10 American Inventions that Revolutionized Manufacturing

With July 4th just around the corner, I decided to do a list of American inventions that had a strong impact on manufacturing.  Happy 238th Birthday, USA!
Interchangeable Parts
Before interchangeable parts, machines were made from scratch and did not conform to any universal standard. This made both production and repair of machinery time consuming and difficult. Interchangeable parts in machinery were invented by Eli Whitney, most famous for his invention of the cotton gin.  … Read more

What is CNC machining?

Today, it seems like every machine that once operated without the benefit of CNC machining has now been retrofitted with servo motors and some kind of programmable controller or computer. So how did parts get made before CNC (computer numerically controlled) machinery arrived on site?
Well, once upon a time, or shall we say 50 years ago or more, transistors did not exist. Then, in the early 60’s, transistor radios became more and more must-have gadgets.  … Read more

Metric Fasteners and the DIN Standard: An Introduction

Most metric fasteners are made to the DIN standard-but what does DIN stand for?
Much the same way the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was founded to promote U.S. voluntary standards and conformity for industry here in the U.S., the German counter-part, DIN, was established in 1917 in Berlin and has been adopted as the national standard by the German government. Originally founded as Normenausschuss der deutshen Industrie (NADI), the agency was formed to standardize German industrial practices and bring unity to the emerging German industrial machine. … Read more

Why We Love Polymer Nanocomposites (And You Should, Too!)

Polymer nanocomposites are one of the hottest topics in plastic technology today. Nanocomposites are materials that contain nanoscale fibers held in a continuous phase called a matrix or resin.  Nanoparticles are those that are between 1 and 100 nanometers in size.  (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter).  Thus plastic nanocomposites are made up of nanoparticles embedded in plastic resin and are a near molecular blend of resin molecules and nanoscale particles. … Read more

Carbon nano tube

9 TED Talks That Anyone Working in Plastic Engineering Should Watch

Plastic engineering professionals, if you haven’t heard of TED talks, you should!
TED’s website showcases thousands of videos of short talks (usually less than 20 minutes) made by world famous innovators and thought leaders.  Hearing the ideas of other designers and thinkers can really inspire plastic engineers so here is a selection of videos (less than an hour, perfect for a lunch break).
The Era of Open Innovation-Charles Leadbeater
Big inventions don’t always come from big companies. … Read more