Kitchen Island Designs That You Can Dine On

Many homeowners desire a kitchen island designed for both dining as well as food preparation. Kitchen islands can create a simple alternative to a dining room without taking up too much floor space while adding value to the kitchen. As you start considering an island, consider how you want this feature to function and look. Here are a few island counter trends to consider.

Recessed Seating, Corbels, and Legs

Most kitchen islands designed with dining in mind have an overhanging surface that provides leg space and seat space without significantly increasing the overall footprint. Some overhangs do not require additional support while others have functional or decorative corbels.

Supports may be situated at the ends or middle of the island. The designer will need to factor in seating height to prevent guests or occupants from banging their knees. You can also choose a design with closed ends or open legs giving it a feel more like a table. There are also many options for shape of the seating area.

Chairs or Stools

The look and footprint of a kitchen island also depends on who is using this space. Try out chairs and stools to make sure the style you choose is easy for everyone in your household to use. The height of the countertop and seats should correspond to any physical needs. For example, seniors may require are rests for stability and children may have height limitations. Surfaces for barstool-style seating are typically 42 inches high. Don’t forget to consider the profile of the arms on any standard pub height chairs you choose. These may prevent you from tucking seating under the overhang when not in use.

Surfaces and Storage

A flat island surface can provide a simple look suitable for the center of a kitchen. Tiered kitchen island designs may be desirable for creating an area where it is easy to serve food that draws attention away from the functional portion of a kitchen. This layout may even combine a standard 36-inch high kitchen counter with a 42-inch barstool-height surface.

Moveable Solutions

Consider a moveable island on casters if you use your kitchen for a variety of purposes and want to be able to relocate the surface when you are entertaining large groups. With the exception of the wheels on the bottom, these kitchen islands can have almost any type of surface and custom cabinetry.

One or more of these dine-in kitchen designs may be right for your home. Consider moveable kitchen island designs for a compact or galley-style kitchen. If you have more space, contact a kitchen designer for big homes to determine how to make the most of one or more islands in your kitchen.

Medical Device Design Benefits From Functional Decomposition

Modern medical devices designers have the difficult task of trying to take on the role of both engineer and medical expert at the same time, meaning a new product development company has to spend extensive resources and design time submitting and resubmitting models for review by the appropriate authorities.

An ideal way around these obstacles is by involving medical professionals into the design process from the earliest stages of conceptualization. How? By using functional decomposition to identify key processes, create clear goals for needed inventions and make sure solutions work on paper before blindly forging onto mechanical design and prototyping.

How To Apply Functional Decomposition to Medical Device Design

The premise of functional decomposition is simple: to break down key functions into their most essential sub functions in an easy-to-understand diagram. Engineers first state a device’s proposed purpose in simple terms. Then they conceptualizing each step required for the development process:

  • General functions
  • Sub functions
  • Basic functions
  • Object of actions
  • Causes of actions

Can this method be applied to medical device design? Absolutely. Product development companies just need to assign new tags to familiar functions:

  • Performed_On: The patient – or patient organ – becomes the recipient of an action.
  • Performed_By: Doctors or components that cause an action.
  • Has_Environment: Environmental considerations such as sterility are stated.
  • input_flow: Indicates the need for mechanical energy in the procedure or device.
  • output_flow: Refers to the action of removing unneeded material from the patient’s body during a procedure.

These brief tagging examples show how even complex medical procedures or required medical actions on the part of a device can be broken down in a functional decomposition diagram, before ever starting to design a physical model.

An Example of Functional Decomposition in Practice

Consider the gastric compression band. What is the overall function of this simple device? To reduce the size of the patient’s stomach. This requires creating a diagram of the object – the stomach – and the action of applying compression from the medical device – the band. A simple flow chart indicates the steps required, including the presence of a new physical device.

Advantages of Using Functional Decomposition for Medical Device Creation

Here’s why taking the time to convert medical knowledge into digital data is valuable for medical device designers in many situations:

  • A searchable database reduces time needed to find effective subcomponents.
  • Past designs can be easily extrapolated from and expanded upon.
  • Larger teams offering engineering design services can work simultaneously.
  • Time-to-production is reduced for many complex devices.

By creating detailed functional diagrams prior to embarking on the medical device design services they were contracted for, the new product development company would have to start from scratch every time. In a way, functional decomposition becomes a pathway to new medical procedures. By employing functional decomposition, perhaps other product development companies in Philadelphia can be a translator that helps doctors and engineers understand each other clearly when talking about patient needs.

Punch Press or Laser? Choices for Cutting Metal

25Metal workers are tasked with manufacturing high quality, marketable products for their clients. Metal fabrication often starts with sheet metal materials that need to be cut and formed into usable metal parts that get moved along the supply chain to a point of final assembly. In metal working, there are different options for cutting, forming, coining, piercing, punching and bending the metal into the finished product your company needs. Several methods involve what is called a punch press, and another one entails the use of a high-powered industrial laser. Each uses a different process, achieves different end results and holds distinct advantages.

The Punch Press

Punch presses operate by first developing cutting dies, forming dies or progressive die sets. The die is the tool within the press used to cut and or form the metal, and a progressive die set is used in machines where coils of sheet metal material pass through several stations within a die set in one pass. Punching is a form of metal stamping, which is when a die is used to cut metal blanks with the aid of a die and a power press. The punch press is about speed and high-scale production, and is characterized by a number of features:

  • Force or power used to cut the metal
  • The tooling die and complexity of the die
  • Size of working area on the metal blank
  • Frame type

Progressive long run stamping, another fast and cost-effective method, uses a power punch press. The material (in coil form rather than pre-cut sheets) involves multiple cutting and forming stages through a single machine before the desired result is achieved. Precision metal stamping is a bit different; this process converts flat sheet metal into different commissioned shapes maintaining very tight tolerances.

Laser Cutting

A slightly more modern technique, industrial laser cutting services is about precision. A beam of heat energy sears into the metal and melts the excess away. This energy is often operated by CNC (computer numerical control). There are some particular projects for which laser cutting is best to use:

  • Tight intricate cuts
  • Multiple metal blanks all cut from the same plate of metal
  • Short run projects where tooling costs need to be avoided

There are many benefits to sheet metal laser cutting. For instance, laser cutting pre-painted metal without scarring the paint is possible with certain fiber lasers. There is also less chance of contaminating the material than with the cutting edge used in mechanical cutting.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Overall, both punch press cutting and laser cutting have certain advantages and disadvantages in the industry. Each are an asset to the task of metalworkers and their field, but in different ways. For more information, seek out a professional quote today.

What To Do When Your Baby Is Tongue Tied

24You’ve probably heard the expression “tongue tied,” meaning that a person doesn’t know what to say. However, did you know that the same expression can also describe a genuine medical condition? It is called ankyloglossia, a condition that is congenital, or present at birth. Ankyloglossia is potentially serious, as a tongue tied baby may have difficulty breastfeeding. However, if your baby has ankyloglossia, the good news is that it is usually fairly easy to treat.

What Is Ankyloglossia?

The term “ankyloglossia” comes from two Greek root words: “glosso,” meaning “tongue” and “ankylo,” meaning “fused” or “fixed.” Thus, ankyloglossia is a tongue that is fused to the bottom of the mouth and unable to move freely.

The frenulum is the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the lower jaw; you can see it if you curl your tongue backwards while looking into a mirror. In order for a baby to have full range of motion of the tongue, the frenulum is supposed to loosen and separate from the tongue during development in the womb. However, sometimes the frenulum remains attached to the bottom of the tongue, resulting in ankyloglossia. It is not known what exactly causes ankyloglossia, although boys seem to be affected more often than girls and genetics seem to play a factor as well.

What Are the Symptoms of Ankyloglossia?

A baby with ankyloglossia may be unable to place his or her tongue in the proper position (over the lower gum) to breastfeed. Difficulty breastfeeding may lead to “failure to thrive,” meaning the baby is not getting enough nourishment to gain weight and develop properly.

If your baby tries to chew on your nipple instead of sucking it, this may indicate ankyloglossia, as a tongue tied baby may resort to this in order to compensate for breastfeeding difficulties. However, chewing on the nipple will actually impede the baby’s ability to get milk, as well as being painful for you.

Other symptoms of ankyloglossia include the shape and movement of your baby’s tongue, which may appear heart-shaped or notched when your baby sticks it out. Your baby may also have trouble sticking out the tongue, lifting it to the upper jaw, or moving it from side to side.

How Is Ankyloglossia Treated?

Once the condition has been diagnosed and you decide to fix the issue, an ankyloglossia surgery dentist can perform a simple outpatient procedure called a frenotomy in which the frenulum is cut free using a Laser Frenectomy procedure. This procedure is virtually pain free and requires no anesthesia. If this simple tongue tie procedure with a laser is not sufficient, a surgical procedure called a frenuloplasty, or reconstruction of the frenulum, may be an option.

If your baby is having difficulty breastfeeding, contact your pediatrician or lactation consultant right away.

What Is a Project Manager and Why Do You Need One?

If you’re considering a remodeling project, hiring a kitchen designer may seem unnecessary and you would be wrong. Most designers are highly skilled at coordinating most aspects of your kitchen makeover in addition to the design aspects.A kitchen project manager will help you coordinate all the moving parts and there can be many. While it may seem that you can save money by doing the design work yourself or by hiring your own professionals, a project manager has the expertise and experience to manage the process via a systematic approach that may save you time and money in the long run.

Here are things that a kitchen project manager can do for you during your remodeling project.

Keep the Project On Time and Under Budget

Working under the assumption that you probably have a full-time job apart from remodeling your kitchen, if you choose to handle the remodeling yourself, you’ll be squeezing the remodeling tasks around your work schedule, working frantically during your evenings and on weekends. Most contractors schedule themselves Monday through Friday between 7 am and 5:00 PM. Remodeling jobs attempted to be complete around your schedule can take a long time and often using talent that is inexperienced or less competent.We know of DIY remodeling projects that have taken years to complete.

Even if you hire quality professionals to do the work, you don’t have the time to hover over them and make sure they are working at a steady pace, and unavoidable setbacks may delay a project by even the most diligent professionals. A project manager can establish a schedule that minimize delays and keeps the project running smoothly and steadily.

Vet Professionals and Ensure High Quality

Hiring skilled and trustworthy professionals is a long process that in itself and requires a lot of time invested in research on your part. A project manager can handle this time-consuming process of qualifying candidates, reviewing project details with those estimating costs and even hiring only professionals with a proven track record of high-quality workmanship and fully insured as to protect your investment for years to come. A project manager can also handle all the confusing permits and paperwork, coordinating with inspectors directly on your behalf, and making sure that the right materials are being used on your project.

Work To Understand Your Vision

If you’re looking specifically for kitchen cabinetry with modern styles, your kitchen project manager will usually has his finger on the pulse of which cabinet makers have the flare you are looking for. A project manager is your advocate, making sure that your vision is realized, and the end result is consistent with the vision that you originally outlined for your kitchen. In other words, a project manager can take your dreams and help make them reality. A Kitchen Designer for Younger Homeowners often has all the project management skills needed and is integral to the success of the remodeling process. Therefore, it is important to consider hiring a company that provides project management in order to successfully bring your project to fruition.

Laser Frenectomy May Ease Breastfeeding Frustrations for Tongue-tied Babies

New mothers know that breastfeeding is often not as easy or natural as it looks; it takes a while to figure out positioning and how to properly latch the baby onto the breast. Once you figure it out though, breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to bond with your baby. But for some newborns, that proper “latching-on” just never happens, leaving moms and infants frustrated. There can be many reasons, but for four to 10 percent of newborns, this improper latch is due to tongue-tie, a condition that can now be quickly and easily resolved with a laser frenectomy procedure.

What is Tongue-Tie?

Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, is a condition where the frenulum, the soft tissue connecting the underside of the infant’s tongue to the bottom of the mouth, is too short or thick, limiting movement. For about half of the babies with this condition, this makes it difficult for the infant to latch properly and breastfeeding becomes complicated.

How Does Tongue-Tie Affect Breastfeeding?

Without a proper seal babies aren’t able to nurse efficiently and this leads to slow growth and improper nutrition. For mothers, this uneven latching means that the milk ducts aren’t being emptied properly, causing a decrease in milk production, sore nipples and often mastitis (breast infection). Though sometimes the frenulum stretches and some infants are able to breastfeed even though they have this tongue-tie condition, more severe cases often require a laser frenectomy procedure to correct the problem, allowing a better latch and proper suction.

How Can Laser Frenectomy Help?

In the past, ankyloglossia surgery involved anesthesia, scalpels and stitches, but with the advancement of laser technology, trained professionals within a pediatric dental group can now use a laser to loosen the frenulum with little pain in a matter of minutes. There are a few side effects to a laser frenectomy procedure and recovery is very fast. Infants who undergo this procedure are usually able to breastfeed immediately afterward. Professionals debate about how soon ankyloglossia surgery should be done. Some think it should be done even before the newborn leaves the hospital, while others prefer to see how much the condition will affect breastfeeding.

The benefits of breastfeeding abound. For babies, breastmilk provides the perfect nutrition, bonding time with mom and an added dose of antibodies. For mothers, breastfeeding increases bone mass, decreases cancer risks, releases oxytocin and saves money. With all these benefits, it may be worth the effort to consult with professionals about a laser frenectomy procedures on babies to see this may help your tongue-tied infant.

Progressive Die Stamping Has Not Changed Much in 20 Years

You can see the impact of metal stamping using progressive dies in the building trades, consumer products, automobiles and the equipment we use to manufacture “things”. From everyday appliances in our homes to heavy machinery for large-scale industry, die stamped parts are in most every metal part in use today. While innovations continue to lead the metal forming industry forward, the foundation of progressive metal stamping remains the same, set in place in the early and mid-20th century. In the decades since, little has change because progressive die stamping methods of metal forming are basic; even cutting-edge manufacturers still follow the guidelines set in the 50s, and they still serve well today.

Early History of Progressive Die Stamping

The 1896 treatise titled The Press Working of Metals by Oberlin Smith, together with J.L. Lewis’s Dies and Die Making a year later, discussed “follow-on” tooling and the use of “successive gang cutting” techniques.These were the early beginnings of progressive dies. At its onset in the early 20th century, progressive dies saw fairly limited usage among companies in need of in-house manufacturing. Contract tool and die makers still relied on single-operation presses and workers loading and unloading materials by hand to transfer them between dies – a slow and often dangerous task, as hand-feeding strips and parts meant exposing unprotected hands to moving parts. The post-WWII metal manufacturing industry pushed production demands too increase outputs, and worker injuries on these single function hand transfer presses were becoming increasingly commonplace.

The Start of Modern Metal-Stamping Tradition

In 1953, design engineer Ed Stouten started a die design business called the Capitol Engineering Company in Grand Rapids, MI. He proposed an alternative: a multi-station progressive die where parts remained on the strip between operations and scrap material was reused. Sheet metal bending, cutting, punching and forming became a continuous process with little manual input between stages. Impressed, tool and die makers spread the word, and everyone wanted to try this new progressive die stamping process. Stouten developed an official manual and training course, Progressive Dies for Designers, Engineers and Manufacturers, and spent the next 50 years traveling the world along with leading die designer Arnold Miedema, giving seminars to share these new ideas.

The Legacy of Progressive Die Stamping

The fundamentals of progressive metal stamping remain the same not because of stagnation, but because of how significant the development was, and is, to the sheet metal bending industry. Stouten and Miedema’s seminars and designs remain vital for most tool and die makers in Pennsylvania and those outside our region. Manufacturers and customers everywhere owe it to Stouten’s work for the production of high-quality, reliable and safe die-stamped metal parts.