More Big Boys

Thought I would share some pictures I found to help give everyone an idea of what I was talking about….

So…manufacturing is in the toilet you say???

These are the big boys. I’m usually the guy in the 1-2 o’clock position. I know all the roles just looking at thse guys. Guy on left is a distributor/machine builder (seller). on his left is his lackey/errand boy for the sale. To his left is the money guy. Next to him (my usual position) is the thinker that the money guy likes to bring to the table to make sure no one loses sight of the big picture. Next to him is the engineer that is having to place the specific terms on the technical side. Next to the engineer is his boss – or basically the guy who is having the money come out of his budget. I am sure the lackey has asked everyone about 1,000 times if they want a coffee or if they have seen the girls over at the “XYZ” booth…

Exhibit B – All the engineers crowded around the machine’s control while the manufacturer’s engineer shows them “what this baby can do.” Funny thing about this shot is that I can read one of the logos on one of the audience’s shirt and he is from the company I used to work for….poor bastard. Also note the money men are in the back trying to figure out which one of the engineers is the one that is really going to be the one to make the decision.

This gigantic robot was a part of the Fanuc display. Awesome. We make extensive use of Fanuc robotics in our heavy automation. What he is holding (yes, I have a habit of calling robots “he” and “she” – it keeps me warm at night) is a chasis for a tractor. Supposedly a CAT one not actually manufactured by CAT (at least according to the CAT engineer standing next to me at the display). To the right of the shot you can just see 2 other smaller robots. There was something like 6 others total of that smaller size that all had welding arms. They were all coreographed in an intricate display of capabilities. That big guy would lift the chasis straight vertical and seem like it was about to touch the ceiling.

This is where I hung out. Building F (West). Tooling. The yellow lab coats and yellow bags are Sandvik. They got the spot right at the door and handed out 30,000 of those bags on Tuesday alone. 30,000. Seriously folks. BTW – the string trio’s stage was on the right hand side of this shot. Also the girls at that booth across the way – uh….ISCAR – were very professional looking up top as you can see. What you can’t see is that their skirts came about 3 inches below their crotch and that they were actually just models handing out bags. Also I think I know a dude in this shot.

These next two show the scultor at work. This was on Tuesday when she was making a version of the “Thinker”. She was awesome to talk to. I spent a bit of time doing exactly what those guys int he shot are doing. You’d ask a question – feeling bad about interrupting her – and she would stop and just go on about everything. The guy with the napkin in his hand actually is drinking out of one of the ice glasses served at the ice bar…which is on the left of the shot out of frame. You can see the grating that the ice block bar was sitting on.

My people.
It dawned on me during the show that these are my people – or at least they should be. Back in college I was guestioning my major and I remember my fraternity advisor asking me, “do you like the people you are in class with?” I said that they were a little too nerdy for me. He said, “you should make sure you like them because you are going to spend the rest of your life working with them.”
That stuck with me and I use it as a litmus test every now and then. Sometimes I think I should concentrate in material/supply chain because of my experience, but then I realize I don’t really like supply chain people. Well I noticed while walking around IMTS that a lot of the people there were not really “my people.” Then I thought about how I would feel at a convention like Interbike….and I realized that THOSE would be my people.
Now I just have to take the time and do the patent searches and actually get around to making some of the prototype bike components I have dreamed up. Some day my company may be in that industry and then I can justify going to Interbike….to be with my people.
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