The Benefits of Asset Recovery in the Manufacturing Industry

This blog was reposted with permission from Engineering 360-Powered by IEEE Global Spec-original post published May 30th, 2017:

Ever wonder where your circuit boards, motors and other electronic parts end up when you’re finished using them? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most meet their end in landfills, and sadly, many could be recycled and reused. Known as electronic waste, or e-waste for short, these pieces include far more than just the mobile phones and laptops of yesteryear. The EPA estimates that approximately 41.8 million tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2014 (data for 2015 and 2016 is not yet available), with the U.S. accounting for 11.7 million of those tons. By 2018, that worldwide estimate is expected to increase to 49.8 million tons.

Businesses with the tons of electronic equipment they use and discard annually – have the unique ability to make the biggest impact by recycling or upcycling their e-waste. An interesting trend has emerged in the electronics and engineering space, in which legacy equipment is sold off and warehoused by a third-party to resell to another company that is still using and in need of that equipment and accompanying parts.

Consider this: Company ABC purchased a large lot of sensors to test their own product, only to discover a few years later that a different sensor would help them better perform that test. They still had 5,000 new-in-the-box sensors from that first lot just taking up space in their warehouse, and when it comes time to move to a new facility, they consider throwing out those 5,000 sensors because it doesn’t make sense to move them to the new space. As far as Company ABC is concerned, those sensors are obsolete and completely useless. However, Company XYZ still uses the same sensors on a regular basis for a completely different application, and is finding that the inventory of their usual supplier is dwindling. They are spending countless man-hours trying to seek out these sensors, and wondering just how long they have before they need to change their operating procedures or product specifications to find a different solution.

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The Culture of Giving Back: A True Success Story

Like most companies, the story of Radwell International is one of humble beginnings. The company story began 38 years ago in Mount Laurel, NJ and has survived and thrived through many changes. Brian Radwell, too, has gone through his share of challenges, both personal and professional. To read the detailed story of Radwell, you can check out this blog post The Story of Radwell.

To truly understand the Radwell story, you have to understand a little bit about Brian Radwell's motivation, which stems from supporting his father who was the kindest man in the world according to many people within the company who knew him when he was alive. I had the rare opportunity to ask Brian Radwell a question about fear of failure and the family culture of giving back .

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HMI Systems: An Operational Cornerstone

In this day and age, human machine interfaces are everywhere. Think about every point of contact a human has with technology and it becomes a reminder that as humans, we interact with machines in just about every aspect of our lives today. Self-service checkout at the grocery store, plugging an address into your car’s GPS or getting some cash at the ATM are all examples of instances when humans interact with an interface designed to help foster human/machine communication.

As it applies to automation equipment in a manufacturing facility, human machine interface products offer the necessary electronics to easily control automation equipment in an industrial environment. HMI products can range from a simple design with basic screen controls to a more complex touchscreen with numerous features and windows. In most environments, whether for service oriented tasks or in an industrial environment, HMI systems must be resistant to dust, water, moisture, high or low temperatures and even chemicals.

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Gedevelop GFM System: An Overview

All over the world, manufacturers in the glass fiberizing and glass wool industry are interested in increasing the quality of their products. The Gedevelop GFM System is suited for this process. It works with glass flow and collects data in real time for optimum control of the manufacturing process. This system reduces material costs and shortens production downtime.

How exactly does this system work? The Gedevelop system uses a camera which looks at the glass stream and reads information for stream diameter and stream velocity. The information is then sent to the central unit and based on set parameters, calculates the glass flow. The glass flow meter continuously measures glass flow individually for each fiberizing unit and allows the pull to be controlled within .5%. It also checks that the quality of the glass stream is at the correct level and if it isn’t, the system can make adjustments. This glass flow meter is a
non-contact, optical measurement system that calculates the flow of molten glass that falls from the bushing into the fiberizer. Many installations worldwide have proven that glass flow measurement is a very profitable investment in a short amount of payback time.

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Cost Savings with CNC Spindle Drive Retrofits

One of the repair services we provide for our customers at Radwell International is CNC spindle drive retrofits. This service is something that is designed to not only provide cost savings for our clients but also extend the life of a CNC machine tool without requiring an entire machine retrofit. We recently caught up with Mark Councilman, the CNC Sales Manager at Radwell International, based out of our Arlington, Texas location. Mark is a CNC Subject Matter Expert and has been working in the CNC area for 17 years. We had the chance to discuss a bit about CNC machines and how CNC Spindle Retrofits can save time and money for a manufacturing environment.  

What is your role at Radwell International?

My role as CNC Sales Manager is to develop & implement strategies for production, distribution, inside/outside sales, and marketing that position Radwell as a leader in the CNC support market. Currently, my day includes gathering information as I research the CNC market. Typically, I’ll review and validate current pricing on the website and process requests for CNC parts as they trickle in from ASM’s, ISM’s, and customers. I might reach out to Alan Gage with an opportunity for Radwell Verified Subs, and/or seek support from Todd Radwell for a list of parts that should be targeted for pre-certification. The facilities I worked in specialized in exchange and repair of motors, drives, power supplies, CRT’s, and control boards for the CNC market. That's how I came to be considered a subject matter expert in this area.

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Six Questions with Brian Janusz, Global Program Manager at Radwell International

Brian Janusz is an interesting person. He has been central to the redesign and remodel of Radwell International's new headquarters building in Willingboro, NJ. When he wasn't hard at work on managing remodeling and material handling systems,  he has been working with other Radwell locations on expansion plans. Brian is busy: moving frequently and quickly through the 311,000 square foot Radwell headquarters building, easily gravitating from project to project with ease. We caught up with him recently to get a glimspe into his job at Radwell International. We had to walk really quickly to catch up.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be at Radwell International.

My education background is in Mechanical Engineering and I graduated from Virginia Tech. My first job out of college was working as a Project Engineer for Bowen Engineering, a great construction company that builds and works on water treatment plants, waste water treatment plants and large utilities. It started off as a summer internship that turned into a full time job. I learned so much from the experience, mostly from the amazing people I worked with. They taught me about project management, people management and construction. It was a difficult job to leave because there was still so much to learn. That experience has helped me enormously, in what I do at Radwell International.

How I came to Radwell: During my freshman year at college I emailed Brian Radwell looking for a summer job. He directed me to Steve Wallace and I got a position helping out in production. That first summer I did anything and everything that was needed. I delivered manual recs, organized the order shelves, cleaned units, worked with speed line testing and approving parts for orders, picked in the warehouse and just generally learned

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Best Practices in Eco-Friendly Innovation for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Industries

For many manufacturers, the prospect of moving towards eco-friendly solutions and innovations such as renewable energy is very much front of mind; however, actually implementing the necessary changes is easier said than done. Luckily, as technology develops, and the appetite for carbon neutrality increases around the globe, there are many options for saving not only the bottom line, but the environment.

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Five Ways Radwell Verified Subs Can Change Your Life

If you work in a manufacturing facility, we’ve got a product offering that can change your life. Sounds like a lofty promise, doesn’t it? Our answer is all about one of the most unique of our offerings at Radwell International: our Radwell Verified Sub Program. It is not something that is all that common to find among industrial automation service/parts providers. We get asked about this program all the time by customers who want to know what a Radwell Verified Sub is and how it can benefit them.

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8 Questions with Markus Schmidt, Swisslog's President of WDS Americas

If you've been keeping up with the remodel of Radwell International's new headquarters building in Willingboro, NJ, then you know about the installation of our Swisslog Autostore. To read more about this revolutionary system, give Todd Radwell's blog post a read here. It was truly fascinating to watch the system being built from the ground up.

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Radwell-Indiana Shoots and Scores!

In many instances, large companies talk (and talk and talk) about the products and services they can provide for their customers. Millions of dollars are spent each year on marketing efforts designed to tell customers about all the wonderful products and services that are available to them as consumers. Often the talk can be much more appealing than the reality. I’m not going to lie: many times within our marketing at Radwell, we do share our many capabilities with our customers. However, our reality is something we are very focused on every day, in every department within our organization. The best way to discuss what Radwell International is really capable of is by sharing some stories straight from the field. We’ve decided to do just that, 

starting with a great hero story straight from Robert Tiedeken, our Branch Manager in Radwell-Indiana. Rob has been with Radwell International for 10 years this April. He was a career IT professional and started with Radwell as a Systems Administrator. He was promoted to IT Operations Manager and in this role, he worked on design and buildouts for Radwell-UK, Radwell-Canada, Radwell-Texas and Radwell-Indiana. An unexpected opportunity arose for him when he was asked to take on the challenge of being a Branch Manager in Franklin, Indiana upon it’s completion. He took on the challenge and has never looked back. Rob is a great leader for Radwell-Indiana and does a great job building his team and creating a sense of community both with his employees as well as his clients.

 

Here’s Rob’s Customer Story:

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