Foxfire books + Top 5 things to know when moving from hand to robotic assembly

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Foxfire Books and old house living

EXCERPT: [...] t was a thick book, with very simple pages, black and white pictures, and an eye-catching font: The Foxfire Book. [...] I took the book to her [grandmother]. "What's this?" I asked. She gave it a glance, then gave me a longer one. "That's the way things used to be. You should read it." Ten minutes later I tumbled into a new world. It was like nothing I had ever read before. The language was beautiful, the interviews filled with a dialect and cadence I could hear in my head. The pictures told entire stories themselves. I wanted to know those people, and I wanted to know what they knew -- I wanted to build my own log cabin and make my own soap. I even (albeit quite briefly) wanted to slaughter my own hogs. I wanted to go out to the garden and plant and watch it all come up. I was perhaps ten years old, and the past was suddenly the best thing ever....

Top 5 Things to Know When Moving from Hand Assembly to Robotic Assembly

EXCERPT: A lot of factors go into the decision to hand build or outsource circuit boards. I hand build my own sometimes, simply because I enjoy the challenge. Of course most of the projects I design are for my own use, so timeliness isn't that important. When I do design something that will go out to a customer, like my electronic business card holder, I will send the board through our shop. In those cases, quality is important, as is delivery, and the quantity is often too high to hand build. Machine building also allows me to use smaller and more complex parts. That same decision - hand build or outsource - takes place in the heads of designers all over the country. When the decision is to outsource, there are a few important things to consider. Some things that work fine when hand soldering may stand in the way of quality, repeatability, and reliability when machine assembling.

Here are five of the most important considerations when changing from hand built to outsourced at a place like Screaming Circuits...

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