The Sweet Smell of Success

Sweet!  The smell of economic improvement is in the air!  AP reports today that industrial production rose in December 2010 by the largest amount in five months which is a great surge of momentum to start 2011.

Activity at factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month reports the Federal Reserve.  Overall industrial activity has risen 11 percent since bottoming out in June 2009.

The biggest indicator of industrial output is factory production which rose 0.4 percent, the sixth straight monthly increase.

Although auto production dipped, computers, electronic productions, clothing, leather, chemicals and other products all made substantial gains.

One secret our customers know well is that getting their industrial electronics repaired versus always buying new is the way to go.  Electronic repairs are a good way to keep production equipment expenses down so profits can keep growing.

Got circuit board repairs, power supply repairs, motor repairs?  Let us help you keep the money where it belongs – at the bottom line!

Need Quick-Turn, Low-Volume CNC Machined Parts?

Hey design engineers and CNC operators, have you tried Proto Labs’ online First Cut or Protomold CNC Machining Services?  If you don’t already know about these guys, they could be quite a time and cost savings find for you.

After establishing Protolabs, this 10-year-old Minnesota-based company launched First Cut and Protomold to provide “quick turn” and/or low volume production of machined parts.  Even just one-offs.

First Cut makes CNC machined plastic parts directly from 3D CAD models in as little as one day.  Protomold makes injection molded prototypes and short- run production parts, also from 3D CAD models just as fast as First Cut.

The Proto Labs site recently added a wider range of materials to choose from including 7075-T651 aluminum, 260 brass, Radel R5500 and flame-retardant ABS.

Both divisions provide parts made directly from the customer’s own 3D CAD models which reduce the likelihood of errors.  Proprietary software automates tool-path generation which decreases lead times and reduces costs.

For those of you outside the U.S., they recently opened up shops in Europe and Japan.

As usual, this is just FYI for our customers.  We have not worked with ProtoLabs  nor have any relationship with them.  I’m just keeping my ear to the rail and passing on useful information.

If you have CNC machining needs you can find these guys at ,, or

If, however, you need CNC repair services, then give ACS a call or check out our website at  to speak to our bend-over-backward, ever-helpful customer service team.

2011 Electronic Gadgets Revealed!

Gadget guys rejoice!  I have it on good authority that the electronic gadgets revealed this year at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas had more hits than misses.  More cool toys for you and I to play with in 2011!

This is the largest trade show in the Americas folks.  That’s a lot of gadgets and a lot of people.  The good news for the economy in general is that more people attended this year’s convention than in the two previous years.

The 2011 mega-hit gadget developments included:

  • Tablets    These are the touch-screen tablet computers designed to compete with Apple’s iPad and there were lots of competitors.  To stand out from the iPad, there were hardware offerings that included front-and rear facing cameras for video chatting, high def videos, and 4G.
  • Verizon’s 4 G devices   Verizon Wireless unleashed its 4G network in December with amazing data speeds.  For now, only plug-in laptop modems can take advantage of this service.
  • Windows running on cell phone chips    What this means simply is that laptops and tablet computers will have longer battery  lives and give Windows a better chance to become dominant in the world of tablet computers.
  • Intel & AMD with new chip designs   These chips have major design changes which will help hold off the advancing tablets and smart phones.  Traditional computers using their new chips will be more competitive with mobile devices.  The computers will be better at graphics-intensive tasks and playing videos.  With the added efficiencies, there will be longer battery life as well.
  • 3-D TV’s with cinema glasses    Though 3-D TV’s were out last year, they required large, battery powered glasses to view.  This year’s versions boasted light, inexpensive glasses.  LG, Vizio and Samsung are big on this new gadget.  (Personally, I don’t want a TV that I have to wear special glasses to watch!  It’s hard enough just to track down the remote!)
  • Free TV for mobile devices   TV broadcasters have added signals that are designed to be picked up by laptops and cell phones.  Though similar offerings have failed in the past, makers Audiovox and LG are believers and are providing several “Mobile DTV” gadgets this year.
  • High Speed color inkjet printing   Startup Memjet has come up with a major development in inkjet printing that allows desktop printers to cheaply print one page per second in color.  The head is stationary and spans the whole page.  The cost of the printer will be about $600.

Live long and prosper!

Tomorrow’s a New Day!

2010 Flashback:  Remember the massive Toyota recall that kept getting shockingly worse, the inspiring Chilean miner rescue, BP’s devastating Gulf Oil Spill, the Tea Party, Mark Zuckerberg (who knew the name Mark Zuckerberg (besides his mom) before 2010?  Now it’s everywhere! ), Facebook, Wikileaks, Twitter, Android phones, the Apple iPad, oh, and remember the ash cloud from the Iceland volcano and all the trouble that caused?  That seems like forever ago but it really was 2010.

News and new things came at us faster than ever in 2010.  We hardly had time to appreciate the new marvel before the next one was in our face.   Maybe a fast-paced, electronic, information-based world energizes and amazes you, or maybe it makes you just want to check out.  Me?  Some days it’s all cool, some days I just turn off all the gadgets and go for a hike in the woods and watch the blue jays take on the red tailed hawks.

Either way, it seems like a few minutes of calm reflection at the end of each day helps keep things in perspective.  2011 is a new year and tomorrow will be a new day with new solutions for each new challenge.  The ACS Industrial team is ready to take on your electronic repair challenges in 2011!