Category Archives: Industry

Global agriculture robots market driven by ‘high population growth and food shortages’

CNH Industrial’s autonomous tractor

The global market for agricultural robots is forecast to exceed $5 billion by 2024, according to a report. 

The Global Agriculture Robots Market Report, published by Variant Market Research, predicts the global market will reach $5,214 million by 2024 from $968 million in 2016 – growing at an annual rate of 23.4 per cent from 2016 to 2024.

By geography, Asia Pacific and rest of the world are expected to grow at 24.7 per cent and 24.1 per cent respectively, during the forecast period. 

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Rethink Robotics signs up nine new distribution partners in Europe and the US


Rethink Robotics has signed deals with nine distribution partners throughout the United States and Europe to extend the availability of its smart, collaborative robots.

With an extensive network throughout the world – including partners in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, China, Korea, Japan, Mexico and Australia – these distribution deals are part of Rethink’s efforts to meet growing demand across the globe, bringing flexible automation to the global manufacturing market.

With the launch of the Intera 5 software platform and ClickSmart family of gripper kits earlier this year, Rethink says it now offers a complete range of products and services to “help manufacturers around the world improve productivity“. 

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3D printing startup Desktop Metal raises another $115 million in funding

desktop metal 6 DM Studio System-2

Additive manufacturing startup Desktop Metal has raised another $115 million in funding, bringing the total amount of financing to more than $200 million.

The company’s backers include Google, General Electric, and Techtronic Industries, the holding company for vacuum cleaner brands Hoover and Dirt Devil.

Desktop Metal was founded by four MIT professors, according to, which says its metal 3D process is “probably the most efficient” on the market. 

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Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

“Lights-out manufacturing” is a term to mean the method of making things in a way that’s entirely automated and does not need humans to be involved in the process. 

Of course, humans initially set up the process, build the factory and so on, but the factory which outputs the final product only requires robotics and automation technology.

It’s an idea that has probably been explored in science fiction many times, but in reality, a fully automated factory that needs no human intervention at all is still a distant dream. 

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Gardening robot raises more than $300,000 on Kickstarter

franklin weed-killing robot 2

A gardening robot has raised more than $312,000 on Kickstarter despite its owners setting a goal of $120,000.

Led by the inventor of the Roomba, the Boston-based Franklin Robotics is currently raising funds for their first release – a solar-powered, robotic weed-killer for home gardens.

Named Tertill, the 2.5-pound, disk-shaped robot patrols the garden and intelligently identifies – and whacks – unwanted plants. 

CaliBurger’s ‘Flippy’ robot gets $3 million to flip burgers

A burger-flipping robot developed by Cali Group and Miso Robotics has received $3.1 million in financing from strategic investors including Acacia Research and Match Robotics. 

Miso was co-founded and funded by Cali Group, which owns the Caliburger chain of fast food restaurants across the US. The company is currently specialising in automation for the catering industry.

The burger-flipping robot has been named “Flippy”, appropriately enough, and was the first robotic product developed by Miso, and the company has since developed numerous automation applications for the robot, including preparation, grilling, frying, and so on. 

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ABB claims world record in energy efficiency for its synchronous motor


abb AMS 1400 Motor

ABB says it has set a new world record in energy efficiency with its synchronous motor – and says the technology could save companies half a million dollars over 20 years.

The company says it achieved “almost 100 per cent energy efficiency” with the motor.

Tests carried out on a 44 megawatt 6-pole synchronous ABB motor shortly before delivery showed an efficiency 0.25 percent greater than the 98.8 percent stipulated in the contract, resulting in the world record for electric motor efficiency. 

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ThyssenKrupp claims ‘breakthrough’ in digital transformation and connecting machinery ​

An illustration of ThyssenKrupp’s new IIoT platform, which it calls toii

An illustration of ThyssenKrupp’s new IIoT platform, which it calls toii

ThyssenKrupp says it has achieved a breakthrough in the area of digital transformation and connecting machinery ​in industry.

ThyssenKrupp says it has reached a “milestone” for the digital transformation of industry and connecting the machinery of its materials services division through a new digital platform.

The company’s new internet of things platform is call Toii, or toii, as the company prefers to write it. 

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Foxconn to manufacture ‘95 per cent’ of new Apple iPhone 8


Foxconn is to produce 95 per cent of the new Apple iPhone, the eighth incarnation of the device, according to a report on

It’s not clear from the story whether any of the production will take place in the US, although that’s unlikely given that Foxconn hasn’t even chosen where in the US to expand its manufacturing operations.

The Taiwanese manufacturer has been considering its options, and Michigan is said to be one of the locations being scouted. 

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Autodesk launches generative design tool for Netfabb 3D design software

Autodesk has released a beta version of a generative design tool for its Netfabb additive manufacturing software, with a view to a full launch early next year. 

Generative design is a term to describe an automation functionality within 3D design software which enables users to set parameters such as materials and physics and allow the software itself to conjure up a design.

Some might describe it as automated or autonomous design – or even sorcery and magic – as it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to generate structures within the software. 

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TUV Rheinland outlines cyber security threats to industrial robotics and automation systems

tuv rheinland image

TUV Rheinland was invited to attend Shanghai International Industrial Automation & Robot Exhibition 2017 earlier this month, and held thematic lectures on the “New Engine of Smart Society – Robots and Inspection & Certification Services for Robot Systems” during the exhibition.

Shu Xu, unit general manager of commercial products of TUV Rheinland Greater China, officially released in the lecture a white paper on industrial robotics and cyber security, drawing considerable interest of many exhibitors, media and professionals in the world of robotics.

The white paper provides a detailed picture of various cyber security risks faced by industrial robots, as well as latest developments on technological trends, standards and product testing in the cyber security industry. 

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Neousys launches ARM-based IoT gateway

neousys igt-20

Neousys Technology has launched an industrial grade ARM-based gateway, which it calls IGT-20.

The company says unlike System on Module (SoM) that’s commonly provided as a barebone component, IGT-20 is based on AM3352 from Texas Instrument’s Sitara AM335x family and will be shipped as a ready system pre-installed with Debian.

The industrial nature of IGT-20 means it is in compliance with common industrial certifications such as CE/FCC, shock and vibration. 

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Kollmorgen and VH Vertical Packaging realise new potential with a separate labeler

The art of reduction: the packaging machines from VH Vertical Packaging have a simple structure

By Jens Depping

A Dutch packaging machinery manufacturer has now developed a labeller as part of a retrofit with servo-drive technology based on 48 volts.

This is designed as an optional module for the company’s own vertical packaging machines on the one hand and as a functional enhancement for retrofitting older machines of well-known producers on the other.

The combination of the new 48 volt DC Servo Motor low voltage from Kollmorgen and a motion control solution from SigmaTek makes it possible for the labeling module to be integrated easily into new machines or for existing machinery to be retrofitted. 

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Fujitsu extends product portfolio with connectors from Neltron

fujitsu connectors

Fujitsu Electronics Europe is extending its line card portfolio to include products from Neltron Industrial.

The Taiwan-based company manufactures ROHS compliant connectors of various types. With this partnership, FEEU is seeking to widen the range of its offerings and to create new synergies between them, strengthening its role as a Value Added Distribution Partner for the EMEA market.

Neltron offers a broad range of connector types, including board to board, wire to board, wire to wire, FPC/FCC, IDC connectors, shrouded header, USB connectors and jumpers. 

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HMS Industrial launches new smart grid connectivity gateway


New IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS Industrial Networks enable data exchange between infrastructure and energy networks based on IEC61850 or IEC60870-5-104, and common fieldbus and industrial Ethernet systems, says the company.

While industrial communication between devices and systems is typically done with fieldbus and industrial Ethernet, modern infrastructure and energy networks are based upon other protocol standards such as IEC61850 and IEC60870-5-104.

The new IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS address the increasing need for data exchange between these two worlds, offering a wide protocol coverage and easy integration. 

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