One networking equipment manufacturer found itself running into a (fire)wall as it fielded a team of human operators for heat sink assembly. Using a Bright Machines Microfactory it re-imagined and re-energized manufacturing processes.Read More
If you’ve been managing a factory floor, you have likely learned the hard way that assembly automation can come at a price: unscheduled downtime. Whether it’s due to malfunctions, making small process changes that turn into big redesigns, or the time-consuming process of reconfiguring a machine…
The way products have been manufactured has evolved significantly over the past decades. Today, most are built in large factories in low-cost regions, primarily in Asia but also increasingly in eastern Europe and South America.
All around us – in our homes, in our cars and in our hands – products are getting smarter. They interact with us – respond to our touch and our voice and adapt to our needs. They are responsive, flexible and intelligent.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about many of the factories that make these products.
The ability to predict the future is a popular theme in science fiction movies. When presented with the foresight of an imminent accident or catastrophe, a film’s hero will take necessary actions to prevent the undesirable outcome and the benefactors of this action predictably applaud this superhuman power. In the real world, however, the ability to predict the future is met with justified skepticism.
I recently sat down with ex-CEO, Bright Machines board member and all-around manufacturing enthusiast, Carl Bass, for a conversation about industry reality and hype, and of course factory automation. As a fellow skier, I couldn’t resist a question about this topic too!
I recently sat down with ex-CEO, Bright Machines board member and all-around manufacturing enthusiast, Carl Bass, for a conversation about industry reality and hype, and of course factory automation.
We started Bright Machines with our eyes on a tremendous opportunity to change manufacturing for the better. Despite the introduction of automation to factories 30 years ago, fixed hardware investments have greatly limited flexibility and scalability in the factory, and automation’s true potential has yet to be unlocked.
The manufacturing industry has been a relentless adopter of software over the years, pioneering CAD/CAM/PLM systems, ERP solutions and a host of other technologies deployed to get competitive advantage. Their factories, however, turned mostly to lower-cost labor markets to create capacity and new capabilities.
The User Experience (UX) discipline in the technology sector has evolved rapidly over the last two decades and we’ve all witnessed the changes. For example, the transition from button-based phones and keyboard-only interfaces to increasingly powerful yet easy-to-use, touch-based smartphones and tablets.
Companies looking to automate their existing manual processes are typically faced with multiple challenges, from the technical aspects of preparing for this type of deployment, to the internal pushback from an operations team who are already overburdened with their current day jobs.