AMT Tech Trends: Fat and Automated
Updated: Apr 15
Release date: 22 November 2019
Ben and Steve talk about putting on weight and getting sick for the holidays. Steve is still celebrating the watch dial he made and how he removed it from the Delrin workholding. His next steps are cleaning it up and getting it installed. Ben starts up on his all-time favorite topic: MQL! Steve brings up the NFL’s Helmet Challenge. Ben finishes up with design for automation and nanotechnology.
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: 00:04 Hello everyone, and welcome to the Tech Trends podcast where we discuss the latest manufacturing technology, research, and news. Today’s episode is sponsored by the MT360 Conference. Go conference! It’s this real cool conference where we talk about transformative technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, additive manufacturing, automation, both physical and software. So, we have a lot of artificial intelligence, machine learning, plus robotic automation. And the digital thread. So, we have really cool speaker lineup, and we’re talking about new technologies that are penetrating into manufacturing to enhance the productivity and return investment of the companies.
Benjamin Moses: 00:51 I am Benjamin Moses, the director of manufacturing technology, and I’m here with …
Stephen LaMarca: 00:55 Stephen LaMarca, the manufacturing technology analyst at AMT.
Benjamin Moses: 00:58 Steve, how are you doing today, man?
Stephen LaMarca: 01:00 Doing amazing.
Benjamin Moses: 01:00 Yeah?
Stephen LaMarca: 01:01 Great lunch.
Benjamin Moses: 01:02 Great lunch. Speaking of lunch, we’re in the automation of fat season.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:05 That’s right.
Benjamin Moses: 01:06 Holiday season’s right around us. We had Taco Bell today for lunch.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:09 We sure did.
Benjamin Moses: 01:09 I had Cracker Barrel for my birthday dinner, my favorite restaurant in the world. I feel so fat today.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:15 Yeah. I don’t know if I am going to be able to decorate the Christmas tree this year.
Benjamin Moses: 01:19 No?
Stephen LaMarca: 01:20 I’m going have to get a robot arm to do it for me.
Benjamin Moses: 01:22 Can’t reach around.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:24 No way.
Benjamin Moses: 01:26 Next month is going to be tough. Plus I’ve been sick, so my body’s all confused between antibiotics and-
Stephen LaMarca: 01:30 Oh man.
Benjamin Moses: 01:31 So, I apologize everyone that’s listening. I may be coughing on mic.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:34 I feel like I took care of that earlier this year.
Benjamin Moses: 01:36 Your sickness?
Stephen LaMarca: 01:37 Yeah.
Benjamin Moses: 01:37 You mean last winter?
Stephen LaMarca: 01:38 No, no, no, no, like a couple months ago I got really sick, and then I don’t know, man. I’m just used to it now.
Benjamin Moses: 01:45 Yeah. [crosstalk 00:01:46] I’ve been sick for-
Stephen LaMarca: 01:47 I feel like my body’s been prepped for this winter.
Benjamin Moses: 01:48 I’ve been sick for almost a month now, probably because I made a mistake of traveling for almost three weeks.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:52 Yeah.
Benjamin Moses: 01:52 That was such a big mistake. I got sick while traveling, too.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:55 And then you have a kid.
Benjamin Moses: 01:56 Yeah, they’re always sick.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:57 They’re always sick, they’re always dirty.
Benjamin Moses: 01:57 Always sick and dirty. Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: 01:59 The hands, man.
Benjamin Moses: 02:00 Talk about moist kids the other day. Transmitting everything. That’s all right. So, tell us what’s going on with the test bed today, Steve.
Stephen LaMarca: 02:09 The test bed. So, we’re done cutting the dial. The watch dial, the the brass watch dial that I’ve been working on for the past few months, for the better part of this year honestly, it hasn’t really been at the center focus of the test bed for the blog this year, but I’ve been toying with the idea, and I finally got to cutting it because I wasn’t comfortable with cutting brass.
Stephen LaMarca: 02:30 As I told you guys last time, totally comfortable with cutting brass now. I have my confidence in cutting brass. Got the speeds and fees dialed in properly. But we’re all done cutting the dial. The dial, brass dial looks great.
Benjamin Moses: 02:43 Awesome. That’s good.
Stephen LaMarca: 02:45 This week’s step was removing the brass dial from the delrin soft jaw, which was adhesed to it using super glue, or as chemists would call it, which is our new word to pronounce, cyanoacrylate.
Benjamin Moses: 02:59 I’m not going to try.
Stephen LaMarca: 03:00 Cyanoacrylate. I guess that … I don’t know. I don’t know how to say it quickly, and I’m still slow on it. But in industry, it’s used common, super glue is used common, but they don’t want to use the consumer term super glue as much, so
they call it CA.
Benjamin Moses: 03:12 CA.
Stephen LaMarca: 03:14 So, I’m working on … I’ve worked on, I’ve already done it, I’ve de-bonded the CA from the brass and the delrin, more so from the delrin and the brass. The super glue really likes to stick to brass. Did a great job adhesing to the brass. Strangely, being that it’s a polymer, or at least a plastic, it broke free from the delrin really easily. Which now that I’m thinking about it, and realize it stuck to delrin, delrin’s a self-lubricating hard plastic. So, that’s probably why it broke free a lot easier. Okay, now it clicks.
Stephen LaMarca: 03:49 But anyway, the next step for the brass dial is cleaning it up. There’s still a lot of super glue on it. And not only does it need to be cleaned up of the super glue, but to de-bond the CA from the brass and the delrin, I used acetone. That’s the most common industrial chemical to a de-bond super glue from stuff.
Benjamin Moses: 04:17 Sure. Smells great.
Stephen LaMarca: 04:20 It’s safe to use on brass, so I made sure to check that first. There’s a bunch of de-bonders that you can use and solvents that you can use for CA. But acetone I’ve determined was the best one because, A, it’s the most common and least expensive, B, it’s safe to use on brass because it can actually be used to polish brass. Not that easily however, because after de-bonding the brass dial from the delrin soft jaw, it looks a little murky.
Benjamin Moses: 04:46 Oh, sure. Missing that shine.
Stephen LaMarca: 04:48 Yeah, it’s missing the shine. So, I’m going to try some Brasso later this week or next week to clean it up. And once I’m sufficiently cleaned it enough, and once the super glue’s mostly removed, that’s when we’ll put it into the watch, and we’ll be all done with that.
Benjamin Moses: 05:02 How does it feel? That’s your first production piece because you have a customer, Russ, who wanted a watch dial. You produce your first production piece. That’s pretty awesome.
Stephen LaMarca: 05:09 It feels great.
Benjamin Moses: 05:09 Sure.
Stephen LaMarca: 05:11 It’s a weight off my shoulders, but it’s also a huge confidence builder. This is something that I’ve wanted to make, too, not just Russ, and I finally did it. And took long enough. And I’m really proud of the final product. It’s by no mean perfect. Some people probably wouldn’t even say the final product is good, but it’s decent. But I’m proud of the final result, and I think it looks pretty great.
Benjamin Moses: 05:37 Awesome. Good job.
Stephen LaMarca: 05:37 Doesn’t need to … Thank you.
Benjamin Moses: 05:40 So, we have a couple articles today, and the first one I want to talk about actually I pulled research on. It’s titled Multi-Functional Application of Synthetic Ester to Machine Tool Lubrication Based on MQL Machining Lubricants.
Stephen LaMarca: 05:56 MQL.
Benjamin Moses: 05:56 Let’s unpack that title.
Stephen LaMarca: 05:58 MQL, son. We’ll start off minimum quantity lubrication, one of Ben’s favorite topics.
Benjamin Moses: 06:04 Yes. When I first joined the AMT-
Stephen LaMarca: 06:05 Kid’s been talking about MQL forever.
Benjamin Moses: 06:08 We need more MQL. Rumor has it, and there’s a lot more acceptance of MQL. It’s a big demand that’s kind of starting in Europe, and I think the US is picking up quite a bit. So, minimum quantity lubrication. You want me to describe it? Do you know what it is?
Stephen LaMarca: 06:21 Let me start-
Benjamin Moses: 06:21 Why don’t you start.
Stephen LaMarca: 06:22 … and you just correct me where I’m wrong.
Benjamin Moses: 06:23 Do it.
Stephen LaMarca: 06:25 We are used to seeing a lot of YouTube videos of some machining operations, and while before as the tool’s about to go into the stock, you just see the machine spraying a bunch of coolant, lubricant, just machining fluids onto both the tool and the workpiece simultaneously. And just fluids going everywhere. It’s a huge mess. You see those, what are those circular windows that spin at 18,000 RPM so the window stays clean so you can see the piece being cut. There’s just there’s so much fluid being sprayed everywhere, and just hosing down the workpiece and the tool.
Benjamin Moses: 07:09 It’s called flood coolant for a reason.
Stephen LaMarca: 07:10 Exactly. It’s flooding the workpiece.
Benjamin Moses: 07:13 Right.
Stephen LaMarca: 07:14 Certainly, you can be more efficient and a little bit more economical with the amount of coolant and fluids being used. So, I take it that’s where MQL comes in, and using the minimum quantity instead of spraying it and flooding your workpiece and tool, it instead uses a mister, almost like an atomizer, to get just the right amount onto the the workpiece.
Benjamin Moses: 07:42 Yeah, that’s right. That’s a very good explanation of flood coolant itself. So, flood coolant, you’re flooding the tire. Yeah. It does get re-circulated, so it goes back into the tray. You have to add water. Sometimes it evaporates, and the concentration gets screwed up. You add water, you add coolant, and your constantly balance that. Then, it gets used back in the machine and it’s flooded again. And MQL, exactly that where it’s basically spraying a fine mist right at the cutting interface to provide lubrication, and some level of coolant also. But it’s right at the cutting interface.
Benjamin Moses: 08:15 And they can spray it a lot of different ways. They can use external nozzles.
Stephen LaMarca: 08:18 Okay. Or through tool cooling, or fluid?
Benjamin Moses: 08:22 Usually not. I have seen a couple of applications like that.
Stephen LaMarca: 08:25 Not for a minimum quantity. Okay.
Benjamin Moses: 08:25 No, no, because the spray is so fine that it’s hard to get that fine spray right at the tip.
Stephen LaMarca: 08:30 Oh, yeah, yeah. Because you would need to really push it through there.
Benjamin Moses: 08:33 Yeah.
Stephen LaMarca: 08:33 Okay.
Benjamin Moses: 08:34 Yeah. Now flood cooling, you will see through the spindle, through the tool coolant the real high pressure. Especially for drilling that probably works really well. But yeah, so what they’re doing is, interesting example, of one, using the concept of minimum quantity lubrication as a catchall for using that one liquid for everything that’s on the machine tool. So, they’re talking about subtractive manufacturing, CNC mill laid where you could have the illustration, the IV of your slide ways, you have a hydraulic system, you have your spindle bearings, and if you’re using MQL, those are four different fluids that you could have for running one machine.
Benjamin Moses: 09:11 What they’re interested in using is just let’s just use one for all of them. One fluid to rule them all. So, what they are proposing is using the starting point of what’s the best fluid for MQL, and then making minor modifications to using other applications on the machine tool itself. Now, they’re not saying it’s going to all draw from the same reservoir. There are some things that need to keep separate. For example, the spindle does have a little bit of air that gets accumulated into it, so they have to have a air over oil separator, and then it gets circulated back in.
Stephen LaMarca: 09:41 An AOSR.
Benjamin Moses: 09:42 And then everything consumed at the cutting edge is consumed. You lose that basically. Now, a couple of things to keep in mind that most … the common theory was if you lose it, I need 55 gallons the last meal week. No, you actually go through five or six gallons maybe in a month or two months depending on-
Stephen LaMarca: 09:59 No way. It’s that more economical?
Benjamin Moses: 10:01 Yeah. You go through very, very, very little if you have that process down correctly. Dialed down correctly.
Stephen LaMarca: 10:06 Now, is there a re-circulation and recycling with MQL like there is with flood, or is it-
Benjamin Moses: 10:11 Not really.
Stephen LaMarca: 10:12 … you don’t need to?
Benjamin Moses: 10:13 No, no. You don’t.
Stephen LaMarca: 10:13 Okay.
Benjamin Moses: 10:15 If anything, you’re just cleaning up the part afterwards, and everything gets stuck on the rag. There may be some residue in the machine itself. You probably will still keep some of the coolant drained stuff because you’re going to have to wash it down because the oil could be sprayed in a couple of places. But in general, there’s very little that can be reclaimed.
Stephen LaMarca: 10:35 I think I see one downfall, one flaw with MQL which is unlike flooding, you can have a line of coolant or lubricant flooding the workpiece and tool, and you can have another line pushing high pressure air to remove chips from the workpiece. Can you use a compressed air line along with MQL, or would that interfere too much with the fine mist spraying the-
Benjamin Moses: 11:07 No. It depends on the arrangement. Depends on how far the nozzle is from the tip, and the overall cutting geometry. Because if you have a really, really deep cut, you could be spraying further away than you want to be. So, sacrificing some of the trade offs there. The high pressure air to get rid of the chips could be an issue, but it all depends on the configuration.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:26 But it wouldn’t affect the cloud-
Benjamin Moses: 11:28 No, no.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:28 The pattern.
Benjamin Moses: 11:29 No, no.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:30 I noticed I actually use, having watched a few MQL videos, they actually use the term patterning a lot.
Benjamin Moses: 11:36 Yes, absolutely.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:36 You pattern your mist.
Benjamin Moses: 11:37 Yes, exactly.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:38 The way you would pattern a shotgun.
Benjamin Moses: 11:41 It always comes back to a shotgun to you.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:42 Yup, has to.
Benjamin Moses: 11:44 So spoiler alert, I’m going to jump to the conclusion of the research paper.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:48 Okay, let’s hear it.
Benjamin Moses: 11:48 And it’s a pretty good paper, and it’s very interesting. It’s from 2004. Yes, 2004, so it’s a little bit dated.
Stephen LaMarca: 11:54 Whatever.
Benjamin Moses: 11:55 And all the research comes from different companies in Japan that was published through SERP. So, I’ll quote their conclusion at the end. Let’s see. The excellent performance in MQL machining, the probably potential and spindle bearing lubrication, and the practical sufficient lubrication abilities for both hydraulic and sideways application compared to individual commercial lubricants. So, they’re saying it worked basically.
Benjamin Moses: 12:21 Now, what they did is they did take the basic MQL oil or MQL fluid, and they did add a couple of compounds to it to enhance some of the lubrication capabilities, and the other applications. They said-
Stephen LaMarca: 12:34 And the other applications being on the spindle bearings and-
Benjamin Moses: 12:36 On the machine. Yeah, exactly.
Stephen LaMarca: 12:37 Okay. So, not just the workpiece in this case, but-
Benjamin Moses: 12:39 Correct. But they’re able to come up with one fluid that works in all the applications, and they got positive results. So, they feel that this is very practical use, and they think there’s a lot of potential. So, hopefully in the next couple of years as MQL continues to become popular, the end use as the manufacturer, maybe some of their manufacturing technology creators will look at this paper again and say, “Okay, let’s do one fluid to rule them all,” instead of having 30 different drums of fluids for your machines.
Stephen LaMarca: 13:07 Fascinating.
Benjamin Moses: 13:07 That was pretty cool. So, what article did you find this week?
Stephen LaMarca: 13:10 So, didn’t find an article this week, but a little bit of buzz has been going around, so I figured I had to mention it. But our very own chief technology officer here at AMT, Tim [Shinbarra 00:13:20], got to what was lucky enough to attend the NFL’s helmet challenge.
Benjamin Moses: 13:26 If you notice, he didn’t delegate that either.
Stephen LaMarca: 13:28 He didn’t delegate that. Because it’s such a cool thing, man. He wanted to go to it. We’re prime mid season NFL, and he got to attend this, which is so cool. But let me talk about what happened there. So, the NFL helmet challenge is put on by both the NFL, and co-hosted by America Makes, which is one of the institutes. And they got people from all over the world. Anywhere from UK and Australia to of course all over North America for the NFL.
Stephen LaMarca: 14:01 But some of the key players at this helmet challenge were Riddell, which is the major helmet company for the NFL, and Riddell was partnered really big with Carbon 3D, who you and I have heard of obviously. And Carbon 3D kind of threw together a special, not threw together, they engineered a specialty FPU, flexible polyurethane, that was specifically designed to take certain impacts, and disperse energy over a larger surface area. Kind of like I guess the non-Newtonian material D30 a little bit. But it’s a specialty. It’s not their off-the-shelf compound. But yeah, they’ve been using this material with additive manufacturing to make these really advanced modern helmets. And what I didn’t realize, even though this research was recently published, the publication of all of this work is recent, but apparently already hundreds of players throughout the NFL are already using these helmets with this specialty material. And it’s wild.
Benjamin Moses: 15:14 That’s pretty wild. Yeah, we were discussing this earlier in the prep, and then I mentioned all the different shapes and configurations you’re seeing on the shell. But they’re talking about the application of the layer between the shell and the hand basically. So, this is-
Stephen LaMarca: 15:25 Yeah. It’s not just those white pads in there anymore.
Benjamin Moses: 15:27 No, no. Those always fall out. Did you ever play any football? [crosstalk 00:15:31].
Stephen LaMarca: 15:30 No, no. Look at me.
Benjamin Moses: 15:32 Those helmets were the worst. So, I played … Let’s see, how long ago was this? Back in ’98, I played for high school football. And putting on the helmet for the very first time is an eye opening experience at how uncomfortable those things were back then. How compressed those pads already were, and how little comfort and how little shock absorption that they had back then.
Stephen LaMarca: 15:55 Really?
Benjamin Moses: 15:56 Yeah. For me, I would rather have taped a pillow to my head and played.
Stephen LaMarca: 16:01 Yeah. That bad?
Benjamin Moses: 16:01 It didn’t feel all that good. No, not to me.
Stephen LaMarca: 16:04 I got experience with a motorcycle helmet now, but never a football now.
Benjamin Moses: 16:12 No? Yeah. It was an interesting experience. That was good. The next research paper I have is on modular design for increasing assembly automation. So, this article talks about designing the part itself to be able to produce through a new automation process. Not a brand new, but if you’re [inaudible 00:16:31] an automation or a automated assembly line, what do I need to do on the design to facilitate an automated process? So, I thought that was pretty interesting.
Stephen LaMarca: 16:39 Yeah, it is cool.
Benjamin Moses: 16:40 So, they talk about a couple things. There’s a couple of key elements I wanted to talk about and bring up in this. They use a couple of tools on the design part, on the part itself. So, in this case they have furniture. So, the use case that they have is wooden furniture, but it’s a modular design. And a couple of tools that they talk about, one is DSM, Design Structure Matrix. It’s a cool tool that they use for decomposing products, and functional forms and elements. Then, analyzing their interactions between elements to conclude, and concludes by clustering the components. So basically, they’re defining what the component is, what is it supposed to do, and this whole family of parts.
Benjamin Moses: 17:18 So, I’ve got say a 1,000 different sofas, different type of sofas I want to make, it takes all this components, defines their interactions with each other, and says these are all similar together, this other group is similar. For example, like the hand rest, foot rest, that type of stuff. So, that’s one tool that I found very useful. Especially if companies are interested in the concept of production, lot size one being able to go from large volumes to single volumes as being able to cluster their parts together so they can get effective lot sizes.
Benjamin Moses: 17:51 The other tool I wanted to mention was of course a house of quality. So, it’s prioritizing product characteristics with the customer’s most value. This tool gets underrated. It’s a very, very simple tool of prioritizing a bunch of characteristics that you can provide to what is the most important to the customer. It’s fairly straight forward, and it’s easy to do. Well, kind of easy to do depending on how you approach it, and depending on the product. But what that sets you up to do is create a Module Identification Matrix that defines the customer needs the technical solutions.
Benjamin Moses: 18:30 So then, it transitions to, okay, we know what they like. Now, let’s convert that to what we can produce. And I thought those tools were pretty useful. In the end, they were able to get to an assembled product line by grouping a series of products, and defining a new automation process. And they went through a return on investment analysis, too, on three different automation tools. So overall, the paper’s pretty solid in terms of providing a useful set of tools and a good framework for analysis for return on investment for creating an assembly line. And a trade study. They analyzed three different scenarios. So, it was a really good paper. The title again is modular design for increasing assembly automation published in 2014.
Stephen LaMarca: 19:19 Oh, wow. So that was a lot more recent.
Benjamin Moses: 19:21 A lot more recent. I try and keep it somewhat recent.
Stephen LaMarca: 19:22 Nice.
Benjamin Moses: 19:24 The last thing I want to talk about was nano technology, boy.
Stephen LaMarca: 19:28 Nano machines.
Benjamin Moses: 19:31 I found this really interesting when they were talking about nanotechnology. One, this Nano.gov, it’s a government-
Stephen LaMarca: 19:40 No way.
Benjamin Moses: 19:41 … initiative furthering the research and development of nanotechnology into actual production environments. So, what they’re doing is they’re creating a new nanotechnology entrepreneurship network in the community of interest to support entrepreneurs interested in commercializing nanotech. So, this is fairly interesting to me that, one, there already is a pretty robust network that the government’s funding, and also that they’re really interested in developing basically startups to create new technologies to get commercialized. So, it shows that nanotech is on the rise. We’re going to see some really interesting …
Stephen LaMarca: 20:21 What are they typical nanotechnology applications so far?
Benjamin Moses: 20:24 That varies a lot. So, it goes from coatings which would be your most common.
Stephen LaMarca: 20:28 Gotcha.
Benjamin Moses: 20:29 To small medical devices. It’s nanobots are down the stream type technology. So, the spectrum of the things that are available from nanotech is really, really broad. Basically anything that’s small, right? So, it could go from computing equipment to medical devices. So, I thought that was really interesting.
Benjamin Moses: 20:53 So Steve, tell me what’s coming up on the test bed.
Stephen LaMarca: 20:58 Coming up in the test bed is just, like I mentioned earlier, it’s just cleaning up the dial to make it bring back the luster, the freshly machined luster that we had on it when it came out when I finished cutting it. And then, getting it mounted in the watch, like I said before. But other than that, what I’m really looking forward to for the end of the year is I heard back from UFactory, they, they apologized for the lack of communication, and they said we should be shipping your robot out December 1st.
Benjamin Moses: 21:33 Wow, that’s exciting.
Stephen LaMarca: 21:33 So, yeah, it’s exciting. I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ll be honest. Because with the amount of supplier issues that China has been facing with their automation deliveries or their robot deliveries, yeah, I’m not going to hold my breath. But I’ll know I was a good boy if Santa delivers it early this year.
Benjamin Moses: 21:52 Sure. That’s a big solid. Excuse me. Sorry about that.
Stephen LaMarca: 21:58 No, it’s all right, man.
Benjamin Moses: 22:00 So, the next episode we’ll hopefully get an update. Hopefully.
Stephen LaMarca: 22:03 Hopefully.
Benjamin Moses: 22:03 That’d be amazing if we could physically hold it. I’ll hold it during the podcast, and we’ll talk about it.
Stephen LaMarca: 22:09 Yeah, I hope so.
Benjamin Moses: 22:10 And then, we’ll have our end of year wrap up. I think we’ll have a holiday special, since next episode will be our last one for the year because we’re going to have end of December we’ll be shut down. It will be closed. And I’ll be on vacation I’m sure.
Stephen LaMarca: 22:20 Yes sir.
Benjamin Moses: 22:21 Got to burn a vacation before I lose it.
Stephen LaMarca: 22:23 That’s right.
Benjamin Moses: 22:24 So, that’s awesome. So, for more news and research, where can they find more info on us, Steve?
Stephen LaMarca: 22:30 They can find more info on you in LinkedIn, and me, you can follow me and the adventures of an amateur machinist at swarfysteve.blogspot.com.
Benjamin Moses: 22:43 Awesome.
Stephen LaMarca: 22:43 All of that information is in the description below.
Benjamin Moses: 22:46 And today’s episode was, again, sponsored by the MT360 Conference. If you want to learn more about transformative technologies and the future of manufacturing, check us out at MT360Conference.com. See you, everybody.
Stephen LaMarca: 22:57 Bye everybody.