CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) – Machining on Steroids

Posted on Posted in computer, programming, technology

Machining techniques for creating parts has advanced and changed dramatically in the past 25 years. Today, computers and software are used together with technologically advanced CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) machines to create both high-quality custom and mass-produced parts. Those skilled in the fine art of old school machining are now forced to either update their skills to the new computerized techniques, or find a new line of work.

Let's face it, human beings, even exceptional ones, can not compete with the repeatability and accuracy of today's computerized machines. Today's 5 axis CNC milling and turning machines can crank out part after part with tolerances tighter than 1/1000 of an inch without ever having a lapse in judgment due to overexertion or long hours. Try working your regular employees 20 hours a day, and see what kind of scrap rate develops. The only human factor that is required is for maintenance and programming.

Additionally, robots and the concept of "cells" can be used for more complex parts. An automated assembly line consisting of different machines can be set up to increase the efficiency and independence of the individual machines. A series of holes can be drilled in one cell in a given part. The part is then moved by a robot or some other type of mechanical process to the next cell while a new part is loaded into the last cell. The part continues from cell to cell until a finished part comes out of the last cell. This setup often requires only the presence of one relatively low skilled worker to monitor the setup and handle any jams or mechanical malfunctions that occurs in addition to doing some loading and unloading of material.

CNC machines are not cheap. The price varies very depending on the capabilities of the machine, but it is not unusual to pay over $ 200,000 for this equipment. However, compare this against the cost of paying a crew of skilled machinists to do the same job, and the high price tag not only sees more reasonable, but actually makes good business sense. It is possible to replace 3 skilled machinists with 1 low skilled "maintenance" worker, 1 high skilled CAM programmer, and a few CNC machines. Plus, part throughput will go up while scrap rate will go down.

CAM is just one more example of how old processes are being improved by technology. More and more, the mundane and repetitive tasks previously performed by human beings are being automated by machines and robots and people are being used more for their brains than for their muscles. Computers, software, and machines can be used to turn one person into a super machinist capable of doing the job of three normal machinists. It's machining on steroids, and a trend that is going to continue to gain momentum as time progresses. …

Is the Internet Insecure Because of You?

Posted on Posted in computer, internet, website

Long gone are the days that we could feel secure and know for sure that we had privacy. With the digital age upon us we can no longer be so sure that our privacy is secure. Recently Google has acknowledged their organization holds user data indefinitely. This causes concerns as now we know Google has information on us that we do not want anyone to know about.

We can simply blame this all on the big corporate companies; they seem to be a very good escape goat however, this is not the case; your privacy is totally up to you. Certificates ensure that all the data that is transferred between you and the internet is secure and encrypted. Recently in New Zealand there was a short certificate outage on a banks website. During this outage only one out of 300 users took this security warning seriously.

This is a rather large concern, as many users on the internet have the same belief that their data is safe and secure. By the end of 2005 it is estimated identity fraud will cause up to 5 trillion dollars world wide. We, the users of the internet must keep ourselves safe, secure and pay attention to those security warnings. I have compiled some good tools and tricks that will help keep you much more anonymous and secure.

1) Get rid of the internet explorer:

First and foremost Microsoft Internet Explorer is the highest risk to your internet experience. Not only is the most popular internet browser, but is also the most popular for attacks from Viruses and Spyware. Internet explorer is also too integrated with the windows operating system. Have you ever wondered how a dialer or online casino got onto your desktop?

I personally recommend Opera; they have a nice clean browser. The usability is easy and best of all, it uses tabbed browsing.

2) Protect your Connection.

Make sure you have an active firewall operating; Firewalls stop intruders from entering your connection and causing havoc. Hackers can easily gain access to an unprotected network and steal private information.

With the release of SP2 for Windows XP, Microsoft has incorporated a free personal firewall. If you have broadband your router should have an inbuilt Firewall, and make sure this is enabled, Zonealarm also offer a free Firewall. You must always do what you can to protect yourself.

3) Do not share those files:

One of the most common security flaws running Windows XP, is having File sharing enabled. To disable File Sharing please do the following:

Click Start Menu, select settings.

Click on Network Connections.

Right-click on the Local Area Connection icon and on the menu that appears, choose Properties.

In the General tab under "This connection uses the following items", highlight "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks". (If File and Printer Sharing is not listed, then file sharing has not been setup). You may skip the rest of these instructions.

Click Uninstall.

When you are asked if you are sure …