Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spike - The Best Dog Ever


On June 17th, 1998 Spike was born.    In July 1998 we picked up our very first dog as a family.  John was ten, Michael was seven and Tim was four.  Today, John is 24, Michael 21 and Tim is 18. 

Above is Spike when we first got him next to a baseball.  
Above is Spike with Tim (shirt off) and John helping me build the boy's fort in the backyard.  Spike was 5 months old.


Above is Spike, John, Tim and Michael at Christmas in 1998.  You could tell how much the boys loved Spike just by looking at how Tim and Michael were starting at Spike.

Spike was the best dog of all time.  I know everyone says that  about their dog.  Spike was an "oops" litter.  Spikes father was a champion Lab and his mother was a champion Golden Retriever.  We picked Spike up from a great breeder named Alice Judah who owns  Deja Vu Kennels Bealeton, VA.   Alice went on vacation and these two champions got together by a mistake.   Alice gave folks a break on price and instead of $1,100 each, they were going for $200 each.   We did not care about a purebred and felt that this might actually be better.  Sometimes purebreds can have problems.  We could not have been more right about a great combination.  Alice always took great of Spike, especially when he got older and needed to be inside and not outside.   We also picked up Photon from Alice and he has been a great dog as well.   Photon is a purebred lab.


Above is Spike at age 4 lying in the kitchen.


Above is a picture of Spike going through the snow a few years ago.  Spike loved the cold and hated the heat.  No weather was too cold for Spike.  The boys named Spike and I think it was primarily from the name on the old Rugrats cartoon on Nickleodeon.



Before getting Spike I said I wanted to fence in our 1/2 acre lot.


Above is Nero, Photon and Spike.  We picked up Nero in July of 2011.  Photon is 8 years old.

I need to tell a somewhat long story about the importance of a fence in our yard BEFORE we got a dog.  One of the driving reasons to do that was when I was in 5th grade I was walking to a high school basketball game in Trenton, Illinois.   I was walking with the next door neighbor who was in 7th grade.  Most people just let their dogs run free in small midwest towns back in the 1960s and we did the same.  When I notice that our dog "Trixie" (my mother named her - the rationale is that every animal on her Randolph and Zumbrota farms growing up the animal's last name had to rhyme with "eeee" - made no damn sense to me then or now.  Anyway, when Trixie was following us I said, "I should take Trixie home".  My freaking idiot next neighbor convinced me that if I threw rocks at her she would go home.  We did throw rocks (small ones - large pebbles might be a better term) and I yelled at her to to home and it looked like she was heading home, so kept going.

Just thirty seconds later and I hear screeching tires and I look back to see Trixie get hit by a car that was going about 55mph.  It trapped her up on the passenger front bumper area and dragged her 70 yards or so.  I ran home screaming and crying for my parents.  My dad went out and was going to at least drag her out of the highway.  When he dragged her she yelped and to his surprise was still alive.  He carried her home, took her to the vet and they were able to save her.  He built a special cage so she could not move around.  She always had a slow gate after that, but lived a long time going from Trenton to Kansas City, MO to Burke, VA.

When it came time to have her put down because her body was full of cancer, I was 24.  I remember my parents called me at work and said, "it is time to put Trixie down and we discussed this and since she really was purchased on your birthday, we would prefer if you did it."  My response was "no way in hell I am doing that."  My parents took to the vet.  They tell the story of dropping her off there.  The vet had on her a leash and said, "I will take Trixie now."  He then said, "when you walk out, do not look back, just keep walking out the door."   My parents said they were able to keep it together until they got near the door when they did both stop and look back.  At that exact time, Trixie stopped and looked back as well.  Both my parents started crying.    To this day when they tell the story it brings near tears to their eyes.

So, that is why I insisted on a fence before we got Spike.

This is different than when Bootsie (noticed the whole "eeee" thing) was hit by a car in the Philippines when I was seven.  When Bootsie was hit by a car, some local Filipinos asked if they get have Bootsie to cook up.  My father immediately agreed.  As a matter of fact, he went down there where they were roasting Bootsie and had a bite.  This further substantiated the legend of John Kenneth Edstrom as a person you do not want to screw with - one minute he is petting you the next he is eating you and his blood pressure did not change by a single point.


Photon loved to lie on top Spike wherever he was - including the couch.


Spike and Photon in front of the Christmas tree.


Above Spike and Photon don't want Tim sleeping during the day so they decide that together they should wake him up.


Above is Spike, Nero (when he was a puppy) and Photon.   Spike taught the other two the proper way to sleep like a dog.  Spike was smarter than Photon and Nero put together.

Spike had a TON of energy.  He ate two couches and big grill we had just to name a few things.  He was a master at catching animals as well.  If there was a bird that got into the screened in porch, I would let Spike out there and he could literally jump when the bird flew by and catch it in his mouth as it flew by.  Goodnight bird :-)   Same thing with rabbits in the backyard.  Spike was big and fast - 90 pounds of muscle.   Spike had so much energy that we called the breeder and asked for advice.  Buying new couches and grills gets expensive after awhile :-)  She suggested another dog and had one we could use for free.  The dog was a female named Toot.  Toot was a very sweet dog who had done her share of having litters.  Toot was like bringing a grandma to Spike.  Toot was happy to carry around a tennis ball in her mouth and walk around the yard.   Toot was also a "submissive urinator" as we come to learn AFTER we got her.  This means that when she gets scared, she urinates.  If you come up on her too quickly she urinates.  Imagine trying to tell three young boys who are 10, 7 and 4 to be gentle when you are around Toot.  We learned how to quickly clean up urine :-)





Above is Spike and Photon wrestling which I just happened to catch in May 2011 when I was walking around the back yard and they start playing together.

Spike developed a fatty, non-cancerous tumor on his left rib cage.  It grew to about the size of a football.  The vet said the operation would kill him and it was not causing him any pain.  On May 29th we took Spike to Dr. Jones of Ashburn Veterinary Hospital.  Spike had stopped walking and we had to feed him by hand as well as give him water by hand.   We had to help him up and down the stairs.  He stopped moving and would not get out of his crate.  Dr. Jones ran a bunch of tests and explained that Spike's larnyx was closing down, his hips were very arthritic, his tumor was the size of a very large football and he was in pain.

We ended up putting Spike to sleep today Thursday the 31st of May at 6:25pm.  Spike was the best dog ever....




Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

My cousin Chris Edstrom has done two tours of duty in Iraq AND two tours of duty in Afghanistan.   My father did two tours of duty in Vietnam and is the world record holder for number of years with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). 

video

Above is what Julie and I saw on the way to Ocean City on Saturday May 26th which I thought was very cool.

Thanks as well to Brad Kirley, Paul Warndorf and all the many veterans of the United States of America.

We should thank ALL VETERANS today for their service to our country.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Skyland and Ocean City, MD


On Friday May 25th, we left early and had breakfast up on Skyline Drive at Skyland.


Above is Julie on Stony Man Mountain on Skyline Drive.


Julie and me on Stony Mountain.


Great view of how Skyline drive winds over the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Great day to take the top off the Grand Sport Corvette


Julie under the umbrellas.


The waves were perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding.


A nice 360 degree of Ocean City Beach down near where the boardwalk begins.



Above is me boogie boarding at Ocean City, MD on Saturday the 26th.  Last year the beach was terrible with shore breaks (waves breaking right near shore with a record number of neck injuries).  This year, because of winter storms that flattened out the shore, the waves are now breaking further out and are perfect.

We also had a record return from Ocean City, MD to my house in Ashburn in 2 hours and 53 minutes - no speeding - just got very lucky on traffic.

One of the benefits of living in the DC area is that you are less than 2 hours from the mountains and less than 2 hours to the ocean beaches.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fox News Viewers Least Informed AGAIN

"Another study has concluded that people who only watch Fox News are less informed than all other news consumers.

Researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University updated a study they had conducted in late 2011. That study only sampled respondents from New Jersey, where the university is located. This time, the researchers conducted a nationwide poll."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Education Heaven Is A Playground

Education Heaven Is A Playground

                                                               By  Dave Edstrom

Creative teachers in schools, creative instructors in business or creative mentors in any walk of life can make all the difference in the world.  We know this is true, yet we shackle our teachers in the classrooms and complain about how hard it is to find good people in business. I would argue that it is not a lack of good students or a lack of smart workers – it is a lack of creative thinking by school administrators, teachers union leaders, politicians and business leaders that is the real problem.
In the newly released book Imagine – How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer, he recites a survey of teachers who were asked about student creativity. One hundred percent of the teachers stated they wanted creative students. When the same teachers were asked about traits that were important to them, a very high percent stated the exact opposite. These teachers said that conforming and listening were the most important traits they wanted to see in their students. The teachers clearly did not want students speaking up and challenging them. I once worked at a company where a sales VP had physically removed the door from his office to prove he had an open door policy. What was most ironic about this individual is that he had a reputation as being the most closed-minded individual in the entire office. How often do we hear leaders state they are for education and creativity only to refute it with their actions? Is it being purposely disingenuous or is it ignorance?
When my youngest son, Tim, was in elementary school, I asked him at the dinner table how the Standards Of Learning (SOL) tests went that day for him. He responded, “My stomach hurt.” My first reaction was to think that his teacher had said something to the class that put unnecessary pressure on the students and in particular, Tim. When I asked why his stomach hurt, he told me something that exemplifies what is wrong with our education system. Tim said that the principal said that kids do better on tests when they have breakfast, so they all had to eat breakfast – again. Tim went on to say that he told them that he had already eaten a big breakfast, but his teacher said he had to eat again so that the principal would not get mad, and that is why his stomach hurt. 
The United States is ranked 27th in the world in mathematics and 22nd in science according to the 2009 Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Survey (OECD). Note that OECD does these surveys every 3 years. There are many reasons for the United States' poor ranking. What is clearly not the problem is the amount of money spent per student. We spend twice as much as other countries. The problem is that we are not spending that money on getting the best teachers and teachers unions are very reluctant to get rid of the bad teachers. Finland is ranked No.1 in both math and science. There is a very interesting article written by Stuart Conway for the Sept. 2011 Smithsonian Magazine titled “Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful?” The first step was a conscious decision in 1963 to use education as the means to an economic recovery. Here is a quote from the article. “The second critical decision came in 1979, when reformers required that every teacher earn a fifth-year master’s degree in theory and practice at one of eight state universities—at state expense. From then on, teachers were effectively granted equal status with doctors and lawyers.  Applicants began flooding teaching programs, not because the salaries were so high, but because autonomy and respect made the job attractive.” Think about that for a second – doctors, lawyers and teachers were all on equal status. I also heard on National Public Radio (NPR) that to even apply to be a teacher in Finland, teachers must graduate in the top 10% of their class.
I was initially all for SOLs until my sister, who is a high school guidance counselor, as well as a licensed counselor, told me, “Just watch what happens – teachers will teach to the test.” I was 100% wrong on SOLs and my sister was 100% right. Teachers teach to the test and creativity be damned.  In the same Smithsonian Magazine article, there is a great section on the fallacy of standardized tests. “Finnish educators have a hard time understanding the United States’ fascination with standardized tests. “Americans like all these bars and graphs and colored charts,” Louhivuori teased, as he rummaged through his closet looking for past years’ results. “Looks like we did better than average two years ago,” he said after he found the reports. “It’s nonsense. We know much more about the children than these tests can tell us.”
Heaven Is A Playground is the name of my favorite sports book by the famous author Rick Telander. This is a fantastic and award-winning book about Telander spending the summer in Brooklyn coaching a youth summer basketball team. The title of the book comes from a quote by author G.K. Chesterton, “The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” The problem for the United States is that we have turned schools into task gardens and teachers into robots. As parents and professionals, we know this is not a hard problem to solve. Hire the best and get out of their way. It is the same in any industry. When I hear a teachers union leader state, “It is very hard to rate which teachers are the best,” I have to say that is complete and utter nonsense. I think about when my wife and I were walking one of our three sons to the bus stop on their first day of school. A parent with an older child  asked us who our son's teacher was. We could instantly tell whether our child got the best teacher or an also-ran. With a cross section of parents, you would know which are the great teachers and which are not. Students obviously know as well. I have the utmost respect for teachers and guidance counselors, but not politicians and teachers union leaders who spend more time arguing than getting to work and making improvements.
In the Lehrer Imagine book, he talks about how Google borrowed the idea from 3M regarding the 15% personal time per week to work on their own projects of their own choosing. How many manufacturers are doing that? Right now some of you are likely thinking that that would be crazy to do for manufacturing! Why would that be crazy? Seriously, why? We read and hear constantly that there are over 600,000 unfilled jobs in manufacturing in the United States because of lack of skilled workers. Whose fault is that? Is it the workers? Is it government? Is it industry?  President Obama mentioned manufacturing eight times in his State of the Union message. That is seven more times than President Bush did for all eight of his State of the Union messages, but what has really changed? We keep hearing about the problem, but what are the creative educational solutions? I hear the same old solutions being brought out again and again with different results being hoped for. That is the definition of insanity. No disrespect to my generation, the 50-plus year olds, but we are the wrong ones to be solving the problem of creative manufacturing education. I go to these manufacturing conferences and I can count the number of young people on one hand. True, I am old, so theoretically everyone is young compared to me, but I am talking about folks in their 20s. I would love to see a manufacturing conference where every person over 50 had to bring with them two 20-somethings in manufacturing to the conference. A session on creative education would have a number of the young manufacturing folks on stage with a roundtable on creative education. It’s worth a try in my humble opinion. There are some young folks, like Joel Neidig of ITAMCO, who are doing amazing things in manufacturing. I wish we could clone Joel!
Everyone agrees that Steve Jobs was a genius at creativity, but few know what he did to create the environment. At Pixar, he looked at creativity in the same way Darwin looked at evolution. You need the right environment and the right mix for new life to be created. Jobs changed the environment at Pixar and here is how Jonah Lehrer tells it in his book Imagine. “The Pixar studios were largely designed by Steve Jobs. People at Pixar will often refer to the building as “Steve’s Movie.” And the original plan for the Pixar Studios called for three separate buildings. One building for the animators, one building for the computer scientists, one building for everyone else, the writers, directors, editors and so on. Jobs took one look at this and said that’s a terrible idea. He then insisted everyone be in the exact same space because he realized the success of Pixar would depend on these cultures learning how to collaborate; getting the engineers and the computer scientists and the animators to work together, to learn from each other, to share knowledge.”
The next time you are evaluating or creating an education program or determining how to best have a creative environment for your employees, think about Finland and also ask yourself,“What would 3M, Google or Steve Jobs do?”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Actuate's Insights Newsletter Highlights AMT's MTInsight


Actuate and their BIRT onDemand cloud service have been a great partners for MTInsight and I was very pleased to see MTInsight mentioned in Actuate's Insights Newsletter Q2/2012.

Below is a quote by Doug Woods, President of AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology: 

“Our team required a solution that could eliminate server management costs and reduce IT involvement, as well as integrating BIRT natively into popular mobile platforms for our large base of end users. The flexibility in delivery model really provided an edge...” says Douglas K. Woods, President, AMT. “Overall, MTInsight powered by BIRT onDemand enables our members to resolve their own questions, saving them a huge amount of time and money.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Shot Peener -- "A New Age In Manufacturing Is At Hand"

 There is a great article on MTConnect in The Shot Peener called, "A New Age In Manufacturing Is At Hand" written by Kathy Levy of InfoProse.

The article starts out discussing ITAMCO:

"THIRTY CRITICAL MACHINE TOOLS at ITAMCO have been selected to provide real-time, accurate information about their performance. Improvement opportunities will become apparent to everyone, from machine operators to the Chief Financial Officer. “Right now, we don’t know what we don’t know,” said Joel Neidig, an engineer at ITAMCO. That’s a typical problem for manufacturing facilities that rely on verbal and paper records to evaluate machine performance and workflow. Machine statistics are very difficult to gather and organize into any kind of coherent picture. If machine data is tracked manually, the information might be outdated before it’s compiled or inaccurate."
 
Below is a quote that I really like by A.J. Sweatt:
 MTConnect Is a Free and Open Bridge
      “To say MTConnect is revolutionary is a gross understatement. Connecting machines and collecting data using the same protocol not only gives in-plant management far greater agility and control; it also allows for a level of communications between suppliers, customers, OEMs, sales and international partners that could easily be the greatest achievement for manufacturing since CNC. Or even the Internet itself.”  
The Shot Peener | Spring 2012   A.J. Sweatt AJ Sweatt Logic and Communications
 
Below is another quote that I really like by Stephen Luckowski:
 "A noteworthy point regarding alarms was made by Stephen Luckowski, Chief of Materials, Manufacturing & Prototype Technology with US Army ARDEC at the 2011 MTConnect conference: “Typically when the machine alarms, it’s too late, the tool is already broken. That means that just collecting and reporting alarms is only part of the problem. To prevent alarms that relate to downtime, we need to use MTConnect to understand the alarm and develop a pattern of what causes the downtime.”

 




Monday, May 21, 2012

1946 Farmall Tractor


I go up to Chik-filA in Sterling sometimes on Friday nights because of the interesting cars up there.  This past Friday someone brought up a 1946 Farmall tractor that was completely rebuilt and looks new.  Since both my parents grew up on farms I asked the guy to take my picture on it.  He sells these for $2,500 after he completely rebuilds them.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Top 8 Reasons Exhibitors Need MTInsight's IMTS 2012 App


I just saw this mention of an MTSedu Webinar at Quality Magazine in an article by Genevieve Diesing, who is eMedia Editor for Quality Magazine:

"Of course, it’s never too early to start planning your trip to IMTS. Attend the MTSedu Webinar: The Top 8 Reasons Exhibitors Need MTInsight's IMTS 2012 App on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 11 a.m. ET. The MTInsight team will show you eight reasons why the IMTS 2012 app will help exhibitors find customers and market your booth before, during, and after the show. The webinar will also include a live demo of the tools that will be available in the IMTS 2012 application."

The article does not list how to get an invitation, but here is some additional information on the top 8 reasons and who to reach out to in order to receive information on the webinar.
  1. Unlimited access to sell and market to more than 42,000 IMTS 2010 contacts!
    • Invite your 2010 leads back to your booth in 2012
    • Add your perfect prospects to your CRM today
  2. Unlimited access to sell and market to IMTS 2012 registrants – starting June 1
  3. Filter prospects by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size to find your key customers
    • Target your marketing campaigns
    • Send leads to your sales teams and distributors now
  4. See what days your key customers are coming to IMTS 2012
    • Market the special events in your booth to visitors attending that day
    • Find out when the executives and engineers will be at IMTS
  5. Filter prospects by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size to find your key customers
    • Target your marketing campaigns
    • Send leads to your sales teams and distributors now
  6. Compare your booth performance to other exhibitors in your pavilion, quadrant, building, and the whole show
    • Examine your booth traffic and leads in one place
    • See how your leads compared to those gathered in your pavilion
  7. Identify new opportunities – everyone who missed your booth in 2010 and post show 2012
    • Tell your 2010 opportunities why they must visit your booth in 2012
    • Sell to your opportunities all year long
  8. Pinpoint visitor traffic trends to amplify your booth's productivity
    • Help staff your booth with daily and hourly traffic analysis from 2010
    • Plan your booth events to maximize floor traffic and effectiveness
  9. Visualize never-before-seen data using state-of-the-art interactive tools
    • Create custom reports anytime, anyplace
    • Export what you need in Excel, PowerPoint, Word, PDF, HTML and CSV files
Each of those is a great reason to buy the IMTS 2012 app, but here’s the primary reason why I think MTInsight IMTS 2012 is a killer app.  If we were to ask every exhibitor at IMTS what they expected to get out of the show this year, it would be first sales and then leads. If you look at what sales are all about, it comes down to having the opportunity to show your product and/or service to a qualified customer. The MTInsight IMTS 2012 app helps you find qualified leads before, during, and after IMTS.

Don’t just take just my word for it; here is what Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President-Exhibitions & Communications says:  "MTInsight IMTS 2012 is the type of app that can pay for itself many times over — with just one extra sale. I would encourage all IMTS exhibitors to check out this app at MTInsight.org. We designed this app to help IMTS exhibitors have their best year ever at IMTS."
Also, Tom Snyder, AMT’s Exhibitions Sales Manager, thinks this is an app that can make a huge different for IMTS exhibitors. “I’ve been at AMT for 27 years and working with IMTS exhibitors for 22 years. I can think of no better investment for a successful IMTS than the MTInsight IMTS 2012 app.”

2012 One-Year Bundle - $1,650
2012 Two-Year Bundle - $2,250
Includes:
IMTS Lite ($200 value) - through May 31

Includes:
IMTS Lite ($200 value) - through May 31
One-year MTInsight subscription
Two-year MTInsight subscription
IMTS 2012 is your ONLY source for IMTS registration contacts. 

Visit www.mtinsight.org to learn more and subscribe. For questions, pricing, or to schedule a live demonstration contact Mark Kennedy (mkennedy@amtonline.org or 703-827-5220) or Kim Brown (kbrown@amtonline.org or 703-827-5223) today!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012


Below are Tim, Michael, Julie and John outside my parents house for Mother's Day 2012.  Tim was not wearing shoes, otherwise he would look taller.  I would give Julie an A+ on being a mother.


Americans Yoctosecond Memory


There is a fantastic article in

JewishJournal.com
on May 7, 2012 that is titled:

Don't know much about history


Below are two snippets that give you an idea how quickly Americans forget facts and history:

"Romney is entirely surrounded by those wonderful folks who brought us Iraq, people like John Bolton and Dan Senor.  As Nation columnist Ari Bermanquotes the Cato Institute’s Christopher Preble, “I can’t name a single Romney foreign policy adviser who believes the Iraq war was a mistake.”  This doesn’t mean that Iran isn’t a serious threat, but it does mean that the Republican presidential nominee’s brain trust has suffered a catastrophic foreign policy brain fart."

"Or take Reaganomics.  Every Republican presidential candidate, and every Republican running for Congress, swears allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s economic policies by signing Grover Norquist’s no-tax-increases-ever pledge.  But in 1982 Reagan cut corporate tax breaks, raised unemployment insurance taxes and increased excise taxes.  In 1983 he raised the Social Security payroll tax.  In 1984 he signed an increase in the estate tax, closed more business tax loopholes and increased excise taxes again.  Reagan’s 1986 Tax Reform Act contained the largest corporate tax increase in history.  While Reagan was president, deficits and debt both nearly tripled.  George W. Bush’s tax cuts, successfully promoted as a rerun of a Reagan record that never was, put us in a hole we still can’t dig ourselves out of.  If you’re a candidate promoting a new round of regressive tax cuts, of course you’re counting on our dementia." 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NCDMM Summit 2012 and BlueSwarf's Tooling Cloud


Last Wednesday I was in Blairsville, PA presenting at the NCDMM Summit 2012 on MTConnect.  NCDMM is the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining.  Ralph Resnick is the President of NCDMM and also is on the MTConnect Board of Directors.  Both Ralph and NCDMM have been HUGE supporters of MTConnect.

It was a GREAT conference in a beautiful part of Pennsylvania.


Below is the Tooling Cloud diagram that Dave Barton, founder of BlueSwarf, shared with me at NCDMM Summit 2012.   This is all in the cloud which is very cool!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mori-Seiki Innovation Days 2012




It is always the ultimate privilege to speak at DMG Mori-Seiki Innovation Days.  The facility is amazing. DMG Mori-Seiki has and is a HUGE supporter of MTConnect.  

The photo below is as you walk into DMG Mori-Seiki's fantastic facility.


I joked last year when I spoke here with Task Force Tips Stewart McMillen, that I wish my house was as clean and nice as their showroom. It is not a joke, I wish it was.   Apologies to my wife here if she happens to be reading this blog entry :-)   

Dana Super and Surya Kommareddy are fantastic to work with.  This is my second year presenting.  I was very fortunate to present with Surya Kommareddy.


Summary of MTConnect Presentation at Mori-Seiki Innovation Days

Surya Kommareddy and I presented MTConnect together.  The 
title of the talk was:
Shop Floor Networking and 

 Communication Using

The Open and Royalty Free Protocol



A little history
Challenges
“How” Matters
Look Under The Covers
Obvious and Not So Obvious
Future
Q & A

I went through the history of MTConnect discussing the challenges from 
both a business and technical standpoint.  The key point with MTConnect
is that "how" you get the data really matters so I discussed the 
benefits of being based on HTTP and XML as well as the importance
of a data dictionary.   We took a look at how easy it is to get
MTConnect data by showing how you can use Excel to connect
to any MTConnect enabled piece of manufacturing equipment.  Excel
can easily do this because it supports HTTP and XML out of the box.
I discussed the typical steps a shop owner or plant manager will
go through when they decide to embrace MTConnect.  I finished
with discussing futures.  Surya presented on the many things
that Mori-Seiki is doing with MTConnect and shared many great
tips with the audience.  Surya and I answered many great and
probing questions on MTConnect as well.  We exchanged many business
cards and look forward to coming back next year.

Thanks Dana and Surya!

We had nearly a full room with lots and lots of great questions from the audience.   It is great to see such interest in MTConnect.

What really thrilled me was when I walked in I saw these two screens as the first thing that I saw.  These two screens below are the Mori-Monitor software.



Notice MTConnect is mentioned above in the bottom bullet.

In the slide below you can see MTConnect in the upper left hand corner.


Below is a CND controller with a camera on it to get folks attention as you walk by.  It got mine :-)


The Killer App from MTInsight: IMTS 2012 App

May 9, 2012
By Dave Edstrom

MTInsight
A killer app is defined as an application that is so innovative that it creates its own category. It sells itself because it becomes an “absolutely must-have.”  I believe that MTInsight IMTS 2012 is a killer app. If you are an IMTS exhibitor and have not yet looked into what this app can offer you, then you are missing the opportunity to go from having a good IMTS to having a great IMTS. No matter the size of your booth, you should absolutely invest in the MTInsight IMTS 2012 App because it is the best bang for the buck going for IMTS.

In my experience, the No. 1 killer app from 1970s through today is VisiCalc, which I was demonstrating and selling back in the late 1970s.  I was going to college at night, programming in assembler during the day for the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and working weekends selling TRS-80s for Radio Shack.


NOTE:  This next paragraph was edited out of the IMTS Insider, but it is important to me because it puts in context how much money people were making back in "the day".  I guess AMT's editors did not like, but I do so I am including it here:

Why was I selling TRS-80s on weekends?  The answer was that in 1978 a good friend of mine made $83,000 selling TRS-80s.   Today, $83,000 is a very nice income level today, but in 1978 that was a whole lot of money to be making per year.   If we were to calculate what $83,00 would be equivalent to in 2011 dollars it would be $286,000 per year.   When VisiCalc came out in 1979, my friend’s income doubled.  VisiCalc had changed everything to what would be the equivalent of $572,000 in 2011 dollars for my friend.   Needless to say he was knocking it out of the park.   I was not nearly as good as he was, but I did ok myself.  I was making more on a weekend than I was during the entire week.
A typical demonstration for VisiCalc followed a common scenario.   I would sit a customer down, explain the physical components of a TRS-80 and jump into showing off VisiCalc.   I would create a very simple spreadsheet and then start adding to it.   At some point the customer would say, “Can you do this?”  Then the suggestions would become more and more specific until finally the customer would say, “get out of the chair, I want to try this.”  At that point I knew I had a sale.  At my very best, I probably had a 35% close ratio on someone buying a system and VisiCalc.  I had a 70% close ratio if it was just selling VisiCalc to a user who already had a TRS-80.

MTInsight’s IMTS 2012 is a killer app because 9 out of 10 exhibitors who receive a demo from AMT’s Steve Lesnewich, Mark Kennedy or Kim Brown buy the IMTS 2012 app. Let me repeat that number in case you thought it was a typo – a 90% close ratio. Certainly Steve, Mark, and Kim are fantastic at what they do, but I would suggest that it is the tremendous value of MTInsight IMTS 2012 app that basically sells itself.
If you’re wondering why 9/10 exhibitors that demo the IMTS 2012 app lead to a  purchase, here are the Top 8 reasons:
  1. Unlimited access to sell and market to more than 42,000 IMTS 2010 contacts!
    • Invite your 2010 leads back to your booth in 2012
    • Add your perfect prospects to your CRM today
  2. Unlimited access to sell and market to IMTS 2012 registrants – starting June 1
  3. Filter prospects by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size to find your key customers
    • Target your marketing campaigns
    • Send leads to your sales teams and distributors now
  4. See what days your key customers are coming to IMTS 2012
    • Market the special events in your booth to visitors attending that day
    • Find out when the executives and engineers will be at IMTS
  5. Filter prospects by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size to find your key customers
    • Target your marketing campaigns
    • Send leads to your sales teams and distributors now
  6. Compare your booth performance to other exhibitors in your pavilion, quadrant, building, and the whole show
    • Examine your booth traffic and leads in one place
    • See how your leads compared to those gathered in your pavilion
  7. Identify new opportunities – everyone who missed your booth in 2010 and post show 2012
    • Tell your 2010 opportunities why they must visit your booth in 2012
    • Sell to your opportunities all year long
  8. Pinpoint visitor traffic trends to amplify your booth's productivity
    • Help staff your booth with daily and hourly traffic analysis from 2010
    • Plan your booth events to maximize floor traffic and effectiveness
  9. Visualize never-before-seen data using state-of-the-art interactive tools
    • Create custom reports anytime, anyplace
    • Export what you need in Excel, PowerPoint, Word, PDF, HTML and CSV files
Each of those is a great reason to buy the IMTS 2012 app, but here’s the primary reason why I think MTInsight IMTS 2012 is a killer app.  If we were to ask every exhibitor at IMTS what they expected to get out of the show this year, it would be first sales and then leads. If you look at what sales are all about, it comes down to having the opportunity to show your product and/or service to a qualified customer. The MTInsight IMTS 2012 app helps you find qualified leads before, during, and after IMTS.

Don’t just take just my word for it; here is what Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President-Exhibitions & Communications says:  "MTInsight IMTS 2012 is the type of app that can pay for itself many times over — with just one extra sale. I would encourage all IMTS exhibitors to check out this app at MTInsight.org. We designed this app to help IMTS exhibitors have their best year ever at IMTS."
Also, Tom Snyder, AMT’s Exhibitions Sales Manager, thinks this is an app that can make a huge different for IMTS exhibitors. “I’ve been at AMT for 27 years and working with IMTS exhibitors for 22 years. I can think of no better investment for a successful IMTS than the MTInsight IMTS 2012 app.”


2012 One-Year Bundle - $1,650 2012 Two-Year Bundle - $2,250
Includes:
IMTS Lite ($200 value) - through May 31
Includes:
IMTS Lite ($200 value) - through May 31
One-year MTInsight subscription Two-year MTInsight subscription

IMTS 2012 is your ONLY source for IMTS registration contacts. 

Visit www.mtinsight.org to learn more and subscribe. For questions, pricing, or to schedule a live demonstration contact Mark Kennedy (mkennedy@amtonline.org or 703-827-5220) or Kim Brown (kbrown@amtonline.org or 703-827-5223) today!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Signed Pong Circuit Board By Nolan Bushnell



Last night Julie and I went out to dinner with long time friend Chris Melissinos and his wife Michelle to thank Chris giving the keynote at [MC]2 2011  MTConnect Connecting Manufacturing Conference.   We had a great time and after dinner, we came back to their house.   We went in to Chris's office and he showed me something pretty amazing.  Chris is holding an original Pong circuit board signed by Atari co-founder and gaming legend Nolan Bushnell.  Pong came out in 1972.  Chris and Nolan are good friends.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lunch Token: Dennis Govoni, Steve Fritzinger, Tim Wallace and Dave Edstrom


I am using this as a way to track who buys the next SunDC old timer's lunch for Dennis Govoni, Steve Fritzinger and Dave Edstrom

  • 4/20/12 I paid for Steve and Dennis
  • 7/10/12 Steve paid for Dennis and me at Famous Daves
  • 9/28/12 Dennis paid for Steve and me at Neighbors 
  • 12/20/12 I paid for Steve and Dennis at Passion Fish at Reston
  • 4/24/13 Steve paid for Dennis and Dave at La Caraquena in Falls Church 
  • 8/13/13 Dennis paid at Jason's Deli for Steve and Dave in Falls Church 
  • 12/5/13 I paid for Dennis and Steve at CPK in Tysons 
  • 1/29/14 Steve paid at Neisha in Tysons 
  • 4/29/14 Dennis paid at Skorpios in Vienna
  • 9/14/14 I paid at Buffalo Wing Factory in Ashburn
  • 10/27/14 Steve paid at Palandir in Tysons
  • 1/12/15 Dennis paid at Cafesano in Reston
  • 4/14/15 I paid at Be Right Burger in Reston 
  • 6/18/15 Steve paid at Europa in Herndon 
  • 8/6/15   Dennis paid at Mellow Mushroom in Herndon 
  • 10/25/15 I paid at The Old Brogue with Tim Wallace joining our ole SUNW'ers lunch
  • 11/25/15 Steve paid at The Vienna Inn aka VI 
  • 12/28/16 Dennis paid at Busara in Tysons 
  • 2/25/16 Tim paid at Joe's Burgers in McLean 
  • 7/15/16 I paid at Gordon Biersch in Tysons 
  • 9/1/16   Steve paid at Red, Hot and Blue in Herndon 
  • 12/12/16 Dennis paid at Enatye Ethiopian Restaurant
  • 2/2/17 Steve paid at Vienna Inn 
  • 3/10/17 Tim paid at Mookie's BBQ in Great Falls

Knox Johnstone: The REAL Most Interesting Man In The World


Above is Knox Johnstone, Business Development Director for AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. 

When I first started consulting for AMT two years ago, I heard the same thing about Knox from every employee I met at AMT, "Knox is a extremely interesting and a brilliant man."   I did not realize how interesting until I learned that Knox is the real life "Most Interesting Man In The World" in which the Dos Equis beer commercials are based.   The actor Jonathan Goldsmith plays Knox in those commercials.   Wikipedia states that Jonathan Goldsmith says that the person in the commercials is based on his friend actor Fernando Lamas.   Don't believe that for a second!   Knox IS the TRUE Most Interesting Man In The World.    Knox is in front of his custom Mercedes Benz van. 


What does "The Most Interesting Man In The World" listen to in his van?   The Who's Tommy is currently on his reel-to-reel tape recorder.   That's an honest to god working reel-to-reel tape recorder in Knox's Mercedes Van.  Notice the two way level on top of the cup holder on the lower left.  This is to make sure the reel-to-reel is always perfectly balanced when traveling down the highway listening to great rock-n-roll!

The picture below is from the back of the van showing the reel-to-reel between the seats.   The van is state of the art and has a complete shower, bath, kitchen, and beds with a wide variety of classic rock-n-roll reel-to-reel tapes to put in.