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Review of 2019 – the best of the item blog

It’s hard to believe, but another year is already drawing to an end, and the holiday season is just round the corner. One of our festive traditions is to give you a round-up of the year’s blog highlights.

In the first post of 2019, the item blog continued the previous year’s focus on digitalisation and looked at the future of engineering. Issues surrounding digital engineering and aspects of digitalisation would continue to feature prominently over the months that followed. For example, we turned the spotlight on the mechanical engineering trends for 2019, which range from IT security and big data to enabling employees. We dedicated a whole post to each of these three aspects, but there were even more interesting developments related to digitalisation in mechanical engineering.

The lean philosophy in action and specially optimised factory equipment make the perfect combination.

Using lean methods to boost productivity

From the early days of our blog, lean production methods have been among the favourite topics of our readers, which is why we covered the following issues in 2019. Posts about Poka-yoke and Jidoka, for example, looked at the role of preventing or identifying errors in the context of lean production. Poka-yoke is about finding targeted ways to avoid random and inadvertent errors. Appropriate technical and organisational measures help to optimise existing processes and plan future ones even better. Jidoka, on the other hand, only comes into play when an error has actually happened. The relevant machine then switches itself off automatically and the employee investigates the cause.

The first premium post got to grips with marketing basics for mechanical engineers.

A new look and a new format for the item blog

In May, we gave our blog a makeover. The changes included a reworked, responsive design with additional elements and categories. The first premium post was published at the end of October. This new format is more detailed and offers readers extra added value. All that’s needed to read the premium posts is a free item user account.

YouTuber Patrick and his aluminium roof rack based on the MB Building Kit System.

Aluminium profiles in action!

There seems to be no end to the ways item profile technology can be used. We were therefore once again able to share a whole range of applications with you over the past year. Our description of a human robot collaboration project at RWTH Aachen University gave you a preview of the future of manual assembly operations. Since a robotic arm passes the tools and materials to the workers, they can focus all their attention on the assembly work itself and thus on the value-added process.

YouTuber Patrick’s DIY project, on the other hand, was pretty creative. Using the MB Building Kit System as a basis, he constructed a very presentable aluminium roof rack for his VW camper van. His aim was to highlight the alternatives available to roof racks from existing manufacturers. On his YouTube channel, he walks anyone who’s interested through every stage of creating the roof rack – from design to final assembly. Our post about the GLOW festival showed just how at home our profiles are in the art world. Hard-working students from Eindhoven University of Technology designed a light installation that reacts to the movements of visitors.

We hope we have managed to entertain and inspire you again this year with stories about applications, trends and people in the world of item. We would like to wish all our blog readers, customers and partners a very happy Christmas and a wonderful start to 2020! After a short break, the item blog will be back from 8 January with new posts.