Production Machining

OCT 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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Whenever you nd yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reect. — Mark Twain hen I was young, I was very much a follower, trying to conform to what the popular crowd was doing. I'm sure this is hard to believe, but I wasn't the most popular kid in school, and I had to work hard to t in. I was an awkward looking kid who didn't have the trendy toys and clothes, so people were not immediately drawn to me. For some reason, my good grades didn't matter much to the other kids; in fact they seemed a bit put o• by them. Instead, I attempted to earn respect either in sports or by being a class clown. I think what bothers me most today about those child- hood experiences is that strong desire I had to be similar to or t in with the others. I don't know why I couldn't be satised with being myself and doing things that I wanted to do and was already good at. As it turned out, I did manage to nd my way into the fringe of the "cool- kid" group, but I'm not convinced that was the best thing for me. It seemed to make life a little easier back then, but it didn't really teach me to think for myself. I faced a constant internal struggle between doing what made me happy and doing what my friends wanted me to do. To this day, I still often fall back into the comfort zone of conformance, although it's much easier for me to see that this approach is not always best. While it's important to pay attention to our peers, learn from their successes and failures, and sometimes emulate what works for them, we also need to think for ourselves and be creative in nding what works for us as individuals. Investors who aren't afraid to fail often nd the greatest nancial gains (think Donald Trump). People and compa- nies who go out on a limb and try new things are the ones who advance technology. Where would we be today without the contributions of creative geniuses such as Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein, whose lists of inventions may include numerous ˆops, yet they weren't afraid to continue forward, eventually providing some of the most inˆuential developments of all time. We don't need to think and act on such a grand scale to still have an immense e•ect on our own lives. I've been in Think for Yourself If e allo ourselves to think freely and act on our knoledge, e can do some amazing things. CHRIS FELIX Senior Editor cfelix@productionmachining.com a good number of shops through the years that have devel- oped specic pieces of equipment, tooling or automa- tion that have substantially boosted their own production eŠciency, having a signicant impact on their bottom lines. Some have even gone on to market their develop- ments for additional prots. Our feature article this month about material handling (page 30) is contributed by Al Youngwerth. Mr. Youngwerth is a bit of an inventor himself with a passion for developing industry-disruptive, high-value products that improve existing processes. I wrote about Mr. Youngwerth's current company, VersaBuilt, a couple of years ago. "e company was born from a need of its parent company (Rekluse) for the devel- opment of products that alleviate personnel challenges created by large swings in production demand throughout the course of each year. Rekluse (also founded by Mr. Youngwerth) is a manufacturer of aftermarket motorcycle clutch components, and its business can vary greatly from month to month, based on weather and its e•ect on the activity of riders. Mr. Youngwerth saw robotics as a solution and devel- oped a system that reduced labor cost at Rekluse by 65 percent, resolving the recurring issue of temporary employee placement. Seeing the e•ectiveness of the system in his own organization and realizing it could be applied equally well in other shops, he eventually created a separate company to build and market the product. "e goal of VersaBuilt is to bring innovation to CNC manufacturing through advanced robotics, providing automation in applications where it previously could not be placed. Mr. Youngwerth wants to provide solutions to some of manufacturing's toughest automation problems. "is month's article looks at how his company has addressed high-mix, low-volume applications, which previously have created some of automation's biggest challenges. Creativity starts from within. If we allow ourselves to think freely and act on our knowledge, we can do some amazing things. MY TU R N 8 PRODUCTION MCHINING :: OCTOBER 2018

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