• Benjamin Moses

AMT Tech Trends: Tech Traditions

Release date: 1 June 2020


Episode 26: These two clowns kick things off blabbing about cars again, GO FIGURE! Ben brings up a recent whitepaper Virginia Tech published with the help of the AMT Testbed! Stephen talks about some often-overlooked but very important standards. Ben shares an article from Modern Machine Shop regarding the transition from machine monitoring to AI/ML. Lastly, Steve talks about picking the President of AMT’s brain and getting Doug to wax nostalgic about the more traditional manufacturing technologies and techniques. It’s fun to take a step back from the “latest and greatest” to see how far the industry has come!

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Transcript:

Benjamin Moses: Hello everybody and welcome to the [inaudible 00:00:10] podcast where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology research and news. I'm Benjamin Moses, the manufacturer of manufacturing technology and I'm here with?


Stephen LaMarca: Stephen LaMarca, AMT's technology analyst.


Benjamin Moses: Steve, how are you doing today man?


Stephen LaMarca: I'm doing great. It's ... Actually I don't know if it's that beautiful outside. It was looking really dark, but there's a lot of light coming in the apartment right now, so I feel like it's a beautiful day. At least a beautiful day in here.


Benjamin Moses: Summer's here. Even though it's spring, it's warm, it's pleasant.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh man. Speaking of the summer being here. The other day we had the door to the juliet balcony open and they were making a lot of racket because I think there was a lawn mower outside. It was just you knew the summer was here because you could smell the carburetted gasoline and you could smell the fresh cut grass.


Benjamin Moses: Delicious.


Stephen LaMarca: Yes, it is definitely summer now.


Benjamin Moses: Speaking of smell of gas, you know we've been talking a lot about super cars in the last couple episodes.


Stephen LaMarca: Probably a little too much [inaudible 00:01:08].


Benjamin Moses: Could be.


Stephen LaMarca: I'm not going to complain.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, particularly applications of carbon fiber and adively grown structural components. In the article that we're going to put in the show notes from Motor Authority to discuss how difficult it actually is to get a super car legal. So it's kind of interesting that super cars are super expensive, but also they're low volume production.


Stephen LaMarca: Yes.


Benjamin Moses: The cost associated with getting past regulatory constraints for a low volume car is fairly difficult. The article talks about you could break down the regulatory into three sections. You have active safety, passive safety and emissions.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.


Benjamin Moses: So passive safety like headlights, structure, [inaudible 00:01:54] zones. Active safety would be seat belts, airbags, that type of stuff.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: In an article, they interviewed Koenigsegg, which is probably a top tier small super car manufacturer.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, hands down.


Benjamin Moses: They mentioned that 60% of the development budget goes towards regulatory compliance. That's a huge amount.


Stephen LaMarca: I believe it. 60%?


Benjamin Moses: In the article that's what they mentioned, yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: Think about it. First off, they can only make so many of those cars. The CCX, which was like their first big car, or the CCR ... I forget. Doesn't matter. They only made like five of them the first year thing was available.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: The people who pre ordered them were probably waiting four or five years before they could get them.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: So they only make like five of them a year. Then on top of that, this is a legal car to drive in the US. You don't need some fancy ... Oh, well I had it imported doing this. No. In theory, you could go to a dealership and buy one. Is that possible? Absolutely not. On top of that, these are financially nearly untouchable cars. But the whole crazy thing is they make like five of them the first year, that CCX or CCR.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: That means ... Let's just think about that real quick. Five cars available in the United States. Four of them, four cars had to be crashed to test the pass of safety standards.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, right. That's an incredible amount. It's interesting to talk about the ... That's also why a lot of cars don't leave the US market. So if I have a car and they mention the Ford Raptor, may not be sold in the European market. Everybody wants it. Apparently everyone and their mother wants a Ford Raptor.


Stephen LaMarca: Well, you know what? They can wait and they can cry about it because Europe gets all of the cool cars.


Benjamin Moses: That's true.


Stephen LaMarca: The turbo four wheel drive Toyotas that were made for rally racing, they will never come to the US.


Benjamin Moses: I'm still waiting-


Stephen LaMarca: Fortunately we did get that Ford Focus RS finally.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, it took a while.


Stephen LaMarca: We finally got the Honda Civic type R.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: Hopefully the Honda and ... well not Ford, because now Ford discontinued all their cars. But hopefully Honda's making enough money off that to justify or to keep bringing it to the US.


Benjamin Moses: See-


Stephen LaMarca: Because then originally that was a Japan only car.


Benjamin Moses: I'm going to bring back the full sized sedan, full sized wagon.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh man, I miss wagons. Only Subaru makes them now. Volvo doesn't even make wagons anymore.


Benjamin Moses: No.


Stephen LaMarca: They do but-


Benjamin Moses: Not really.


Stephen LaMarca: Wagons are so cool. Mercedes actually makes a pretty wagon. It's called a crossover now. They call it a crossover because people don't want to think about station wagons. They think it's pase or something like that.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah. Before we get into something that we published, I just want to make ... One thing to mention of drowning my gears.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.


Benjamin Moses: If we could have all the CEOs and companies stop telling me how much they care about me during this pandemic, everyone-


Stephen LaMarca: Don't sent me an email.


Benjamin Moses: Stop sending me emails. Stop [inaudible 00:05:02] commercials, putting heart emojis on your commercials. Use that money for your employees. I'm overwhelmed,

Steve.


Stephen LaMarca: It's like the first thing that virtually everybody got screwed on from a lot of these major companies ... The first companies that sent us these, oh this is what the CEO thinks or the airline-


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: I got these long winded emails with maybe even voice recordings an YouTube videos from American Airlines and United. It's like, dude, you're the last person I want to hear from right now. I'm not going to travel this year because of you. I don't feel bad for you. I hope you lose everything. It's not true. I don't, because I want those companies to keep buying planes so the manufacturers can keep building planes and the manufacturers of the machines that make those planes stay in business.


Benjamin Moses: I just wish they would fix how they purchase tickets, the whole marketplace. So getting refunds because of the pandemic was, one, a nightmare, and two, now I've got to keep track of a code that I want to use for future reference.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.


Benjamin Moses: All right, let's get into it. Before we get into testbeds, which were still shut down for because we haven't been back in the office yet, AMT and Virginia Tech were working together to accelerate companies getting into digital manufacturing or starting the digital manufacturing journey. We saw a lot of value in helping these small medium sized companies excel or just jump right into getting data off their machine. So we worked with Virginia Tech down in Blacksburg, Virginia. They have a learning factory that's set up for their undergrad students. So keep in mind that, previously when we worked with universities and getting data off machines a bunch of years ago, it was a PhD students and then when we hired Shara a couple years ago, he finished up his masters. Now we're working with undergrad students to get data pulled off of haus three axis mil. We published a white paper that captures best practices and lessons learned from that application. I have graded all the research that's kind of required to get your adapter and agent running right off the bat for this example.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: And put it all in one place. Shara was instrumental in kind of providing technical oversight for those four students that helped put that together. We did a quick estimate and it looks like we can save about 40 hours of research time for a company that wants to install and adapter, an agent off on their system to get data off their machine. So I was really excited to work with Virginia Tech and we published on EMT News. We'll post a link in the show notes.


Stephen LaMarca: That's awesome. I'm really pumped about that, especially since I was a part of it.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, and it was really great to work with the kids ... not kids, students. They're adults. We did have to make sure they were old enough to drink when we went to visit them. We went to Blacksburg like, wait a sec, how old is everybody here? It was really fun working with the students and the staff at Virginia Tech was great.


Stephen LaMarca: Awesome.


Benjamin Moses: So hopefully we can get to another project. We see a line of sight of growing with their learning factory. They're in their early stages now, but as they grow, you see a lot of opportunity of getting more digital manufacturing tools and best practices out of the learning lab.


Stephen LaMarca: Well, I hope we get to fire up the testbed again soon for more projects like the Virginia Tech learning factor. That was a great program for us.


Benjamin Moses: Yep, absolutely. You want to mention that you have something about UL?


Stephen LaMarca: Yes. Since I don't have anything to report on the testbed, and you thankfully did some testbed reporting for me, I'm a technology analyst for AMT and the technology for AMT is you know since you're my boss. One of my jobs, one of my roles at AMT is people send me ... within the industry. Not necessarily members. Anybody within the industry will send me an email with some sort of question that usually pertains to standards or machine tools, like specifics. Not necessarily sales because that's the other department that does analytics, but I got an interesting one today actually and I wanted to share it, and I figured it would be great because this is part of my job, and I found it fascinating because I hadn't gotten one like this. To be fair, all inquiries are different and unique in their own special way. But this one I found really cool because it had ... nothing like this had been asked before.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: I field a lot of questions about standards, whether it's MT connect. That's more so Russ and Jara that field those questions. But when it comes to ANC standards and ISO standards, and B11 standards, sometimes I'll try to field those. But I got one that was really interesting today, and the question was, how important is it for US companies when buying machinery, that the machinery provider has a UL certification?


Benjamin Moses: Ah, that's interesting.


Stephen LaMarca: You look around your house and you'll see appliances with UL stamped or embossed on it somewhere.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: Whether it's your entertainment speakers, the TV, microwave, the refrigerator. I'm just looking around at this point.


Benjamin Moses: It's usually the consumer products.


Stephen LaMarca: You'll see UL on stuff.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: I don't know what it is, but sure enough I'm going to take a deep dive and try to figure it out for this person. Instead of asking doctor Google or using the internet machine, I decided to talk to one of the other warm bodies at AMT first. So I figured a great person to call to answer this question would be Pat McGibbon.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: Our chief knowledge officer, or as I like to call him our chief knock out, for CKO. Anyway, but I knew that this question can potentially be answered in five minutes and Pat would probably take 45 minutes. So instead, I went to another AMT old guy and I asked Steve [inaudible 00:11:22].


Benjamin Moses: Ah, perfect.


Stephen LaMarca: Steve said ... So Steve's answer was, how important are UL standards, or is a UL certification when buying and selling machines in the US? I found this a fascinating question of course. Steve helped me with the answer, and I said ... The answer was, in most states it's extremely important that the machine is to a UL certification code, is to code. If it isn't, the distributor can be fined. The UL certification is usually the first thing inspectors look for. Most distributors in the US won't even touch a machine that doesn't have a UL certification on it. It's looking like ... I just said, it's better to have it than not.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: Then I got another followup from him. This gentleman asked me, "So certifications such as CSA and ANC are less considered by buyers and contributors, correct? UL is the gold standard." Doing more dive to continue answering this guy's question, I found out that actually UL was sort of the bare minimum.


Benjamin Moses: Ah, interesting.


Stephen LaMarca: The very least a machine being sold to be used in the US should have a UL standard. In fact, machine tool builders and distributors in the US will even go to the Canadian standards, the CSA, which is the Canadian Standard Association, and they will use their standards to make sure it meets not only UL, because UL almost falls within CSA and then some.


Benjamin Moses: Okay.


Stephen LaMarca: CSA is more thorough and covers their buns a little bit more.


Benjamin Moses: That's interesting.


Stephen LaMarca: So to answer this guy's question, yeah, it better have the UL certification on it. I also found out, if an inspector finds a machine that does not comply with UL certifications, then that machine can be ... the inspector can order that facility shuts that machine down. The facility entirely doesn't have to shut down, but that machine can't be used.


Benjamin Moses: That's interesting.


Stephen LaMarca: I don't know what totally goes into that, but they basically declare, yeah, you guys can't use this machine.


Benjamin Moses: Wow.


Stephen LaMarca: At all. It's obviously very bad for the end user of that particular machine and will probably make them very angry. They'll probably be fine and it will probably blow up into distributor space.


Benjamin Moses: Okay.


Stephen LaMarca: Steve [inaudible 00:14:10] which also clarified that savvy and experienced machine buyers will always look for the UL certification. It's almost always there and it's almost always a standard thing that comes on machines being sold in the US, but I'm sure there's some second hand machine tool sellers that will try to get around there. It takes a good buyer to realize that that's the bare minimum that they need is the UL certification.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: So this was something really fascinating that I got to learn today.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: Part of my job is, even though I don't have the testbed to play with, this was an I think fascinating topic that I was fortunate to come up with.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, it's a good question, because it's something that you don't necessarily think about. So if you're on the market looking for a new machine or a used machine, going through and verifying that they meet regulatory compliance is not necessarily the thing you think about right away because you're assuming, hey, they can sell it, so it must be okay.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, because immediately you think ... At least I think ANC standards, ISO standards, B11 sometimes-


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: While UL is on the back of most consumer products, electronics, I've never thought about it for this industry. Have you ... When working for Eaton, did you ever come across looking for these standards on machines and stuff?


Benjamin Moses: Not really. We bought a lot of commodity style equipment. Most of it is used or second hand. So we rarely bought specialized equipment. When I bought equipment, I never really looked for it. So when we would buy the second hand equipment, I usually do an onsite verification that the machine is running, do a test cut. I didn't really get into opening the cabinets and verifying the stickers were in place. We always had a machine rigor on hand to help disassemble the machine. They'll do the electrical disconnects also. But no, we never really checked our safety ... We always had EH&S department, environmental health and safety officer who would verify that, once the machine was there, that it'd met the OSHA requirements or safety requirements for that specific department. So I'm assuming that was part of his role, but as part of the initial buying process, I don't think I ever reviewed that. I probably didn't know about it then also.


Stephen LaMarca: Great. Do you think it's also because Eaton is such a top dollar company? They're such a huge company that they're probably not looking for the cheapest possible deal and something that would potentially try to get around the UL standards?


Benjamin Moses: Well, that's interesting that you mention that. So the way the corporation was structured, the individual machine buying decision maker was not part of corporate.


Stephen LaMarca: Gotcha.


Benjamin Moses: So we had our site responsibility, and in the end the individual manufacturing engineer raised a flag that said, hey, we need to buy a piece of machinery.


Stephen LaMarca: Okay.


Benjamin Moses: [inaudible 00:17:24] going to say, okay what do you want to buy? So the ME would have to go out and find a machine and do most of the sourcing and logistics, according with the [inaudible 00:17:32] have installed, the layout and all that stuff. So it was very little ... Corporate had very little involvement. To be honest, I wouldn't say that they were looking for top dollar. If anything, they were looking for best return on investment. So that's why-


Stephen LaMarca: Mill spec if you would.


Benjamin Moses: That's why most of our equipment was used, so we'd buy it at 20$ of original price when it was a good 10-15 years ago.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh, okay.


Benjamin Moses: Probably because we're machining super alloys. So we would buy heavy ... We didn't need fast machines. We weren't looking at any data coming off the machines. We were looking for something that was just fairly high horse power, lower RPMs. Excuse me, high torque, low RPMs.


Stephen LaMarca: Gotcha.


Benjamin Moses: To cut through the [inaudible 00:18:12]. Now we did look ... For some reason our strategy was to buy twin spindles for a bunch of years, so we had a lot of twin spindles, vertical twin spindle lathes. Those are big machines.


Stephen LaMarca: I bet.


Benjamin Moses: Those are not pleasant machines to work with all the time. For some reason, we just thought that was our strategy and we kept buying that. That worked out for a while for us, until we started testing out some new equipment.


Stephen LaMarca: Okay.


Benjamin Moses: So yeah, we talked about that. I have one article from Modern Machine Shop I want to get into and actually get into some of the digital manufacture stuff we talked about, Virginia Tech.


Stephen LaMarca: Awesome.


Benjamin Moses: To Pete Zalinski published an article titled After Machine Monitoring, Is Machine Learning the Next Step? Getting ready for AI manufacturing. So overall, the title isn't too click baity, but the article is really good. The foundation of the article is really solid. For companies that are collecting machine and part data, what do you do from now? I already have a dashboard of all my equipment that's running. I got some OE, I've got up time, I've got maintenance. I've got stuff I'm collecting on the machines. What's the next thing I'm going to do? The article gets into not getting too far ahead of ourselves. He outlines a couple of things, some pretty good takeaways at the end, but one thing that I think the article does a good job is preparing ourselves for the future saying, okay, in the future we probably will do some type of machine learning. Being able to get a mathematician or someone that we would call a data scientist, or someone with some high end statistical processing capability, and someone with some lean and 5S stills, they're going to want to crunch tons and tons of data.


Stephen LaMarca: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Benjamin Moses: But as our own AMTs own data scientist taught us, a huge portion of the workload is just scrubbing the data.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.


Benjamin Moses: So one of the big takeaways with the article is, hey let's start preparing our data for when we've got to get it ready for running algorithms, running predictive analytics, running all these complex equations. Let's prepare our data so we don't have to do tons and tons of scrubbing. So I thought, one, that was a really good observation and takeaway from the article. He also points out new computational tools are just tools. What we described them, they're just analogies. So I think that's a good takeaway that, artificial intelligence, there's no real intelligence behind it. It's what we've trained it to do and it makes decisions on our behalf.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: We tend to call it artificial intelligence because the name they've carried over for a bunch of years. Machine learning is a machine that's learning how to do something because you've taught it exactly what to do. Another bullet that he mentions was, we can't always rationalize why a corelation found in data might make sense. This does not make it true. So what he's saying is, yeah, the algorithm may tell us that these things correlate, but we need to figure if that's accurate.


Stephen LaMarca: Yes.


Benjamin Moses: Will Sovell told us that, if you do a corelation of selling ice cream on hot days, the algorithms may tell you, if I sell more ice cream, it's going to be a hot day.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: Because it's too late. There's no causality built into the software just yet. That's a very interesting application that, yes, there's a corelation between the two. It's hot, yeah, you probably will sell more ice cream. But the inverse is not true. That's what some of the errors in the software might tell us. Just because we need to validate the corelation that the algorithms are telling us.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: The second last bullet that I pulled away was big data could be bad, which is absolutely true. We don't want too much data. We've got to-


Stephen LaMarca: There is so much ... such thing as too much data.


Benjamin Moses: Exactly. Especially when you start looking at connecting it to other warehouses. So if I've got my machine data, now I've got my part data set, now I connect it to my ERP system. It's data on top of data. I don't know how to do this stuff.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Academics teaches us that, having gone to high school and potentially college, teaches you in the sciences that there is such thing as too little data. Too little data is a problem. If you only have so many ... like two data points, you can't correlate. You can't make any sort of assumption or calculation from two data points.


Benjamin Moses: No, nothing makes sense.


Stephen LaMarca: You could get a trend line technically from two data points, but it could potentially be really inactuate.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: But what we're learning in the job, in manufacturing, is there's definitely ... not just manufacturing. In data science in general, there's definitely such thing as too much data, and you really have to target, before you start collecting the data is, what data do you want. Before you even know that, what are you trying to solve?


Benjamin Moses: Exactly.


Stephen LaMarca: What is your goal?


Benjamin Moses: Yep. That's the key driver is understanding the problem statement that trickles down to what data you need to collect, what tools you need. It's such an important question that we miss a lot. It's a hard question to ask.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: Some of it does require some exploratory research and getting on systems.


Stephen LaMarca: If you've got a bad algorithm or if you're improperly using ... not necessarily a bad algorithm. But if you're improperly using an algorithm, you've got a false output. Not necessarily false data, but your results are wrong.


Benjamin Moses: Yep.


Stephen LaMarca: I told you, and I'm sorry we're going to talk about cars again, I've been using an OBD2 scanner lately to do a lot of data logs with my car and fiddling with that. One of the factory settings on this scanner, one of the factory calculations it makes for you is boost.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: It monitors your throttle position and your mass airflow sensor and a handful of other sensors. Sure enough, on my phone or my computer, whichever device I'm using connected to my car, it tells me how much boost the turbo charger is generating for the car.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: My car doesn't have a turbo.


Benjamin Moses: That's going to get ... Normally, [inaudible 00:24:48] a little guy. There's no turbo charger on this thing.


Stephen LaMarca: You have to be careful. You really ... Too much data is probably the greatest threat right now.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: To big data.


Benjamin Moses: That was a big takeaway. The article describes a lot of different scenarios. I definitely recommend the read. In the end, understand the tool before you buy [inaudible 00:25:07]. That's the key thing is that, yes, there's advanced mathematical tools that will help solve these problems, but don't just start off the bat saying, I want to do AI. That doesn't mean anything.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: Understand it a little bit more before you jump right into it.


Stephen LaMarca: Exactly. Exactly.


Benjamin Moses: So Steve, you want to kick us off?


Stephen LaMarca: Let me tell you what I got here. So I don't have an article, but I've got something fun.


Benjamin Moses: Okay.


Stephen LaMarca: The whole point of tech trends is we talk about the trending technologies, and lately we've been talking about a lot of transformative technologies. We just got done talking about big data, AI and M for crying out loud.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: Recently I wanted to wind it back and I've got a huge passion for the more traditional technologies. I look at a lot of my hobbies, and everything comes back to manufacturing. Most of the time it's of relating to a more traditional manufacturing technology, one that's here to stay. Not something that you're going to see in the emerging technology center at IMDS.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: It's something that's been around and it's a staple of our industry. Anyway, our president of AMT, Doug, has his afternoon minute with Doug where anybody can hop on the Zoom call and ask Doug a question.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: Doug's just itching to talk to us and answer any questions we may have for him because it's his job to be the face of AMT and talk for AMT. The man needs to talk. So I actually had I feel like a really interesting question for him. To take the pressure off of transformative technologies and the latest and greatest stuff that we're constantly focused on on a day to day basis working here, I wanted to ask Doug this question. What are your favorite more traditional technologies, some more older technologies? And what are some of your favorite machines that are really old and have been around forever? Of course, Doug and I connected right away on the Bridgeport E-mill.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: I sound like a broken record talking about Bridgeport E-mill because I love going to some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the US, whether it's auto desk in San Francisco on pier nine. They've got additive manufacturing machines. They've got 3D printers everywhere, collaborative robots everywhere. But in the deep dark corner of their facility, you will find a Bridgeport E-mill.


Benjamin Moses: Always.


Stephen LaMarca: They're unbreakable, they're bulletproof, and they will be anywhere.


Benjamin Moses: There's usually half an inch of dust and just tools laying all around it, just because whoever's used it does not want to clean it up.


Stephen LaMarca: This is metal working machine, but it's also good for wood. So you'll find a half an inch of sawdust on it too.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, absolutely.


Stephen LaMarca: There was another facility. I always forget the name of that company, but they're really advanced manufacturing facility has like five plants on one plot of land. They were doing some stuff for the US military, but have DMG Mori's everywhere and [inaudible 00:28:40] and Ocuma machines. Half a million up to multimillion dollar machine tools, and sure enough we get to one part of the facility. There's a wall of Bridgeport E-mills. That was really cool that Doug and I were on the same wavelength with that.


Benjamin Moses: Steve, real quick before you move on.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.


Benjamin Moses: One thing that will always scare you when you're machining on a Bridgeport is trying to climb mill on a Bridgeport.


Stephen LaMarca: Climb mill. I know what that is. Okay. Oh man, I wouldn't want to do that.


Benjamin Moses: I did it the first time, and boy my blood puckered up real quick. It did not go well. I didn't crash the machine. It jumped so bad because the Bridgeport we had back then was the ways [inaudible 00:29:24].


Stephen LaMarca: Because that doesn't have an enclosure.


Benjamin Moses: It's not just an enclosure too. It's the attachment from the bed to the screw, handrail. It's not tied on. It was fairly loose. There's a fair amount of backlash on the machine.


Stephen LaMarca: Okay.


Benjamin Moses: So once it bit, it just pulled the table 20 thousandth of an inch into the cut right away. Luckily I was cutting some soft aluminum or something like that, but that was my first experience, Steve.


Stephen LaMarca: Did you get a lot of feedback in the handles and stuff like that?


Benjamin Moses: Oh yeah, the whole thing shook.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh man. Yep, okay.


Benjamin Moses: If I used that mill again, it probably would have broken, because I'd probably impact it right away. That was a fun experience.


Stephen LaMarca: Now that we have collaborative robots everywhere, it would be really sad and a shame to see stuff like that be like, okay, this does not comply with safety standards anymore. You can't use these anymore. That's going to be a really sad day. I hope it doesn't come, but it would totally make sense if it did.


Benjamin Moses: To be fair, there's probably some really good machinists out there that'll do a skim cut climb milling, but in general I would not recommend that.


Stephen LaMarca: No. No, man, that's scary.


Benjamin Moses: That is scary.


Stephen LaMarca: But some of the other ... So Doug came up with two other technologies and pieces of equipment that I hadn't heard about.


Benjamin Moses: Yep.


Stephen LaMarca: Russ mentioned one a couple years ago. Talking with him, he was like, "You should look up screw machines. Screw machines are like bullet proof machines. They don't break. They rarely ever fail."


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: That was one that I looked up. Another favorite of mine [inaudible 00:30:57], especially since those made it out of World War II and they're still running, and there's a surplus of them. People can't get rid of them.


Benjamin Moses: They're really easy to use too. Everything is well designed, very straightforward. All the handles and controls are really good locations for [inaudible 00:31:13].


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. All I know is you can get one for under $1000. The shipping is going to be probably a couple thousand dollars, but the machine tool itself costs nothing.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: One tool that Doug mentioned is called a shaper.


Benjamin Moses: Yep.


Stephen LaMarca: Fortunately, I was like, "Dude, what the hell is a shaper?" There's no way I can just Google shaper and it's going to pop up. Sure enough, Wikipedia had my back.


Benjamin Moses: Nice.


Stephen LaMarca: There's this old looking machine here. I've been to a handful of watchmaking and clock making facilities to have seen machines like this, big, heavy, brass machines that are clearly from a different time point of style over the centuries.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: It's just a wild looking machine.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, they're not used too often. You don't see them in everyday factory. I see hem in machines, building other machines.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh yeah.


Benjamin Moses: The huge industrial style. So if you have to make a giant metal table that's going to seat a giant piece of industrial equipment, it's this giant shaper scrapping away the surface of it so it's flat and parallel.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, you and I have a favorite Instagram page that we follow of ours.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: I think it's called Dicara. I think they're from Japan. It's such a treat when you see that one of these videos comes across your feed on Instagram because you just see this single edge cutting tool that goes in a straight line across a massive piece of metal, and it comes all the way back. The guy with his gloves on and some old little oil dripper puts down a few drops of oil on the workpiece, and then this thing ... Just the sound of it is like and ASMR experience because you just hear it scrape along the material. The chip forming from the cut starts to look like a slinky.


Benjamin Moses: The heat generated, burning oil.


Stephen LaMarca: Once it reaches the end of the workpiece, the weight just clicks and then you hear that big long chip drop to the floor and kind of cling. It's such an aural experience.


Benjamin Moses: It is.


Stephen LaMarca: The aura to it is so cool. That was one machine that I had to look up-


Benjamin Moses: That's awesome.


Stephen LaMarca: ... that Doug mentioned.


Benjamin Moses: Yep.


Stephen LaMarca: Then the last one, less so of a machine or a technology, but more of a science and an art. Doug mentioned hand scrapping ways, way scrapping. So this was cool because I mentioned passions earlier. You and I relate on ... because we both like to go shooting and collect fire arms. My first riffle was a Remington 700. My first firearm was a Remington 700, old action riffle.


Benjamin Moses: It should be everyone's first riffle, first firearm.


Stephen LaMarca: Yes, I agree. Don't make the same mistake I did and don't make your first firearm a [inaudible 00:34:20] because that is way too big of a cartridge for a beginner. I should have done something like a 223 or something shrimpy just to-


Benjamin Moses: The 308 still has a little bit of a kick on a Remington 700 too.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. That was the thing though. I wanted a long action riffle, and that was a dumb want at the time. But over the years, as I started putting thousands and thousands ... actually hundreds and hundreds of rounds through it, still on the original barrel, I wanted to ... I was getting better at shooting, so I wanted the riffle to keep up with me, which it had no problem doing.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: I'm sure even out of the box, that rifle was still more accurate than I am now. But I wanted to accurize it. It's a hobby, and hobbies you want to dump money into. So I wanted to accurize it over the years, so I free floated the barrel by putting fiber glass stock on it with an aluminum bed.


Benjamin Moses: Yep.


Stephen LaMarca: And a better trigger. I started swapping trigger springs and adjusting them just to make it a really sweet riffle. But one of the things, looking up on how to accurize the Remington 700, was lapping the lugs.


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: How this comes back to way scrapping, Doug was talking about, as a machine tool gets some wear on it, after it's made a few batches of parts and been through a couple thousand tools, a machine tool naturally becomes less accurate than when it was brand new.


Benjamin Moses: Right.


Stephen LaMarca: It becomes ... it starts loosening up on tolerances and becomes out of spec. You put a brand new tool in it and it's not making its parts to spec, so you've got to look at the rest of the machine. What needs to be fixed? You replace the spindle, still out of spec. Then your next step is check the ways, inspect the ways. You measure them,


Benjamin Moses: Sure.


Stephen LaMarca: Doug was talking about how you put this dye on the ways and you let the machine tool axis go over the ways. Where there's still dye is a low point in the way, and when there's no dye remaining, that's the high point. That's a good contact area. Ideally, as the axis move, you want the dye to be completely removed from the way.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: So if you see that dye remaining, you know you've got to scrape it down to true up the accuracy of the machine. This reminded me of lapping the lugs because you use a lapping compound and a lapping dye to see where the lugs on the bolt mesh up with the reverse lugs, if you would, right outside the chamber of the barrel and the riffle. You want those lugs to mesh perfectly and just be totally flat, and that helps accurize the rifle.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: Similarly to a machine tool, the more contact you have, the more precision and accuracy you can get out of a machine.


Benjamin Moses: That's right.


Stephen LaMarca: It's just the corelation was really awesome and this was something that I could relate to without knowing about it or having any experience with it. So learning about way scraping was awesome.


Benjamin Moses: That's really cool because the last experience I had with scrapping ways was when we bought ... I think it was a machine from England. We bought a used machine based on pictures. We didn't get a chance to fly over, test it out, do test cuts. That was one of the mistakes, probably the last machine that we ever bought was that fairly expensive machine. Again, it's twin spindle. For some reason that was our strategy. We brought it over and they did a terrible job prepping it for travel. So they didn't properly disconnect the electricals. They just chopped off the wire going into-


Stephen LaMarca: Oh no.


Benjamin Moses: ... the control unit. They didn't lock the bed properly, so everything was just banged up as it traveled. So we had to strip off the bed, and then they re-cleaned up the ways. They actually built up the layers on the ways again because there were significant low spots.


Stephen LaMarca: No way.


Benjamin Moses: But yeah-


Stephen LaMarca: How do you do that?


Benjamin Moses: So there's certain chemicals or certain compounds that they can put that actually adheres to the agent on the back of the table.


Stephen LaMarca: Like machine tool bondo or something?


Benjamin Moses: Kind of. It's a bunch of different chemicals. I think Turcite might be still used or different other agents like that.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh interesting. I'll have to look that up.


Benjamin Moses: You've got metal on metal, so they put this other compound in the middle that's adhered to the table. So they put that on and they scrape everything back in, but it was like a two week process of them just scraping the entire bed. One, it was like a 10 foot long bed, so they had to re-scrape the entire thing. Plus, we had to buy a new ball screw, so that had to come in. But yeah, that was a terrible experience. But one thing I did find is, before you get to that point as we started doing ball bar tests. So that's one thing I forgot to bring up when we were preparing for the podcast earlier is that you don't necessarily have to wait until you start getting bad parts or experimenting around. There's a couple of tools that you can put into the machine where basically you put a ball on the table itself and then you put a bar that's touching, magnetically attach the ball on the table. It basically goes in a circle, extrapolates a circle. [inaudible 00:39:41] some other metrology companies makes this equipment, and the feedback that it tells you is it'll measure the distance that it travels along that circle.


Stephen LaMarca: Oh wow.


Benjamin Moses: The feedback that the software provides you, it tells you is it a spindle issue, is it a bearing issue. It tells you in the general direction of where you want to start investigating. It gives you accuracy information, it gives you positional tolerance and that type of stuff. So, that's one thing related to scrapping a machine is that I think the software can tell you that you probably have a bad spot in your table. What we've done in the past is not scrape the entire table. We actually just moved the tooling over on the bed and just used a different spot on the bed in the past. So, that's a shortcut that we've done in the past.


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.


Benjamin Moses: So that's fun. A lot of good memories.


Stephen LaMarca: That's awesome. You've got them. As we found out earlier, Steve [inaudible 00:40:33] got a few of them.


Benjamin Moses: Yep.


Stephen LaMarca: I'm sure there's a lot of people at AMT who have a plethora of manufacturing knowledge, and I'm glad I got to think of ... Because Doug is itching for questions on a weekly basis for us to ask him. He's the face of AMT and he's a good talker. I've got to think of more awesome questions like this to ask him.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah.


Stephen LaMarca: Because I know he's got more great technology knowledge in him for more traditional stuff too.


Benjamin Moses: Yeah, absolutely.


Stephen LaMarca: He's got a lot of experience in the industry.


Benjamin Moses: He's got the Daily Minute on LinkedIn through AMT's posting there-


Stephen LaMarca: Oh yeah.


Benjamin Moses: ... that you should definitely check out. So the questions that you ask after is LinkedIn Daily Minute.


Stephen LaMarca: Right.


Benjamin Moses: Awesome, Steve. This was a great episode. Where can people find more information about us?


Stephen LaMarca: They can find more information about us on AMTNews.org. That's where the podcast is posted as well as many other podcast listening services. But at AMTNews.org/subscribe, if you scroll to the bottom, there's two subscription boxes, one for the AMT news weekly report.


Benjamin Moses: Digest.


Stephen LaMarca: Weekly digest, that's it. That's not us. That's why I didn't know about it. Scroll to the bottom. The second one, that's the AMT weekly tech report. I write that. Subscribe to that.


Benjamin Moses: If you want your weekly intake of technology, that's the place to be. [inaudible 00:41:55].


Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Everything on AMT news is great. You should read all of it.


Benjamin Moses: Well, great plug, Steve. Thanks. All right, bye everybody.


Stephen LaMarca: Bye.