Kiva Systems was a company that built a mobile robot for logistics operations, mainly for use in warehouses. It was a basically a small platform on wheels, and proved popular throughout the industry.
But then it got bought out by Amazon, which initially said it would still sell it to the rest of the logistics industry but actually didn’t. Instead it rebranded Kiva as Amazon Robotics and turned it into a business unit of its own.
The online retail giant now has one of the largest number of robots in operation of any company in the world.
Industrial giant ABB is reporting a 3 per cent growth in total orders across its operation, but most of it seems to be coming from robotics.
Net income was $525 million – for the second quarter ending July 6. Gross profit, however, was down 5 per cent, and was only $1 billion. Total revenues were up 1 per cent at almost $8.5 billion.
ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer says: “In Q2, ABB continued to build its growth momentum as our targeted initiatives are delivering. Order growth was broad-based and across all regions.
“Our industry-leading digital offering, ABB Ability, is taking off and starting to contribute to growth.
“Operational performance in the power grids and industrial automation divisions was solid in the quarter. Electrification products and robotics and motion improved margins sequentially, but were not able to fully compensate commodity price headwinds and overcapacity during the quarter. Continue reading Robotics and automation news is good for ABB, says CEO
Despite slowdowns in certain industries, Vietnam’s automation and control systems market is witnessing stable growth, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.
Robust expansion in the manufacturing and construction sectors plus increased foreign direct investment, growing end-user need to optimize processes and improve efficiency, and development of special economic zones are factors fuelling growth.
A combination of higher wages in Asian countries and a trend for bringing back manufacturing to the US could dismantle large parts of Asian economies, many of which depend on the textiles and clothes manufacturing trades for huge portion of their national income.
An interesting video report by the Financial Times points to this possible future, but adds that in practice, for now, “almost all of the world’s T-shirts and jeans by millions of cheap workers, mostly women, watching over sewing machines”.
About half of all jobs in America could be replaced by robotics and automation systems, according to a news story on CNBC.com.
And as pointed out by CNBC.com, approximately one in four American jobs are at risk of being shipped overseas, which puts three-quarters of all jobs in the US at risk of disappearing or at least changing.
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.
Despite an endless stream of stories in the media warning of humanity’s impending irrelevance in an automated future, it seems American workers remain rather blasé about the prospect of being automated out of existence in the workplace.
New research by Randstad US contradicts many reports that American workers fear losing their job due to automation.
Government incentives and adoption of new technologies are driving the growth of the Malaysian automation and control systems market, according to a new report.
The Malaysian automation and control systems market, one of the biggest for suppliers, is stable and growing, says the study by Frost & Sullivan, which projects the market to be worth more than $409 million in the next four years.
Programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, and programmable automation controllers, or PACs, are similar as they both perform the same essential functions. But with modern technology, their differences are becoming more blurred.
The most notable difference between PLCs and PACs is their programming interface. PACs are more intricate, using C or C++. PLCs on the other hand, are programmed using ladder logic.
Industrial internet of things applications are leading to better collaboration, faster problem-solving and increased productivity, according the boss of Rockwell Automation.
Blake Moret, president and CEO of Rockwell, spoke on internet of things adoption and its impact on industrial productivity, sharing insights with more than 1,200 business leaders at Cisco’s IoT World Forum.
Mitsubishi has updated its human machine interface and integrated what it says is improved visibility and performance.
The company says the improvements to its GT2107 HMI were driven by “end user demand”.
Mitsubishi says the GT2107 is an interface that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen that connects to equipment such as programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives and servos.
Autonomous driving technology threatens to displace millions of truck drivers and cab drivers and other transport workers worldwide, and the ITF says the bosses and the elite are introducing these inhuman technologies without bothering to properly consider the “social costs” to the proletariat.
The ITF has 16 million members worldwide and almost 700 individual unions affiliated to the organisation.
In response to the robot takeover, the ITF is promoting a hashtag for people to tweet to – #futureofwork – as well as its own hashtag, #WeAreITF.