Harley tore down the existing plant and built a new one. Unlike most factories I’ve seen lately, the new plant in York has people everywhere. There are no robots on the main assembly line (they have various peripheral jobs); instead, hundreds of workers, operating in teams of five or six, manually build each motorcycle. This seemed like an expensive way of doing business, but Magee said that experienced, skilled workers, unlike robots, can constantly adjust to new information. The York plant makes four basic styles of motorcycle, but each has an array of customizable options. There are around 1,200 different configurations, and a new bike starts its way through the production line every 80 seconds. Virtually each one is unique, and workers have no idea what’s coming 80 seconds later. Surprisingly, robots can’t adjust on the fly like that.
Human beings can also solve thorny problems that lead to major inefficiencies, like that plastic piece that took an extra 1.2 seconds to install. Dettinger and a small team quickly came up with a fix — a tiny plastic latch needed to be set at a different angle — and saved Harley millions. (On the day I visited, he solved two other problems.) In fact, his entire job is to continuously monitor his small section of the production line and search for better ways to make motorcycles. There are 150 problem-solvers like him in the factory.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — A list of companies owned by Amazon. It’s big.
Wearables — Raid the kitchen
Electronics — Capacitor ESR
Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery
Python for Microcontrollers — Python snakes its way to the STM32, Serpente, and more!
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Adafruit IO Updates, RGB Stream Deck Message Panel, and more
Microsoft MakeCode — Welcome to the MakeCode Newsletter!
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.