From aerospace to medical devices, to additive manufacturing, some of the most challenging precision manufacturing environments depend on motion solutions such as air bearings to deliver extraordinary, sub-micron-level accuracies and near-perfect repeatability.
But every precision motion challenge is not created equal!
In this blog, we explore why a careful, case-by-case solutions engineering approach is critical to designing and implementing the optimal technology. While advanced equipment has a vital role to play, a successful solution requires more than simply pulling the right product from a warehouse shelf. Instead, the right technology must be carefully tailored to the unique challenges of the application at hand.
What is “solutions engineering” and why is it so important for precision manufacturing?
We define solutions engineering simply as an in-depth process for tailoring the right technology to the specific operational challenges, needs, and opportunities of each project. In short, a vendor with a robust solutions engineering approach should not just provide equipment, but diagnose, analyze and solve specific manufacturing pain points.
What does this look like in practice? The following elements are all an important part of the process:
An engineering team that is dedicated to working hand-in-hand with clients to solve tough manufacturing problems. Engineers should not just deliver a workable solution, but seek to empathize with the day-to-day work of the end user, walk in their shoes, and alleviate their most nagging pain points.
A diverse arsenal of precision motion solutions that are customizable to reflect unique operational parameters.
A consultative sales process: rather than simply “handing off” a project to the engineering team, the sales team needs to play an active role in facilitating communication throughout the end-to-end process, shepherding the project to success.
Precision measurement capabilities: precise measurements are crucial to accurately diagnosing production line issues, maintaining quality, and ensuring that precision motion solutions are performing as intended in the relevant operating environment.
We explore this topic in a bit more depth in our blog here.
- A focus on long-term client success: the right precision motion solution should deliver exceptional value for years to come, and should be designed and supported for the long haul, anticipating new business requirements on the horizon.
Solutions Engineering in ABTech’s Culture of Intention
ABTech designs and builds ultra-precision motion solutions with the proven ability to meet the requirements of even the most demanding manufacturing applications. Solutions like our air bearings are capable of providing accuracies less than < 0.000,001” (all while delivering zero-wear, maintenance-free operation). You can learn more about our custom solutions in our article here. Just as crucially, ABTech’s solutions are backed by a team-wide dedication to the engineering principles outlined above. Our sales team is dedicated to fostering long-term client relationships rooted in the delivery of outstanding service, support, and value. And our engineering team takes time to understand the specifics of each and every client application, when necessary creating one-off solutions to tackle unique production line challenges. With these capabilities, our team stands ready to work with just about any production line imaginable, including even the most complex geometries.
ABTech also has true hands-on experience working with our own equipment. Because we produce our equipment solutions in-house, ABTech must take advantage of the same precision motion capabilities we provide our clients. We not only have experience designing highly advanced solutions but working with them day in and day out.
ABTech works deliberately to foster this approach to engineering as part of our broader “culture with intention.” You can learn more about ABTech’s corporate culture in our video here. In short, our team seeks to work every day with a sense of “pride in precision,” a can-do attitude, and a commitment to solving clients' toughest precision manufacturing challenges.
Find out more about ABTech and what our air-bearing systems can do for you.