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”.  Continue reading Collaborative robotic system makes ‘monotonous and physically demanding tasks’ at BMW easier

BMW shows off its smart factory technologies at its plants worldwide

bmw worker with collaborative robot

Collaborative robots, smart glasses, exoskeletons and innovative work gloves are among the tech being integrated at plants across the group’s worldwide operations 

German automaker BMW has been providing a glimpse into the advanced manufacturing technologies at several of its factories – in Germany and the US. 

The company says it has been harnessing the potential of innovative automation and flexible assistance systems in production.

In doing so, BMW says it has modernized the work environment and increased the efficiency of its workforce.  Continue reading BMW shows off its smart factory technologies at its plants worldwide

Kuka’s new lightweight collaborative robot for medical applications goes into series production

Kuka’s new, lightweight collaborative robot has gone into series production, says the company. 

The Kuka LBR Med – short for medical – is designed to be operated in the “immediate vicinity” of the human operator.

The robot maker sees the new cobot as having applications in the health sector, as “an assistant for tasks rehabilitation or in the operating room”.  Continue reading Kuka’s new lightweight collaborative robot for medical applications goes into series production

Harmonic Drive launches new gearbox to ‘usher in a new age of robotics’

harmonic-drive-gears

New gearbox range from Harmonic Drive aimed at “growing demand for compactness” and collaborative robotics 

High precision gearing specialist, Harmonic Drive UK, has launched CSF-2UP, a new gearbox range designed for medical technology, robotics and measuring-instrument applications.

Expected to be worth $7.85 billion by 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets, the smart and collaborative robotics sector is particularly dependent on compact and ultra lightweight gears.

The CSF-2UP gearboxes form part of the CSF Series, a range characterised by its very short length and low weight. The new gearbox range is available in three sizes, with gear ratios of 30, 50 and 100 at a repeatable peak torque from 1.8 to 28 Nm.  Continue reading Harmonic Drive launches new gearbox to ‘usher in a new age of robotics’

Schunk to unveil new robotic arm for autonomous assistance robots

Schunk has launched the LWA 4P Powerball Lightweight Arm
Schunk has launched the LWA 4P Powerball Lightweight Arm that features app-based or manual programming. The lightweight arm can optionally be equipped with an electric collision control, says the company

Schunk is about to launch a new robotic arm for autonomous assistance robots which the company is apparently finding difficult to explain. 

“How could one describe a multi-functional handling solution that operates autonomously in a human environment?” asks Schunk in a statement revealing the new product.

Schunk, which claims to be “the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems”, presented the anthropomorphic gripper arm and said it is designed for intuitive virtual programming and widely differing successive gripping operations; it can also optionally be equipped to react to collisions.

The overall application will be programmed on the basis of Robot Operating System (ROS).  Continue reading Schunk to unveil new robotic arm for autonomous assistance robots

Siemens provides close-up view of its electronics manufacturing plant, where the lines between human and robot workers are blurred

siemens robotic electronics factory
Picture: At Siemens’ Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen, Germany, the company has devised new concepts for highly flexible manufacturing systems using lightweight robots and 3D printers.

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.

siemens robotic electronics factory
Employees at Siemens’ Electronics Manufacturing Plant in Erlangen have the freedom to try out innovative ideas and turn them into successful projects.

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.

When Hannes goes home, Schorsch goes on working. Hannes is a temporary factory worker. Schorsch is a lightweight robot. Continue reading Siemens provides close-up view of its electronics manufacturing plant, where the lines between human and robot workers are blurred