Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Playboy, PH Horn and Industrie 4.0

***Playboy, PH Horn and Industrie 4.0

If you wonder what the above 3 have in common then bear with me for a second.
(By the way - you cannot even imagine how difficult is to find a subscriber-friendly cover of the Playboy magazine, especially when you’re doing research on crowded Sydney public transport!)

Let's start with Industry 4.0 - or more correctly - Industrie 4.0.
The term 4.0 is obvious: we have just entered the fourth industrial revolution. However the exact meaning is still something hard to describe.Put simply, the first industrial revolution was the one when humans started using steam machines; the second one was mass production with the help of electricity, while the third revolution was computerization and robotization. But the 4.0 is something more exciting: the factory of the future where every machine, robot and humans are interconnected to the 'internet of things'. The advantages of such massive interconnectivity is 'product on demand'; manufacturing plants which think and predict combined with product distribution systems like no other in the history of human kind.
The push behind 4.0 comes from one of the most industrialized nations: Germany. And quite frankly, if your job has got anything to do with industry and manufacturing then Germany is the place to be and the place to learn about exciting times ahead. 
The 'thinking and predicting' robots are not your ordinary machines. For example, when it comes to metal machining, there is a new requirement for specialist, precision tools like never before. Such tools are no longer made by humans but by robots and for robots.
After 60 years of publishing, the Playboy has finally dropped its famous tag-line "Entertainment for Men'. But this very tag-line perfectly describes the German PH Horn magazine - the catalogue for micromachining tools for the Fourth Industrial revolution. For a young watchmaker, this is eye-opening, eye-popping stuff and a must read.



I am not going to bore you with details of each and every tool listed; but here is just one for the fellow machinists and engineers: the boring bar designed to drill 'any size hole' starting with diameter of just 170 micron and a depth of 0 to 1000 microns. The geometry of the tool is simply mind-bending.
A famous Lange and Sohne quote goes: "You cannot master your watch parts until you master your watch tools'.  
In just a couple of weeks, I will be visiting PH Horn in Switzerland to place a 'rebelde' order for some very, very sexy tools. Stay tuned!

Happy collecting,

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