• Benjamin Moses

AMT Tech Trends: Playing The Graphics Card

Updated: Sep 30

Release date: 25 September 2020

Episode 34: Ben and Steve start by blabbing about the latest GPUs. Ben asks Steve if he would fly on a hydrogen-powered plane. Steve drools over Oak Ridge National Lab’s experiments with robotic fiber placement. Ben talks about the automation of ammunition production and triggers a rant from Stephen on why small arms cartridges need to be brass cased. Steve cools down with printed diamond cutting tools. Ben brings up cybersecurity for smart factories. Steve closes with the biggest machine tool down under.

- https://soundcloud.com/user-826799302/playing-the-graphics-card - https://www.3dprintingmedia.network/orbital-composites-and-ornl-collaborate-composites/ - https://breakingdefense.com/2020/09/replacing-spatulas-with-robots-at-army-ammo-plants/ - https://www.pesmedia.com/mapal-pcd-cutting-tools-16092020/ - https://www.amtnews.org/post/cybersecurity-for-smart-factories - https://www.nist.gov/cyberframework - https://www.ctemag.com/news/industry-news/submarines-be-built-australias-largest-machine-tool

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Benjamin Moses: Hello everybody, and welcome to the Tech Trends podcast, where we discuss the latest manufacturer and technology research and news. I am Benjamin Moses, the director of manufacturing technology. I'm here with ...

Stephen LaMarca: Stephen LaMarca, manufacturing technology analyst.

Benjamin Moses: Hi Steve, welcome to a special IMTS Spark edition of the podcast. Excited to talk about ... We have some really interesting articles I found today. But before we get into that, are you caught up on the Nvidia card debacle and Nexium consoles?

Stephen LaMarca: I would like to think I am, but with computers there's always something I don't know.

Benjamin Moses: There's always something.

Stephen LaMarca: But yeah, a little bit. I know that, with the release of the Nvidia RTX 3080, it sold out in a couple of seconds, and I think that was because they only made like eight of them.

Benjamin Moses: I think there's two things there. One, they only made eight for some reason, but apparently there's a bunch of bots running around too buying them randomly too.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, the scalpers.

Benjamin Moses: Scalpers.

Stephen LaMarca: You know what's funny is a lot of the people who wanted to buy these graphics cards, it's really funny that you mentioned that. I'm glad you mentioned that. Yes, people programed bots to buy the initial release of the 3080 right away.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Then people who actually were willing to throw down 1500, 1200, 1500 dollars for this latest Gen RXT graphics card got upset by this, but at the same time, the people who were willing to throw down $1200 for the latest Nvidia graphics card are also the people who probably know a thing or two about computers and probably know how to write their own bots. So they did write their own bots, and I know this one guy wrote a bot to go onto eBay where these scalper bots were now selling the graphics cards for wildly inflated prices like $3000. These people who wanted to buy these initial graphics cards wrote bots to go onto eBay and put on fake bids to drive up the price to like $30,000 for these graphics cards to ensure that the scalpers do not make the sale on these graphics cards at all until the next batch of graphics cards are out and then they're stuck with a handful of graphics cards that you can only use four of them max if you're one of those SLI nerds.

Benjamin Moses: It's absolutely amazing that we are living in the future. We have bots fighting bots now.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: It's crazy. It was mind blowing that, one, my YouTube feed is flooded with this content and, two, I don't care anything about this at all because in a month it will solve itself like most supply chain problems related to first gen consumer grade equipment. Just chill out. It will be fine. You don't have to be the first wave.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Then how about the fact that the 3080 was just released. The Nvidia RTX 3080 was just released. It's already outdated.

Benjamin Moses: Already, because AMT is coming out?

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. It's already outdated.

Benjamin Moses: It's a confluence of issues because also we've got next gen consoles coming out too. We've got Play Station 5 and the Xbox series X coming out, which I'm a fan of both. I've been keeping an eye on both because I'm hitting a crossroads next year where I want to build a computer. Intel is on the 11th gen processor and my current computer is on the fourth gen. It's time for me to upgrade.

Stephen LaMarca: Intel is on the 11th?

Benjamin Moses: They just released their 11th gen.

Stephen LaMarca: Wow.

Benjamin Moses: Which the 10th and 11th I feel a little bit iffy because-

Stephen LaMarca: I bet you they just ... I feel like they just released the 10.

Benjamin Moses: They just released the 10th.

Stephen LaMarca: They also know ... Well, a lot of the reviews that I've watched on YouTube said, hey, the 10th gen sucked. It's only mildly better performing than the ninth gen. Oh, but it has all of these thermal issues.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Because they tried to make the processor. It needs to be better than the ninth, so they over clocked it a little bit to make it actually perform better than the ninth.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: But to make it compete with AMDs [inaudible 00:04:31] Thread ripper processors, which are incredibly competitively priced by the way, they had to find a way to make the Intel processors cheaper. So they cut costs on a lot of thermal components, like the heat spreader and the thermal compound that conducts to the thermals from the dye to the heat spreader is apparently trash. So one of the first things you want to do if you have one of these 10 gen CPUs is delit it and apply new thermal compound to it, and then relit it.

Benjamin Moses: Do you know how hardcore you have to be to delit a processor?

Stephen LaMarca: You've got to be-

Benjamin Moses: That's outrageous.

Stephen LaMarca: ... the biggest nerd. But apparently ... I didn't know that they just released an 11th gen, but I bet you they did it because the 10th gen absolutely sucks and it's horrendous.

Benjamin Moses: I'm super excited to build a computer next year in February when the market will be flooded with everything I need and everything will be fine.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh yeah.

Benjamin Moses: Also, I'm fascinated. Next year I'll have some more free time and I'll want to get back into playing games on the console. Play Station 5 will be out and the Xbox series X will be out. There's two things I found fascinating. One, the last console I had was a Play Station 3 and I just got rid of it because it went up in flames this past year. Actually, the brunt of the usage was as a Blue Ray player. I'm still a big fan of purchasing physical Blue Rays and that's the main reason I bought it when the Play Station 3 came out because it was a great Blue Ray player. It decoded faster than most standalone Blue Ray players and I could game on it. So for the cost and benefit of it, it was great.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, get out of here with streaming.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: Having a solid Blue Ray ...

Benjamin Moses: It's so much better. I can't tell you how much I enjoy a Blue Ray still. So right now I'm conflicted of which is going to be the better media player, Xbox or the Play Station. Then my heart is torn because Grand Turismo was such a dear game to me that I'm on the fence about just sticking with the console just to buy Grand Turismo.

Stephen LaMarca: That's the only reason I'd buy. I feel like knowing as much as I've learned this summer about computers and PCBs and CPUs and GPUs, I would be the most informed buyer that I personally could be for this latest gen of game consoles.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: I would only buy the PS5, because I only bought the PS4 for Grand Turismo Sport.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: I would only buy the PS5 for Grand Turismo seven.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: But yeah, it's sad. As informed as I am now, this will sadly probably be the first generation of Play Station that I won't buy. I've bought every single one.

Benjamin Moses: I'm also saddened by the people that are ill informed in the market. Apparently, I saw an article that ... So the Xboxers X pre orders were placed or opened up, but people bought the Xbox X, the previous generation, because they got the names mixed up. So instead of pre ordering the new gen, they actually bought the old gen.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh man. [inaudible 00:07:52] some out.

Benjamin Moses: Which to be fair, on a late Saturday night after some hard gaming, I probably would do the same. Man, I feel bad for those.

Stephen LaMarca: All the more reason not to buy Xbox.

Benjamin Moses: That's true. We'll see. Well, come February I'll give an update. All right man, let's get into some articles. I found a really good one on hydrogen planes. Steve, you've done a lot of traveling.

Stephen LaMarca: Yes.

Benjamin Moses: Would you get on a plane that is powered by hydrogen?

Stephen LaMarca: Yes.

Benjamin Moses: Why would you?

Stephen LaMarca: I would.

Benjamin Moses: Tell me.

Stephen LaMarca: I can say that with confidence because-

Benjamin Moses: Is flying such a bad experience that you would get on a plane that will kill you?

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Flying, you're already taking so many variables that you have no control over, that are taking your life into their own hands. Odds are that I'm probably going to make it out of this. It doesn't matter whether it's kerosene, hydrogen, electric. I'm sure there will be electric planes soon enough.

Benjamin Moses: So in this article from Flight Global, they talk about air bus making a semi zero emission aircraft in the next 15 years.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: Their path to that would be to use hydrogen as a main power source. I found that really interesting that, one, they show a couple renderings of potential aircraft would be, and two are very traditional. So you have your standard fuselage with your engine under the wing. They show a funky thing with the wings where it's drastically swept back towards the tips. I guess that's to help reduce drag or maybe increase the mock number they can achieve.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, probably a higher cruising speed.

Benjamin Moses: Then the second one is a turbo props which is cool. I'm still a big fan of turbo props.

Stephen LaMarca: Same. I think turbo props are really underrated.

Benjamin Moses: One thing I don't like is they have a blended wing design, which we had a debate about earlier. So every couple of years there's always a rendering of blended wing design from some random airspace company, and people need to stop doing that. The B2 is the only blended wing design that will every exist. I'm sure there's other ones beside that, but I get really annoyed by, one, the rendering just doesn't look very good. There's a lot of flaws in what they have rendered there.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: It'll never come to fruition. They tease me every single time with these efficient designs of how much space you can occupy in the fuselage and how efficient they are to fly, but it's just a tease every single time. It annoys me that people still bring up the blended wing design.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, the second Elon Musk releases some concepts drawing of space X's new extra stratosphere airplane that can get you to the other side of the world in like 30 minutes, if it's a blended wing design, back out of Tesla.

Benjamin Moses: Just sell, sell, sell.

Stephen LaMarca: Just back out.

Benjamin Moses: The reason I bring up this article, the shifts in the manufacturing industry, aerospace has seen a significant change in the materials that they're handling. They've shifted to composites. They're rolling a lot of fuselages through tape and tow machines for composites.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh yeah.

Benjamin Moses: A lot of wings, a lot of substructure. Don't get me wrong. They're still using a lot of traditional materials in the structure too. They even experiment with different techniques for the standard material, so Boeing still has their wind box design that has grown out of using plasma and titanium, which I found very fascinating still. But the shift in ... if you're going to hydrogen, now you've got a tank that you need to store the hydrogen and be able to transport that throughout the aircraft. I find that a significant shift in the cost of material that you've got on the aircraft now.

Stephen LaMarca: Right. Well, at the end of the day, the reason why I wouldn't be concerned about a hydrogen plane is, at the end of the day, you're still converting chemical energy into kinetic energy.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: It's the same with batteries. Batteries is a chemical storage of electricity which then turns the electrical energy into kinetic energy.

Benjamin Moses: Agreed.

Stephen LaMarca: It's all the same thing. If you're converting any kind of energy to another kind of energy, there's risk of an explosion.

Benjamin Moses: That is very true. I agree. It'll be fine.

Stephen LaMarca: No matter what, there's a chance you're going to die. The one that I would be concerned ... If you came at me and was like, Airbus and Boeing and Lockheed Martin, they're developing a flywheel plane, I would be all aboard because I love flywheel physics. But at the same time, storing energy in a kinetic means is really sketchy. As cool as it is, it's incredibly sketchy.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: There's less of a chance of explosion, but there's a lot more chance of something catastrophic and awful to happen. Flywheel energy is cool, but I wouldn't get on that plane.

Benjamin Moses: No.

Stephen LaMarca: I wouldn't get on a flywheel plane. Of course, it wouldn't be able to turn.

Benjamin Moses: They're projecting over the next 15 years, so I'll keep an eye on what new materials that they're processing or if there are any changes to the manufacturing industry because of this. Airbus has been experimenting with a lot of alternative fuel, so they have a single seater electric airplane, fully electric, that flew in Europe around for a hot minute. I do like their experimentation and I hope they move forward in that.

Stephen LaMarca: I don't see why not.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: I don't see why there aren't electric planes.

Benjamin Moses: I think there's-

Stephen LaMarca: You look at spaceships ... Not spaceships, but the ISS. Are they shipping fuel to the ISS? No. There's massive solar panels on it. It's entirely electric.

Benjamin Moses: Well, the drawback that they currently have is the storage of the energy. So batteries are very heavy. That's a drawback. Boeing had a fire issue with some of their lithium ion batteries. They had some large batteries stored in some of their aircraft.

Stephen LaMarca: Right.

Benjamin Moses: Some of them were catching fire for a minute.

Stephen LaMarca: Sure. If you store energy, you're going to have a risk of combustion. That's stored energy for you. Physically speaking, that's stored energy, but who says you need to store it?

Benjamin Moses: Maybe.

Stephen LaMarca: The wing, especially if you look at a huge blended wing or Delta wing design, you've got a massive service area. Why not make it a solar panel? Oh, well solar panels don't collect that much energy from the sun. Well, then why is there no research and development to make them more efficient?

Benjamin Moses: As Tom Brady would say, "Do better."

Stephen LaMarca: Everybody's focusing on making batteries better.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: Can we not focus on photovoltaic?

Benjamin Moses: That's your hot topic.

Stephen LaMarca: Please.

Benjamin Moses: All right, Steve, let's get into the next article. We've got one on tape and tow.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, you just mentioned fiber tape tow placement. One of my favorite manufacturing concepts, that was the first wild manufacturing technique I learned about. Who says you have to make carbon fiber on a carbon fiber loom or something?

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Why don't you just have this crazy multi axis machine, lay down a single strip of carbon fiber at a time while simultaneously gluing it together? If you look at videos of fiber tape and tow placement machines, they are essentially just massive multi-axis machines, but they look like ... It looks like a robot placing carbon fiber on a really slow turning [inaudible 00:15:36].

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: When you think about that, there's no reason why fiber tape and tow placement shouldn't be an end of arm tooling on a robot.

Benjamin Moses: Nice.

Stephen LaMarca: You know who agrees with me? Oak Ridge National lab because that's what they're doing.

Benjamin Moses: That's exciting.

Stephen LaMarca: They have been experimenting with throwing fiber tape and tow placement technology onto robots-

Benjamin Moses: Cool.

Stephen LaMarca: ... and having robots make stuff out of carbon composites and just composite materials in general, and just laying down material like that. That's the article that I have. In this week's Tech Trends Weekly email blast, my blurb, my title for it will be Hornel's add it again. Instead of at it again, it's add it again.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: Because you know-

Benjamin Moses: Steve.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay.

Benjamin Moses: That's really good though. That's not bad.

Stephen LaMarca: Thanks man.

Benjamin Moses: So yeah, I've got two questions for you. Can we go one on our robot? I really like the ability to change [inaudible 00:16:42] tooling and do some random ... you do need some tooling stuff, but man I can't imagine.

Stephen LaMarca: We do have the gripper right now that we haven't been able to use because we're exiled from the office.

Benjamin Moses: Yep.

Stephen LaMarca: But I tell you what, with the testbed budget, if there was end of arm tooling, if there was fiber tape tow placement technology in end of arm tooling in our price range that was compatible with the co-bot that we have, I would say to hell with metrology and any sort of inspection device. We're adopting fiber tape tow placement right now for the testbed. But no, we seriously need metrology first.

Benjamin Moses: In thinking about the last episode we recorded, we talked about a robot on an automated ground vehicle that can ... a robotic arm. So that'd be really fascinating to free a tape and tow machine from its gantry style and just let the AGV kind of roam around with its arm articulating around and wrapping things up.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: That'd be cool.

Stephen LaMarca: Then you would accomplish what people have been wanting in this industry forever, a small machine making a big part.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: Then that would free that up. That's a good point. Wow.

Benjamin Moses: Submit a letter. Write a letter to Hornel. Fax them.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay.

Benjamin Moses: I'm sure they have fax machines still.

Stephen LaMarca: Well, we can just call Tom Kirfus, can't we?

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, that's true.

Stephen LaMarca: He's over there now.

Benjamin Moses: Or Lonnie. I was just on an episode with them actually. I should bring it up.

Stephen LaMarca: We should pester them.

Benjamin Moses: We should pester them.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay. What's next? What do you got?

Benjamin Moses: Automation ammunition. I've got an article from Breaking Defense. So of course both you and I are firearm enthusiasts. There's been a recent shortage on ammunition. This has been kind of tedious but, luckily with the virus, I'm not really going to the range often, so it's not a huge issue for me.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: But the article talks about the defense actually getting into automating their lines of ammunition production. So for those of you who don't know, the US government has a couple of sites were they produce a majority of the ammunition that goes into defense. So Lake City is one location where they produce 223 ammo or 556, whatever.

Stephen LaMarca: Brass.

Benjamin Moses: Brass, yeah. They're a manufacturing facility for themselves, so they're producing equipment, bullets and ammunition for Army, Navy, Marines. In the article, they talk about ... I'll give you the lead in. In April 11, 2017, 55 year old Lawrence Bass was drying tartrazine. It's a vital component of gunpowder primer. So the primer is what's struck to release the rest of the charge in the case.

Stephen LaMarca: It's a spark plug.

Benjamin Moses: Right. He was at the Army's Lake City, Missouri? What's MO, Missouri.

Stephen LaMarca: Missouri.

Benjamin Moses: Ammunition plant using a handheld spatula to scoop the explosive mixture, as he and his colleagues have done for years. So he is using a kitchen tool to scrap off this explosive powder to put into the machine to load. Unfortunately by this time, it exploded, killing Bass and injuring four others, shutting down the Lake City for months. So there's a couple of takeaways there. One, why do you have someone scrapping up this explosive material killing someone and therefor shutting down this vital component to our defense? So the government, based on this ... To be fair, our Department of Defense and our military has really embraced advanced manufacturing. We see a lot of articles on additive, both on the aerospace side and on the ground, that they're embracing additive. They're embracing augmented reality end cases. But in this case, they talk about bringing automation to protect the employees as they're producing these goods. So they bring in robotic automation and robotic arms to pull humans away from these hazardous conditions, which I think is great.

Stephen LaMarca: I feel like that's a really easy application of robotics because, if you think about it, the production, the assembly of ammunition is already one of the most automated processes that almost anybody can think of. Anybody who does hand loading, anybody who's psychotic enough to do hand loading, Ben, knows that once you set up your hand loading rig, you're just pulling a lever every time you want to make a cartridge. As long as you set it up right and you get your measurements right and you trust your machine, it's automated. All you're doing is pulling a lever and it's making-

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Now you just get a robot to do that.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah. In the picture that they show and the video that they have, they show you the variety of ammunition that they're handling. It's interesting. The article also talks about they're solving that problem. So they're pulling humans away from these hazardous conditions, and potentially there's a lot improvements to going to an automated system is consistency. If you've shot before, consistency helps you become a much better shooter in general. So if you have more consistenality, you're able to get better groups.

Stephen LaMarca: Right. It's all about precision.

Benjamin Moses: They do touch on the next generation of ammunition too. So one thing that the next gen riffle that squad weapon is experimenting with is lightweight polymer casings. So instead of using a brass casing, they're using polymers as the casing with their 6.8 ammo, which I find really interesting. I've researched a little bit of that ammunition.

Stephen LaMarca: I find it lame.

Benjamin Moses: You don't like polymer case?

Stephen LaMarca: No, because let's go back in time a little bit.

Benjamin Moses: Let's go back in time.

Stephen LaMarca: You go back to the Cold War when-

Benjamin Moses: When it was cold.

Stephen LaMarca: ... The Cold War era when Germany was still recovering from their big falup known as the World Wars.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: They were working with the space gun. Heckler and Coke was developing the space gun, the G11. The case-

Benjamin Moses: The case for Salvo

Stephen LaMarca: The Salvo rifle that fires caseless ammunition.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: The huge problems with that was, with caseless ammunition, you're not ejecting brass.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: While that sounds good to somebody that doesn't understand the thermodynamics that's going on inside a device containing small explosions at 2000 times a minute, you're generating a lot of heat because you need a lot of pressure to push a small piece of metal through a very tight barrel really fast.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: That pressure turns into heat and you need that heat to evacuate the system if you want the system to continue working.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: It eventually failed because it didn't have that brass media to eject that heat quickly. It doesn't matter how much air cooling or even liquid cooling you have, nothing is as effective at cooling a firearm as the extractor and ejector literally pushing the hot brass out of the weapon.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Then in high school, when I was in high school, the Army and a few ammunition companies were toying with the idea of polymer casings, and I was really behind it back then, and it didn't work then. What's new that is going to make it work now 23 years later?

Benjamin Moses: [inaudible 00:24:44] start up.

Stephen LaMarca: How is the polymer-

Benjamin Moses: That's a good question.

Stephen LaMarca: How is the polymer ejecting or pulling the heat from the system now, and how is the polymer not only containing that heat that would ... without brass, that heat would stay in the gun and not be ejected with the brass. The polymer doesn't contain that heat as well as brass does.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: That's the first problem. The second problem is polymer simply isn't as strong as brass. Sure, brass is a soft metal.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: But polymer is, unless [inaudible 00:25:25] is on this call with us right now telling us the beauties of glass impregnated polymer, glass filled nylon, stuff like that. I don't think plastic is simply strong enough for a ... what's the current ... The current US military cartridge is the M855A1.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: Which goes into M4s and M16s. The barrels of the M4s and M16s are proofed at 70,000 PSI.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Typically, the last cartridge that was used in those rifles was the M855, which has an average pressure of around 52,000 PSI. So well below that 70,000 PSI proofing threshold.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: The current M855A1 is so over-pressured. It's around 62-65,000 PSI, and they're experiencing a lot of problems with that pressure. It's bursting barrels. The barrel life of the M16A4s and the M4A1s have dropped by a minimum of 50% in barrel life. How was polymer going to maintain its integrity with those kinds of pressures? Then you add on the compound, the effect that polymer simply isn't as good as wicking away heat as brass is.

Benjamin Moses: Are you done?

Stephen LaMarca: I'm sorry.

Benjamin Moses: Are you done? Are you done?

Stephen LaMarca: I have no faith in it. I'm done.

Benjamin Moses: Okay. So this company, they've got, one, two, three, four, five, seven different calibers that they produce for. They are in testing with the US Government as a potential qualifier for the next gen squad riffle. There's two benefits, one major benefit that they're using for their side. The example that I've used right now is, for the 45 caliber, once in a while I'll shoot a 1911.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay, boomer.

Benjamin Moses: I shoot a blazer ammo that comes in aluminum casing.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: So, that aluminum casing is a third of the weight of the brass. So if you have eight rounds, one magazine is a third of a weight than the parallel. I'm not reloading because the aluminum is destroyed once you shoot it.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: But that's one benefit that the company has that's making the polymer rounds is they are half to a third of the weight of their brass counterpart. So an operator can carry twice as much at the same weight.

Stephen LaMarca: Right, and you can recycle it.

Benjamin Moses: And you could recycle it.

Stephen LaMarca: You can recycle brass.

Benjamin Moses: Well, brass, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: We can turn our plastic grocery bags into ammunition casings. That's a plus.

Benjamin Moses: Recycling casings is not the big benefit, but the benefit is that they can achieve more rounds per operator or per soldier.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay.

Benjamin Moses: I recommend ... I'll send you a link. The company is called True Velocity. You should check out the way they have it structured. Looks like they have a steel case primer and the casing is composite.

Stephen LaMarca: Right.

Benjamin Moses: That portion of it is inside the chamber, and the steel casing that's with the primer is the one that's on the bolt head.

Stephen LaMarca: I'll give you that. That's a big argument and it's also a really old argument. That's coming from post World War II data which they determined after World War II. They found out that, the majority of the time, the victor of a battle was the side that had the most rounds.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: The side that had the most ammunition. So the more rounds you put on a soldier, the better off that side is.

Benjamin Moses: I think that's enough ammunition talk.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: I want to go to the gun range.

Stephen LaMarca: We're going to get some people ... We're going to get slapped on the wrist.

Benjamin Moses: What's the next up, Steve?

Stephen LaMarca: Ooh, polycrystalline diamond additive manufacturing.

Benjamin Moses: I like it.

Stephen LaMarca: So polycrystalline diamond is basically manufacturing grade diamond. We're not talking about one rock that is flawless and you can see through it, and it has an indexes of refraction of around 2.5 to 2.75. No, we're not talking about that diamond. We're not talking about jewelry store diamonds. We're talking about manufacturing grade diamonds, which are small little diamond chips that they usually crust onto a cutting tool or what have you to harden the cutting edge of a cutting tool.

Benjamin Moses: Yep.

Stephen LaMarca: Anyway, this cutting tool company, MAPAL ... I think I actually pronounced it right that time.

Benjamin Moses: Congratulations.

Stephen LaMarca: MAPAL is a cutting tool company. They're making cutting tools out of polycrystalline diamond, but they're initially growing in forming these tools by additive means.

Benjamin Moses: That's cool.

Stephen LaMarca: Which is really sick. Not only in that we get to use the buzz word additive in our manufacturing process, and we're using additive means to produce a subtractive tool which is another cool thing.

Benjamin Moses: Yep.

Stephen LaMarca: But the coolest part about it is, by utilizing additive technology, they can optimize the internal geometry of the cutting tool to make it as light as possible, make it as strong as possible, and to make the cooling as efficient as possible because, with additive, in making a cutting tool using additive, you can more intricately design the internal channels that the coolant flows through or the cutting fluid flows through to maximize its cooling effect onto the tool.

Benjamin Moses: That's fascinating.

Stephen LaMarca: It's really fascinating.

Benjamin Moses: The internal cooling is a really interesting topic to me because I've seen a bunch of research papers in the past, since I joined AMT five years ago, that they're trying to figure out how to get cutting fluid on two sides of it. One as a lubrication source at the cutting tip, but also as a cooling source.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: They've been struggling with, say through the spindle coolant ... They can get it right at that tip, but if you have different channels or if you're just trying to look at just the coolant, running it through the backside of that cutting edge would be a fascinating approach, which would be very difficult to do with traditional means.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: That's really interesting. I'm curious to see if they're able to expand that to other operations or other materials too.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh yeah. I'm sure the additive isn't the only process involved in making those cutting tools because I'm sure the tool blank is initially grown through additive, and then I'm sure they grind it down and sharpen it using traditional subtractive means to form the tool. It's still really cool.

Benjamin Moses: I think it's fair to say that, for 90% of things that are 3D printed, you have to do subsequent processing, which makes it into an additive manufacture.

Stephen LaMarca: Sure.

Benjamin Moses: There's always more steps unless you're doing some plastic parts which could be printed use.

Stephen LaMarca: As long as that process is automated and coded and programed in some way, and it's not hand fitted, I've got no beef with that.

Benjamin Moses: Yep. The next article I got is about cyber security for smart factories. [inaudible 00:33:18] conducted a study on security for smart factories recently and there's a couple key findings from there. One is 25% of those surveyed have not done a cyber risk assessment in the past year. They bring up a major concept that this cyber framework brings up also. They break it down into detecting, isolating and blocking, which NIST framework does a little bit different where they do identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. I like the NIST framework a little bit more, but in the end the report is fairly fascinating. Coupling that with the Verizon breach report, which I'd like to catch up on yearly, which they publish. They're both free to download. I would recommend anyone that is implementing any transformative technology in the recent months or going forward that you take a look at what does your cyber security framework look like for your factory. It's nothing to be afraid of I don't think. I think just asking the questions of how we handle and identify tacting. Any of these have five categories in understanding which areas do we want to focus in on. Unless you're a massive company or if you're solely doing top secret stuff for the government, being able to do all five doesn't necessarily make sense, but understanding where your weaknesses are in the security framework makes a lot of sense. As we pull more data from manufacturing equipment, as we're storing data, as we're transmitting data, that is a key problem, because one of the things that the report talks about is, if you have a security breach in your factory, the implications are, if you shut down your factory, you could lose some data if it's stuck [inaudible 00:35:11] somewhere, if it's stolen. Those are potential threats, but the bigger threat is that malicious software being transmitted from your factory to your partner companies. So flowing to your suppliers, flowing to your customers, that is the underlying threat that the study takes away. Yes, as a company you are vulnerable, but as a part of a larger ecosystem of companies that are connected to each other that is the bigger concern is taking down a full network of companies as opposed to individual companies. I think that's a very valid address because, as more companies are interconnected, as more companies are relying on APIs and automated calls and data being transferred automatically, and as more email traffic occurs, unfortunately still a lot of data is communicated through email, which still annoys me. Stop sending me data in an email. You can send me a message, but don't attach a file. That really irritates me, but that's a different issue. So I found this a very good read, and I don't think it's anything to be afraid of. Just like at your house, how do you protect your house? You have physical security and you have cyber security for your computers and all your own equipment, just extending that to your plant and services, and paying for that accordingly with your personnel and time and effort I think makes a lot of sense. Steve, are you concerned about any security at your house with your two machines that you have running?

Stephen LaMarca: A little.

Benjamin Moses: A little?

Stephen LaMarca: But not really.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: We're on the brink of quantum computing, so there will be no such thing as cyber security in the near future. No, I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but the best way ... When it comes to ... I don't know. What's funny is, every now and then, I check my spam folder.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: Probably on the weekends, I check my spam folder. I think last weekend I saw a spam message in my Gmail, in my spam box rather.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: That said, hey, this is one of your passwords. No joke, in the subject line, this is your password.

Benjamin Moses: Wow.

Stephen LaMarca: It no joke said, in the subject line of this email, one of my old passwords from back in the day.

Benjamin Moses: Okay.

Stephen LaMarca: I was like, wow.

Benjamin Moses: That's fine.

Stephen LaMarca: How did they get that one? After reading the email, and it was making all these ridiculous demands and stuff like that, it was definitely some automated thing.

Benjamin Moses: Yep.

Stephen LaMarca: It was saying, oh yeah, we uploaded a key logger onto your machine. It was like, dude, first off, while it is impressive and rather scary that you got one of my passwords, that was one of my passwords from like 2007. I don't use that one anymore.

Benjamin Moses: Yep.

Stephen LaMarca: It was probably from my MySpace account or something like that. Don't look up my MySpace. I have no idea what these hackers have done to it.

Benjamin Moses: That's a callback.

Stephen LaMarca: Am I worried? No. If you need to delete something from the internet, the best way to do it is to saturate the internet with a bunch of BS. Cover it up. You can't delete it.

Benjamin Moses: Can't delete it. Yeah, I agree with you. For the most part, I've got a lot of data. So I've been taking home movies, home pictures. I have a home mal work attached storage device, so I've got like 12 terabits of data on premises. But I've got a plan. I've got it backed up to the mal work. For the most part, I validated that anything there, if I lose it, it's more sentimental loss. I lost pictures. No big deal.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: There's nothing there that, if I lose ... That's one thing I have a two drawer file cabinet next to me where I still have physical copies of things that I feel are important, like some of the tax returns.

Stephen LaMarca: Right, car titles.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, exactly.

Stephen LaMarca: Stuff like that.

Benjamin Moses: There would be a safe somewhere back there that would have it.

Stephen LaMarca: No.

Benjamin Moses: Not concerned.

Stephen LaMarca: I wouldn't be.

Benjamin Moses: Steve, last article.

Stephen LaMarca: Last article.

Benjamin Moses: Let's make it great.

Stephen LaMarca: More news in Australia's move to up their military force. You mentioned earlier, before we started recording, that the scariest thing to you is that Australia is implementing AI control of their military drones.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: Quite frightening.

Benjamin Moses: Spending a lot of money on military and developing drones.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Well, here's some more military spending of theirs.

Benjamin Moses: Oh no.

Stephen LaMarca: So the Australian government has now ordered the construction of a fleet of 12 regionally superior submarines known as a tack class submarines for the Royal Australia Navy. Put on an order of 12 submarines for their Navy.

Benjamin Moses: That's a lot.

Stephen LaMarca: I want to say 12 military submarines. Well, military ... is there any other use for a submarine other than military? No.

Benjamin Moses: No.

Stephen LaMarca: You can just say submarine and safely know that it means business. Anyway, they have an order for 12 submarines that they need filled by 2030, which originally I thought was way off in the future and now I realize, and this is really sad, that it's only 10 years from now. But Australia has an order for 12 submarines due in 2030, and one of the things that they need to accomplish this task of building these 12 submarines, they need a massive five axis machine tool.

Benjamin Moses: Nice. Now tell me how massive, because we've got a five axis.

Stephen LaMarca: We've got a five axis, and I think the work envelop is like six by six by six inches.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: Something like that.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: This gantry machine that Australia is having built by Star Ag, Swiss company Star Ag, is 46 feet by 43 feet, by 12 feet in size with a 36 foot rotary table.

Benjamin Moses: That seems big.

Stephen LaMarca: In this article, there's even a little rendering. It's just a little picture in the article of the size of this machine.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: But they actually have some to scale human models in the rendering as well. I'm looking at the spindle of this machine. The spindle is massive.

Benjamin Moses: It must be.

Stephen LaMarca: Then at the end of the spindle, you have your tool holder. The tool holder that they have mounted in this spindle no joke is larger than the human model standing on the turntable.

Benjamin Moses: That's amazing.

Stephen LaMarca: It's insane how big this is. However, that being said, as impressive as this massive gantry machine tool is, I've seen bigger.

Benjamin Moses: Have you? You've seen bigger?

Stephen LaMarca: I've seen bigger.

Benjamin Moses: This is pretty big, Steve. 45 feet?

Stephen LaMarca: I think it was NT forecast.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: One of the manufacturing industry events that AMT puts on, one of the ones that we went to last year-

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: We had an opportunity ... People who attended this event had the opportunity to tour John Force Racing or some other massive manufacturing plant.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Originally, I was going to go on the John Force Racing tour because race cars, who doesn't want to see race cars. I know I do. Then our good friend Doug Branise, who was with Royal at the time, was like, "Steve, there's no way you're going to John Force Racing."

Benjamin Moses: Oh.

Stephen LaMarca: I'm like, "What do you mean?" He's like, "They'll always let you in that race shop."

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: "This is something you want to see." I'm like, okay. I've never even heard of these people before. Let's go.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: This is a manufacturing plant.

Benjamin Moses: Okay.

Stephen LaMarca: Not a job shop.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: Not a machine shop, not a factory. A plant, as in they've got like six different massive buildings that are each their own factory.

Benjamin Moses: They're on a campus.

Stephen LaMarca: On this site. Yeah, we go in there and Doug Branise is walking with me. He's like, "Look at that thing." I was like, "What is that? Is that like a crane?" He's like, "Well, yeah it's a crane, but look at the floor too." I was like, we're looking at this massive battleship sized machine tool that's inside a massive building by the way.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: I'm like, that's the biggest machine tool I've ever seen. You couldn't have that at an IMTS even. That's a huge machine tool. When I read off those stats earlier of this Star Ag machine that Australia has that's like 46 feet by 43 feet, whatever. This thing was easily that size, if not way larger. Then Doug looks at me and he's like, "Yeah, that's one of eight that this facility has."

Benjamin Moses: That's a lot of machines.

Stephen LaMarca: Holy cow.

Benjamin Moses: That's big.

Stephen LaMarca: It was nuts. I don't remember the name of that company. They do some super secret stuff.

Benjamin Moses: Oh, I'm sure.

Stephen LaMarca: They build a lot of missile launchers and missile silos to go on warships.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: So Australia, catch up.

Benjamin Moses: I do ... [inaudible 00:44:55] every day visit a company that produces rockets for whoever. They talked about their gantry machines also. But the key takeaway was the precision acquired for the gantry equipment. That was a really good video. So they machined this flat plate, but then they end up rolling it afterwards to get the shape of the rocket fuselage. But they're holding like 2000 thickness tolerance over the length of this-

Stephen LaMarca: That's nuts.

Benjamin Moses: ... 20, 30 foot long plate. After each pass, they have people walking ... not walking, kneeling or crawling over the plate to pick up any chips may have come, that maybe fell on the plate, because that'll scratch it and make it out of tolerance. It just blew my mind by the size and the tolerance they were trying to hold on this.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Unfortunately, I did not get to see any of those machines actually in action.

Benjamin Moses: No, you won't.

Stephen LaMarca: No, I take that back. One of the machines that we were walking on by the way-

Benjamin Moses: Okay.

Stephen LaMarca: ... that we were walking across.

Benjamin Moses: You were walking on ... yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, the tour group that I'm on. All of the sudden our tour guide stops us and is like, "All right, right now you're on the B axis turntable of this gantry machine."

Benjamin Moses: Geez.

Stephen LaMarca: "And it's actually turning at one degree per minute." It was like holy ... we're standing ... It wasn't vibrating. You didn't feel a buzz through your body at all. It was that. It is amazing how accurate those are. Yeah, thank you Doug Branise, if he listens to these, for insisting that I go on that tour, because I will never forget that one.

Benjamin Moses: That's great. I can recommend a factory tour as often ... even if you work in a factory, it's always great to see how someone else does stuff and how someone else ... what other pieces of equipment they use.

Stephen LaMarca: Probably my favorite part of this job is touring people's facilities.

Benjamin Moses: So see, that was a good episode. I think next week we'll maybe talk less about ammunition, but maybe, maybe not.

Stephen LaMarca: Let's bring cars back into it.

Benjamin Moses: We'll discuss that later. Where can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca: They can find more info about us at AMTnews.org. If you want to subscribe to our weekly tech report, you can go to AMTnews.org/subscribe. I'll be [inaudible 00:47:17] link down.

Benjamin Moses: Thanks everyone, and a special thanks to the Spark audience that is watching this. Goodbye everyone.

Stephen LaMarca: Bye.