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For a maker of things, it’s completely natural to think in terms of shape, to remember shapes made before and to dream of the shape of things to come. The trouble is that we name our parts with descriptive language and complicated numbering conventions that attempt to describe shapes but don’t do it very well. […]READ MORE
We honor the craftsmen among us — the ones that bring product designs to life — because without them our world would not be what it is today. The role of the skilled craftsman has lost its stature as manufacturing has become a smaller part of the American economy and tradition. While our economy has […]READ MORE
“Reinventing the wheel” seems to be a common and universally disparaged practice in industry today. The reference suggests that employees or departments waste time and resources creating a product or a process that has been created before and that works just fine. But what if there were a logical — if unfortunate — reason why […]READ MORE
“Tribal knowledge” is a term that gets used frequently in today’s manufacturing world, and almost always in a negative sense. At Machine Research, we actually think that tribal knowledge is a great thing; in fact, it’s often the foundation of many of today’s best manufacturing companies. It represents the trade secrets, unique processes, and cumulative contributions […]READ MORE
Cloud computing and cloud services are taking the communications and financial worlds by storm, but not so much the world of manufacturing. There are good reasons for this, including the need for non-disclosure of proprietary product information, security concerns, web access speed, and a lack of applications designed to help manufacturers. Legacy systems are deeply […]READ MORE
Over the last 30 years, the world of manufacturing has become dramatically less vertically integrated and much more specialized. While many more components are subcontracted to experts with a specific manufacturing process expertise or technology rather than being made under one roof by the product developer, the system works because product data are communicated through […]READ MORE
Futurists predict that near the year 2040, artificial intelligence will eclipse human intelligence, ushering in the era of “the singularity”. Deep Blue — the computer program that began beating humans at chess — and Watson — the computer that can beat the best human players at the television game show Jeopardy! —are just the beginning, […]READ MORE
In the distant future, machines will make everything completely automatically. Machines will program themselves, factories will run without much human involvement, and robots will assemble products while we mortals will enjoy the benefits of a much better world. At the heart of that future condition will be the human knowledge about how to make things […]READ MORE