Japanese electronics company expands product range by making move into robotics
Omron has launched a new series of industrial robots. The release includes 49 robots developed by Omron Adept Technologies. All products are to be made available in 39 countries around the world, says the company.
The robots have been integrated with Omron’s family of sensors, safety components and NX/NJ series machine automation controllers to “simplify the introduction of robots in a production environment”, says the company.
Omron’s combination of software and control architecture is designed to addresses the factory automation challenges arising from producing a high variety mix of products with short product lifecycles that require rapid production line changeovers. Continue reading Omron launches new range of industrial robots
Two-armed collaborative robot making light work of difficult injection moulding tasks
A US manufacturer says its use of the Baxter industrial robot “simplifies complexity” in its factory operations.
Donnelly Custom Manufacturing, a company which specializes in short-run injection molding of thermoplastics for industrial original equipment manufacturers, is using Rethink Robotics’ two-armed Baxter robot for flexible automation at its facility in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Becoming one of the world’s largest industrial robot companies takes time and a lot of dedication. Work, work, work. No time for play. And having got to the top, the most annoying thing for a company, like Kuka, must be to see a startup company, like DeepMind, which has yet to deliver a single commercial product, make worldwide headlines for building an artificially intelligent computer that plays an ancient Chinese board game no one understands.
So what does Kuka do to make its own headlines? Of course: find another obscure board game no one understands and teach one of its robots how to play that, and get students at a local university to do all the programming.
Epson Robots has expanded its 6-axis robot line-up with the introduction of the new Epson C8-Series industrial robots.
The company says the new robot has more reach, faster speeds, and greater payload, adding that its “SlimLine” design enables the Epson C8, C8L and C8XL robots to provide “superior performance for even the most demanding and complex applications”.
Michael Ferrara, director of Epson Robots, said: “Our Epson C4-Series robots have been in the market for a couple of years now and have been extremely well received for a wide variety of applications.
The US auto sector “buys every second industrial robot” sold, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR)
The US economy is one of the front-runners in the global automation race. By 2018, the number of industrial robots sold will, on average, rise by at least five per cent per annum, to a new record of 31,000 units (2014: 26,202).
About one-half of these will be installed by car makers and their suppliers. Viewed according to robotic density – meaning the number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees – the US automotive industry, with 1,141 units, already ranks third in the world’s national economies after Germany (1,149 units) and Japan (1,414 units). These are the calculations published in the report 2015 World Robot Statistics, issued by IFR.
Kuka, one of the world’s biggest industrial robotics companies, is to develop a smart manufacturing platform in collaboration with Chinese communications giant Huawei.
Kuka and Huawei signed a deal to develop what could be a global network – built on the industrial internet of things – to enable the connection of robots across many factories. The companies say they plan to integrate artificial intelligence and deep learning into the system.
In the new manufacturing era, robots will play an increasingly important role in helping manufacturing businesses remain agile and drive growth, say the two companies.
Industrial robots are increasingly being connected to the cloud, where they can be managed centrally in some sort of control room, which means that a small number of human staff could theoretically manage hundreds, if not thousands, of machines.
Previously they were almost always operated in isolated circumstances within factories, inside a work cell, fenced off from human workers because of safety concerns. They were programmed individually, using a teach pendant, which is like a 20-years-out-of-date oversized mobile phone.
Alnea says its new robot-based soldering process is in compliance with international standards.
The soldering process used in so-called through-hole technology (THT) requires the utmost precision. The small structures and the close proximity of components that must not be wetted leave no room for error.
With THT, repair processes are time- and cost-intensive, often not reproducible and in some cases not even allowed.
Simulation, 3D printing, lightweight robots – these are some of the innovative technologies driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or Industry 4.0. And they are already a reality at Siemens’ Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen, Germany. A key reason for the success of this plant is that people and machines work hand in hand.
Schorsch assembles small converters. Hannes does the big ones; he inserts a fan and a heat sink in the housing and fastens them with four screws – several hundred times a day. When Hannes takes a break, Schorsch keeps on working unwaveringly.