Keys to Manufacturing: Reflections on MFG Day
October 31, 2014
There’s a keystone in every great invention.
Manufacturing (MFG) Day month has come again, an occasion that gives manufacturing professionals across diverse industries the chance to discuss their challenges and successes—both past and present—with others. Manufacturing has been engrained in our country for many years, helping to stimulate the economy and provide high-quality goods to consumers.
There’s no better time to reflect on some significant industries that helped shape modern manufacturing. At Keystone Electronics, we take pride in the fact that we’ve played an active role supporting many industries throughout the years with our products.
Metal Stamping is a process that utilizes precision tools called dies to form flat sheets of metal into a variety of shapes. Stamping serves several industries, and can create parts for automobiles, industrial machinery, and even household products.
Early metal stamping dates back nearly to 2000 B.C. and involved the use of hammers and anvils to form the materials, but modern methods involve the use of industrial presses. Today’s presses are either mechanical or hydraulic, each providing specific amounts of force to accommodate different project requirements.
Machining is used to remove material from a workpiece in order to shape it into a desired form. During the machining process, the material undergoes shear deformation from sharp cutting tools that leads to the exposure of a new surface. With machining, you can fabricate metals, plastics, paper goods, and many other materials.
There are several machining tools that can be utilized today—such as boring, cutting, drilling, and other tools—but early machining involved expert artisans crafting objects by hand. Since these artisans could only do so much work, inventions like the spinning wheel and the loom helped pave the way for the advanced machinery manufacturers currently use.
The creation of the assembly line has greatly influenced manufacturing in several industries. Assembly is a process used to progressively work on one or more parts over a given period of time; the part being worked on moves from station to station until completion.
In 1901, Oldsmobile creator Ransom Eli Olds revolutionized the automotive industry with his idea of the automotive assembly line; the new method increased Olds’ productivity from 425 cars to 2,500 cars in only one year. Several years later, Henry Ford adopted and reimagined the assembly line for his own automotive purposes, incorporating higher levels of efficiency into the process.
So, what do these manufacturing processes have in common? Not only are they cost-effective, versatile, and high-rate means of production, but each process experienced major technological advances starting from the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, to this very day.
Modern manufacturing relies heavily on different types of machines, both manual and automated. In fact, industrial robots handle many production projects—some of which are potentially dangerous, or require exacting precision.
Keystone Electronics utilizes Stamping, Machining and Assembly procedures for the production of our products including: mounting brackets, battery clips, contacts & holders, fuse clips and holders, Quick Fit Terminals, screw terminals & terminal blocks, and screws and panel hardware. Take a tour of our manufacturing by viewing our Facility Video