Monday, June 30, 2014

Clear and Concise Fuel Cell Video

I found this to be a very clear description of a fuel cell.  The language is a little difficult to hear because it is a slightly muffled, but the graphics and explanation are excellent.  This is from   I will have to check out more of these.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Eradicating The Canadian Manufacturing Productivity Gap Article By Memex Automation's Thomas Smeenk

Memex Automation's Vice President of Business Development Thomas Smeenk wrote a very nice article in OIM - Ontario Industrial Magazine titled "Eradicating The Canadian Manufacturing Productivity".

Thomas does a great job in the article discussing the real life examples or Rose Integration, Magellan Aerospace and Mazak.  All three saw exceptional ROI thanks to Memex's flagship, award winning product MERLIN!  I highly recommend everyone check out the article that Thomas wrote!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

MTInsight Goodbye - Thanks AMT!

Below is MTInsight Group that I had the privilege of working with at AMT - The Association For Manufacturing the past 4 1/2 years.   Everyone was able to be there for the photo except for Steve Fanning, President and CEO of Path To Progress.  Yesterday was my last day at AMT and I received this photo, with everyone's signatures, in a very expensive frame.

The back row of AMT men, starting from the left, are Mark Kennedy, Asim Mukhtar, Daniel Tees, Kalesh Mahendrakar, Peter Eelman, me, Doug Woods, Ian Stringer, Steve Lesnewich and Pat McGibbon.  The front row of AMT women, starting from the left, are Diyana Hrzic, Alka Parandekar, Lois Uthman, Julie Peppers and Kim Brown.

It was a fantastic group of very smart, extremely dedicated and passionate individuals that created the best customized manufacturing business intelligence platform on planet earth - MTInsight!

Thanks AMT!

My Last IMTS Insider - Thanks!

I wrote this for the June 25, 2014 IMTS Insider.

For the last four years, I have had the privilege of writing articles for the IMTS Insider. It has been something that I always looked forward to each month and greatly enjoyed. As IMTS Insider readers know, articles come out once per month except as we get close to IMTS, then IMTS Insider is sent twice per month. What made my life exponentially easier was working with the great folks at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology’s Communication Department. I would like to sincerely thank Bonnie Gurney for all of your tremendous support and great suggestions over the years. Very special thanks to Penny Brown, Mary Uhrina and Whitney Brown for their great editing of my articles and their priceless suggestions. Sincere thanks to Diyana Hrzic for all her very creative ideas, suggestions and support over the years as well.

I thought it would be interesting to list the 45 articles I wrote for the Insider to show the topics that were discussed.
  1. Cyber Security And Manufacturing
  2. Net Neutrality In a Nutshell
  3. Introducing OSI-Roundtable
  4. Why Lord Kelvin Would Love MTConnect
  5. Education Heaven Is A Playground
  6. History Of MTConnect
  7. IOT Internet Of Things
  8. If You're Not The Lead Dog
  9. Joel Neidig Manufacturing Thought Leader
  10. Just The Facts Ma’am
  11. Life Is Short Death Is Certain
  12. Life Long Learning
  13. Lighting Up Your Booth And Sales With IMTS-Lite
  14. Lightning Strikes Twice MTInsight IMTS-2014
  15. MC2-2013 Big Success In Cincinnati
  16. MTConnect Is Not An Application Or Middleware
  17. MTInsight IMTS-2012 The Killer App
  18. MTInsight IMTS 2014 App: The MUST Have App
  19. MTInsight Testing Award Winning Software
  20. Manufacturing Augmented Reality
  21. Manufacturing Authentication Authorization
  22. Manufacturing Business Intelligence
  23. Manufacturing Encryption
  24. Manufacturing Passwords
  25. Manufacturing’s Intranet Of Sensors
  26. Manufacturing Wealth – Net Neutrality
  27. Multitasking Paging And Swapping
  28. Open Systems For Open Minds
  29. Smartphones Will Be Looking At You
  30. Technology Tips For Grandparents
  31. Technology Tips For Your College Student
  32. The Beatles, Florence Italy and [MC]2
  33. The Myth Of Lean Manufacturing
  34. The Mythical Man Month
  35. The Network Is The Computer
  36. The One Thing To Do Before IMTS 2012
  37. The Smart Grid And MTConnect
  38. The Three Open Pillars Of MTConnect
  39. The Virtuous Software Circle
  40. Turners Five Laws Of Manufacturing
  41. Who Watches The Watchmen
  42. Winning The Application Platform
  43. Write Once Run Anywhere
  44. Winning the Application Platform
  45. Your Manufacturing Check Engine Light Is On
If I could offer only one last piece of advice for any exhibitor at IMTS 2014, it would be to become an MTInsight subscriber and then go buy the IMTS 2014 app. In my personal opinion, it will be the best investment that you will spend this year for any trade show that you attend! The great news is that you do not have to be an exhibitor to benefit from MTInsight; AMT members can also benefit from the many apps that are available beyond just the IMTS 2014 app. Also remember, these apps run entirely in your browser, so you never have to worry about local updates as they take care of that for you behind the scenes – just go to, login and go! I had the great privilege of working with the MTInsight team the past four years and I am going to greatly miss all the fantastic people who make up the team. We created a fantastic platform, with great apps and we had fun while doing it. You can’t ask for more than that in life.

I also must thank Peter Eelman and Doug Woods. I would not be at AMT if not for Peter and Doug. Peter mentioned to Doug that I was leaving Sun Microsystems to take a year off. I met with Doug for lunch in early 2010 and he convinced me to push off my sabbatical and to come consult at AMT. That was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

I came on board after creating my own company, Virtual Photons Electrons, to help AMT out with what would later become MTInsight, MTConnect and future technologies. I was President and Chairman of the Board of the MTConnect Institute from May 2010 to the end of 2013, created the [MC]2 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference, wrote a book, MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know, that I gave away to [MC]2 2013 attendees and worked with a lot of great companies and individuals over the years to evangelize and grow the MTConnect community. As you can see from my list of articles, I wrote a number of articles on MTConnect over the years.

Peter and Bonnie gave me this opportunity to be able to write for the IMTS Insider and I am forever grateful. I have known Peter since 1997. We were next-door neighbors for over fifteen years and became great friends. Peter, thank you for all of your support and friendship over the many years!
I would like to thank all the great folks at AMT. AMT is the best association on planet earth and second place is a very distant second.

Finally, I would like to offer my deep and sincere thanks to the readers of the IMTS Insider and especially those who dropped me notes over the years either thanking me or requesting articles on a given topic. Thank you!
For those who want to stay in touch, I can be found at my blog,, or at my own company,

Take care,


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Instagram Article in Fortune and Visit To Facebook

There is a very creative set of photographs in an article in Fortune of Instagram employees called:

Portraits of the 500: The people behind Instagram

My oldest son John is in the second photo on the left hand side of the page sitting in a booth with another Instagram employee.

Below is John and me at Facebook's campus last Friday when we had lunch together.  I was out there for business and stayed an extra day to have lunch with John and dinner with his fiancee Janet that evening.  Janet made reservations at a fantastic restaurant called Garibaldi's in San Francisco.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Manufacturing Wealth - Net Neutrality

Manufacturing Wealth - Net Neutrality

By: Dave Edstrom
Besides President Johnson’s “The Great Society” and President Kennedy’s Apollo program, what stands out as the program that truly helped all Americans? I would argue that the Internet and the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System would be #1 and #2. While the government has managed not to mess up our highway system, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might be doing significant damage to the Internet, depending on what they decide to do with net neutrality. Anyone who tells you net neutrality is not a big deal is demonstrating their complete lack of knowledge of economics and technology. Let’s dig into net neutrality and learn why it is important for not only manufacturing, but for every industry and any person who uses the Internet.
Let’s start with the basics; what is net neutrality? Before we even get into net neutrality, it is important to have a brief primer on how the Internet works. Think of life before packets, which I will explain in a few moments, as a point-to-point type of conversation that is much like what your grandmother or great grandmother would do back in the 1930s when she called her sister. Your grandmother would call the local operator, who was sitting in front of a big switchboard, and tell the operator she wanted to talk to her sister. The operator would physically connect her jack to her sister’s jack using a cord. They had a point-to-point connection. You can imagine how inefficient that would be in terms of scaling. It was once calculated that if every person in the United States had a phone, then every person in the United States would also have to be a phone operator because of the number of possible connections. Clearly, that did not scale. Along came mechanical switchboards and the ability to dial your own phone without having to use an operator. This was a big step for communication. Computers could speak to each other over phone lines, but there was an impending security problem with this scenario.
In the late 1950s, it was obvious to those in the military and in the computer industry that computers were going to be very important for our national security. I was born in the Eisenhower administration and remember the drills of getting under the desk in case of a nuclear attack. Luckily for the United States, we had very smart scientists both in government and in industry. While the Internet had many fathers, I am going to highlight just one who did seminal work on packet switching, which is fundamental for our discussion on net neutrality. The best article I could find on this topic is from Wired Magazine, published September 4th, 2012 and is titled, “Paul Baran, the link between nuclear war and the internet.” Cade Metz states in the opening paragraphs:
“Paul Baran set out to build a means of communication that could survive a nuclear war. And he ended up inventing the fundamental networking techniques that underpin the Internet.
In the early 1960s -- as an engineer with the RAND Corporation, the US armed-forces think tank founded in the wake of the Second World War -- Baran developed a new breed of communication system that could keep running even if part of it was knocked out by a nuclear blast. It was the height of the Cold War, and the nuclear threat was very much on the mind of, well, just about everyone.
Basically, Baran cooked up a system that could divide communications into tiny pieces and use distributed network "nodes" to pass these pieces around. If one node was knocked out, the others could pick up the slack. In 1964, he published a paper on this system -- entitled "On Distributed Communications" -- and a few years later, it would play into the development of the ARPAnet, the research network that would eventually morph into the modern internet.”
This is how packets on the Internet work. Imagine you write a long email to a friend. Packet-switching divides your long email into smaller packets that are the size of a 3x5 card. Let’s say that your email is divided into 20 3x5 cards. When those 20 cards get sent out over the Internet, a few might go north, some might go south, but they all eventually reach their destination. When they reach their destination, those cards all get reassembled into the text you originally wrote. You don’t know what path each little 3x5 card took and you don’t care. All you care about is that your email gets there in one piece. There could be many, many stops along the way. The movement of Internet packets is similar to the way you take a different road to avoid traffic. At any given point in time, there are an unfathomably high number of packets moving between various systems, carrying everything from that long email to your friend, to Netflix movies, to new apps for your iPad, to encrypted communications, to where people are buying goods, and everything in between.
Now, to finally answer the question, “what is net neutrality?” Net neutrality basically means that a packet is a packet with no distinction on where the packet came from, where the packet is going or the contents of the packet. Why is net neutrality a good thing? Let’s look at the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, the goal was to provide a highway system that was not just a hodge-podge of state roads, but a truly interconnected system. There is no one who would argue that this did not change American society and American culture in tremendous and positive ways.
If a family wants to leave from Ashburn, Va., and make a trip to visit their son in San Francisco, they can take the highway system and never have to pay a toll to get to their destination. Yes, there are toll roads, but you are not forced to take them. When you are taking the family truckster and driving across the United States, there are no signs along the way that state in big bold letters, “If you are coming from Ashburn, Va., and going to SuperDuperFun Land in San Francisco, please use the unlimited speed lane – all others are not allowed in that lane under any circumstances – even if the unlimited speed lanes are empty.”
Let’s look at a hypothetical business example of net neutrality, or rather the lack of net neutrality. Peter Eelman, VP - Exhibitions & Communications at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, and the person in charge of IMTS, gets swamped with a number of emails and phone calls from the Midwest complaining about the speed of getting data from the IMTS website. Peter investigates and finds that there are no problems with the website. Upon further investigation, Peter learns that the largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the Midwest, Billy Bob’s Midwest ISP, has relegated all IMTS website traffic to the slow lane. This means that all of the packets can’t take the fast lane anymore. Peter asks the president of Billy Bob’s Midwest ISP, “What can I do? My customers are complaining.” The president tells Peter, “You’re in luck; we have a special package where, for just $10,000 a month, we can put every IMTS packet onto the super-fast lane so your customers will not have to wait to get their IMTS information.” Peter then says, “So, if I do not pay you $120,000 a year, then ALL of my IMTS traffic gets slowed down, correct?” The president then says, “Peter, no, no not all. We never slow down traffic. What we have is a super-fast lane for those companies who need it and are willing to pay for it.” Peter then says, “If you put in a ‘fast lane’ then you are effectively slowing down traffic compared to how the Internet used to work, which is a packet is a packet is a packet.”
Hopefully, this brief article on net neutrality sheds some light on why this is so important for the future of the Internet, individuals and small businesses. If it is true, according to ALL of our politicians, that small business is the engine of our economy, then why are we stepping on the throats of startups by allowing some packets to be more important than other packets? Just remember, a packet should be a packet should be a packet – no matter where it came from, where it’s going and no matter what is inside of it. We should treat packets on the Internet like votes in a democracy – my vote or packet is no more or no less important than your vote or your packet. What can you do about this if you are concerned? Write a letter, don’t email, to your congressman or senator.
For questions or comments, Dave Edstrom can be found at Virtual Photons Electrons.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

President Obama on Climate Change

I have voted Republican before, but with the GOP being the ASP (Anti-Science Party)  when it comes to climate change, I have lost all respect for them.

I thought this was a perfect question from Thomas Friedman and response  from President Obama when he asked "whether he ever wants to "go off" on climate change deniers in Congress:"

Below are the two paragraphs from the article:

“Yeah, absolutely,” the president said with a laugh. “Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us. ... We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling. ... The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces. The good news is that the public may get out ahead of some of their politicians” — as people start to see the cost of cleaning up for hurricanes like Sandy or the drought in California — and when “those start multiplying, then people start thinking, ‘You know what? We’re going to reward politicians who talk to us honestly and seriously about this problem.’”

The president added: “The person who I consider to be the greatest president of all time, Abraham Lincoln, was pretty consistent in saying, ‘With public opinion there’s nothing I cannot do, and without public opinion there’s nothing I can get done,’ and so part of my job over these next two and a half years and beyond is trying to shift public opinion. And the way to shift public opinion is to really focus in on the fact that if we do nothing our kids are going to be worse off.”

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Attention SunDC Alumni! - SunDC Sunset Party Thursday, July 17 at Coastal Flats in Tyson's Corner I

Believe it or not, it has been 5 years since our original "Sunset" party, and once
again, it is time again to reunite and spend some time with ole Sun crew! 

We'll be holding the summer reunion on Thursday, July 17 at Coastal Flats in Tyson's Corner I5:00pm til ?  

We had over 300 people at the first "Sunset" party and true to Sun form we've had at least 200 alum return for each following gathering.

Please spread the word and look forward to seeing everyone there!   RSVP to

Cash bar, donations for appetizers appreciated.