The Intelligent Edge: Bringing Transparency to the Factory with Lee Jaderborg (Part 1)

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort” – John Ruskin. This rings true in the world of IIoT. For Lee Jaderborg, who wears several hats at FreeWave, from engineering, to quality management and process development, the concept of intelligence-driven quality is what inspired him to learn everything he’s accomplished in his 40-year career, as well as what he’s brought to the future of the factory floor.

In our fifth installment of “The Intelligent Edge,” we connected with Lee to discuss his work on the ZumIQ application environment and the purpose of intelligent monitoring.

FreeWave: Lee, tell us about your role at FreeWave.

Lee Jaderborg: Sure! I don’t have one specific job; I wear five hats. Coming up on my fourth year at FreeWave this April, I’m the manufacturing engineering manager, quality manager, sustaining mechanical support, and I oversee process development and design for new products. I also write SQL for our databases.

I manage the procedures for a Printed Circuit Board assembly and Surface Mount Technology (SMT) manufacturing line, ensuring the entire process flows through production to the backdoor to ship. I also handle statistical process control and root cause analysis throughout the manufacturing process, all while monitoring for major operational KPIs.

FreeWave: Was IIoT operations always your focus?

Lee: No, I began college at age 17 as a drama major. Everything I’ve learned about engineering and management since then has been self-taught. During and after college, I worked in various engineering-type jobs, like designing tools to fabricate jet engine exhausts and helping build Colorado’s Eisenhower Tunnel. Along the way, I became exposed to SQL and got a master’s certificate in 6Sigma for project management. Continuous learning has helped advance me to where I am now.

FreeWave: What are you currently working on?

Lee: Optimizing FreeWave’s ZumIQ for better data visualizations on the manufacturing floor – a major focus at last year’s annual IMPACT Manufacturing Summit. A panel, which included the director of manufacturing for Rolls Royce, discussed transitioning their workforce to better accommodate millennials, who learn better with visual feedback. So, they put an IO on a light stack – like a stoplight that tells you whether a machine is ready – to give a real-time view of various data points.

FreeWave: How exactly would they capture that data?

Lee: This is where something like ZumIQ comes in – you need to tie into analog signals to continuously record this data. You do this by having the light stack’s sensor communicate its status to an app programmable device, whose data is then collected by the ZumIQ app environment. ZumIQ gathers and tracks data over time to determine both real-time status and historical trends. This gives a view of the manufacturing floor you can’t get by physically looking down the production line. It determines the collective state and efficiency of each part in the system.

Interested in more insights by Lee? We’re continuing the conversation for the next Intelligent Edge blog.

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