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Automating low volume/high mix lathe work.

bryan_machine

Diamond
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Location
Near Seattle
Well, management may have optimistic stretch goals, but that's often a good thing for management. And it sure seems like the machines they picked are reasonable candidates to at least head towards those goals....

I"ve never read or heard anything bad about capto...

As for economists, the good ones keep studying, and a fairly recent observation goes like this:
a. If you take all of manufacturing productivity for the US economy as a whole, you get a particular pretty good result.
b. The problem is this includes the semiconductor industry, which is a once in all of history weird special thing.
c. If you take away semiconductors and consider just "the rest" of mfg, you find productivity is indeed growing, but more or less in line with the rest of the economy but see later....
d. In many (nearly all?) fields, firms have outsourced the low value high human time work. Which means the work that is left in the US (and what counts in GDP, measurements of productivity, and so forth) is the high value and sometimes very high effective productivity work. This makes the numbers look much better because the numbers that count, are for the really strong parts of the enterprize, while the numbers that aren't counted are the activites that are still a slog, and they're done in China/Vietnam/etc.

There is some contradiction in this - you'd expect tool&die and mold making to stay in the US (one good mold makes enourmous numbers of good parts, so good mold makers have very high end result productivity), while running the tools and molds would go elsewhere.... But my impression is that this is not so..... (Maybe I'm misinformed....)


Is "automation" a thing? You've noticed all the CNC machines in the world, right... Is it coming to take *all* of the jobs? Probably not...
 

Tonytn36

Diamond
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Location
Southeastern US
Is "automation" a thing? You've noticed all the CNC machines in the world, right... Is it coming to take *all* of the jobs? Probably not...

Yes, automation is a thing. Labor is still the biggest target to shoot at for a US manufacturer. In my world, that portion of the direct manufacturing cost pie vs all other direct costs excluding raw material is still (by far) the largest and that is with almost a completely automated process.
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
But they read it in an article at the dentist's office ! Automation is taking over, there won't be any jobs for manual workers anymore ! It's the wave of the future ! :D

(And has been since 1970 that I know of. Probably even earlier.)

It's kinda funny ... you hear that crap from the academics (mostly so-called economists) and then compare it to the real world remarks from people who do it.

Big difference :)

It sort of has taken over.
A engine or transmission plant that in the 70s would have employed a few thousand is now maybe 500 or less.
Not that it can eliminate all jobs but I think that is a difference.
Once upon a time all semi-conductor wire bonding "over there" was a manual operation under a microscope. I visited many literally football size floors stuffed full of people 24 hours a day in the far east.
Then along came machine vision.
There is a mental downside in the automation stuff when you meet and visit with these people and realize that you are going to make 1000's unemployed.
One makes good friends who welcome you with open arms but you know you are going to cut off their lifeline.
Bob
 

bryan_machine

Diamond
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Location
Near Seattle
Labor will always be a big target to shoot at, in part because as most everything else becomes cheaper, labor doesn't, so it's share of the cost burden tends to rise as automated processes cost less and less.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
It sort of has taken over.
A engine or transmission plant that in the 70s would have employed a few thousand is now maybe 500 or less.
Automobiles are probably the only thing left in the US with production numbers that big. Even then, why did they shitcan Oldsmobile ? If automation is so cool, why couldn't they keep low numbers of cars sold viable ? Automation is so groovy, they should be able to make three pieces economically.

Now that most of the mass-produced stuff has left the US, the "automation" everyone fears is going to have to do 50 pieces, 30 pieces, 200 pieces, 10 pieces and change over immediately from a honkin' big iron casting to delicate little aluminum parts out of solid, from drilling customized bowling balls to making good crankpins for knuckleheads. All in one day.

yeah right.

(You can't get decent Harley parts these days, nobody wants to make them in the US, "not enough prooofit in it ... even fucking S&S has stuff made overseas now. So I guess automation hasn't worked out all that well after all, cuz the shops in China making that stuff are not automated.)

People are cheaper and better at small lot production. If automation does eliminate those jobs, it will be because there weren't enough people.

Tonytn mentioned that the automakers (high volume) have the goal of replacing people. That's because this society is a piece of shit. The people at the top are shitheads and the people buying are shitheads. It's shit, top to bottom. Nobody gives a crap about the world, all they care about is themselves.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

You know, people are very bad at predicting the future. But looking at the fucking mess we are making of the world that sustains us, it's quite possible that automation is not the future at all. It's quite possible that if the species makes it at all, it'll be something different ...

vermont unautomated
 

Gobo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Location
Oregon, USA
[Tonytn mentioned that the automakers (high volume) have the goal of replacing people. That's because this society is a piece of shit. The people at the top are shitheads and the people buying are shitheads. It's shit, top to bottom. Nobody gives a crap about the world, all they care about is themselves.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.]

It is called capitalism.
 

Tonytn36

Diamond
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Location
Southeastern US
It is called capitalism.

In the case of the automotive sector, it also has a lot to do with things that have happened to the labor pool over the last 100 years or so. There is a lot of back history one needs to read up on and then one needs to look at what the current state of affairs is - labor wise. One really has to experience it in person to understand it.
 

Gobo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Location
Oregon, USA
In the case of the automotive sector, it also has a lot to do with things that have happened to the labor pool over the last 100 years or so. There is a lot of back history one needs to read up on and then one needs to look at what the current state of affairs is - labor wise. One really has to experience it in person to understand it.

I have been in this industry since 1978. Every company I have worked for has had difficulty finding skilled people for the floor. That lack of skilled labor is forcing automation. Kind of sad, lots of jobs, no workers to fill them.
 

bryan_machine

Diamond
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Location
Near Seattle
More people have been killed by the swords of communism than by those of capitalism.

Everything alive - human or firm - faces selection pressures - resource limits - and the brutal signals of reality. Communism tried to ignore those signals and did not survive.

The auto makers who don't cut costs or improve product or both simply disappear over time - the history of the industry is largely a list of failures.

In the modern era anybody with basic work skills (show up, pay attention, follow basic procedures) is in demand in all manner of workplaces.

And would you rather have a job where you set up, program, debug, monitor such a cell as Gobo is talking about, or do you really want to just load/unload/push the green button all day? It's worth noting that the folks in the later class of jobs seem to have a high rate of, let's call it, "distraction".
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
I have been in this industry since 1978. Every company I have worked for has had difficulty finding skilled people for the floor. That lack of skilled labor is forcing automation. Kind of sad, lots of jobs, no workers to fill them.

Nobody walks in off the street into a shop skilled. Don't care where you came from or if you have a card.
Yet the whine "we can't find skilled people".
Perhaps your "every company" is not so good or interested in teaching and developing employees?
I don't have this problem.
Bob
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
More people have been killed by the swords of communism than by those of capitalism.
Bullshit. Stupid bullshit, in fact. But off-topic.

And would you rather have a job where you set up, program, debug, monitor such a cell as Gobo is talking about, or do you really want to just load/unload/push the green button all day?
I want to push the green button all day. Then collect my money and go home to do what I like. I don't mind measuring parts and changing offsets but that's about it. Fuck this slaving your ass off for another twelve cents an hour.
 

Gobo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Location
Oregon, USA
Nobody walks in off the street into a shop skilled. Don't care where you came from or if you have a card.
Yet the whine "we can't find skilled people".
Perhaps your "every company" is not so good or interested in teaching and developing employees?
I don't have this problem.
Bob
My present employer has for many years worked closely with our community college and several of the grade schools to encourage, train and recruit local talent. We have invested heavily in training, both hands on and computer based, with mixed results. To hear someone say they have no problems finding skilled help is encouraging. Would you share some details on how you have been successful?
 

Gobo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Location
Oregon, USA
Up and running!

Well, we are up and running with our new machines. These machines are impressive. Rock solid, incredible resistance to thermal expansion, contraction. Fast and powerful. I am falling in love with the Celos controller more each day. The setup techs are world class and totally know their business. We have both of them tooled up with all capto tooling, except one station where it is not needed. We got all the cool stuff, 1000 psi coolant with chillers. APF function, servo bar feeders and gantry loaders. Luvin it!:drool5::drool5:
It was decided to use the UR 10 for simple loading and unloading of high volume plastic parts on a small vertical mill.
 

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