What’s In a Day’s Work at Standby Screw?

Horizontal_milling_machine--Cincinnati--early_1900s--001Sometimes, we at Standby Screw, have to take a minute to stand back and realize how incredible the machines are that we work with. Each machine has a special purpose and operation, all of which benefit the consumer in the end!

Here are some quick facts about the amount of parts our machines produce in a day:

-It takes about an average of 12 seconds per piece to be manufactured throughout the shop. Some machines operate much faster than others.

-This means that 300 pieces are manufactured per hour per machine.  We have about 50 primary machines.

When you do the math…

-300 pieces/hr. x 24 hours x 50 primary machines = 360,000 parts produced per day!

Have a question about a certain machine and the products it makes? Ask us, today!

 

The Capabilities of Baxter

cornell-baxter-robot-2You might have heard about our new friend Baxter—the interactive production robot that is assisting us at Standby Screw. Let’s get down to it—what can Baxter do and what makes him so special?!

He’s safe. Baxter doesn’t like to be caged up and luckily, you won’t have to! He doesn’t take up much space and can work safely and productively next to anyone on the floor in our warehouse!

He’s well-trained. There is no need to further program Baxter. He’s ready to be trained by in-house staff, reducing the time and cost of third party programmers.

He’s flexible. Need Baxter to learn a new capability? He can do it. A little re-purposing is nothing for a robot like Baxter who can speed up the ROI process to less than one year.

He’s careful. Baxter’s arms and force detection allow him to pick up, place, and guide pieces just as carefully as a human would. He’s very polite to be so careful.

The next time you need kitting, packaging, loading, unloading, machine tending, or material handling done, give Baxter a try. We’ve even had guest blogs on how easy it is to work alongside him. He’s worth every penny!

Happy to be a ‘Part’ of Troy-Bilt’s Modular Motor

Photo credit: Gizmodo
Photo credit: Gizmodo

At Standby Screw, we are proud to be manufacturing parts for the new Troy-Bilt modular outdoor power equipment system! Gizmodo refers to this new system as “a Transformer for your yard,” and to be a part of this equipment is truly a cool experience.

How does the equipment system transform? For starters, you can transform a lawn mower into a snow thrower, a pressure washer, or leaf blower in just 2 seconds. This machine represents innovation at its finest.

No room in the shed for a blower, mower, and power washer? Troy-Bilt’s flexible system has four pieces of outdoor power equipment that run off the same engine. That means only one engine to maintain for your snow blower, lawn mower, leaf blower, and pressure washer. Called the Troy-Bilt FLEX, the system will be available at Lowe’s in March.

What’s even better is that the machine is affordable, easy-to-use, versatile, and powerful. What more could you want from outdoor power equipment? For more details on this state-of-the-art machine, check out Gizmodo’s feature.

Humans Working Alongside Robots, a guest blog by Pamela Kidd

For the first time in the United States, robots are working alongside human employees in small offices and factories, changing the way factories think about and use robots on a daily basis.

Meet Baxter, a small collaborative robot currently helping small factories with their workload across the United States—and yes, it makes faces. Baxter is equipped with a computer screen face that displays a pair of eyes that are able to express different emotions. In fact, if a human co-worker sneaks up behind or randomly moves in front of Baxter, the robot registers that something has invaded its “personal space” and is able to look surprised.

ROBOTSThis interactive ability is what makes Baxter a collaborative robot. It is able to acknowledge other employees, adapt to their needs, and safely work alongside them in a small environment. This is huge change from the robots to which factories in the United States have become accustomed. Robots have been working in factories for years, but they are usually much larger, more dangerous, and typically only serve one purpose. Small collaborative robots, like Baxter, are redefining the term.

According to the Wall Street Journal, collaborative robots are working their way into factories across the United States, primarily due to their ability to decrease production time and reduce labor costs. They make it possible for human workers to move on to more important jobs in their company. In fact, some workers are now managing the robots that are performing the same tasks they used to do.

Panek Precision Incorporated, a precision machine shop in Northbrook, IL already has 21 robots like Baxter. The company has experienced such great success with them that it plans to add up to 14 more by the end of next year. Standby Screw also recently added a Baxter to its team because it is safe, efficient and can be manually trained to do multiple jobs in a given period.

Collaborative robots don’t just benefit the companies that use them; the companies that manufacture their component parts are also enjoying an increase in business. Precision machining companies like Lampin Corporation in Uxbridge, MA who are manufacturing – with the requisite tight tolerances – the gearboxes, shafts and pulleys required by these new robots, should reap huge benefits as the sector grows.

Between the businesses that are using the robots and the ones that are making the parts, these small robots are impacting the American economy in a big way. Currently, the only thing holding these robots back is the fear of change, which is sure to hinder more skeptical companies in the long run.

Introducing…Baxter!

baxter-thumb1If you haven’t guessed it already from our clues, we at Standby Screw just welcomed a new member to the team, Baxter!

Baxter is redefining the way robots can be used in a manufacturing environment like ours. What’s great about Baxter is that he performs tasks safely, efficiently, and gets along well with people!

Here are some other qualities to Baxter’s “personality” that we can’t wait to work with:

-Baxter can be trained manually by line workers with no programming required

-Baxter won’t invade your work space—he cooperates well directly next to workers

-Baxter knows what you want and does everything you expect

Want to get to know Baxter better? Visit his page!

Machine Spotlight: Centerless Grinders

Photo from Tohshin-Inc.
Photo from Tohshin-Inc.

Centerless grinding is a machining process that removes material from a workpiece with abrasive cutting. Do you know the difference between centerless and centered grinding?

Centerless grinding does not use a spindle or fixture to locate and secure the workpiece. Instead the workpiece is secured between two rotary grinding wheels, where the speed of rotation determines the rate at which material is removed from the workpiece itself.

This type of grinding is generally favorable because it is efficient and time and cost-saving.

There are three forms of centerless grinding: Through-feed, end-feed, and in-feed.

What do you use centerless grinding machines for?

Machine Spotlight: Broaching

135162095What is broaching?
Broaching is a machining process that uses a broach, a toothed tool, to remove material. This can happen with a linear broach or a rotary broach, however linear broaches are more common and used in broaching machines.

When is broaching used?
When precision-machining is required or when odd shapes need to be created, broaching is used for high-quality production.

What does a broach look like?
A broach resembles a saw and contains three sections: one for roughing; one for semi-finishing; and one for finishing. Because all of these sections are built into the broach, no complex or skilled labor is required to use the machine.

When does broaching work best?
Softer materials are more conducive for the broaching process. These materials include: brass, copper alloys, bronze, aluminum, hard rubbers, wood, plastic, composites, and more.

 

What do you use the broaching machining process for?

Machine Spotlight: Hobbing

Have you ever heard of “hobbing?” This process is very important to us at Standby Screw as it is most well-known for cutting gears. It is an accurate and relatively inexpensive cutting process. Here’s what else this process and the hobbing machine can accomplish:

Hobbing_machine

-Cutting Splines

-Cutting Sprockets

-Creates Spur & Helical Gears

 

Today, these machines are referred to as “hobbers” and are fully-automated and come in different sizes because they can produce anything from tiny to very large gears.

Machine Spotlight: Marand Spline Roller

Photo Credit: Anderson-Cook
Photo Credit: Anderson-Cook

Let’s start with the basic question you may be asking yourself before you read about this machine: What exactly is spline rolling?

Spline rolling is an efficient, cost and time-saving process for generating complex geometric shapes into metal parts.

The process utilizes paired racks mounted into the spline rolling machine and “rolls” the complex shapes into cold, metal parts. The best part about the process? It takes no more than 15 seconds to produce parts.

Want to know more about these different spline rolling machines? Visit Anderson-Cook, here.

Machine Spotlight: CNC Lathes

Photo Provided By: Hurco
Photo Provided By: Hurco

The goal in using CNC lathes is to maximize customer profitability and this is done through the advanced technology that allows you to choose the best programming method for each individual job.

The general purpose of these turning centers is to provide an easy transition from manual turning and milling and the latest technology has allowed for these machines to go above and beyond that standard.

The latest models have a larger memory capacity, a faster processor, and more efficient controls that will get you from print to part much faster.

To check out some of the latest technological breakthroughs with these machines, visit Hurco’s site.