Hannover Messe 2016: Global arena for the world of integrated industry

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the opening ceremony of Hannover Messe
US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the opening ceremony of Hannover Messe

The curtains have gone up at Hannover Messe 2016, where leading industrial nations are vying for technological supremacy.

For example, 465 exhibitors from the USA are presenting innovations designed to take manufacturing to new digital heights.

They are sharing the arena with a host of German enterprises intent on making Industrie 4.0 a reality by means of cutting-edge mechanical and electrical engineering solutions.

So who’s going to come out on top? Or will the road ahead instead call for close collaboration?  Continue reading Hannover Messe 2016: Global arena for the world of integrated industry

Kuka robots perform a dance at Hannover Messe opening ceremony

kuka robot dance hannover messe

LBR iiwa lightweight robots did a dance at the Hannover Messe opening ceremony on Sunday 24 April.

In front of almost 3,000 guests including Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama, dancers and Kuka LBR iiw robots turned human-robot-collaboration into a staged performance.

Human-robot collaboration is a central topic for the factory of the future.

The grand opening of Hannover Messe 2016 on Sunday was based entirely on the topic of Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions.

In a spectacularly choreographed performance, seven LBR iiwa robots visually depicted the five flagship themes at Hannover Fair over five acts: Digital Factory, Industrial Supply, Industrial Automation, Research & Technology, Energy.

Continue reading Kuka robots perform a dance at Hannover Messe opening ceremony

Panasonic launches relay for programmable logic controllers in industrial settings

panasonic pa-n relay

Panasonic has launched the PA-N Relay suitable for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used in industrial equipment. 

Panasonic says the PA-N Relay will help PLC manufacturers to develop products that meet new safety standards, adding that the new relay “will contribute to improved safety and reliability of industrial equipment”.

The PA-N Relay has been developed to comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards and is certified to the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards for programmable logic controllers used to control production facilities at factories. Continue reading Panasonic launches relay for programmable logic controllers in industrial settings

The IoT brings industry revolution and risk at the same time

Industrial control systems could become more vulnerable to cyberattack as they become more connected through the industrial internet of things
Industrial control systems could become more vulnerable to cyberattack as they become more connected through the industrial internet of things

The internet of things is enabling industry to connect individual robotic and automated work cells with other similar cells to create multicellular organisms within what could now be referred to as “smart factories”, particularly as the factory building itself can be connected to those multicellular organisms operating within its walls. 

Not only that, those smart factories can themselves be connected to other smart factories within the body of the industrial company’s entire estate, which itself is all wired up to what could be called a central nervous system.

Yes, industrial control systems are going through an evolutionary phase the like of which has never been seen before in industry, all brought about by the IoT.  Continue reading The IoT brings industry revolution and risk at the same time

The future will be ‘highly automated’, says Schunk’s Steinmann

schunk gripping robot

Humans and robots will cooperate more and more closely in the future

Efficient teamwork between man and robot 

During the ninth Schunk Expert Days on Service Robotics, Ralf Steinmann, director business unit gripping systems at Schunk, explained current developments and trends in the field of service robotics.

He sees the biggest growth potential in the industrial environment – in highly networked, autonomous collaborative robot systems for Industry 4.0.  Continue reading The future will be ‘highly automated’, says Schunk’s Steinmann

Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer makes first appearance at Hannover Messe

Rethink Robotics’ Baxter and Sawyer collaborative robots
Rethink Robotics’ Baxter and Sawyer collaborative robots

Sawyer robots to demonstrate three different manufacturing tasks on the show floor

Rethink Robotics will showcase its high performance Sawyer robot at Hannover Messe 2016, providing the international audience an opportunity to see how smart, collaborative robots are changing the game in the global manufacturing marketplace.

Germany is a cornerstone market in Europe for Rethink Robotics’ continued global expansion, as manufacturers continue to deploy Sawyer robots to deliver on the promise of Industrie 4.0.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer makes first appearance at Hannover Messe

Caterpillar to use Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience platform

caterpillar autonomous truck
That’s not a toy truck… a Caterpillar autonomous truck next to a real truck

Caterpillar, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, much of which is robotic or autonomous, is to use Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience software. 

Dassault says the industrial giant has chosen the platform because its powerful 3D mock-up capabilities and product lifecycle management (PLM) features were essential to its requirements.

Dassault has been particularly keen to demonstrate its software’s simulation capabilities, having launched “single source for speed” system, featuring Simulia applications. These will enable enable Caterpillar to virtually evaluate the performance, quality and durability of future products before committing to physical prototypes, says Dassault.  Continue reading Caterpillar to use Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience platform

Fanuc developing industrial internet of everything

Fanuc is developing a machine-to-machine network that will connect just about every piece of equipment in a manufacturing plant. 

The Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (Field) system is an industrial internet of things network that will be aimed at automakers.

Fanuc already provides General Motors with a global IIoT platform to manage and maintain the automakers’ robots.  Continue reading Fanuc developing industrial internet of everything

Yaskawa teams up with Sepro to build new 6-axis industrial robot

Manfred Stern, general director and president of Yaskawa Europe, shaking hands with Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group; Xavier Lucas, president of Yaskawa France, and Jocelyn Lucas, director of Proxinnov
From right: Manfred Stern, general director and president of Yaskawa Europe, shaking hands with Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group; Xavier Lucas, president of Yaskawa France, and Jocelyn Lucas, director of Proxinnov

The two companies developed partnership through industry association Proxinnov 

Industrial robot giant Yaskawa has entered into a business partnership with industrial automation company Sepro to build a new 6-axis robot for larger moulding jobs.

Both companies are members of Proxinnov, an industry association which advises on how companies can become more competitive using robotics and automation technologies.  Continue reading Yaskawa teams up with Sepro to build new 6-axis industrial robot

The risks of replacement: outdated perceptions of obsolete technology

industrial machinery

Darren Halford, sales director of industrial automation supplier EU Automation, challenges the outdated perceptions of obsolete technology

We’ve all been there, the vacuum has been rattling for months and you’ve gotten used to the slight aroma of charred carpet after every clean. But a final diminishing groan forces you to admit your trusty vacuum has had its day.

Instead of trying to patch up old Henry, most of us would take his demise as the perfect excuse to splash out on that lightweight, wall mounted, cordless number we have seen on the telly. In industrial environments, dealing with broken equipment is not quite as simple as a trip to the local retail park.  Continue reading The risks of replacement: outdated perceptions of obsolete technology

Industrial robot maker Rethink Robotics signs up new distributors

rethink robotics sawyer

Sawyer robot to be distributed by automation providers in France, UK and Israel 

Rethink Robotics is continuing its global expansion with new distribution partnerships with four separate automation providers three different countries.

In France, Rethink has signed up Humarobotics; in the UK, two companies – Active8 Robots and Cobotix; and iCobots in Israel.

Rethink says its new distribution partners will “help manufacturers gain flexibility and improve production processes by deploying Rethink’s smart, collaborative Sawyer robot”.  Continue reading Industrial robot maker Rethink Robotics signs up new distributors

Industrial robot and automation firm Swisslog buys logistics specialist

PAS autonomous robots in a logistics wareouse
PAS autonomous robots in a logistics wareouse

Company targets logistics because it’s a fast-growing market for robotics and automation 

Swisslog has acquired Power Automation Systems (PAS), a company which specialises in pallet shuttle automated storage and retrieval systems – mostly used in logistics.

Now with offerings ranging from advanced robotics to fast case shuttles and pallet shuttles, together with Kuka, Swisslog says it continues building the “automation powerhouse chain offering clients compelling solutions”.  Continue reading Industrial robot and automation firm Swisslog buys logistics specialist

Omron launches new range of industrial robots

omron industrial robots

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

Fanuc to open new industrial robot facilities and restructure business locations

FANUC Robotics America

The world’s largest industrial robot company is restructuring its business operations.

Fanuc America will open four new facilities, relocate three facilities to larger offices, and add three new regional training centers in 2016. The expansion will allow the company to better serve its growing customer base, says Fanuc.  Continue reading Fanuc to open new industrial robot facilities and restructure business locations

Rethink’s Baxter industrial robot ‘simplifies complexity’ for Donnelly

baxter donnelly
Baxter hard at work at the Donnelly factory

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.

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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.

Donnelly’s focus is on short-run injection molding for customers with low to medium volumes, as well as an array of related engineering and manufacturing services.  Continue reading Rethink’s Baxter industrial robot ‘simplifies complexity’ for Donnelly