Are smartphones sending the wrong message?
July 30, 2012
Was one of your smartphone apps updated today? Hardly a day goes by that I don't have at least one app updated. One day this past week, eleven of my apps had updates. Most of these are listed as 'bug fixes'. What message are we sending to the next generation of engineers, bankers, and software developers about doing things right and complete the first time?...
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June 28, 2012
Corporate boardrooms and government organizations lack diversity. When I say this, the reader's first thoughts may jump to sexual, racial or ethnic diversity, but what I am seeking is diversity of thought. We need more leaders skilled in scientific thinking and methods....
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A new paradigm for wrapper infeed
March 28, 2012
A new paradigm for feeding product into a wrapping machine is being commercialized. A video on the Beckhoff Automation website demonstrates the principle that packaging machine builders could apply to control the timing of randomly spaced products into a continuous feed wrapper. Taken by itself, it could be viewed as overkill for a wrapper infeed, but when the overall system impact is considered, it may soon become a reasonable approach....
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Embedded Robotics at Pack Expo
September 28, 2011
The concept of embedding a purpose-built robotic functionality into a packaging machine is one that can add flexibility to the machine while reducing the time and cost of development. I believe it is a concept that is under-employed by machinery builders, partly because it is a concept that is misunderstood as inserting an off the shelf robotic cell between two other machine cells. Embedded or integrated robotics, as I define...
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ARC World Industry Forum points to the need for packaging machinery standards
February 8, 2011
The opening session of ARC's World Industry Forum on driving innovation, sustainability and performance provided insights into the issues that are or will be affecting packagers and packaging machinery suppliers, even though the word packaging was never actually used. The session's presenters represented ARC and the oil and chemical industries, but these industries frequently deal with issues a few years in advance of the rest of manufacturing....
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To Blog, To Tweet or To Be Silent
October 22, 2010
This week has been one of the most incredible weeks in my experience as it relates to journalism and freedom of the press. It has really gotten me to thinking about the importance of the blogosphere, even at a time when we are drowning in internet content and email. I hope that On The Edge Blog is seen as a rising tide that floats all boats rather than a wave...
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Another important concept - Integrated Robotics
September 30, 2010
For some time I've mentioned the term integrated robotics in my posts. As time has passed, I've learned that not everyone interprets this term in the same way. I see integrated robotics as a significant advancement in the design of machinery, so I think it worth some further discussion....
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Is carelessness the new norm?
September 26, 2010
Information technology (IT) has been a great enabler in nearly every area of life and business. Mechatronic packaging machines, enabled by IT, are far more capable, flexible, and affordable than their non-IT enabled counterparts. Our ability to communicate with one another has expanded in unbelievable ways. The benefits that IT has brought to our lives can't be fully enumerated. But while enjoying the benefits, we've also picked up some bad...
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Words are important- Mechatronics
August 31, 2010
Words are important to our lives. Careless use of words gets us in trouble with our wives, children and coworkers. Incorrect use of words obscures meaning. Overuse of words reduces impact. Today the word mechatronics is being carelessly, incorrectly and too frequently used. The result could be a setback to innovation, education and workforce development. Let's review the definition of mechatronics and what we should do to keep its use...
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Mechatronic Solutions for OEM's and Training for Users
January 29, 2010
This isn't a tweet, but I am on the train returning from a visit to Festo, the sponsor of OnTheEdgeBlog. I must admit that I didn't know to much about Festo beyond their pneumatic components, and readers may be in a similar situation, so without getting too commercial, allow me to share a few observations. If you want to learn more, check out one of the links in the left-hand...
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Should Packaging Machines have Total Recall?
November 30, 2009
A new technology application called Total Recall could, in the foreseeable future, change the way we interact with people and live our lives. In the even shorter term, this technology could change the way we interact with, design and support machines. Should we be thinking about our machines being built with total recall?...
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US continues to fall behind in manufacturing technology
October 30, 2009
Events of the last month point to the United States' continued decline in advanced manufacturing technology relative to other regions. At some point this disturbing trend will become irreversible. We may be approaching that point of no return....
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How do you think of robotics?
July 22, 2009
As technologies mature, the way we think of them evolves. We no longer think of the automobile as a horseless carriage. The way we think of a technology affects how we use it. Robotics is one of those technologies that has undergone a transition of thought and application. Which view of robotics is driving your thought process?...
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The importance of geek leadership
April 30, 2009
Lack of geek leadership is crushing American business. The inability of "suits" to relate to and motivate geeks denies business of needed innovation. The lack of will by geeks to hone skills to exercise leadership stifles careers and further erodes geek influence on business. If you are a packager, packaging machine builder or converter, you need geeks and geek leadership to drive your business into the future. Geeks and suits...
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Outsourcing: Be careful what you ask for!
August 25, 2008
As packagers or packaging machinery builders, many of us have followed the trail to outsourcing our production, assembly, or our packaging. Although the short term benefits may be attractive, or even essential, beware the long-term impact on your intellectual property and ability to execute....
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Will they discuss science or just religion?
April 22, 2008
In December I suggested that we needed a presidential debate on innovation. Last week the democratic candidates Obama and Clinton did participate in a discussion on religion. Held not far from my home in Pennsylvania, this event has for a time occupied not only the national but also my local news. In contrast, a very thoughtful discussion on the promise of science and the role that it should play in...
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It's time to do Interpack
March 31, 2008
It's soon time for Interpack, and many of us will be heading for Dusseldorf where we will be obliged to leave behind a huge quantity of our under-valued dollars. But Interpack is not something you'll want to miss, so I have ten suggestions on how to do it and not have it do you. Perhaps these suggestions can make Interpack a more valuable experience....
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Customer-focused innovators make the best customers
January 28, 2008
If you are a packaging machinery company prospecting for customers, my recommendation is to look for those who are leaders in customer-focused innovation. They make the best customers....
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|About Keith Campbell
|Leaders learn from the past while
looking to the future - and bring both to bear on the here
and now. This is the philosophy that has steered Keith Campbell's
30+ years in manufacturing. It has worked for him in operations,
maintenance, engineering, R&D, education, consulting and
professional organizations--and now he's putting it to work
for you--taking you to the edge of his thoughts on packaging