The Rise of the Smart Machine

The Rise of the Smart Machine

Algorithms and integrated networks (Industry 4.0) will change the landscape of equipment in the years to come.  The power of well-constructed, self-healing, and adaptive networks is difficult to comprehend at this stage of their development, or maybe they are not.



For example, imagine a machining center that monitors each component of its function in real time, all the time, deciding its spindle needs replacement.  The machining center automatically adjusts its speeds and feeds for each tool to ensure the quality of the parts it machines are not compromised.  It also orders the new spindle or spindle bearings.  The delivery of the spindle determines when the machine will need to schedule its downtime for replacement.  The downtime is going to disrupt production, so it automatically adjusts raw material needs and its production times to ensure the downtime does not affect overall production.  If it is unable to...

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Everything is Temporary, Except...

Uncategorized Aug 01, 2018

Everything Is Temporary, Except…

Have you ever been sick and wanted nothing more than to feel like you did before you were sick? Have you lost someone close to you and in the midst of grieving, felt sorrow so deeply you wondered if you would ever feel normal again? What about the time you failed so miserably you swore you would never try again?


Life lived is like a roller coaster. We go up and we go down but that is the thrill of the ride. The majority of pain is temporary, but our fear of pain is permanent. Our fear of pain traps us on the hamster wheel of life. We don’t take the opportunity to get on the roller coaster because the easy path is the hamster wheel.


All things are temporary. Your current situation will change, but you must act to accelerate the change. You must act in your own self-interest to avoid being trapped in a life you didn’t design. I am not suggesting you disregard others in your action but acting in your own self-interest...

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4 Rules of Life

Uncategorized Jul 25, 2018

There seem to be four rules of life that are immutable and here they are:

Rule #1 – Responsibility is on us. Too often our society looks to blame others for its plight. It is this person’s fault or that organizations fault. When it comes to our lives, after a certain age it is up to us. It is up to us to develop the skills and master the disciplines necessary to achieve our goals and aspirations. If you aren’t where you want to be in life, don’t blame anyone or anything other than yourself. Accepting responsibility is the first step to progress toward your goals if you have not made reasonable progress to date. Our lives are our responsibility.

Rule #2 – We won’t get out of this life alive. The clock begins to tick for us the day we were conceived and our expiration is inevitable. Too often we live as though we will live forever and put off pursuit of something meaningful to us. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. said, “Many people die with their...

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The Backpack

Uncategorized Jul 18, 2018

I messed up. When I was a junior in high school, I crashed my mom’s car. The worst part was that I lied about the cause. My excuse was that I was reaching into the back seat to grab a brush. This was the ‘80’s, so I had to tame the mullet! The truth was that I was attempting to get a cigarette out of the pack and lit. this is not a story my 16-year-old self wanted to tell my parents, so I lied. That same year, my parents went away on a trip over a weekend, so I had a party. We had a keg of beer and lots of people. The screen door was broken, my shower wall was kicked in (don’t ask), and the cover on my stepfather’s cherished red Trans Am was ripped. You guessed it, I had great stories for each incident. What about that time a friend was attempting to cook lamb, but it was taking forever, so I left. That relationship was never the same. There was another time when the twins were little that I got so angry I took their toy golf club and broke it over my...

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The Business Case - Emotion & Logic

In every company, the fundamentals are the same – operations, sales and marketing, finance and admin.  If you want to get approval for a project, it is Important to demonstrate the benefits to each are of the business.  Here is an outline of items to consider when looking to develop a proposal.



  1. Cost of ownership
    • Labor required – staffing
    • Energy consumption
    • Perishables – helium, fuel, etc.
    • Opportunity costs
  2. Maintenance
    • Regular/scheduled downtime
    • Expertise required to maintain
    • Service and support strategy
    • Operator skill level to operate
  3. Logistics
    • Part flow and frequency
    • Expected support required


Sales and marketing

  1. Sales tools – Is this something to brag about?
  2. Capacity – Does this increase the ability to take on more business?
  3. New customers – Helps leverage experience for obtaining new customers.
  4. Technology – Does this technology give sales and marketing something to talk about? Does it uniquely...
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The Question

personal deveolpment Jul 03, 2018

Humans are judgement machines. We can’t help it. Since the beginning of time, we have had to judge everything. In the beginning, this was a survival mechanism. “Is this going to eat me?” “Should I stay or should I go?” Back then, it was only about survival.


We humans are still asking ourselves questions on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the questions we are asking tend to cost us joy instead of saving our lives. The sad part is that we don’t even realize we are doing it. Our consumer-based society has been programmed through the years of advertising that this is how we should look at everything. The most insidious of all questions and the one that has caged our society is “Do I like it?”. We ask this question about everything.

-Do I like the new person I just met?

-Do I like this new church I just visited?

-Do I like this meal?

-Do I like my spouse?

-Do I like my car?

-Do I like my neighbor?

-Do I like my job? My in-laws? This...

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Capital Project Team Members

In my experience, this step is nearly always skipped in the process of managing a capital project.  However, the most successful project managers clearly define expectations of each project team member.  It is worth defining the Project Team Members.  These are members of the project that have specific and defined responsibilities/roles to help ensure project success.  This is the “get it done” crew.  Team members are appointed by the stakeholders of the project.  These folks are typically management and customers.  They report to the people that dole out the funding for capital projects.  It is important to keep them informed regarding project status.  They don’t typically like surprises.

Ideal capital project teams will consist of the following members:

  1. Project Manager – This person is responsible for keeping the project on track. They will interact with many people throughout the organization.  For...
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The Talk - Part 3

personal development Jun 20, 2018

Financial Intelligence – There is no secret to becoming wealthy and there is no magic to it either. However, there is a trillion-dollar industry focused on convincing us otherwise.  The financial industry wants your money to invest so that they can charge fees for below average results.  Below describes the impact of fees on a simple investment:

Imagine that you are 21 years old and decide to begin investing for your future (Congratulations!).  You invest $10,000.  Your friend makes the same decision and invests $10,000.  You and your friend enjoy a 6% return on this $10K investment for the next 25 years (all or any dividends reinvested).  Your friend ends up with $16,000 but you end up with $33,000.  What is the difference?  The difference is that your friend paid 2% in fees each year and you paid no fees.  Investing with just a 2% yearly fee wipes out 40% of your investment value over 25 years.  I had no idea about fees...

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The Talk: Part 2

personal development Jun 13, 2018

Healthy Choices –  You won’t do well if you don’t feel well.  Our youth is a veil masking the long-term consequences of poor choices.  Jim Rohn always said, “Everything affects everything else and not to think so is naive.” This is especially true when it comes to our health.  There are three pillars to health:  physical, mental, and nutritional.

Physical exercise done properly will lead to endurance and stamina.  Endurance and stamina help us to stay strong when the going gets tough and the desire to quit is nearly overwhelming.  The great news is that it doesn’t require hours in the gym to increase your physical resilience.  It only requires 30 to 45 minutes of your time three or four days per week.  Surely you can spare 2 hours per week to increase your overall satisfaction with life.  Science has proven that exercise improves our brain function, increasing our cognitive skills and enhances...

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The Talk - Part 1

This talk will be a little different than the talk about the birds and the bees. This talk is for young adults entering the world on their own. It might also be a good reset for adults struggling to find their place in the world. I have often reflected on my life in an effort to better understand how I arrived at my current station.   Reflection is a powerful exercise for a better future because when we understand what got us here, we will know what might get us there. Wherever “there” is for you. As for my story after college, I was a bit train wreck. After four years at Purdue University, I moved back to my hometown of North Vernon, Indiana. My first job was my dream job because I was working at Cummins Engine Company. As a kid growing up in Southern Indiana, we didn’t have much money, but I realized that the kids that had money also had parents working at Cummins. That became my goal!   Fresh out of college I was ready to change the world and...

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