Fifty years ago, the FAMULUS industrial robot was introduced by the German machine tool maker KUKA. This articulate-arm kinematics industrial robot with six axes was the first of many modern industrial robots. This design is nowadays still the most common type of industrial robot.
You may have heard of ChatGPT, the latest buzz in artificial intelligence. ChatGPT is a chatbot by OpenAI that can answer your questions and hold a conversation. And, it is very good at this. It can handle almost anything connected with text. This tool (and the many others that are likely to follow) has the ability to fundamentally change how we work. Let me show you.
During our Van of Nerds tour in France in 2022, we came across a few vibration sensors. In manufacturing, vibration sensors are frequently used to measure machine- or tool-related data. Some of these sensors were variations of what I have seen before, but the one for measuring machine performance was stunningly good and something I have not seen before. Hence, in this blog post I would like to share my findings on vibration sensors in industry.
In this post I would like to talk about two other plants that we visited as part of the Van of Nerds in France. One is a railway repair and maintenance plant by SNCF, and the other is a body shop and final assembly by the well-known French car maker Renault. Both offered interesting insights. I am personally quite familiar with automotive assembly. The railroad repair facility, however, was something quite new to me. Let me show you.
This post looks at two plants we visited during our Van of Nerds tour in France in 2022. Both plants are in areas in which I have little experience. The first one was SLB, specializing in sensors for oil field exploration. The second one was the Thales Group, where we visited the location manufacturing military sensors. In both locations we had a deeper look at internal logistics. This is (from the point of view of car manufacturing) a low-volume but definitely not a low-cost business. Let’s have a look.
This post looks at more plants we visited on our Van of Nerds tour in France in 2022. The focus this time is the aircraft industry, in particularly the engines. We visited a major maker of aircraft engines, or their nacelles and thrust reversers to be more precise, Safran in Le Havre. But we also visited two suppliers for engine components. LISI specializes in high-performance bolts and screws for aircraft, but also has some highly advanced digital displays on their shop floor. JPB makes well-designed inspection ports for aircraft engines, for which they developed some really clever digital solutions, which they now also provide to others. It was definitely a set of highly interesting visits. Let me show you!
In 2019 I organized an Industry 4.0 tour through southern Germany for a few friends. We called this the “Van of Nerds,” and you can read all about it in a series of blog posts starting here. The participants liked the van trip so much that we wanted to repeat this experience… and then came COVID. We held two online Van of Nerds mini-conferences (organized by our Nerd Torbjörn Netland), and finally, on September 5–9, 2022, we were able to take another real-world tour with our van of nerds, this time in France. The tour was organized thanks to nerds Franck Vermet and Michel Baudin.