Saturday, March 12, 2016
How to stay on top of
advancements without becoming obsolete
Jahn, Modern Engineering, Delta BC
think Iím alone in having this ailment, but thereís no medical
doctor that can help me. When I wake up every morning, I find that
the world has changed, and I know it will change again the next day.
The world I am
talking about is the manufacturing world. The speed of change is
becoming overwhelming and itís starting to give me a headache.
Again, Iím sure Iím not the only one.
You can see these rapid changes happening in all aspects of
manufacturing. The ones that I relate to the most are in the
machining industry. I have been around for a long time. Iím pretty
sure I have been around since dirt was invented. In that time, Iíve
seen the world accelerate at breakneck speed. I remember when I got
my first electronic handheld calculator at the age of 11, and now I
have a mobile phone that has more computing power than a 10 year old
laptop, and can remotely monitor my house.
seen similar levels of advancement in the manufacturing sector.
There is not a day that goes by without someone trying something new
in 3D printing. They are printing everything from metal parts to
food to human tissue. With all this rapid advancement happening in
manufacturing, itís really hard to keep up and therefore itís easy
to get stressed out. Being stressed out leads to headaches, and
thatís what I have right now. Even writing about the speed of
advancement gives me a headache.
So what are we supposed to do with all this innovation? Well, I will
tell you that a lot of people and companies are doing nothing, like
they are frozen. Doing nothing is the result of being paralyzed by
our quickly advancing world. Many companies have learned the hard
way that any new technology they adopt today might become obsolete
tomorrow. Itís like what happened to people who bought a BetaMax all
those years ago. If youíre old enough to remember that, you know it
was a bad choice.
in the machining industry, the bad headaches come from picking
vendors or equipment that soon become obsolete. You make a large
investment in manufacturing equipment and in a short period of time,
the manufacturer has scrapped that piece of equipment for newer
technology, or they go out of business entirely. Both of these
things usually occur right after you bought the equipment. Thank
Murphyís law for that. You may think this doesnít happen often in
CNC machining, but since Iíve been around longer than dirt, I can
tell you that it does come up more often than you think.
With technology advancing as quickly as it is, you really need to
carefully consider new and upcoming technologies when making a large
purchase. If the technology you acquire does not have some future
proofing in it, you are in danger of having technology that will not
make your company or people competitive in the near future. This
could become a huge headache for you. Technology aside, if you are
dealing with companies who are struggling, then even if you purchase
a piece of equipment that you feel is going to make you more
competitive, the support you need in the future may not be there
because the vendor no longer exists.
a given that technology will constantly evolve as long as mankindís
competitiveness is at the helm. I can assure you that it is tough
enough to buy equipment with this in mind, especially in the
manufacturing sector. Given that this is always happening, you need
to make sure that the equipment you purchase is not last yearís
technology that is going to be replaced soon, and that the vendor
you buy the equipment from is going to be around to support it.
That being said, I am going to buy an extra large bottle of headache
medication since I think I feel another one coming on. Technology
can be fun for some, and for others, well thatís what medication is
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