Going Green This Spring

Meet the newest addition to our Shipping department – a HSM cardboard perforator! This powerful device perforates several layers of used cardboard into packaging material. Not only do we save money, but we are also trying to make a meaningful and practical contribution towards environmental protection.

HSM 425-FB

Featured Product H07RN-F

H07RN-F is a harmonized, heavy duty, flexible, rubber insulated, black neoprene jacketed multi-conductor 750V European cable.  Recommended for use in electrical equipment under medium mechanical stress in a dry or damp indoor or outdoor environment.  Plus, H07RN-F is now available with improved features:
  • Flexible -40° C to +90° C (H07BN-4)
  • AD8 Submersibility (H07RN8-F)
  • Low-Smoke / Halogen-Free (H07ZZ-F)
  • UV-Resistant / Ozone-Resistant
Available in stock from #17AWG(1,00mm²) to 3/0AWG(95mm²); other sizes also available. Call today for pricing (847) 882-4333.

Trends To Watch in 2016

By Nicole M., 1/25/16

Anyone who has watched the news lately knows that the U.S. economy is still struggling. In December, America’s manufacturing industry’s key index, the ISM, hit 48.2% marking the lowest level since 2009. So what does this mean for manufacturing in 2016? While manufacturing is only predicted to grow modestly in the upcoming year, there are a few exciting trends to watch for that will help booster the industry out of contraction.

Do any of the terms Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or the Digital Factory sound familiar? Some people use these terms interchangeably, while others are adamant that these terms speak to very different concepts. Regardless of the answer, it is clear that in today’s struggling economy and mounting competition companies need to be smarter, faster and more innovative to stay or get ahead.

“The concept of the smart factory, which is at the heart of Industry 4.0, aims to have everything imaginable connected to a network that is capable of storing, transferring, analyzing and acting upon information gleaned from a network of connected machines, control systems and sensors,” according to Neil Tyler from NewElectronics.co.uk. This is the year that the theories of Industry 4.0 become a reality, significantly improving manufacturing productivity, efficiency, quality and flexibility.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to the digital technologies that are being embedded into all types of devices from tools and products to wearable items that delivery connectivity, data-driven services, advanced analytics and big data. In other words, companies will be putting chips and software into just about everything. This intense “smart” information gathering will help push manufacturers to apply these technologies to their own operations and in turn will reshape their organizations to be more digital, collaborative and smart.

Among other advanced technologies that will push boundaries in 2016 are collaborative robots, 3D printing and robotics, and cybersecurity including cloud-based software systems and a shift from the open to the closed cloud for data storage in factories. These new technologies will challenge traditional production models and promise to bring massive leaps in productivity.

*For more information about the sources used to create this article, please contact marketing@muellergroup.net.

Collaborative Robotics

By Nicole M., 1/22/16

One of the hottest topics in manufacturing continues to be collaborative robotics, an advanced technology that allows robots to work side-by-side with humans on plant floors. Rather than replacing human workers, these smart robotics work safely beside them and can even roam free on factory floors. With safety sensors that prevent them from running into humans, they no longer need to be caged or bolted to the floor. But more importantly, they are able to perform a variety of tasks and can adapt to real-world variability. They are agile enough to change applications quickly, and can perform tasks like people do.

“Applications that are very repetitive, mundane tasks that require an operator to stand at a machine all day or sometimes all night long, loading/unloading and initiating processes. That’s the exact type of application suited for our product,” says Edward Mullen, National Sales Manager for Universal Robots USA Inc. in Stony Brook, New York. “It’s very easy to use and set up; and it can be picked up and moved around the facility very easily.” And while some of these robots are priced well into the six figures, small to medium sized companies can find them as low as $20,000 making them much more affordable.

According to RethinkRobotics.com, they’re the perfect fit for many of the 90% of manufacturing tasks that can’t be practically automated today. So are collaborative robots just a passing fade? Not likely, based on a study from The Boston Consulting Group. Industrial robots for factory automation are expected to account for the largest chunk of investment, growing from nearly $6 billion in 2010 to more than $24 billion by 2025.

Are your customers among the industry leaders that embrace robotics? Based on research done by ManufacturingGlobal.com, top leaders in robotics are Amazon, Caterpillar, Siemens, Panasonic, Boeing, Bosch, Northrop Grumman, Foxconn Technology Group, Honda Robotics, ABB Robotics and Lockheed Martin.

*For more information about the sources used to create this article, please contact marketing@muellergroup.net.

Driverless Cars by 2017?

By Nicole M., 1/19/16

What once was just something seen in a futuristic movie may soon become a reality with the arrival of driverless cars as early as next year! Audi, for example, is hoping to put its fully capable autonomous technology into the market as early as 2017 with the launch of its A8 limousine. Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation, stated he is very optimistic that driverless cars will be everywhere in the world by 2025 during an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung after attending the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, 2015. So what does this mean for the automotive manufacturing industry?

Companies all over the world, including the United States, China, Europe and Australia, are already testing these types of vehicles, making their arrival imminent. Automotive manufacturers are teaming up with technology giants like Google to be among the first companies to capitalize on what is predicted to quickly grow into a billion dollar industry. Similar to Audi, Google’s founder Sergey Brin has made it clear that the company plans to have its driverless cars on the market no later than 2018. Toyota and Nissan are predicting their first driverless cars by 2020; Tesla by 2023, and Jaguar and Land Rover by 2024.

Initially, driverless cars will emerge rapidly in the public shuttle sector such as taxis, buses and limousines. Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, has indicated in a tweet that he expects Uber’s fleet to be driverless by 2030. Traveling this way will become much more cost-effective since the majority of these new autonomous vehicles will be electric and are being made to be more durable, less expensive, smaller and lighter than conventional vehicles. In addition, passengers will have the opportunity to be more productive contributing to a greater economic and societal gain, since they will be able to concentrate on other things rather than driving during their commutes.

With all the excitement around the autonomous car evolution, there are a few negative factors worth mentioning. The movement to move to autonomous cars will open up jobs for a lot of people; but at the same time, other jobs such as taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers and low-skilled workers will be down. Moreover, industries related to the automotive market may suffer, such as insurance companies with lower incident rates, or Oil & Gas companies where it’s no longer necessary to have a gas station on every corner. And let’s not forget the driver enthusiasts who just absolutely loves driving their cars…everywhere!

Either way you look at it, there is no question that the automotive industry is rapidly changing yet again.


*For more information about the sources used to create this article, please contact marketing@muellergroup.net.

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