Foxconn to build $10 billion manufacturing plant in Wisconsin as part of massive expansion plan in US

Foxconn says the expansion is the first in a series of investments in the United States

Foxconn says it will invest $10 billion over the next four years to build a liquid crystal display panel manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company also known as Hon Hai Precision, says the new facility will be a “state-of-the-art” plant and part of its “intelligent manufacturing ecosystem”.

Foxconn is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services providers, and makes iPhones and other devices for Apple.

The investment, which is believed to be the largest new greenfield investment made by a foreign-based company in US history, will create 3,000 jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000 new jobs in that state.  Continue reading Foxconn to build $10 billion manufacturing plant in Wisconsin as part of massive expansion plan in US

What will America’s roads and highways look like in the future?

The New Jersey Institute of Technology has been looking into the future to see how roads and highways will change over the next few years, and found a significant proportion of roadways in a poor state. 

Across the United States, says the NJIT, there are more than 4 million miles of public roadways, and 28 percent are listed as being in “poor condition”.

Throughout those roadways, 61,000 bridges are considered “structurally deficient”.

On top of the needs for rebuilding US roadways, 42 percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, which costs an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually.  Continue reading What will America’s roads and highways look like in the future?

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

ABB and Nova Bus announce collaboration on electric transportation

abb nova buses electric charging
ABB links up with Nova Buses for electric charging. Picture: Anna Rehnberg for ABB

ABB and Nova Bus have partnered to meet what they see as the “growing need for electric buses and charging infrastructure in North America”

ABB, an engineering company specializing in automotive energy technologies, and Nova Bus, the North American buses manufacturer and division of Volvo Buses, have entered a business collaboration that consists of the delivery of the first ABB’s electric bus “opportunity charger” in North America.

This is the latest development in ABB’s growing network of electric charging infrastructure.

This collaboration reflects Nova Bus plans to keep investing in climate action by offering charging stations and electrified bus solutions to major cities in the United States and Canada.

Derek Monk, general manager, ABB in Canada, says: “Transportation can be one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Supporting Nova Bus with ABB’s innovative charging solution will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Volvo Buses, it represents a major step in the advancement of electric buses in public transit in North America and it will be the first ABB electric bus opportunity charging station in the Americas.”  Continue reading ABB and Nova Bus announce collaboration on electric transportation

Manufacturing: Trump tempts Toyota with tax break if it builds cars in US instead of Mexico

toyota mexico
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto with Toyota North America CEO James Lentz last year during the start of building the facility in Guanajuato

lockAfter apparently pressuring Ford to change its plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Mexico, President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly putting pressure on Toyota to follow suit. 

Ford had intended to build a plant in Mexico, but is now applying the brakes on those plans, according to the Economist.

A couple of days ago, Ford said it would cancel its $1.6 billion project in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and instead invest $700 million in its plant in Michigan, in the US.  Continue reading Manufacturing: Trump tempts Toyota with tax break if it builds cars in US instead of Mexico

Bank of America hires chatty virtual robot

Reuters / Joshua Lott / File Photo
Reuters / Joshua Lott / File Photo

By David Henry, Reuters

Bank of America plans to provide customers with a chatty “virtual assistant” named Erica that will use artificial intelligence to make suggestions over mobile phones for improving their financial affairs.

Michelle Moore, head of digital banking for Bank of America, said in an interview on Monday that Erica will be smarter than a robot because she will bring up topics on her own, using predictive analytics as opposed to only answering questions customers ask.

For example, Erica may recommend taking steps to lift a sagging credit rating she noticed. Or, she may propose a customer make higher monthly payments on an outstanding credit card balance to reduce interest expenses.  Continue reading Bank of America hires chatty virtual robot

North American industry buys record numbers of robots

industrial robots

The North American automation industry has set new records to begin 2016, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the industry’s trade group.

The advent of more automation in North American manufacturing promises increased efficiencies in production and the ability to compete globally, says A3.

A total of 14,583 robots valued at approximately $817 million were ordered from North American companies during the first half of 2016.  Continue reading North American industry buys record numbers of robots

Conference to discuss robotics and automation in automotive industry

Robotics and Automation News partner conference: Next-generation collaborative robots and automation technologies in automotive manufacturing 2016

American Business Conferences has organised an event to discuss robotics and automation technologies in automotive manufacturing. 

The two-day event – Next-generation collaborative robots and automation technologies in automotive manufacturing 2016 – will be held in Detroit, USA, on August 17 and 18, and will be attended by many of the leading names in the automotive manufacturing industry.  Continue reading Conference to discuss robotics and automation in automotive industry

ST Robotics partners with RobotShop and SuperDroid

st robotics

ST Robotics has signed new distribution agreements with RobotShop and SuperDroid Robots to deliver its low-cost, easy-to-use ST R Series articulated and cylindrical robot arm systems across North America.

David Sands, president and CEO of ST Robotics, says: “We are excited about our new collaboration with RobotShop and SuperDroid Robots which will allow us to provide the ST robot systems to a wider range of clients and improve automation solutions throughout the United States and Canada.”

ST Robotics continues to expand in North America via additional strategic partnerships with experienced and proven systems integrators and representatives, including: A&H Technology, ARY Automation & Control, DC Controls, MicroDISC, Upstate Technical Equipment, and Uniforce Sales and Engineering.  Continue reading ST Robotics partners with RobotShop and SuperDroid

MiR opens US office, launches autonomous mobile robot into North America

mir robot

Mobile Industrial Robots, MiR, has opened its first US office and is launching its autonomous mobile robot – the MiR100 – in the North American market.

MiR says its robots are already in use in 19 countries at prominent manufacturers such as Leoni, Flextronics, and Continental.

MiR says its products are at the forefront of a new generation of autonomous mobile robots whose ease of use, flexibility and payback of less than a year. The company believes it will secure a leadership role in North America.

The emerging mobile robot industry is expected to achieve total sales of 14,500 units and revenue of $20 billion over the next three years according to the International Federation of Robotics.  Continue reading MiR opens US office, launches autonomous mobile robot into North America

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

US auto industry buys half of all industrial robots, says IFR

dürr robot

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.

Continue reading US auto industry buys half of all industrial robots, says IFR