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Welcome to Kollmorgen's Blog in Motion.  We have been adding information and knowledge to the great web based world for many years - through white papers, technical documents, and even webinars.  Kollmorgen enjoys sharing our knowledge with you, as well as identifying other motion related tidbits through our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube feeds.  Our newest source is Blog in Motion, covering a wide range of topics, as well as some interesting contributing authors with lots of Motion experience.  If Motion Matters to you, stop by, follow, like, and sign up so you can stay tuned for what Kollmorgen has in store for you!

The human vs. robot topic in workplaces has been in the spotlight for quite a while. Look at the comments under the YouTube video where Google introduced its AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant that could call restaurants and salons to make appointments - there is widespread concern from the audience over the risk of human workers being replaced by AI-equipped machines. But on the other hand, even Elon Musk admitted in a Tweet that “humans are underrated” at Tesla, where “excessive automation was a mistake”. Inspired by such arguments, I keep pondering over one question: what is the role of robotization, or automation in a broader sense, in today’s employment?

What is COTS?

12 Jun 2018
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What is COTS?  If you want info on COTS, let’s assume you’re somehow related to the defense industry. If you’re looking for info on camping equipment, sorry, but you’re probably in the wrong place… COTS is a term that has been thrown around the industry for almost 25 years now, but how is it relevant to us today? 

Short for Commercial Off-The-Shelf, COTS describes products that are manufactured and readily available for sale to the public that can be used on defense programs.  The Department of Defense defines this in the governing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as a formal term defining products (and services) that are available in the commercial marketplace that can be bought and used for government contracts.

A collaborative robot (Cobot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. This is in contrast with other robots, designed to operate autonomously. A "cobot" is a robot that works in tandem with a human worker. The assumption is that a cobot and a human can produce an end result better and faster than either could do working alone.

If you are a supplier of components or sub-systems (Tier 2, 3, etc.) into the Global Defense Market, you understand the high standards this industry sets for your products.  Exceptional quality, continuous reliability and long-term sustainability are imperative in an industry where most of the equipment is designed to protect the end-user: The Warfighter.

Brushless AC servo motors  and  stepper motors  have long life spans, which are largely due to the lack of wearing components.  Unlike brush type motors, other than the bearings, brushless AC servo motors and stepper motors have no wearing components.  Additionally you do not have conductive brush dust, which, as it collects on the commutator, may short the armature. 

Normally my blogs are light hearted and meant to provide some thought provoking ideas in entertaining ways. Today's blog does not have that tone. On February 21st, a recall for a soft cheese was issued due to high amounts of Listeria monocytogenes. Virginia and Maryland have been investigating the products from the manufacturer, but the sad truth is there has been a death associated with this disease. Adding to the sadness is that the CDC is not reporting the age of the person who died, but nearly half of the reported sick were newborns.

Consumers expect safe food.  The Feds expect a safe food supply chain-farm, processing, packaging, and distribution.  As we all work to consistently meet consumer food safety expectations, the need to prevent and control food adulteration and/or contamination is present in every step of the supply chain.  Our modern and globally expanding food and beverage processing and packaging industries have made and continue to make great strides in improving food safety by improving preventive, control, cleaning and sanitation methods.

All those permanent magnet DC motors, synchronous motors, servo motors, servo drives, stepper drives, oh yeah, and remember the great stepper motors they offered? The one stepper motor was a weird shape. It was octagonal where others are square or round. Hard to forget that one!

Quality, Delivery and Cost (QD&C). These are the factors most used to determine the value of a supplier. They are also the aspects of performance that we can most easily calculate, compare and analyze. A green supplier scorecard that shows high OTD (on-time-delivery) and low DPM (defects per million), along with competitive pricing is the dream of both Buyer and Supply Chain Manager alike.

In the high-stakes market of Military Defense products, however, this is not quite enough. With programs taking years to develop and often requiring decades of production and support there is another critical factor in evaluating a critical supplier. A company’s ability to minimize risk over the life of the program is of epic importance.

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