AMK Blog

Manufacturing and the Making of Cool Toys


Jan 28, 2019

By: Sue Moore
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Kids love to play with toys. Truth be told, so do adults. Our toys are usually just a little bigger and have more automation to them.

And some of us are lucky enough to be involved in creating and manufacturing toys. How cool is that?

Last fall at PACK EXPO in Chicago, AMK participated in the Amazing Packaging Race, where teams of high school students would visit various booths, ask questions and complete engineering challenges. These young people were fascinated with the opportunities in manufacturing automation. Similarly, companies are reaching into the middle schools to show off the little-known world of manufacturing.

For those of us in Illinois and surrounding states, we don’t need to wait for a trade show or school-scheduled plant tour to be awed by automation. We have the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), located about one mile south of McCormick Place where PACK EXPO is regularly held.

One of its many fabulous exhibits is ToyMaker 3000: An Adventure in Automation. This must-see exhibit has robots assembling custom toy tops. More importantly, it takes the visitor through the entire process of manufacturing a toy on a modern assembly line. You will see how speed and precision work together along the line from parts to packaging. Robots dance and draw to entertain you along the way.

The hands-on exhibit generates 300 Gravitron toy tops each hour, although it could produce more if the line didn’t slow down for you to see all the precision robotics at work.

You can buy a Gravitron, pick a color and watch as your name is engraved on it. About 300 Gravitron toy tops are produced each hour — and that's even slowing down for you to see all the precision robotics at work. It’s a great exhibit to show kids of all ages that manufacturing is important and can be a lot of fun.

The MSI also has the Wanger Fab Lab where kids can digitally sculpt a 3D object and then print it on a 3D printer or design a greeting card that is created on a laser cutter.

I’m sure there are similar exhibits and labs at science museums across the country. Visiting them is a great way for young children to experience engineering, automation and manufacturing.

It’s also a great way to see some cool toys while inspiring our future generation about the incredible opportunities in automation technology.

 

To learn more about AMK Automation, call us at 847-565-2652 or reserve a meeting with our engineers at ProMat 2019, Booth S-2095, April 8-11, in Chicago.

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QUESTION 1

DOES YOUR MACHINE REQUIRE MORE THAN IP65 PROTECTION?

QUESTION 2

HOW’S THE TEMPERATURE IN YOUR MACHINE’S ENVIRONMENT?

QUESTION 3

ARE THERE ANY MOTORS THAT MOVE A LOAD GREATER THAN 10nM?

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You probably need a

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YOU PROBABLY NEED A

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Based on your answers, your machine seems eligible for a “cabinet-free” or decentralized motion control system. This could simplify many of your engineering, cabling and installation challenges, and free you to design an automated manufacturing system with maximum value.

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