Tag Archive | Marking Machines

Romeo sends several to Skills USA state contest

Romeo hosted the Regional SkillsUSA Competition on March 2 at the Romeo Engineering and Technical Center (RETC).

SkillsUSA is a national organization for those enrolled in technical, skilled, service and health occupations.

Four area schools competed in two areas: Culinary Arts and Precision Machining. Culinary Arts was broken down further into various categories. Romeo students competed in either the “Hot Side” or “Baking” categories.

All students in the “Hot Side” category prepared the same menu: rice pilaf, glazed carrots and bread pudding. Judges from area businesses, restaurant owners and those in the culinary arts industry volunteered their hours to help.

“Hot Side” judges looked for creativity, sanitation, knife skills, wastefulness, proper food temperature and completion of everything on the menu.

Competitors in “Baking” prepared cranberry-orange scones, puff pastry, rolls, chocolate-dipped macaroons and also decorated a cake. Time management, sanitation, and creativity were some factors the “Baking” judges considered.

The top three students in each category will go on to the SkillsUSA State Competition on April 19-21 in Grand Rapids.

Romeo winners of the “Baking” category and going to State Competition are Linzi Hobbs, 1st place, Jessica McTaggart, 2nd place and alternate Mary Mabbitt, 4th place. Winners of the “Hot Side” category are Colton O’Neill, 3rd place and alternate Kelsey Hobbs, 4th place.

O’Neill, RHS senior, may attend Grand Valley after graduation. “I’ll always cook, but I don’t know if I’ll major in it in college.” Encouraged by her win, L. Hobbs would like to open a bakery in the future.

Chef Colleen Spiers, CC, certified culinary instructor at RETC, explained how it’s difficult to be objective in judging; judges look for different things and have different tastes.

“It’s heartbreaking if the kids don’t do well, the kids work so hard,” said Spiers.

Down the hall eight students from Romeo competed in Precision Machining. Only the top scorer in each of four categories: Overall, Bench, Lathe and Mill will advance to the State Competition.

Each student rotated between different stations such as the mill, bench or lathe or took written tests checking general knowledge, shop math, blueprint reading and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) programming.

“Precision Machining is the longest category in the SkillsUSA competition. We’re the first to start and last to finish. It’s a long, grueling day,” said Guy Hart, Machine Trades & CNC instructor at RETC.

Machining students moving on to this year’s State Competition include senior John Reiter, who accumulated the most points and was awarded 1st place Overall; Kevin Jacobs, first place in Lathe; Devone Reese, first place in Bench and alternate Bruce Wright Jr., second place in Mill.

Fourteen judges from area machining-related businesses, industry and past competitors volunteered their time to help at this year’s competition.

Hart had high hopes for Romeo students to move on to the next level of competition. He explained since 2005 the state champion came out of this region and was pleased with his students’ results this day. “I am proud as always,” said Hart.


Chris Anderson on DIY Manufacturing

You open Makers with a story of your maternal grandfather’s automatic sprinkler system invention in the 1940s. You later argue that if he had been born in 1998 rather than 1898, he would have been an entrepreneur rather than just an inventor. What challenges did he face, and what conditions have changed that would make his experience so different today?

That story washed over me as I was writing the book. I was taken back to my summers with my grandfather, reflecting on his world and mine. He was a Swiss immigrant who had come to Hollywood. He worked in a studio during the day and was an inventor at night. He was quite skilled. He was a machinist, he had a workshop, he had all sorts of metalworking equipment, so he was able to take his ideas from the mechanical drafting table to a prototype. But then at that point, he didn’t know what else to do. He didn’t know how to bring it to market and neither did most people.

It was hard; you needed to have a factory and distribution and all those other skills. He did what you had to do in those days, which was patent it and then try to find someone to license it. He was lucky and was able to find a company to license it. Eventually that company released the product, which was very successful, and our very small family fortune came out of that. The point was that he was an inventor, but he could not become an entrepreneur because those additional steps of mass production, distribution, marketing, et cetera, were essentially inaccessible in those days. All you could do was patent, license and hope for the best. You had to lose control of your invention. You had to hand it off to somebody else. He was a happy man and one of the rare, successful inventors of that era, but I wanted to be an entrepreneur, so I didn’t follow his path. I also didn’t have machine skills, so I really couldn’t do that.

What is the Maker Movement, which you mentioned?

The Maker Movement is the web generation meets the real world. It is all of these community and collaboration and innovation models of the web but applied to physical things. There’s a number of enabling elements. One of them is the fact that we now have desktop digital fabrication tools which are cheap and easy and accessible. These are things like 3D printers and laser cutters. You can buy a sewing machine from Sears, a relatively mid-range one, which is probably computer controlled…. Those used to be sophisticated industrial tools, and they are now the sort of thing that you can buy at Sears. What that means is that the web generation whose instinct is to start their ideas on screen now has an easy way to turn them into a physical object. You don’t need skills because the machine does all the work. You just treat it like the printer on your desktop. It’s getting increasingly easy to just push a button, and then out it comes.

Second is that access to manufacturing, access to factories and mass production, is now also increasingly easy. It has basically turned into a web service, and there are services like Alibaba, even high-end 3D printing and laser-cutting services … that are all just a click away. Those ideas started on screen, [and they] can just be uploaded into the cloud and produced at any scale. You can make one, or you can make 10,000. It’s simply a matter of clicking the right service, clicking the right buttons and then entering your credit card. It’s a little bit like photo printing software that you have on your desktop.

The third thing that really defines this is the notion of community. One of the things that characterizes the web generation is the instinct to do things in public, the instinct to share, the instinct to collaborate with people who you don’t know, the instinct to apply [invention creation and production] to physical things … that need to be produced and sold. [It] is an innovation model that traditional manufacturing typically doesn’t have. When you see the web generation do it, it connects everything from Kickstarter and Etsy to more niche communities like the one that I run focused on drones and aerial robotics.

Complete automotive part traceability with Cognex DataMan barcode readers

Marks Pryor, founded in 1998, specialises in providing solutions and overall marking tools such as Pryor Steel Types, Punches, Automatic Numbering Heads, Engraved Packaging Types, Logotype Marking Dies and Dot Marking Machines. Headquartered in Pune, India, its worldwide presence widely caters to diverse industry segments such as automotive, general engineering, defence and aerospace.

The automotive industry requires complete traceability of each part, for which safety and quality control has an integral part to play. One of the valued customers of Marks Pryor needed a promising and effective traceability solution to guarantee the quality of a new value added component as well as be able to trace the product from cradle to grave.

Marks Pryor’s need to ensure accurate identification led them toward Cognex image-based ID readers. The DataMan fixed-position reader could not only cope with their high-volume production but also ensured the whole installation process during the specified time. The technical support by Cognex provided them on time installation with no time wasted.

DataMan offers flexible features like automated variable focus technology, C-Mount lens options, various trigger modes and custom data formatting. The DataMan achieves high read rates, due to patented decoding algorithms, to perfectly meet the needed requirements of 6 Sigma read rates or 99.997%. The decoding time of a scanned image is as fast as two milliseconds.

DataMan is self-contained with decoding, power, communication and I/O capabilities all in a small form; making it capable of expanding the entire system’s capacity. Moreover, it is also easy to integrate DataMan ID readers directly to the factory network with the Cognex Connect suite of supported Industrial Protocols, which means there is no need for a PC between the reader and the factory network. This communication allows for complete traceability of the part throughout its supply chain.

At a marking station, the operator loads the cam shaft onto the fixture. After giving a print command, the cam shaft housing moves beneath the marking head. The machine then marks the Data Matrix code on the face of the part. Once marked, the housing is moved under the fixed-mount image-based code reader where the code is read by the DataMan reader and the data is sent directly to the server via Ethernet.

The main goal is to achieve highest standard of quality and reduce costs, which is possible by using the DataMan ID reader. Reliable reading also ensures complete traceability of the product’s lifecycle from its inception till the end of its life.

The VoiceBase API extends the company’s low-cost, high-speed voice indexing service to telecom and conferencing service providers, making it easy for providers to securely upload recordings and receive time-aligned, machine-generated transcripts with high-value keywords automatically identified.

The company’s patent-pending algorithm used to deliver extracted knowledge from any meeting or event serves to facilitate the exploration of the content, while effectively providing users with a personal note taker.

“Self-learning and predictive services are the future. One of the first steps to creating that vision is being able to search, discover and categorize content efficiently,” according to Maribel Lopez, Founder and Principal Analyst of Lopez Research.