Category Archives: Industrial robots

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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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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Denso opens new sales and training centre as it celebrates 50 years

denso mobile robot

Denso Robotics has opened its latest and “most modern” sales, application and training center, located 40 minutes northeast of Cincinnati.

The Denso Robotics sales, application and training Center in West Chester, Ohio provides production operators, programmers and maintenance personnel training on the finer points of today’s cutting edge robotic arms, controllers and applications.

Staffed with experts in their field, the center is designed to serve Denso Robotics’ customers in the Midwest, East Coast and Southern regions of the country. 

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North American robotics market growing and creating new types of work, says A3

fanuc at hm 1

The fast-growing North American robotics and automation market is creating new kinds of jobs, according to the Association for Advancing Automation, or A3. 

The association says new technologies, such as collaborative robots and advanced vision systems are driving growth and diversity of employment in the sector.

Jeff Burnstein, who has a number of roles in the association including A3 president, says: “Automation technologies are fueling entirely new categories of jobs – really creating the jobs of the future – in addition to enabling companies to become more productive and create higher-quality products in safer environments.” 

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Volkswagen and Kuka research ways to use robots for future electric and autonomous cars

Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric

Volkswagen self-driving concept car, which it calls Sedric

The Volkswagen Group is researching ways in which robots can be used in the future when cars become more electrified and computerised as a result of increasing demand for clean and autonomous vehicles. 

The German automaker, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini brands among others, is working one of the world’s largest industrial robotics and automation providers, Kuka, to research and develop a number of ideas.

The current area of interest for the strategic partnership between Kuka and Volkswagen is the area of service concepts for vehicles of the future, and the two companies have agreed a contract to jointly develop robot-based innovation concepts for vehicles of the future. 

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Electric cars will change the way industrial robots are used in manufacturing, says Fanuc boss

fanuc flow drilling robot

With Volvo’s decision to go all electric in its future vehicles, combined with the French government’s decision to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and similar moves in Germany, the automotive industry is preparing for a tectonic shift in the manufacturing landscape. 

The way electric cars are made already differ considerably now, and new techniques will take the production of the new vehicles further away from traditional methods.

An interesting insight into the future was offered by a senior executive at the world’s largest industrial robot manufacturer, who suggested that electric cars are highly likely to fundamentally change the way industrial robots are used. 

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Genesis Robotics accelerates development of prototypes based on its ‘revolutionary’ LiveDrive actuator

genesis robotics actuator

Well-funded startup Genesis Robotics has accelerated the development of a range of products based on its “ground-breaking” technology, which the company claims will transform the entire industry. 

All of the new products Genesis has developed are based on something it calls LiveDrive, an actuator system which uses a gear with no teeth, invented by the company itself.

Making a gear work without teeth sounds impossible – how does it move connected parts without teeth? Imagine a gear on a bicycle without teeth and you’ll get the picture. 

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Big industrial robot manufacturers looking to move into China

yaskawa china

Picture courtesy of Dr Miha Pipan

The huge and growing demand for industrial robots in China is prompting the world’s largest industrial robot makers to look into setting up operations in the country. 

In particular, Japanese companies are said to be profiting from China’s huge increase in demand for industrial robots.

Statistics collated by the Japan Robot Association show that the country exported around $4.4 billion worth of industrial robots to China in 2016. 

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Robotiq releases updated version of its collaborative robots ebook

robotiq cobot ebook

Robotiq has updated what it says is one of its “most read” ebooks, and has made it downloadable for free.

This is the seventh update of Robotiq’s Collaborative Robots Buyer’s Guide, and it’s available free at the company’s website.

Robotiq says the guide provides a clear view of what’s available, so manufacturers who are thinking about adding a robot to their production floor, as well as those who plan on expanding automation in their factory, will see which model of collaborative would best fit their requirements. 

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Sepro launches €11 million expansion of robot operations in France and the US

sepro building

The Sepro Group has embarked on an €11 million expansion plan which will accelerate its robot operations in France and the US.

Following four years of “record-setting sales growth”, Sepro says its three-phase, €11 million expansion plan will increase production capacity at the company’s headquarters facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, and launch a new global training facility nearby.

In the US, the plan will add large-robot assembly capabilities to the systems integration and service operations already in place at the Sepro America operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

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Xiamen installs 64 Universal Robots machines on production line

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of bathroom accessories and auto parts, Xiamen Runner Industrial Corporation in China, has installed 64 Universal Robots arms to upgrade the efficiency of the production process by establishing a highly-efficient, flexible, and reliable production line.

The UR robots are installed in 10 different applications ranging from injection molding machine tending, gas testing and product assembly.

Before deploying UR robots, most operations at Runner Corporation were manual with operator fatigue posing risks on both safety and product yield. The company was devoted to developing a highly-efficient, flexible, and reliable production line. 

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German robotics and automation market set for sales of $15 billion this year

vdma article

The German robotics and automation market is forecast to grow by 7 per cent this year compared with last year, with sales volume projected to reach a massive $15 billion. 

Germany is one of the world’s leading buyers of industrial robotics and automation systems, and purchased approximately $14 billion worth in 2016.

These are figures which German engineering association VDMA has suggested as a result of its research into the market. 

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ABB puts YuMi collaborative industrial robot to work making wall sockets at its factory in Holland

abb yumi ede netherlands 3 small

The dual-armed ABB YuMi robots shown at the company’s plant in Ede, the Netherlands

ABB has installed three YuMi robots on a new production line at its electrification products plant in Ede, the Netherlands.

Designed for use in small parts assembly, the three YuMi robots will assemble a new cavity wall socket called HW52-F.

ABB says that, due to its “inherently safe” design, the YuMi collaborative dual arm robot solution will ensure the safety of those around it and elevate the nature of work at the plant by performing repetitive tasks to perfection. 

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Comau provides glimpse into Maserati plant in Italy

Comau has provided an insight into its production processes at the Torino, Italy plant of the prestige car marque Maserati

Comau is part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, which also owns Maserati, along with a number of the world’s most famous and celebrated marques such as Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

In this picture story, Comau shows its industrial robots performing complex tasks relating to body-in-white operations, spot welding and other crucial assembly functions. 

Collaborative robotic system makes ‘monotonous and physically demanding tasks’ at BMW easier

bmw dingolfing kuka robot

A worker at BMW Dingolfing, with the Kuka collaborative robot

The employees at BMW Group’s Dingolfing Plant have a new, highly responsive assistant: an LBR iiwa lightweight robot from Kuka, which they say takes over “monotonous and physically demanding tasks”. 

Previously, BMW employees had to lift a differential case which weighed up to 5.5 kg, and had to manoeuvre it with millimeter-precision, in the assembly of the front axle.

Now the robot is taking over this “ergonomically demanding work”. 

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