Let It Rain or Else No Chips

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Computer motherboard. Credit: Alexandre Debiève Computer motherboard. Credit: Alexandre Debiève

Industry continues to face massive shortages of computer chips and the primary producer, Taiwan, faces many unique risks compounding the shortage. One set of risks is geographical. Taiwan is an island with a subtropical climate that often incurs supply shocks for electricity and water. Without vast energy resources nor space for renewable sources, Taiwan produces roughly two-thirds of its electricity from imported coal and natural gas. During the summer months, when demand for air conditioning peaks and grid load is the highest, rolling brown outs occur that affect semiconductor fabrication facilities (examples from 1999 and 2017). More recently water has come into focus but that has also been a persistent problem for Taiwan. Oh and they also have earthquakes too. The last elephant in the room, is the geopolitical risk to the semiconductor supply chain that is getting a lot of attention in Washington. There are not a lot of options for cutting edge semiconductor technology if these risks are borne out. For now, let it rain in Taiwan.

Visual Inspection

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Assembly Line

Strategic Analytics Help Intertape Polymer Shrink Inefficiencies

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Author: Peter Fretty

Topics: cloud computing, quality assurance

Vertical: Plastics and Rubber

Organizations: Intertape Polymer Group, Sight Machine

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Read more at IndustryWeek

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Vertical: Electrical Equipment

Organizations: SICK

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Read more at Automatica Munich

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Authors: Andreas Hassold, Doug Luedtke, Doug Rogers

Topics: digital twin

Vertical: Aerospace

Organizations: Bosch Rexroth

One of the unique anomalies of aerospace manufacturing is how it transitions from automated to manual production. Many initial components are fabricated in highly automated machining or manufacturing systems. These systems are already Industry 4.0-enabled with integrated sensors and PLCs that capture and package production data for analysis and quality control.

As subassemblies are created and installed, final assembly and integration is much more manual. For example, the final tightening of thousands of fasteners on aircraft is often done with pneumatic and manual wrenches that are purely mechanical, with manual inspections and written verification on paper documents. However, aerospace manufacturers can improve this process by integrating smart, programmable tightening tools that document the amount of torque applied for each fastener and that can automatically reconfigure torque and rotation settings based on the assigned task.

Read more at Assembly Magazine

Mercury Marine builds innovative acoustic testing facility

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Author: Peter G. Lynde

Vertical: Ship and Boat

Organizations: Mercury Marine, Albert Kahn Associates

When an industry leader in the marine segment decided it needed a worthy noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) test facility — one that exceeded product development goals across a broad range of products — engineers at Mercury Marine quickly learned that designing a state-of-the-art facility to satisfy rigid acoustic noise and vibration criteria and facilitate collaboration among product development and engineering staff would not be easy.

Read more at Plant Engineering

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