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The MAKING CHIPS Podcast for Manufacturing Leaders with Jason Zenger & Jim Carr

Welcome to MakingChips - We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems and grow your business. Making Chips is a weekly podcast that will EQUIP and INSPIRE MANUFACTURING LEADERS to succeed in the challenging world of manufacturing. Our mission is for the METALWORKING NATION to Think Differently About Manufacturing In Order to Elevate their Game. Your hosts, Jason Zenger & Jim Carr, own manufacturing businesses and interview other leaders in the metalworking, machining, fabrication, tooling and machine tool industries. We have interviewed successful manufacturing CEOs you may have not heard of and also the biggest names in manufacturing like Titan Gilroy from Titans of CNC, John Saunders from NYC CNC, Mark Terryberry from Haas Automation and others from MakerCast, Sandvik Coromant, Autocrib and more. Think of us as your virtual community of manufacturing peers to help solve your toughest problems and grow your business. "Making Chips has provided a transparent approach to sharing within the manufacturing community and a modern platform to do so. Thank you both for taking the lead on moving our industry segment forward!" Patricia Miller - CEO & Visionary (Matrix IV) I really think what you guys are doing is a great, great thing for manufacturing. I have learned so much already from many of your episodes, and am so thrilled to have met people that get as revved up about manufacturing as I do! Cassandra Haupers – Vice President of Operations (Swiss Precision Machining) I love being able to experience what manufacturers are doing to promote culture and engage their team members and community. All of us are smarter than one of us. That is why I am part of the Making Chips tribe. Barry E. Walter, Jr. – Chief Operating Officer (Barry E. Walter, Sr. Co.) Finally, relevant manufacturing media that is actually entertaining! Dietmar Goellner – Chief Executive Officer (Advanced Machine & Engineering / Hennig) The more manufacturing companies we can get to think this way, the stronger our industry will be. Thank you for sharing! Jess Giudici – Manager, Talent and Culture I’m thankful to you for creating MakingChips for the Metalworking Nation so that Owners / Employees can strengthen their companies. Phil Sponsler – President (ORBITFORM) I love the podcast! It really serves to fill a void in the manufacturing world. I will admit I always feel a little more inspired. Jason Falk – Senior Application Engineer, CMTSE (HURCO) Thanks to all the great info on your podcasts and the website. Dave Lechleitner – Director of Solutions and Product Marketing (KEYEDIN) I really love what you guys are doing to advance the mfg industry in a way that really reaches the right audiences. Jeff Rizzie – Senior Manager-Business Development (Sandvik Coromant)
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Aug 12, 2019

Data collection has taken many forms in the history of manufacturing, and now is the time to embrace the most efficient form yet - artificial intelligence. Guest speaker, Akshat Thirani, shares how he solved the software disparity between computer engineers and manufacturers and created a tool to enable manufacturing leaders to meet their goals as efficiently as possible. AI isn’t something to fear. Without change - nothing will happen in your business!

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From India to Chicago: Akshat’s manufacturing journey

Growing up in India, Akshat’s childhood was saturated in the manufacturing industry. All of his family and friends had some part in the local manufacturing and production business, and his father raised his children with a manufacturer's mindset. With manufacturing in his blood, Akshat set off for college at the age of 17, studying design engineering and computer software. It was at school that he first noticed the gaping disparity between what computer software engineers were utilizing and what leading manufacturing engineers were using - even though the manufacturers were handling some of the most complex and technical work in the world. Akshat knew he needed to create a tool that would enable manufacturers to work and live to their full potential - a tool that would help them track production time, maintenance, and the data produced by their machines. 

Why manufacturers need to embrace AI and more efficient data collection 

Akshat understood that it was no trivial thing to join an AI tool to a machine and start collecting data. Many shops utilize both old and new machinery - making the job of AI more difficult. Akshat knew that the tool he was creating needed to be simple and able to read the “heartbeat” of each machine and distinguish what job was being completed. 

The “heartbeat” of a machine is the signature electrical current that it produces. During his senior year in college, Akshat and some of his colleagues created the prototype AI tool he had dreamed of. It eventually became the answer to the machinist’s problems with efficient data collection. Instead of jotting down on pieces of paper or having to manually insert data about a machine or job into an Excel spreadsheet, AI can be hooked up to a machine and learn the heartbeat of specific jobs and functions. AI then transmits that data to a centralized, online platform through cellular data - allowing the manufacturing team to quickly read the pulse on their machinery and work. 

Meeting the needs of the Metal Working Nation through artificial intelligence 

Every individual on a manufacturing team has expertise that is wasted when they are required to spend time collecting, recording, and analyzing data from each machine. Instead of having the professionals do the busywork, AI can read, transmit, organize, and analyze the data outsourced by the machinery. Providing real-time data to team members, Akshat’s AI tools can record the speed of each machine being used, which machines need maintenance, the estimated timetable for a piece or job, and the reasons why a machine is not running at optimum capacity. Meeting the core manufacturing goals of simplicity and practicality, AI is something that the leaders of the Metal Working Nation need to be taking seriously and educating themselves on. 

Ensuring that your technology fits your company goals

 Every manufacturing business will have different long-term goals and immediate needs. Akshat encourages listeners to walk through their shops and talk with their team members to identify what needs to be accomplished through an AI tool such as Akshat’s. Calculating the cost of integrating AI into the system may be surprisingly less than what is being spent on manual data collection. Identify what you need to accomplish work more efficiently - and then make it happen. Because if you’re not making chips, you’re not making money! 

Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • If you don’t change, nothing will happen. 
  • Artificial intelligence is helping manufacturers pave the way forward. 
  • Guest speaker Akshat Thirani - CEO of Amper Technologies. 
  • Akshat’s love for manufacturing is a generational story. 
  • Solving the disparity between online software and manufacturing tools. 
  • Solving the code of machinery heartbeats. 
  • Creating a more efficient workspace for all members of the team. 
  • Know what the goal is - then take action. 

Tools & Takeaways

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This Week’s Superstar Guest: Akshat Thirani

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