Winter Blahs Setting in? Watch this Video!
Andrew McAfee's presentation at the Opening General Session of Autodesk University in December made me feel pretty darn good. His message was simple: Technology, especially computer software, has done much to improve the human condition. The recording of his presentation is likely to lift your mood, too, if a dreary, post-holiday winter day is dragging you down.
McAfee, a research scientist at MIT and co-author of The Second Machine Age (Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time Of Brilliant Technologies), discusses how technological innovation is reducing resource consumption, returning land to nature and relieving poverty all over the world. His presentation is lively yet thoughtful, hopeful yet realistic. He clearly expects positive trends to continue, but he identifies two urgent challenges: finding ways to neutralize climate change and reinventing jobs so working people remain productive and engaged.
Autodesk University 2015 was all about digital collaboration and data-driven manufacturing. McAfee helped put these developments in the broader sweep of human history, which seems to him to have taken a dramatic turn for the better, thanks to computerization.
A database guru combined off-the-shelf technology with an elaborate proprietary shop management software to drive efficiency throughout all areas of a machine shop.
Introduced at IMTS 2008, this communications protocol for CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment is already helping shops and plants implement effective machine monitoring systems. Although these "early adopters" are motivated by the long-term promise of enterprise-wide efficiency gains, their experience with pilot projects shows that benefits derived in the short term are substantial and worthwhile.
MTConnect agents and their corresponding device adapters are simply small computer programs that work together so that MTConnect can make shop equipment and networks more readily connectible. In a nutshell, adapters enable existing shopfloor devices “to speak MTConnect,” and agents enable MTConnect messages and data files to be transmitted across a network to MTConnect-compatible applications.