Education & Industry | Makers, Doers, Innovators

A machined metal part sits on my desk.

It's called the hex part. It consists of two thin-walled hexagonal shapes connected by a shared center wall and stabilized by a generous flange around the bottom.
                                
What makes the hex part noteworthy?

It represents team success. The hex part celebrates the launch of a leading-edge Lean manufacturing training program I helped develop, and that part was pivotal to many of the hands-on learning activities.

It’s personal.  The hex part was a gift from the project team, so I knew the designers and machinists and had seen the machining process in action.
                                                                                                                    
It’s deceptively simple. The hex part appears humble and ordinary. In reality, it’s the end product of a comprehensive, integrated process that evaluates and balances design, material, tooling and machining to optimize production and reduce costs.

It reflects mastery. If you’re a machinist or engineer, you know it’s not easy to take a block of rough and machine a hex shape that’s also deep, strong and thin walled. Producing a smooth, flawless double-hex within tight tolerances shows true design and machining prowess.

Most office visitors see nothing more than an unassuming piece barely worth a second glance. I see the part in context, as both a meaningful memento and an example of manufacturing skill and ingenuity.
                                                                                                                 
Which brings me to another point.

October 5 is Manufacturing Day. Whether you're a manufacturer or educator, it's the ideal opportunity to put mind, people and material in context and launch the next generation of industrial makers, doers and innovators.

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