Compared to CMMs and articulating arms, laser trackers constitute a fairly young technology. In use for about 30 years, these increasingly portable and flexible devices are known for measuring large objects by determining the positions of optical targets, usually spherically mounted retroreflectors (SMRs) that a technician holds up against the objects.
Though buzzier than ever in 2019, 3D printing has existed for at least 35 years, beginning with the invention of stereolithography in 1984 and accelerating with the development of fused deposition modeling in 1988. More recently, however, additive manufacturing for series production, paired with an uptick in lower-cost metal 3D printers, has elevated the industrial 3D printing industry to previously unreachable heights.
ARaymond, an industrial supplier of fastening and assembling solutions, rose from humble beginnings. Founded in Grenoble, France in 1865, the family business “started out making fastening elements for the glove and footwear industry,” says Jake Fox, senior quality engineer at ARaymond’s Brunswick, Ohio location.
Over a career that spans 40 years, Steve Gruler has struggled with the fact that quality seems to be a soft term. “Companies often say, ‘We’ve got great quality. We’ve got the best quality,’ and they’re looking at customer complaints and certification systems as their primary metrics,” he attests.
Until recently, most consumer electronics from different companies were designed to be incompatible with one another. This has led to the average person realizing, to varying degrees, that they live in an Apple, Google, or Amazon-dominated household.
In the early 17th century, Galileo Galilei discovered that he could focus his telescope to examine small objects up close. Around 1620, it is believed that Cornelius Drebbel invented the compound microscope. In the 1670s, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek began experimenting with very high-magnification, single-lensed microscopes that he designed himself.
Quality engineers use statistical process control (SPC) to eliminate process variation and ensure that final products meet customer expectations. Their job includes rooting out problems during production and ideally preventing issues before products become rejects.