• Learning “lean” starts at home
    Some people say lean manufacturing cannot be learned, it can only be experienced. I agree with this statement, as “lean” is not just a collection of rules. Worse, more often than not, the opposite is true and what has been the “golden rule” nine out of ten times, the tenth time it will be your […]
  • How lot sizes change your efficiency
    The saying goes that single-item flow is a lot more efficient than batch processing. This is easy to see when considering that seeing large inventories piling up anywhere in your factory and other stations waiting to process a batch are one of the Seven Deadly Wastes. But how bad is it? Would reducing batch sizes […]
  • How to turn your job shop into a flow shop with material handling robots
    A job shop is usually the least productive way to organize your manufacturing effort, see for instance “Why Are Job Shops Always Such a Chaotic Mess” by Christoph Roser. Yet, there are reasons job shops do not go away, and this is why you are probably reading this article. Lets look at the reasons everyone […]
  • From Mainframes to PCs: What Robot Startups Can Learn From the Computer Revolution
    In their search for killer apps, robotics companies should look at the amazing evolution of computers By Nikolaus Correll Autonomous robots are coming around slowly. We already got autonomous vacuum cleaners, autonomous lawn mowers, toys that bleep and blink, and (maybe) soon autonomous cars. Yet, generation after generation, we keep waiting for the robots that we […]
  • Robots Getting a Grip on General Manipulation
    How a new generation of grippers with improved 3D perception and tactile sensing is learning to manipulate a wide variety of objects By Nikolaus Correll Photo: Robotic Materials Inc.A gripper created by Robotic Materials Inc., founded by the author, Nikolaus Correll, performs a manipulation task during the industrial assembly competition at the World Robot Summit in […]