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Episode 37: Ben and Stephen went shooting! Ben got stuck in traffic. Steve is excited about a child getting a million buck to put towards additive. Ben says the CDC is putting $1.5 million towards robots and mech suits. Stephen found a CNC machining...
by AMT
Nov 20, 2020

Release date: 20 November 2020

Episode 37: Ben and Stephen went shooting! Ben got stuck in traffic. Steve is excited about a child getting a million buck to put towards additive. Ben says the CDC is putting $1.5 million towards robots and mech suits. Stephen found a CNC machining article from a car magazine. Benjamin closes with a paper on surface metrology.

- https://timesofsandiego.com/business/2020/11/16/gift-of-1-million-to-expand-3d-printing-at-rady-childrens-hospital/

- https://www.roboticstomorrow.com/story/2020/11/cdc-awards-15-million-for-research-to-reduce-exposures-to-workplace-hazards-through-robotic-technology/15924/

- https://www.enginebuildermag.com/2020/11/cnc-machines-keep-the-pindle-moving/

- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0007850619301623?via%3Dihub

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

Stephen LaMarca: Steven LaMarca, AMT's Manufacturing Technology Analyst.

Benjamin Moses: Steve, it's good to see you, man. How's everything going?

Stephen LaMarca: Dude, it's good to be back. I had a great vacation last week. You and I, even though I was on vacation, we had a great 10 o'clock meeting last Thursday at the range to get some let out.

Benjamin Moses: That was exciting. It's been ages since I've been to the gun range.

Stephen LaMarca: Me too. Fortunately, during the pandemic, I did get a chance to go clay shooting a few times,

Benjamin Moses: Nice.

Stephen LaMarca: But, other than the shotgun sports, I haven't really taken anything to any single projectile firearm to a range in a while actually.

Benjamin Moses: We got to the range and then the 100-yard was shut down. I brought my bolt-action calibrator for the 100 yards to make sure the animal is shooting well. Of course, it says the 100-yard range is close, so we waited for the 50-yard range. What else? To be honest, I was a little hesitant to shoot the bolt action at 50 yards, probably because that rifle, I use for shooting five to 600 yards. So in scale, I'm shooting 10 times closer than I would with that type of rifle.

Stephen LaMarca: What cartridge are you firing out of that bolt?

Benjamin Moses: Just a .308.

Stephen LaMarca: .308?

Benjamin Moses: Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: What is the barrel length?

Benjamin Moses: 26-inch.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh, 26. That's a long boy.

Benjamin Moses: It's a standard 700.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay. Yeah, you're right. The 26 is...

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, it's-

Stephen LaMarca: I know 20 through 26 is about... But typically, on average, they're 24 inches.

Benjamin Moses: Yes.

Stephen LaMarca: I was asking just because assuming you're firing a 165 grain or 168 grain projectile .308 out of around 24-inch barrel, if you zeroed for 50, you should be zeroed for 200 now. Right?

Benjamin Moses: Oh, yeah. That's the fun part. Once I got figured out my 20x scope, 20 power scope, and how to get it down to something at the 50-yard range, once I figured that out, I actually got comfortable at the shooting rest. Because it's not a shooting bench, it was a little awkward. I was able to work on my breathing and alignment and work on not necessarily zero, but the group size, that's my main target to verify the-

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, the precision.

Benjamin Moses: The precision, yes.

Stephen LaMarca: Not the accuracy, the precision.

Benjamin Moses: That's right, because I left it-

Stephen LaMarca: Going for repeatability, not necessarily hitting the mark.

Benjamin Moses: So I left it slightly low, but I wanted to see what the group size with shooting 10 round groups. Shooting on a not so stable condition position and working on my technique was actually pretty fun. I enjoy that time. I'm glad I took the bolt action to the 50-yard range.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. You know, it's been a while since... I mean, years since I shot like I did last Thursday because the other rifle that I have is also a Remington 700 and it's a .30-06.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: It was my deer rifle that I used in college, never killed a single deer with it. That's neither here nor there.

Benjamin Moses: It's left-handed bolt, right?

Stephen LaMarca: It's a left-handed bolt action, left-handed 700. But in high school, I was on... At our military school, I was on the .22 rifle team and we shot .22. We competed and we did Olympic style, shooting .22's at quarter-sized bulls at 50 feet. It was really therapeutic and relaxing because you're just paper punching.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Normally, especially these days, I think shooting at papers is super boring. But then I realized, I just don't like shooting my .30-06. The new rifle that I have, the FN, which is chambered in 5.56, it really took me back to the competition style shooting because it was so pleasant. Other than I don't have to rack a bolt because it's semiautomatic,-

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: ... it was so nice just like that low recoil. Yeah, it's really loud. It's a lot louder than a .22, but it had that matched accuracy that I was not expecting. I was expecting to be happy to get my shots at 50 yards in a pie plate, at least that's the standard for deer hunting. If you can hit a pie plate at 100 yards, you can kill a deer. But, I was really impressed by the accu... It was just really therapeutic. It was nice, that nice pace and nothing shot like a laser too.

Benjamin Moses: I do feel bad for the guys shooting next to me because my three-year-old's got a muzzle brake and just blast going everywhere. It's indoor range, but they're shooting .308 also. They're shooting at a semiautomatic, so-

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. It was odd being so comfortable shooting there when usually shooting indoors is like the least comfortable thing.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: It's nice shooting indoors because you don't have to compensate for wind and stuff like that. It's a nice, clean room, vacuum style environment that's not comfortable for you as a shooter, but great if you're trying to dial something in. I think there was a gentleman who came in with an AK. That thing was barking. I didn't notice your rifle that much, but I did notice the guy with the AK. That thing barks. And then, another guy came in and I was startled by how quiet... The next thing, I look over and he's fired, this guy... I think they were on a... He was on a date with his significant other. They were shooting a suppressed .300 Blackout. That was cool because that thing sounded like a fart.

Benjamin Moses: That's fun, fun times at the range. I can't wait to go again. We should try and do some good wrap around a little competition. I started one though, shooting .22 with my buddy, Scott. So, maybe we should start one with the to do-

Stephen LaMarca: We should go somewhere with a dueling tree or at least bring Russ again so he can put us all to shame. He likes to draw pictures with his bullet holes.

Benjamin Moses: Speaking of which, interesting experience happened this morning when I was taking my daughter to a daycare. So, I got in the car, left the community, got onto the major main road and I hit traffic.

Stephen LaMarca: Oh, man.

Benjamin Moses: It was really strange feeling. For the past eight months or whatever, how long it's been, I haven't had any traffic until today. It took me a while-

Stephen LaMarca: Clearly, you've been avoiding 66.

Benjamin Moses: Oh, yeah. I don't have to go to 66. So, it took me a while to figure out that I was actually stuck in traffic because I was assuming it was just a delay in the lights or something. But once I saw a couple of cycles that have lights and we didn't go anywhere, then I realized, wow, this is a strange feeling. Apparently, there's a big accident with a shutdown two of the three lanes. It was pretty severe and they had a fire truck, the ambulance. But by the time I got to, they already had everything pulled over. But, it was strange.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Virginia is back to normal. Or rather properly, more accurately said that people here are disregarding the pandemic unfortunately when Virginia's back to normal with their traffic accidents.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah, and bad driving. I got to admit, Virginia-

Stephen LaMarca: We're the best at it, man.

Benjamin Moses: In my area, there's not a lot of good drivers. I'm just getting some articles, man. Do you want to kick it off with the first one?

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah, dude. So, Tech Trends popped up this article from the Times of San Diego. I think Rady or I don't think it's Rady, I'm pretty sure it's Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego just received $1 million to expand their additive for medical, their 3D printing for medical solutions. I just think that's the coolest thing because I was blessed to attend the EAST Conference with Jul in Arkansas, with Juls and Adam a couple of years ago.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: One of the things that I distinctly remember, of all the students, incredible students that we got to meet and hear what they were doing, especially with regard to the manufacturing industry, this one student, his name was Arkham and I forget how old he... I want to say he's like in this single-digits of age-

Benjamin Moses: Oh, God.

Stephen LaMarca: ... and a little guy. His thing that he was showing off at EAST was he was born without a leg. This kid was born without a leg and his parents' health insurance would only provide a prosthetic leg, his second leg, a prosthetic, a new one once every three years.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Being a growing boy, one prosthetic every three years isn't going to keep up with his growth spurts.

Benjamin Moses: Yeah. Anyone that's had to buy clothes or shoes for kids will find out quickly that is a long time for kids.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. That's not soon enough, especially when he has to keep up with the rest of his class. And so, his teacher helped him, introduced him to 3D printing and introduced him to CAD software, specifically Tinkercad, which I believe is a Autodesk product. That is a web-based, entirely web-based CAD software that is really easy to use. It's almost like virtual Legos.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: It's that easy and gets him introduced with this. All of a sudden, months later, I'm sure this kid's printing his own prosthetics to keep up with his growth.

Benjamin Moses: That's awesome.

Stephen LaMarca: I told you all that to tell you if there is one application that absolutely warrants additive manufacturing, it is medical reasons for children. When they're growing so quickly and a batch of parts isn't necessary, but one specifically made part is needed, is absolutely needed and with pretty quick turnaround time, it's additive. It's really cool to find out that this children's hospital is getting a $1 million to put towards additive manufacturing for children's medical reasons.

Benjamin Moses: No, that is exciting.

Stephen LaMarca: It's really exciting.

Benjamin Moses: One thing that's perplexed me is trying to maintain my medical data. So when you go to the doctor's office, I get a sheet of paper and then I get some immunization records. I don't know what to do with that stuff. I have a drawer full of my medical stuff. I don't know how to trend that stuff over time. I can't see how well I'm doing. Simple stuff like that, trying to put all my medical data in one place is such a pain.

Stephen LaMarca: I don't think you want to see that trend.

Benjamin Moses: I don't want to, but at the same time... Like the idea of if you design your prosthetic at year, say, six, being able to modify it and then scale it up as you grow is a matter of a few button pushes. Right? Being able to control your data is very, very profound in healthcare. I think that's a interesting takeaway that if you're delegating the ability to design your own, say, prosthetics, you have control over that design. You could, of course, spice it up if you need to. But, being able to change it as a condition change or having other variants or having some input into it, I think that's really interesting. To be honest, I think in general, healthcare costs need to be reduced quite a bit. So, I think that's hopefully a step in the right direction too and reducing the costs of these prosthetics. But, it was interesting. The article I have talks about CDC. So, the title is CDC Awards $1.5 Million for Research to Reduce Exposures to Workplace Hazards through Robotic Technology. So, it's a very interesting article that goes over from Robotics Tomorrow about CDC's efforts, occupational health and safety. So, it's not directly related to the COVID efforts recently. It's not necessarily related to getting people out of getting/catching COVID from each other. It's a bigger project about improving workplace safety and health. So, one of the paragraphs talks about in manufacturing, lifting heavy objects can lead to costly disabling work-related multi-skeletal, musculoskeletal disorders. They propose getting to wearable robotics, which is growing in technology and maturity. So, you got a couple of companies using that, afford it, had a pretty good extensive testing a couple of months ago. I think they wrapped it up or they had upper body skeletal suits. NASA did a test a couple of years ago where they had gloves that would help you in one direction. So, it helped you clasp, I think.

Stephen LaMarca: Okay.

Benjamin Moses: So obviously, retracting your fingers is not the, say, costly task, but clasping objects was a interesting thing. They develop a glove just to clasp and hold on to stuff. So if you need to hold on to something for a long time, the glove was meant to reduce your load there. So, they're working with the researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago to further develop wearable robots and sensors, and using software bot electronics. They're also looking at further adoption for robotic cells and cages through using cobots and making those more safe in addition to exoskeletons. Of course, they mentioned the autonomous vehicles and drones. I think we ran across an article where they had, say, autonomous forklifts, which I thought was fascinating.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: So, there is a lot of heavy stuff that is moving around. I remember one of the heaviest things in the old factory was scrap barrel. So, all the chips and swarf that was coming off the machine will go into this 55-gallon drum.

Stephen LaMarca: Right.

Benjamin Moses: Now, what do you do with this giant 55-gallon drum of Inconel 718 chips, right? That stuff is not light.

Stephen LaMarca: That's money.

Benjamin Moses: That's money. You better get that to the recycling center quick.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah.

Benjamin Moses: So moving that around, just getting that to the dock, that's fairly difficult work. So, automating and getting people off those tasks was fairly important. A very interesting project that human ergonomics and human safety, I think, are underrated in manufacturing, while we talk about takt times, we talked about operational efficiency, we talk about closed loop manufacturing, but human fatigue, human ergonomics, those are less characterized. I think the future state in manufacturing, that will become more of a design point.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. And plus, I always want to see more people coming out with exoskeleton development. I just really want one of those power loaders from alien.

Benjamin Moses: That would be cool. I want to-

Stephen LaMarca: I want that to become real already.

Benjamin Moses: I want a saddle on the Boston Dynamics dog.

Stephen LaMarca: Spot.

Benjamin Moses: So, you just ride that Spot around.

Stephen LaMarca: Spot had a saddle.

Benjamin Moses: That's all I need, just a saddle with Spot.

Stephen LaMarca: Those things can haul a lot of weight for how small and adorable they are.

Benjamin Moses: They do have a lot of pinch areas, though.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. Oh, yeah. They are dangerous like all automation and it's not a toy.

Benjamin Moses: Thank you for bringing back to reality, Steve. Automation doesn't have to be a toy. Let's talk about your article from Engine Builder.

Stephen LaMarca: Dude, yeah. So another that I was really pleasantly surprised to find out yesterday, that Tech Trends has started polling CNC and machining articles from Engine Builder Magazine's website, enginebuildermag.com. One of the first articles from them that I read, actually Tech Trends pulled a handful, was CNC Machines Keep the $pindle Moving. The spindle, of course, the S in the word spindle is not an S but a dollar sign, which is a cute touch. But, it's basically just really, I don't want to say long-winded, but it's a lengthy article, basically emphasizing how important CNC manufacturing is to the aftermarket.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: I say aftermarket because it's pretty obvious that OEM parts and what becomes OEM, what parts become OEM down the road, are not made in somebody's small job shop with three to four operators in there but actually come from plants, factories and plants that have already employed CNC milling and machining and turning and whatnot. But, this article was really geared towards taking those small shops and small part providers, especially in the aftermarket, who make one really good part, whether it's for racing or whatever. Let's say a small company makes a clutch fork release pivot and they machine it. But, they machine it on something that's manual.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Originally, when they first developed it and started making them, they're made by hand, well, not by hand but by manually machining the part. Some customer buys it, goes into their race car, that race car wins. And all of a sudden, that race team wants more of those because they need to make more of those cars and other cars... I'm exaggerating.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: But, more teams find out this part was pivotal into the success of that car and team, so more teams want it. What does that little company do to keep up with their demand?

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Especially if it's a three to four, well, a three to four-person operation, they can either hire more people and buy more manual machines, or they can reap all of the profits of their new orders. To keep up with those orders, they can go to CNC machining.

Benjamin Moses: Right, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca: That's pretty much what this article is trying to sell here.

Benjamin Moses: It is funny because that is a area in the business that we forget, because we were involved in fairly advanced technologies and our daily discussions. But, the transition from manual equipment to CNC is a fairly big step for a lot of small businesses. They've developed a process or product that's very innovative. They've tinkered around with it, whatever equipment they had. And now, they're trying to scale up to meet production needs.

Stephen LaMarca: Yeah. I think the article also helps to emphasize the importance of the aftermarket manufacturers to both the consumer and auto racing markets and customers that if... Sure, you might not need to make a whole lot of parts now. But, what if your part really does blow up-

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: ... in the good way and become popular? How are you going to keep up? In some cases, it's rare. But in some cases, aftermarket parts do become OEM for future generations or model car. It's not unheard of. It can be done. The only way that manufacturer, a small manufacturer, can do that is scale up or sell your IP.

Benjamin Moses: All right. The article also covers a couple of key elements on multi-axis. So, it talks about adding another axis and also it's related to fixturing.

Stephen LaMarca: Right.

Benjamin Moses: So in prep for this meeting, Steve and I were talking about the illustrations that are shown here. In some cases, it's porting some of the cylinder head or the valve on the valve access.

Stephen LaMarca: Written in Polish.

Benjamin Moses: That's a critical feature, but also the benefit of these multi-axis sections or add-ons was deburring and chamfering. Right? So if I got this very expensive part and I take it off and I have to manually deburr it, that's a lot of risk you're putting on the operator. Having scrapped parts like that before, because I accidentally scratch a ceiling surface or if I drop it or if I mishandle it, or if I do something inconsequentially wrong but does become a problem, it's a lot of risk in having the machine do those kinds of features. It takes a lot of stress off the operator.

Stephen LaMarca: Right, right. The operator shouldn't have to do more than one thing.

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: They should just be monitoring the machine because they've got a huge burden on them to make sure that machine is performing. It's doing what it's supposed to be doing. The operator is involved a lot with making micro adjustments as the production process is going on.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: If they're distracted by doing something that is hand work-

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: Human work in general is not 100% repeatable the way machine work is. It's different every time. So, is that manual deburring going to be the same every time? No. It's certainly not going to be the same and may even scrap apart a good, expensive part and expensive material if they're distracted by the machine doing something different and our alarm going off. There's a reason why there's only one Mona Lisa and da Vinci didn't come out with a batch of them-

Benjamin Moses: Sure.

Stephen LaMarca: ... because it can't be done.

Benjamin Moses: Right.

Stephen LaMarca: That kind of work, that artisan or that craftsmanship, isn't as repeatable as some people would like to think. You have to take those things in consideration.

Benjamin Moses: The connection, that was the fixturing that they have on some of these illustrations. They talked about being able to switch your parts over quickly. I think the two are fairly related, right? So being able to fixture for either quick changes or a variety of different parts is fairly important and it helps your production line, but also talking about connecting your fixturing to your access capability so you can do other stuff or free up your operator to do stuff that's valuable to the organization. So, it's a really good article. Steve, I'm glad you found it. I'm glad we got to talk about engines. We don't talk about engines enough in our daily lives.

Stephen LaMarca: Sure. I'm glad we have a new article provider on Tech Trends.

Benjamin Moses: Yes, yes.

Stephen LaMarca: It was really pleasant to see that.

Benjamin Moses: The article that I've got is actually a research paper out of Japan. It talks about on-machine and in-process surface metrology for precision manufacturing. In last week's tech report, I also talked about in-machine metrology, surface metrology on grinding equipment, and the challenges that are for that specific machine about environmental conditions. You've got lubricants. You've got rough surfaces. The article talked about some of the challenges that they overcame to be able to measure in-machine. This research paper actually takes a little bit different approach. So, it does talk about the different techniques that are available to do in-machine metrology, surface inspection, some lasers and pherometers, things like that. But, my big takeaway is towards the back of the paper. So, it does talk about the importance of quality control. But also, it talks about the requirements of tasks and tasks of on-machine and in-process metrology, so what can be done and what is feasible and the type of things that can be done. But, the big takeaway is the calibration and traceability. So now, we're marrying the metrology world and the manufacturing, or subtractive manufacturing world. You've got to combine some of those different philosophies. Of course, in quality, you've got equipment that you could trace back to some kind of standard and the frequency of how often you've calibrated that equipment. So, that's a fairly big takeaway here. Sure, you can do an in-process or on-machine inspection. But, what are the traceabilities and how often do you calibrate that machine or that element of the machine? That's one of the key takeaways from the research papers. There's always air built in the machine, how are we compensating for the machine. But, the individual elements that are using for quality control, how do you calibrate those different elements and how do you trace those elements back to a standard?

Stephen LaMarca: Right.

Benjamin Moses: Also, an interesting thing, they talked about dataflow since you are inspecting this equipment. This research was done last year, so it talks about how to... Some strategies on collecting this data and also sampling strategy. Do you have to measure every single part or some best practices? So, it does cover a fairly big gamut of quality, basically quality infrastructure on machines. So, I thought it was fairly good research paper. It does get into a little bit of closed loop feedback manufacturing, which that's interesting in a whole big bucket unto itself. I'd rather just not get into that at that point because that research paper was pretty long. Getting to section four, if you guys get into it, I highly recommend skipping to that section and reading over the calibration traceability and dataflows and sample strategies. It was really good.

Stephen LaMarca: Awesome.

Benjamin Moses: Yes. Well, Steve, this is a really good episode. I'm glad we're able to talk about firearms and-

Stephen LaMarca: Heck yes.

Benjamin Moses: ... advancements in the additive and some machines,-

Stephen LaMarca: Engine building.

Benjamin Moses: ... engine building, on-machine inspection.

Stephen LaMarca: Listen, man, one of my favorite things about this industry is that all passions, whatever hobby you have, it all leads back to manufacturing in some way.

Benjamin Moses: That's spot on. I like that.

Stephen LaMarca: Heck yes.

Benjamin Moses: Well, thanks very much. Well, Steve, where can they find more info about us?

Stephen LaMarca: You can find more info on us at amtnews.org. Subscribe to us, please.

Benjamin Moses: Please. All right. Take care, everyone. Bye.

Stephen LaMarca: Bye.

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