Category Archives: The Signal.X Way of Life

Don’t Be So Binary

Don’t Be So Binary

Every so often, a few farsighted people with vision, means, and the will to act perceive a wave approaching and see opportunity where others see only the mist. Today, one of these waves is upon us and it is just beginning to engulf the world of industrial manufacturing. Industry 4.0, Smart Machines, Industrial Internet of Things, Edge Computing, they all point to the same idea that a revolution is underway in the form of cyber-physical systems entering the mainstream manufacturing environment, and if that sounds a little theatrical to you, join the club. However, you can be sure that some of those flexible thinkers will rise out of these waves with ideas that stick and ultimately change the way an industry does things.

So, what do we do about it? Today, Signal.X is actively pursuing two strategies to ensure that we can get out in front of this. The first is developing partnerships with receptive machine builders that see us as a technology resource and a way to extend their own reach, perhaps even accepting our role as system integrator when the task suits our particular talents and experience better than their own. The second strategy is to create an automation platform that encompasses the technology and themes in this new wave and to bring it down to an actionable level on the plant floor.

It’s that last bit that is the tough part, because I don’t think anybody really knows what an “actionable level” actually means when you start talking about what a production test machine would do to become a “Smart Machine.” You see, production testing has always been a pretty binary business to the geezers and curmudgeons that built the current generation of manufacturing equipment. Personally, I am looking forward to my probably too-soon promotion to curmudgeon status and hope to live to see geezer too, but in the meantime, I want to ride this big wave and see where it takes us.

So, smart young people, let’s get past binary thinking and bring our customers to a future where test machines are aware of external influences and can react to changing conditions in real time. Show them how to get at the information they need, how to store it, protect it, analyze it, operate on it and get it out to the people and other machines that need it too. Gather it at the edge, move it to the middle, distribute it to the front and boil it down to cash. That’s the goal.

Go get ’em

Mike

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 7

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 7

I started working for Signal.X in January 2018 for my first co-op rotation without any real world experience. Since starting, I have had multiple projects that allowed me to apply the knowledge I have gained in class as well as learn and apply even more skills that I have acquired at Signal.X. Specifically, I have… Continue Reading

Customer Service Training

Customer Service Training

As a company of (mostly) engineers we love to solve complex problems. Can you solve this problem for a customer on time and under budget? Now we’re talking! How do we best ensure we are working to solve the right problem? Sometimes we are so eager to get started that we don’t properly define what… Continue Reading

Fun Stuff Friday: The 2017 Signal.X Holiday Party

Fun Stuff Friday: The 2017 Signal.X Holiday Party

At Signal.X Technologies, we challenge ourselves every year to try different venues to hold our annual holiday parties. As you can imagine, after 14 years, this task has become equal parts fun AND daunting! This past year, we selected Meadow Brook Hall, which is the historic home built by Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto… Continue Reading

Fun Stuff Friday: Whirlyball!

Fun Stuff Friday: Whirlyball!

Happy Friday everyone! If you needed any further proof that engineers know how to have fun, I cite for you our company outing to play – wait for it – whirlyball! Whatyball? Whirlyball. (Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either.) It’s part bumper cars, part jai alai, part basketball. Imagine driving a bumper car… Continue Reading

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 6

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 6

I started working for Signal.X during my fourth co-op rotation, with a little experience in several engineering skills. Since starting, Signal.X has allowed me to further explore these skills, with projects relating to mechanical design, signal processing, machining, fabricating, and coding in LabVIEW. In addition, I have participated in meetings with clients, visited customer sites,… Continue Reading

Signal.X is Hiring!

Signal.X is Hiring!

Signal.X is hiring! If you are interested in joining our team, please email careers@signalxtech.com, and read the details below about working at Signal.X and our currently available positions. What Our Employees Can Expect Located in Southeast Michigan, Signal.X Technologies specializes in engineering services and custom application development in diverse fields related to machinery noise and… Continue Reading

Teamwork and Communication

Teamwork and Communication

Whenever a group of smart, talented people are brought together and tasked with a complex mutual assignment, the very first thing that must happen is agreement on the means and expectation for teamwork and communication. In fact, it is really the other way around, communication first and then teamwork, because you simply don’t get anywhere… Continue Reading

Signal.X Welcomes Peter Skaggs to Our Team!

Signal.X Welcomes Peter Skaggs to Our Team!

Please join us in welcoming Peter Skaggs to Signal.X Technologies! After assisting us with fabrication and assembly services on a part-time basis, Peter has recently been offered a full-time position at Signal.X as a lab technician. In this role, Peter also has the added responsibilities for the organization of tools and supplies, as well as… Continue Reading

Signal.X Welcomes Miki Zheng to Our Team!

Signal.X Welcomes Miki Zheng to Our Team!

Please join us in welcoming Xueyun (Miki) Zheng to Signal.X Technologies! Miki recently graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology. As a project engineer, Miki will be participating in and leading machine build activities, mechanical design engineering, machine commissioning and test engineering activities. She has experience using Inventor 3D CAD… Continue Reading

Category Archives: The Signal.X Way of Life

Don’t Be So Binary

Don’t Be So Binary

Every so often, a few farsighted people with vision, means, and the will to act perceive a wave approaching and see opportunity where others see only the mist. Today, one of these waves is upon us and it is just beginning to engulf the world of industrial manufacturing. Industry 4.0, Smart Machines, Industrial Internet of Things, Edge Computing, they all point to the same idea that a revolution is underway in the form of cyber-physical systems entering the mainstream manufacturing environment, and if that sounds a little theatrical to you, join the club. However, you can be sure that some of those flexible thinkers will rise out of these waves with ideas that stick and ultimately change the way an industry does things.

So, what do we do about it? Today, Signal.X is actively pursuing two strategies to ensure that we can get out in front of this. The first is developing partnerships with receptive machine builders that see us as a technology resource and a way to extend their own reach, perhaps even accepting our role as system integrator when the task suits our particular talents and experience better than their own. The second strategy is to create an automation platform that encompasses the technology and themes in this new wave and to bring it down to an actionable level on the plant floor.

It’s that last bit that is the tough part, because I don’t think anybody really knows what an “actionable level” actually means when you start talking about what a production test machine would do to become a “Smart Machine.” You see, production testing has always been a pretty binary business to the geezers and curmudgeons that built the current generation of manufacturing equipment. Personally, I am looking forward to my probably too-soon promotion to curmudgeon status and hope to live to see geezer too, but in the meantime, I want to ride this big wave and see where it takes us.

So, smart young people, let’s get past binary thinking and bring our customers to a future where test machines are aware of external influences and can react to changing conditions in real time. Show them how to get at the information they need, how to store it, protect it, analyze it, operate on it and get it out to the people and other machines that need it too. Gather it at the edge, move it to the middle, distribute it to the front and boil it down to cash. That’s the goal.

Go get ’em

Mike

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 7

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 7

I started working for Signal.X in January 2018 for my first co-op rotation without any real world experience. Since starting, I have had multiple projects that allowed me to apply the knowledge I have gained in class as well as learn and apply even more skills that I have acquired at Signal.X. Specifically, I have… Continue Reading

Customer Service Training

Customer Service Training

As a company of (mostly) engineers we love to solve complex problems. Can you solve this problem for a customer on time and under budget? Now we’re talking! How do we best ensure we are working to solve the right problem? Sometimes we are so eager to get started that we don’t properly define what… Continue Reading

Fun Stuff Friday: The 2017 Signal.X Holiday Party

Fun Stuff Friday: The 2017 Signal.X Holiday Party

At Signal.X Technologies, we challenge ourselves every year to try different venues to hold our annual holiday parties. As you can imagine, after 14 years, this task has become equal parts fun AND daunting! This past year, we selected Meadow Brook Hall, which is the historic home built by Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto… Continue Reading

Fun Stuff Friday: Whirlyball!

Fun Stuff Friday: Whirlyball!

Happy Friday everyone! If you needed any further proof that engineers know how to have fun, I cite for you our company outing to play – wait for it – whirlyball! Whatyball? Whirlyball. (Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either.) It’s part bumper cars, part jai alai, part basketball. Imagine driving a bumper car… Continue Reading

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 6

The Signal.X / University of Cincinnati Co-op Program: The Co-op Perspective, Part 6

I started working for Signal.X during my fourth co-op rotation, with a little experience in several engineering skills. Since starting, Signal.X has allowed me to further explore these skills, with projects relating to mechanical design, signal processing, machining, fabricating, and coding in LabVIEW. In addition, I have participated in meetings with clients, visited customer sites,… Continue Reading

Signal.X is Hiring!

Signal.X is Hiring!

Signal.X is hiring! If you are interested in joining our team, please email careers@signalxtech.com, and read the details below about working at Signal.X and our currently available positions. What Our Employees Can Expect Located in Southeast Michigan, Signal.X Technologies specializes in engineering services and custom application development in diverse fields related to machinery noise and… Continue Reading

Teamwork and Communication

Teamwork and Communication

Whenever a group of smart, talented people are brought together and tasked with a complex mutual assignment, the very first thing that must happen is agreement on the means and expectation for teamwork and communication. In fact, it is really the other way around, communication first and then teamwork, because you simply don’t get anywhere… Continue Reading

Signal.X Welcomes Peter Skaggs to Our Team!

Signal.X Welcomes Peter Skaggs to Our Team!

Please join us in welcoming Peter Skaggs to Signal.X Technologies! After assisting us with fabrication and assembly services on a part-time basis, Peter has recently been offered a full-time position at Signal.X as a lab technician. In this role, Peter also has the added responsibilities for the organization of tools and supplies, as well as… Continue Reading

Signal.X Welcomes Miki Zheng to Our Team!

Signal.X Welcomes Miki Zheng to Our Team!

Please join us in welcoming Xueyun (Miki) Zheng to Signal.X Technologies! Miki recently graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology. As a project engineer, Miki will be participating in and leading machine build activities, mechanical design engineering, machine commissioning and test engineering activities. She has experience using Inventor 3D CAD… Continue Reading