger the motion sensor. So that’s one of the tricky parts about automation is-
Stephen LaMarca: 06:10 The heat generated from the vacuum cleaner?
Benjamin Moses: 06:11 Yeah, because it’s got motors and things like that and it’s moving. So it’s enough to-
Stephen LaMarca: 06:15 Wait, you have thermal cameras in your house?
Benjamin Moses: 06:17 No, not thermal cameras. It’s infrared motion sensors.
Stephen LaMarca: 06:19 Okay.
Benjamin Moses: 06:20 The ones you’d see on your light switch, except it’s connected to your security system. So if it detects any kind of heat motion, it’ll set off the-
Stephen LaMarca: 06:27 Man, then that’s a bad… That’s interesting.
Benjamin Moses: 06:30 I didn’t want to test it so I have it triggered at night, at 11:45, which is fine because normally we’re asleep by then. Sometimes we’re watching a movie and I forget that it’s going to go off at that time.
Stephen LaMarca: 06:40 Oh, so you can trip your own stuff.
Benjamin Moses: 06:42 We’re into the scene, into the movie and then all of a sudden you hear this loud brrr. The vacuum cleaner starts going off. It scares the hell out of both of us, I have to go to the bathroom.
Stephen LaMarca: 06:52 It’s just trying to execute some lights out manufacturing.
Benjamin Moses: 06:56 Lights out vacuuming.
Stephen LaMarca: 06:57 Lights out cleaning.
Benjamin Moses: 06:58 Almost there, I think we’re almost there.
Stephen LaMarca: 07:00 That’s cool though. You’re never going to get there if you don’t experiment and try to implement it now.
Benjamin Moses: 07:07 That’s the key.
Stephen LaMarca: 07:09 Somebody’s got to do it to get it developed and working right.
Benjamin Moses: 07:11 Need to test it.
Stephen LaMarca: 07:12 When I’m finally getting into home automation, I’m going to look at you and say like, “How is everything working perfectly at your place?” It’s like, “Steve, I did this 20 years ago.”
Benjamin Moses: 07:23 Exactly.
Stephen LaMarca: 07:24 “That’s when I started.”
Benjamin Moses: 07:25 I’ve gone through 20 devices that are in the trash can. Speaking of which, tell me about the Test Bed, what’s going on this week? [crosstalk 00:07:31].
Stephen LaMarca: 07:31 Oh man. Last week we did some finishing. I did my third iteration of finishing this brass, getting a sweet service finish, getting rid of the gumminess and it’s not perfect, it’s decent. But it looks so much better than all of my other attempts I’ve made along the way. I got the step over right. There’s a few flaws here and there, but the flaws actually look really pretty, and that’s the idea. Because at the end of the day I’m making a watch dial and with watchmaking it’s this is a handmade piece or whatever that’s at least what the Swiss do. And you embrace flaws, at the end of the day it’s jewelry. Good diamonds, good emeralds, stuff like that, they have flaws in them that only nature could create. That’s how I’d like to feel about this brass dial. It’s got some flaws in it and that’s just the nature of trying to mill brass.
Stephen LaMarca: 08:27 I’ve spoken to a good amount of people now, have given me a lot of tips and advice on milling brass. And watchmakers, they all say you don’t venture below 20,000 RPM and your feed has to be crazy slow. And then another person, Sam Steel out of Leidos who visits the Test Bed every now and then he’s like, “Yeah, we don’t even mill brass. If we have to cut brass, we turn it on a lave. You can’t mill it.” This guy who’s working at a huge defense contractor, industrial manufacturing plant. He said, “You can’t mill brass.” The Swiss would disagree with that and now I would, but it was tough to get here and I’m really proud of how far I’ve made it.
Stephen LaMarca: 09:15 The next steps are of course cutting the indices. I’m really looking forward to that this week. I’m looking forward to putting in two large hatch marks, tick marks at 12 o’clock and then I’m going to put a single, large tick mark, one single large tick mark at three, six and nine. And then smaller, single hash marks at one, two, four, five, seven, eight and then 10 and 11 to cover the dial. The dial will have a chapter ring and you’ll be able to tell the time once the hands are on it and it’s in the watch.
Benjamin Moses: 09:55 And then you have to part it off, right? Or did you do-
Stephen LaMarca: 09:58 Parting off? No, it hasn’t because we’re not done cutting it yet. I’m more confident in being able to cut these indices and making them look really nice. Because going back to the surface finish, the surface finish, it starts to get ever so slightly gummy towards the edge, the outer edge of the dial. So the indices are going to actually make it look a lot cleaner. It’s going to hide some of the blemishes on the outside of the dial. The center of the dial, which is your focal point on the dial, is so clean and beautiful and it starts to fade to fuzzy or gummy or-
Benjamin Moses: 10:35 That’s the nature of it.
Stephen LaMarca: 10:36 Finish. And I think it adds that natural look. But the parting out, once these indices are done, of course we’ve got to part it out and then you’re going to bring in a heat gun for me. And that’s what I’m worried about. The dial, the brass is on there in the Delrin work holding, which was cut to fit that brass plate perfectly. And then I used a some Loctite Super Glue gel to fix the brass plate onto the the Delrin soft jaw. It’s on there, I did a few tests to see how secure it was and I was like, “I don’t know how secure it is, so I’m going to tread to lightly.” And fortunately treading lightly yielded a really clean surface finish.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:26 But now that I’ve done so much cutting on this brass dial, I’ve realized that thing is stuck on there and now I’m concerned about damaging this dial trying to get it off.
Benjamin Moses: 11:37 Maybe, it’s Delrin. We could always melt it off if we need to.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:41 Yeah, that’s true. But we’ll see. That’s going to be the next trial and tribulation.
Benjamin Moses: 11:46 I’m excited to see that. And then we’re going to get to some hand assembly, right?
Stephen LaMarca: 11:50 Oh yeah. Then the watch has to be put together, which really doesn’t involve the Test Bed at all. I’m probably going to have Russ do that and I’ll try to take pictures as he does it, because he took it apart in the first place.
Benjamin Moses: 11:59 Yeah. Let’s get Russ to do some actual work around here. But I think that might be useful because we’re going to talk about some hand tools later on to document that procedure. And I think that’s a gap in the industry where we’re headed. Is everyone’s focused on machines and being able to pull data off these automated machines. But what happens when the human’s involved? How are we making sure that the data is collected? And part of that is I’m getting a deck installed in our back and just thinking about how manual a lot of processes in manufacturing still are and a gap that we’re missing in that space. It was just a thought that popped in my mind.
Stephen LaMarca: 12:36 Yeah, no, you got to think about the hand tools.
Benjamin Moses: 12:39 The first topic I was going to talk about today is machine learning and supply chain. That’s another area that we don’t discuss much about is supply chain, which all the manufacturing basically involves supply chain. You’re receiving orders, you’re sending out orders, getting people to do work on your behalf so you have your own supply chain.
Stephen LaMarca: 12:55 Well, you can certainly talk better on that than I can. I haven’t experienced supply chain yet.
Benjamin Moses: 12:58 I’ve been a member in supply chain and also purchased parts. You’re basically a middleman if you’re a manufacturer at some point. Either it’s just raw material so you’re going to an receive order and you have to buy raw material, even the tooling. You’ve got to buy consumable tooling and all that stuff. So one thing that BASF and IBM are working together on is supply chain digital, a website has an article on Machine Learning Innovation Technology Within Supply Chain. It’s an okay title, it’s not click baity, which I like nowadays. It’s pretty straight forward, more like a research paper type title. But they have a proof of concept to evaluate how AI and machine learning could be utilized to build more powerful replenishment advisor tool.
Benjamin Moses: 13:41 They have this test case where they’re connecting their systems to ERP to get patterns on sales, volume, strategy, inventory levels and shipping time using open source machine learning. Basically they’ll want to we’ll just say automate some of the supply chain side of it, is recommending to either the user of hey, these things are going to run out in a certain amount of time and the lead time is this, so you don’t run out. Just in time manufacturing is all about that, to make sure you have the parts when you need it. But we’re adding a little buffer with inventory on hand. And that’s one of the drawbacks of supply chain also is you’re spending money every time you buy something. So if you don’t use it for three months, you spent that money three months before you actually need it.
Stephen LaMarca: 14:26 Overhead.
Benjamin Moses: 14:27 Exactly. You could use that money elsewhere. You could’ve bought different tooling, you could have bought another company if you’re buying that much stuff. So the ability to reduce the cashflow to when it’s actually needed helps businesses quite a bit. So I’m curious to see where they’re headed with this, and see the actual return on investment back to the industry, and see what they deliver back to the industry. If it’s just best practices or an actual widget people can embed in their system. Because in the end they’re going to come up with a strategy of how this was implemented. Now you’ve got to look at how each factory is unique, whether they have their own ERP system, their own supply chain, their own data collection within that supply chain and what’s needed to support that level of machine learning.
Stephen LaMarca: 15:12 Wow!
Benjamin Moses: 15:13 What was your article about?
Stephen LaMarca: 15:14 My article, the title is Tactile Display Lets Blind Perform 3D Printing and CAD.
Benjamin Moses: 15:24 Nice.
Stephen LaMarca: 15:25 I thought this was so cool. Going back to HMIs, human machine interface, it was cool. This control, the way a blind person would modify their model and and design what they want to 3D print, it looks like… Do you remember those toys called pin art? It was a pin impressioning toy where you could rest this thing on your face and you’d have a pin impression of your face. That’s what the tool looks like. And I thought it was just wild. There’s not really much more to it other than it’s a really a creative take on HMIs and just modeling in general. Because I remember I think it was a IMTS 2016 that we went to when a lot of HMI companies are going away from a small screen and a keyboard to a full on touch screen. And now a lot of car manufacturers are figuring out how to make touchscreens tactile and I think this is our next step.
Benjamin Moses: 16:30 That’s cool. That is a glimpse of the future because when you look at movies and the people that are predicting what the future looks like, there’s not a lot of flat screen displays, a lot of volume metric displays. Being able to show things in a hologram that has some depth in real life and I guess is a first iteration of being able to accurately represent something in the real world. That’s cool.
Stephen LaMarca: 16:52 It’s wild that you mentioned the movie predictions of technology. I love going back and watching a movie, I think it was Total Recall. They got a few things right and so much wrong. The future of the room you’re in right now looks exactly the same. It’s just there’s a few more gadgets here and there that you did not picture before at all, in the slightest. Maybe a robot comes in here and cleans up the crumbs that you dropped as soon as they hit the floor.
Benjamin Moses: 17:27 Like in Fifth Element.
Stephen LaMarca: 17:28 Yeah, exactly like in Fifth Element. But man, there’s not flying cars.
Benjamin Moses: 17:33 No, no. One thing I will disagree with before we get to that, is in Back to the Future they talked about a scene in the future where people are wearing two ties nowadays. I was like, “That’s weird.” And then the other thing I’ll agree with is the earth is going to be overpopulated. We’re going to be in scenes where there’s 8 million people in every single city and it’s going to be a problem.
Stephen LaMarca: 17:55 Yeah, when are we going to be on Mars?
Benjamin Moses: 17:56 Yeah. The last article I wanted to talk about was Data Improving Airspace. Now this isn’t from a technology company, it’s from Lancashire Telegraph. They talked about Engineering a Digital Solution to Aid Lancashire Airspace. So it’s a telegraph within their local manufacturing, which is great. The only thing I didn’t really particularly like about this is the first take away… Well, let’s get into that more later, but what they’re trying to do is improve the efficiency in machine [inaudible 00:18:26], which is very difficult. They want to reduce the build time from 90 hours to 12 hours. That’s a huge change. The one thing I didn’t like about this article is it talks about going right to digital solutions. When I’d rather see a title: Data Improving Aerospace. I mean that’s the foundation of their improvement plan. The technology and the digital solutions are resultant of the data that they’ve accumulated to figure out what they want to do. That was just my takeaway in this article is that they are using data and digital tools to predict what the production line will look like, and now they’re implementing that process.
Benjamin Moses: 19:07 On paper they have a theoretical reduction in the future probably, I think end of this year they’ll have the machinery in place. So not just that they’re implementing data collection, they’re doing some mobile automation and streamlining their supply chain process also. So there’s some good takeaways, but I’d rather see more separation in the future from, hey, let’s all go digital where I did some data collection and I solved this problem. Those are two different scenarios. What was the last article you got for today, Steve?
Stephen LaMarca: 19:35 Oh, it’s actually not an article. I watch a lot of YouTube of course and I watch YouTube before bed. In fact, I often fall asleep to it. But anyway, in my feed of videos that I might be interested in, one of the channels I actually follow and I’m subscribed to on YouTube is Scotty Kilmer. Are you familiar with Scotty Kilmer?
Benjamin Moses: 19:58 No, not at all.
Stephen LaMarca: 19:59 Scotty Kilmer is this career auto mechanic. He’s been a ASC certified mechanic, what have you forever. You’d think he’d be one of these old guys who’s like, “Oh, these cars today aren’t the way they used to be where you could fix it yourself in your driveway. Now you need a computer.” No, he can work on the old stuff like a ’64 1/2 Mustang or he can plug in a laptop and do an ECU tune for you.
Stephen LaMarca: 20:29 But anyway, what came up was I noticed in the picture, the thumbnail picture on the video, I think the video is called This Changes Everything. He’s always got the most click baity titles. But it was a picture of HRE’s 3D additive titanium wheel. This crazy expensive wheel that it’s only a wheel that you would consider buying if you are putting it on something crazy like a McLaren 720S. Because it’s that expensive of a wheel. One of these wheels might cost as much as my car. But anyway, it’s a titanium additive wheel and I’ve watched this video not so much… I already know about the wheel. I’ve mentioned it before on the podcast, articles talking about this wheel. You and I, we’ve bantered back and forth about this wheel at our desks before.
Stephen LaMarca: 21:20 What I just wanted to know was how much does this guy really know about this wheel? And it’s not that I don’t believe Scotty or I’m questioning his intellect. But I just want to see obviously he’s not an additive manufacturing SME. How much does he know about it? And it’s a 10 minute video, but he only talks about this additive wheel for the first one or two minutes. And what I just found wild was while he’s no SME and he doesn’t come off as being an SME for additive and he’s certainly a subject matter expert for maintaining a vehicle. And what he mentioned was all accurate and I was actually shocked. He knew that the type of additive that was used to create such a wheel. Some things he got wrong, but it doesn’t really matter. Because at the end of the day he said, “You know this really isn’t a feasible means of manufacturing wheels. It’s really just like the McLaren 720S that this wheel would go on, it’s a status symbol. It’s to say, hey, this is pushing the envelope of technology.”
Stephen LaMarca: 22:27 So he knew enough and what this told me was additive really is a mainstay right now. And I’ve said this a million times before, it’s not vaporware, it’s not a buzzword anymore. This is an actual means of manufacturing. And while people like Scotty will say that, “Oh no, this is still vaporware,” from our standpoint in the industry it’s made it this far to where a mechanic is talking about it, that’s big.
Benjamin Moses: 22:58 That is big and we’re seeing a lot of acceptance in the production world. There’s still a lot of, I won’t say problems, more things that need to be solved in the future to increase throughput. But there are a lot of companies that are figuring out ways to implement it as part of their regular production lines. Automotive and aerospace are taking significant steps in that space. Automotive as in not the rim side, I think that’s a jewelry case, which a lot of [crosstalk 00:23:23]. But they’re exploring different ways to improve either fuel efficiency or other things where they can print plastic parts to help improve the car. And aerospace is exploring that and the big thing that they’re exploring is the justification of why you would use additive. For example, reducing assembly time, which is good. But the best use case I’ve seen are improving fuel efficiency or reducing weight to get you a return on investment.
Stephen LaMarca: 23:52 Yeah, just think about, I mean right now if you compare a car from the 50s, 60s to a tube frame race car of the 90s or late 80s, to a carbon monocoque chassis of a modern race car. Whether it’s an LMP1 or a Formula One car. It’s come so far and the forged carbon tub of a Formula One car looks nothing like a tube chassis or even some stamped steel car from the 60s. It’s come so far that I think the next step is an additively produced car chassis. The whole car, no, come on, let’s be real. And wheels, no. But for light weighting purposes, additive would be the way to go for the chassis itself.
Benjamin Moses: 24:53 There are a couple of groups that are exploring that on metal additive, they’re adding a metal head to robots so they can print the entire chassis. We’ll get into that a little further. I’ll do a little research. I think that will be cool.
Stephen LaMarca: 25:05 This is a topic for another entire podcast.
Benjamin Moses: 25:07 I think so. The last thing I wanted to talk about today was the issues with hand tools. We briefly mentioned earlier, you talked about the HMI, mentioned a little bit on the construction side. One thing in manufacturing I think we’re missing the boat on is the evolution of hand tools, particularly with fatigue issues and human strain. I don’t see the same evolution of solving the fundamental problem of protecting the human with these hand tools. We just came from the quality show a couple of weeks ago, coming up to Fam Tech, which has a lot of assembly tools and some automated with presses and some of [crosstalk 00:25:44]. But a fair amount of hand tools also. What’s your take on that Steve?
Stephen LaMarca: 25:49 First off, my take is the Germans are totally spearheading the progression of hand tools, when it comes to strict hand tools. You look at German tools, you compare it to American tools are following suit. If you look at Craftsman hand tools, they’re starting to get plastic grips that are ergonomically shaped with rubber inserts so you keep your grip. We’re talking about casual mechanics, not full on mechanic. Casual, somebody like you or I, if we’ve got a tool kit, we’re probably not going to… The first step isn’t let’s put on nitrile gloves. You’re going to use your bare hands. So a lot of American tools are following the ergonomics of the German tools that I’ve seen. You look at some of the handles on them and it looks like you’re supposed to grab it and it feels right in the hand. But man, it does not look like a conventional screwdriver.
Stephen LaMarca: 26:52 Also, you look at the bits on these tools, especially when you hear about a lot of… Like I said, watch a lot of car YouTube videos. I’ll watch this one channel that he claims to be a regular guy who daily’s a Ferrari. He bought an auction Ferrari for $80,000. One of the first mods when maintaining your own Ferrari is replacing all of the hex bolts throughout the body and engine bay with Torx bolts. Because you remove these and put them back in all the time working on your car and hex bolts do not hold up. They rust out and you end up stripping them and then you need to take something like a dremel and cut a slash through it and use a flathead screwdriver to remove it. You replace all your hex bolts with Torx. Torx just, it’s in the name. It works better. You won’t strip them even if it’s cheap Chinese pot metal that the bolt is made out of. If it’s big enough it won’t strip.
Stephen LaMarca: 27:59 But coming away from the casual mechanics standpoint, a lot of hand tools if you look in a factory that requires some hand tools, especially a lot of hand assembly, it’s not like somebody wheels around a toolbox and wrenches on something. The tools are hanging from a crane and they’re all actuated. You don’t twist it with your hands, you’re wearing gloves. It looks like what what you think is just a wrench or a screwdriver, looks like a dremel. And it is powered. And that’s what I’ve seen a lot.
Benjamin Moses: 28:37 That is interesting because-
Stephen LaMarca: 28:37 And that stuff’s expensive because I mean, good hand tools are expensive and are untouchable for a casual mechanic, a casual wrencher let alone a crane with some air driven tools. You and I are never going to see those in our own garages.
Benjamin Moses: 28:54 Yeah. And I’ve seen the self-supported hand tools and one thing that a lot of people do glance over that is when you use the hand tool, say it’s a hand grip. You just squeeze your hand and it activates something that’s reasonable. You don’t have to use excessive force or anything like that, but you still have to react the load. A lot of them are not torque bearing cranes or supports. So even though it could be attached to a [inaudible 00:29:18], you still will pull it down and you still have to take the small load over and over again. It’s about 50% of the solution that I would like to see where the human is still taking a brunt of the load over and over again. That’s a fatigue issue that I see that is commonly missed over. That yeah, we implement a hand tool and yeah, it’s supported, but who’s taking the load in the end? That’s human that’s still straining to support that.
Benjamin Moses: 29:44 And I do see two technologies coming about. NASA released this power glove about a couple of years ago. It’s not the Nintendo power glove, if you’re old enough to remember that, but it’s a glove where it’s got some actuators where I think it’s either retracting or compressing the fingers. Where if you give it a little bit of motion it pulls it the rest of the way so you don’t have to pull the full load, it helps actuate some of the load, which is interesting.
Benjamin Moses: 30:08 And I do see a lot of exoskeletons coming up nowadays. We did a little bit of research a couple of months ago and we’re exploring the world of exoskeletons where there’s-
Stephen LaMarca: 30:18 Caterpillar heavy loaders?
Benjamin Moses: 30:19 Similar. Yeah, very similar where the load is being transmitted to the suit itself, which is not quite attached to the floor, but being transmitted to the floor. So the human’s doing the controlling, which is great. You’ve seen that solve a lot of problems where you have to lift parts over your head and things like that. But still the human using their fingers and the strength of their hand is still a common problem I see [crosstalk 00:30:45].
Stephen LaMarca: 30:45 Right. And we ran into this problem. Boeing was very vocal about this problem when we went to visit them. Man when was that, that was a long time ago.
Benjamin Moses: 30:55 That was while ago, yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: 30:57 The one thing that stuck with me was riveters. They work in teams of two and they have to get along because they sync up. They know each other and they know that they need to be on two sides of a fuselage wall, and do the same thing at the exact right time. And they need to do that over and over again until the plane is complete. I remember our tour guide mentioned that that job pays a lot because it’s really hard on the body. Not only do you need a good rapport with your other riveter, but you’re lifting that heavy riveting gun as you’re holding it in an awkward position over and over again throughout the day.
Benjamin Moses: 31:44 Yeah, they have a lot of health issues coming out of that plant. That’s awesome Steve. This was a great episode. For more news and research, you can follow me on LinkedIn and where can they get more info and you Steve?
Stephen LaMarca: 31:54 They can follow me on Adventures of an Amateur Machinist. My blog is swarthysteve.blogspot.com.
Benjamin Moses: 32:02 Awesome.
Stephen LaMarca: 32:03 The link will be in the description below.
Benjamin Moses: 32:04 Take care everyone.
Stephen LaMarca: 32:05 Thanks.