Saturday, July 28, 2018

The world has embraced robots; should the U.S. should follow suit?


America has long been a forerunner in other revolutions — industrial, technological and digital. But, is the United States prepared for the robotic revolution? As other countries embark on initiatives to encourage the adoption of automated technologies, Ryan Gutherie, executive vice president of six-axis and SCARA robot supplier TM Robotics, investigates America’s relationship with robots.

According to the World Robot Statistics, 74 robots per 10,000 employees is the world’s average robot density. The United States sits comfortably above this, at 189 robots per 10,000 employees. However, despite welcoming robotics to automotive production lines as early as the 1960s, the nation is still perceived as keeping automation at arm’s length.

In 2016, the country began to climb the robot density ranks and today, the United States ranks seventh in the world, behind South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Denmark. This figure has been significantly boosted by the necessary modernization of U.S. production facilities as well as a growing demand for products made in the United States. What’s more, robot sales in the country are expected to increase by at least 15 per cent per year between now and 2020. Put simply, the market is showing no signs of slowing down.

Despite the rapid uptake in automation, though, more than 70 per cent of American’s still express wariness and concern about the rise of robots in our workplaces, according to Pew Research. Perhaps they read the report by the McKinsey Global Institute stating that 73 million U.S. jobs could be under threat of automation by 2030. This sounds threatening, but is the robot revolution really such a bad thing?

Arguably not. Consider this as an example. A manufacturer that saves money on labor by using automation has two options. Lower product prices or generate more profit. Both outcomes can result in increased investment, higher demand and, in turn, more opportunity for employment.

This isn’t just theoretical. Across the pond in Europe, the SPARC research project is a partnership scheme set to increase Europe’s robotics adoptions. It’s estimated to create 240,000 new jobs on the continent as a result of implementing and maintaining automated processes.


Amazon also provides a U.S. example of this phenomenon — albeit in warehousing, rather than manufacturing. Over a three-year period, the company increased the number of robots in its storerooms from 1,400 to a colossal 45,000. During the same period, the rate at which the company hires workers did not slow down or reduce, as the company’s capacity has also increased due to automation.

Increased deployment of robotics forces a shift from manually intensive labor to jobs that require human skills that robots cannot replicate. Rather than overseeing repetitive manufacturing tasks, like the pick-and-place and assembly processes usually associated with SCARA robots, increased automation can enable workers to manage more complex roles.

America didn’t shy away from spearheading the industrial, technological, and digital revolutions. As a nation, we cannot ignore the growing implications of failing to adopt today’s robotics and automated technologies.

As a distributor of six-axis, Cartesian and SCARA robots from Toshiba Machine, TM Robotics has a vested interest in improving America’s perception of automation. Regardless, rather than fearing the rise of the robot, the United States needs to further embrace the technology or risk getting left behind in the global manufacturing race.

TM Robotics has installed thousands of robots in factories throughout the world, including North and South America, India, Russia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. In partnership with Toshiba Machine, TM Robotics is the only company that offers a comprehensive range of all three categories of robots; 6-axis, SCARA, and Cartesian. These are designed and built in-house. TM Robotics delivers solutions, training, and support services for industrial and commercial applications. For further information please visit www.tmrobotics.com

Friday, July 20, 2018

Merritt Engineering Consultants publishes its Summer eNews

Established in 1986, Merritt Engineering Consultants specializes in building restoration and structural design and has experience in fa├žade restorations, roofing and waterproofing, historic/landmark preservation, design/rehabilitations, and construction administration. Based in Bayside, NY, they handle properties throughout the United States including commercial, residential, healthcare, government, and educational facilities.

Below are two articles from their latest newsletter, which they dub the Latest News in Building Restoration.




Getting the biggest bang for your buck
              
When it comes to restoring your building, the road to cost savings may be different than you think. 
            
Building Owners and Property Managers have one thing in common with all consumers – when purchasing a product or service, they want to get the most value out of their investment. For this reason, it’s important to strategically plan when necessary repair work on your building is conducted. Say for example, you are resorting your building’s facade. To save on costs, you may opt to only do the bare minimum, patching over cracks or addressing only those items listed in your Facade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP) report.

While this approach may seem most economical, an important factor often overlooked is the fact that the cost for things like scaffolds and sidewalk bridges must be absorbed by the building owner and shareholders, regardless of how much work they opt to do. Therefore, when a board or owner tries to save money by spreading necessary repair work over several years or stages, the costs of reinstalling scaffolds, sidewalk bridges, and filing for permits year after year can really add up – making it much more costly in the end. For that reason, it is best to conduct as much of the necessary maintenance work as possible while the scaffolds and sidewalk sheds are already in place.

   
Florida 40-Year Recertification - Structural & Electrical Elements
     
In a previous issue, we touched upon the importance of completing your building's 40-Year Recertification inspection, and now we’re back to address specific filing questions.

Q: Who can perform the mandatory inspection and then file the form?
A: A Florida Registered Architect or Engineer.

Q: Which building components are the qualified professionals looking at?
A: Building Envelope and Structural elements as well electrical building systems.

Q: What are the possible classifications?
A: Either "Repairs Required", or "Safe, if no deficiencies are found.

Q: How often does an Owner have to file?
A: You have 180 days to address the deficiencies noted or, if classified as "Safe", the next inspection is due in 10 years.
 
If you would like to request a proposal, please contact the Florida team at (954) 961-0009.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

DENSO awards nearly $1 Million in STEM education grants to colleges

 DENSO, a large automotive supplier of technology and components, constantly searches for ways to increase young people’s access to technical education and help develop tomorrow’s workforce. Aiding this effort, the company’s philanthropic arm – DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) – has announced it will donate nearly $1 million in overall funding to 25 institutions of higher learning across North America to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programming. These grants help achieve DENSO’s goal of exposing students to the rewarding careers available in manufacturing and advance the industry forward by enhancing programs that will produce the next wave of highly-skilled problemsolvers.

DNAF funds will be delivered to programs focused on design, materials management, mechanical and electrical engineering principles, thermodynamics, robotics and more – all intended to help cultivate and encourage a new generation of engineers and skilled workers. “As a global technology and automotive leader, it’s vital for DENSO to advance young people’s education in engineering, technology and other related programs,” says Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of engineering at DENSO International America. “To remain competitive in this ever-evolving, hi-tech landscape calls for a workforce that is skilled, well-trained and able to adapt quickly. We feel great responsibility to prepare students for what’s next – for the health of our industry and their future careers.”

“Manufacturing and automotive companies need technically-minded associates now more than ever,” says David Cole, DENSO North American Foundation board member. “By supporting programs that emphasize STEM learning experiences in real-world settings, we hope to help students explore their passions, find a worthwhile and fulfilling career path, and help our communities prosper.”

DNAF has supported STEM education through grants at colleges and universities since 2001, enabling students to access tools, technology, and experiences that better prepare them for technical careers after graduation. DENSO education grant proposals are invite only and evaluated based on technical merit, student experience, and alignment with industry needs.

This year’s grant recipientsinclude:

Arkansas State University – Jonesboro
California State University Long Beach
California State Polytechnic - Pomona
Cleveland State Community College
CONALEP; Technician National Education
Conestoga College
East Tennessee State University
FIME; Mechanical and Electrical Engineer College
Kettering University
Lawrence Tech University
Michigan State University
Michigan Tech University
North Carolina State
Northeast State Community College
Oakland University
Ohio State University
Pellissippi State Community College
Tennessee Tech University
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
University of Guelph
University of Michigan Dearborn
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
University of Tennessee Knoxville
West Virginia University
Western Michigan University

DENSO is looking to hire new talent across North America as it continues its pursuit to shape and improve future mobility solutions for all. Positions are available in a variety of roles, business units and locations. Those interested can apply at www.densocareers.com.

DENSO is a global supplier of advanced technology, systems, and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information, and safety. With its North American headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 28 consolidated subsidiaries and 4 affiliates across North American. Of these, 25 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, DENSO Corp., has more than 220 subsidiaries in 35 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs approximately 170,000 people worldwide. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. For more information, go to www.denso.com or connect with DENSO on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DENSOinNorthAmerica.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Tata & Howard wins Silver Engineering Excellence Award


The American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) has named engineering firm Tata & Howard as a winner of a 2018 Silver Engineering Excellence Awards for its engineering services on the Long Pond Water Treatment Plant in Falmouth, MA.

Headquartered in Marlborough, MA, Tata & Howard also has offices in Lakeville, MA; Concord, NH; Portland, ME; St. Johnsbury, VT; and Flagstaff, AZ and specializes in water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental services. The firm was retained by the Town of Falmouth to provide lead engineering services for the design and construction administration of the new 8.4 million gallon per day Long Pond Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Falmouth.  The new WTP, which replaces an 1890s-era facility that operated under a filtration waiver, provides the town with the ability to meet current regulatory requirements and remove pathogens, taste, odor, organic matter, and algae/algal toxins; produce stable water quality; and provide flexibility to meet uncertain future regulatory and water quality challenges.

“The awards honor this year’s most outstanding engineering accomplishments in Massachusetts,” said ACEC/MA President Michael Scipione, PE president and CEO of Weston & Sampson Engineering. “They are excellent examples of how engineers create projects that improve our lives and communities. Professional engineers are dedicated to providing quality infrastructure, providing safe and reliable water and energy, and making our buildings safe and energy efficient. We congratulate our winners on their exceptional achievements.”

ACEC/MA is the business association of the Massachusetts engineering industry, representing over 120 independent engineering companies engaged in the development of transportation, environmental, industrial, and other infrastructure. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Boston, MA, ACEC/MA is a member organization of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) based in Washington, DC. ACEC is a national federation of 51 state and regional organizations. For more information on ACEC/MA, visit their website at www.acecma.org. ACEC/MA is undertaking an awareness campaign to educate the public on the many contributions engineers make in everyday life through their hash tag #EngineeringGoFigure. To Follow us on Twitter:  @ACECMA