Click image to enlarge

Wednesday, October 12 is a day that will stay with me for many years.

Why? It was the day Shop Metalworking Technology's web site was set to go live.

It was also the day that email and text messages on Blackberry devices in North America stopped functioning and I lost internet and phone service. I was dumbfounded and temporarily shocked by my lack of ability to complete the task at hand.

Like many who experienced sudden digital technology losses, I realized how dependent I was on technology and how without it, I could do very little.

It also made me think of the smart technology that many manufacturers are now incorporating into their operations - e.g. MT Connect/Partners in THINC machine-to-machine communication, remote machine monitoring and lights-out automation - and what impact the loss of such technologies would have on a manufacturing environment.

Aside from the obvious costly and possibly disastrous production interruptions, once we become reliant on technology to do the work for us, we tend to forget the manual steps to do the same work if that same technology fails. In short, our ability to respond to production emergencies of this nature is hindered by our dependency on the technology that does the work.

Of course, such disasters are, thankfully, rare. The point is, we should always remind ourselves that smart technology, albeit the right direction to take for manufacturers to become more competitive in the global marketplace - is smart until it's not and we should have a backup plan for when things go wrong.

As for my temporary digital technology loss, it all worked out. The little red light on my Blackberry began to flash again, my internet and telephone service came back and once again I became immersed in my work.

I applaud smart technology and over the years, I have commented about the importance of it for manufacturers. We simply need to ensure that smart technology doesn't make us stupid.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Editor, Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine

See more editorial comments from the Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine team.

 

Complex panel bending with Salvagnini PX4e

Watch the Salvagnini PX43 panel bender in action bending complex parts.

Ultrafast Lasers Offer Great Promise as a Unique Manufacturing Tool

By Geoff Shannon, Amada-Miyachi America

Ultrafast or ultra-short pulse lasers offer unique material processing possibilities, because the laser’s pulse duration is less than the target material’s conduction time. Essentially this means that cold machining of parts is possible–with material being removed by sublimation.

Cobot for the machine tool industry

iAssist is the first of its kind autonomous and collaborative robot designed especially for the machine-tool industry. The solution is a collaborative initiative between Kuka and Makino.

CANWELD 2017

Canada’s premier annual event for welding, metal fabricating and finishing 

CanWeld Expo & Conference 2018

A national event for welding and fabricating

Nozzle changer benefits

by Stefan Colle

Set up your laser machine to reduce piercing times and increase throughput

The power of a brand

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose 

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

High speed machining on an Okuma five axis machine

Watch how an Okuma five axis machine handles high speed machining.

The sky's the limit

Finding opportunity in Canada’s aerospace industry

by Tim Wilson

As Canadian job shops read the sobering tea leaves on the ups and downs of the manufacturing sector, here are some stats that might make them tipsy: in the next twenty years the big aircraft manufacturers are expecting $4 trillion in global orders from 34,000 new aircraft.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn