I believe, as I believe others do, that manufacturing, in all it’s various forms, can be considered artistic in nature. Krisztina “Z” Holly coins the expression, “The Art of Manufacturing,” in her podcast series of the same name. Z is an engineer and tech entrepeneur who conducts a series of interviews online to show just how artistic manufacturing can be. This is the opener to her podcast:
“Manufacturing is sexy. Sounds crazy? Just wait! Every Thursday, Z Holly takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at how people who make stuff are trying to ‘make it’ in their industries. Get a sneak peek inside these risk-takers’ factories and studios — and most of all, their minds.”
I believe that manufacturing, or specifically for me, equipment manufacturing, can be like art. There’s something to be said about the beauty of materials used, the perfect weld seams, the precision of corners coming together in welded pieces or framework, the joining together of apparently disparate components on a skid or frame, and so on. Steve Jobs and Apple have equated their products to artistic endeavors and made sure all their products had an aesthetic beauty inside and out:
“I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it. When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
The Art in Equipment Manufacturing
To illustrate to ourselves and others how we appreciate this idea, we started taking macro photography shots of various elements in Sonic’s equipment manufacturing process and are sharing them with you here in a series of blog posts. This is a base or frame in 304L stainless steel square tubing that will be used for a complete Homogenizer system comprised of PD pump, motor, Sonolator homogenizer, and instrumentation.
This image is of the base after cutting, welding and polishing where it is being treated with sealers and cleaning fluids. Prior to these steps the stock material in our shop looks like this:
Sonic Corp takes real pride in paying close attention to these manufacturing details. We specialize in Blending Systems, Process Skids and Pumping Skids as well where we feel the end result is something akin to manufacturing art! There will be more images to follow in future blog posts.
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