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Design Insights: Happy Star Wars Day!; Robotic Welding Excellence; Three Benefits To The Product Blitz

May 4, 2021
A review of the day’s top trending stories from Machine Design editors.

Happy Star Wars Day!

Today is Star Wars Day, so designed because someone with a wry sense of humor built the celebration around a great pun: May The Fourth Be With You.

It’s been more than 40 years since Star Wars first landed on the big screen. Beyond being an economy unto itself, the Star Wars franchise also has allowed up to contemplate both the continuing battle between good and evil and the technology needed to colonize the universe. 

If we haven’t made much progress on the first, we’ve at least seen some newer technologies emerge to address the second. The recent Mars Perseverance mission has given us drone-derived images of the Red Planet and continued our unmanned movement around its surface. If mankind is going to visit Mars by the end of the century as planned, they’ll also need a reliable oxygen source. That issue also has been addressed in this Mars mission.

Robotic Welding Excellence

There may be a tendency to think about robotics as foolproof, but robotics operations are only as good as the planning and materials used. This is especially true in robotic welding cells.

Poor selection of automation components costs welders in every industry increased downtime, unnecessary maintenance, delayed deliveries and lost profits. A break of “standard” practices can allow manufacturers to achieve operational excellence, even in the harsh conditions of welding applications. A new Machine Design white paper from Balluff explores how best practices can be implemented to improve uptime and eliminate nuisance stops due to failed components.

Three Benefits to the Product Blitz

Our weekly Product Blitz includes submissions from Clippard, HEIDENHAIN, PMD, PI, WAGO and Lika. The Product Blitz has two primary benefits—it allows key industry innovators to showcase the latest products designed to help you operate safer and more efficiently, and it provides readers with a one-stop shop for the best new ideas in the market.

And now there’s a third benefit: It offers a preview of the 2021 IDEA! Awards, where Hydraulics & Pneumatics readers will be able to vote on the best of the year’s product innovations. To review this year’s entry form, go to this link.

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