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Get Smart(er) While You Watch

Smart(er) Shop, a new IMTS+ show brought to you by Autodesk, provides affordable digital solutions to chronic analog shop floor problems – in 10 minutes or less!
Jul 06, 2022

Dust collection, compressed air, and hoppers. They’re essential components of modern manufacturing shops. But what happens when they overflow, malfunction, or run dry? Operations cease. Workpieces are scraped. Everyone loses time and money. It’s time to do something smarter!

Smart(er) Shop, brought to you by Autodesk, is a new IMTS+ show addressing analog shop floor problems by applying affordable, easy-to-install digital solutions. In season one, host Ryan Kelly, General Manager of AMT’s San Francisco Tech Lab, is joined by Adam Allard, Senior Manager, Technical Environments for Autodesk, at their Boston Technology Center.

In less than 10 minutes per episode, Adam and his team deliver smart shop solutions that can be applied now. These solutions don’t require months of meetings, blueprints, big budgets, coding experience, or an engineering degree. With just a few hundred dollars and a few hours, you can make your shop smarter.

“We wanted to find things that we could do NOW to help shops integrate technology. We focused on what matters most to real shops: time and money,” Ryan explained. 

Ryan and Adam discuss compressed air drops at the Autodesk  technology center in Boston during smarter shop filming

Adam added, “I spent more than 20 years as an independent machine shop owner before coming to Autodesk, so I know exactly how frustrating, time consuming, and costly it can be when things go wrong. We want to use technology to make systems more reliable and easier to manage.” 

In episode 1: Dust Collection, Adam’s team tackles the messy problem of material removal. In the Technology Center’s woodshop, they had a major overflow of their dust collection system. When the dust cleared, they implemented a simple monitoring system with an edge device to tell them when their collection bins need to be emptied! 

When an air hose goes rogue—whipping around the shop—it’s not only dangerous, but also costly. Many shop applications utilize compressed air, but if one of the hoses malfunctions, the entire system has to be shut down for a repair. Episode 2: Air Compressor presents an easy solution to monitor usage and ensure that the system isn’t overtaxed, receives regular maintenance, and can be shut down remotely if something goes wrong. No more hoses gone wild! 

A 2-ton piece of scrap gets your attention. When the water jet abrasive ran out during a large cut, Adam’s team at Autodesk was left with a lot of useless metal and lost time. In episode 3: Water Jet, Ryan and Adam walk through a system for monitoring a garnet hopper using a digital scale and a connected device to ensure that this essential material doesn’t run out mid-cut. 

Whether it’s harnessing air or taming liquids, each episode delivers solutions that make shops smarter!

Do you have a shop problem you’d like Smart(er) Shop to address? Or a digital solution you’d like to share? We love innovative ideas and unexpected challenges! Contact us at Content@IMTS.com

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Author
Michelle Edmonson, CEM
Vice President, Exhibitions
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