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Crafting Automation, One Piece at a Time

This month, we had the privilege of sitting down with Sam Nothnagel, one of our exceptional employees based out of the Melbourne office at Automated Solutions Australia. Sam’s journey into the world of robotic automation has been nothing short of inspiring, and his insights shed light on the exciting innovations happening within our organisation.

Sam’s background is as diverse as it is interesting. With a history as a college volleyball athlete and experience in composite manufacturing and mould production/machining, he brings a unique skill set to ASA. As an Automation Engineer, Sam has found his niche in the mechanical design aspect of our projects, where he thrives on creating tangible solutions to complex problems.

What drives Sam’s passion for robotic automation is the ever-changing nature of the field. “It’s always something new,” he shares. “I love being able to work with technology and always love the chance to solve a problem in which the solution is tangible and you can see the outcome.”

One of the moments that made Sam particularly proud of his work was when the first parts he designed arrived, and everything fitted together perfectly. It was a testament to his hard work over the preceding months, and it brought a sense of fulfillment that only comes from solving complex engineering puzzles.

A typical day for Sam at ASA starts with a cup of coffee at his desk, checking emails to kickstart the day. Depending on the project’s stage, he could be collaborating with fellow engineers on detailed mechanical designs or assembling crucial components.

Sam’s key responsibilities at ASA revolve around mechanical design, including end-of-arm tooling, gripper stands, and other elements within robot cells. His dedication to precision and innovation is evident in the solutions he crafts.

Currently, Sam is working on an exciting project involving a rail and robot capable of handling a variety of components, showcasing the versatility of ASA’s robotic solutions. Such projects push the boundaries of what robotic automation can achieve.

In the world of engineering, challenges are par for the course. Sam faced a unique challenge when tasked with designing a release mechanism for a machine component that required significant force for removal, involving a morse taper. Through collaboration with his colleagues, they devised a solution that met the task’s demands.

When asked about the impact of ASA’s solutions on clients, Sam emphasizes that ASA goes beyond offering a solution; the company provides the necessary support to ensure that the solution meets the client’s expectations, often exceeding them.

A testament to Sam’s skills is the design of end-of-arm tooling for a robot that allowed for the removal of an additional gripper, simplifying the tooling and reducing complexity for the end user. This is just one example of how ASA’s work directly benefits our customers.

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Looking ahead, Sam is excited about the future of robotic automation, particularly in the realm of machining and manufacturing. He envisions robots being integrated into these environments in creative ways to increase efficiency and produce more complex components. As he puts it, “It looks really cool when a robot is able to do all of the intricate processes required to produce the completed component.”

Sam’s enthusiasm extends to ASA’s company culture, which he describes as second to none. The friendly and welcoming environment fosters collaboration and allows everyone to thrive. It’s a unique atmosphere that sets ASA apart. As for Sam’s favourite robot model, he fondly mentions the R2000iC/270F. It was the first robot he worked on, and the attachment he developed for it holds a special place in his heart.

Outside of work, Sam’s interests in robotics and automation are not limited to his career. He has always had a passion for LEGO and computers, making his career in automation a natural fit that allows him to relive that nostalgic joy.

For those considering a career in robotic automation, Sam offers sage advice: “If you love computers and tinkering, then this is the place for you. This environment and industry will allow you to do some of the coolest things you can imagine. I could not recommend it more.”

Sam Nothnagel’s journey at Automated Solutions Australia is a testament to the boundless opportunities and innovation present in the world of robotic automation. As we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, Sam’s passion and dedication will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of ASA.

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