Baumüller prepares to showcase new solutions at Drinktec event

Baumüller will introduce what it describes as “complete solution packages and industry-specific components” at Drinktec 2017, the drinks packaging industry event. 

From September 11-15, 2017, Baumüller will participate in drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry in Munich.

In hall B3 at stand 321, the Nuremberg-based drive and automatization specialist will present its specific industry solutions for the beverage industry – from a drive with an aseptic surface for transport tasks in the food sector to compact local drive technology for minimum wiring effort.  Continue reading Baumüller prepares to showcase new solutions at Drinktec event

Brain Corp raises $114 million to develop self-driving technology for robots

Brain Corp, an artificial intelligence company specializing in the development of self-driving technology for robots, has raised $114 million in a Series C funding round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Brain has developed AI and self-driving technology to enable robots to perceive their environment, learn to control their motion, and navigate using visual cues and landmarks while avoiding people and obstacles.

The investment will be used to further develop AI technology and create brains for multiple types of commercial and consumer robots.  Continue reading Brain Corp raises $114 million to develop self-driving technology for robots

Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

“Lights-out manufacturing” is a term to mean the method of making things in a way that’s entirely automated and does not need humans to be involved in the process. 

Of course, humans initially set up the process, build the factory and so on, but the factory which outputs the final product only requires robotics and automation technology.

It’s an idea that has probably been explored in science fiction many times, but in reality, a fully automated factory that needs no human intervention at all is still a distant dream.  Continue reading Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

ThyssenKrupp claims ‘breakthrough’ in digital transformation and connecting machinery ​

ThyssenKrupp says it has achieved a breakthrough in the area of digital transformation and connecting machinery ​in industry.

ThyssenKrupp says it has reached a “milestone” for the digital transformation of industry and connecting the machinery of its materials services division through a new digital platform.

The company’s new internet of things platform is call Toii, or toii, as the company prefers to write it.  Continue reading ThyssenKrupp claims ‘breakthrough’ in digital transformation and connecting machinery ​

NSK miniature linear guides bring ‘higher dynamics’ to pick-and-place machines

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NSK says its linear guides bring “higher dynamics” to pick-and-place machines.

As machines for the semiconductor industry operate with cycle times of one second or less, pick-and-place units must offer very high dynamic performance.

A case in point can be seen at a manufacturer of chip-mounting systems, where NSK recommended a combination of its ball screw and miniature linear guide technologies to replace the existing linear motor and significantly increase dynamic capability.  Continue reading NSK miniature linear guides bring ‘higher dynamics’ to pick-and-place machines

Kollmorgen and VH Vertical Packaging realise new potential with a separate labeler

The art of reduction: the packaging machines from VH Vertical Packaging have a simple structure

By Jens Depping

A Dutch packaging machinery manufacturer has now developed a labeller as part of a retrofit with servo-drive technology based on 48 volts.

This is designed as an optional module for the company’s own vertical packaging machines on the one hand and as a functional enhancement for retrofitting older machines of well-known producers on the other.

The combination of the new 48 volt DC Servo Motor low voltage from Kollmorgen and a motion control solution from SigmaTek makes it possible for the labeling module to be integrated easily into new machines or for existing machinery to be retrofitted.  Continue reading Kollmorgen and VH Vertical Packaging realise new potential with a separate labeler

Kuka to build personal assistance robot business with Midea

Midea-products
Some of the products Midea manufactures

Kuka, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robotic arms, is planning to expand into the area of personal assistance robotics. 

This is according to an article on FT.com, which quotes Kuka chief executive Till Reuter.

Reuter told the FT that he sees potential for using Midea’s reach into the household appliances market to develop more complex, intelligent machines which can help with household tasks.  Continue reading Kuka to build personal assistance robot business with Midea

Got milk? How a Swiss company builds filling and packaging systems for milk, coffee and other products

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A piece of equipment manufactured by Swiss Can Machinery

Scaled technology and functioning interfaces are essential for Swiss Can Machinery, which is why the company’s filling and packaging systems have a modular design throughout, and why it uses a product program with a scaled structure for the drive technology. 

The filling and packaging systems at Swiss Can Machinery – which was established by brothers Marc and Michael Grabher – shows how this objective can be achieved.

The company turns to stainless steel motors for the actuators; for example, when these systems are used for filling and packaging pharmaceutical products.  Continue reading Got milk? How a Swiss company builds filling and packaging systems for milk, coffee and other products

Kollmorgen expands its AKM servo motor series

Kollmorgen Motor AKM1

Kollmorgen says its new servo motor has energy efficiency, durability, power density, overload capability, and – crucially – is extra low voltage.

The new AKM DC servo motor low voltage with its 48-volt design was originally intended as a customer-specific solution for special areas of use.

Kollmorgen, a specialist in servo-drive technology and motion control will now offer this as a standard add-on to the AKM series, and thus as a new series product.  Continue reading Kollmorgen expands its AKM servo motor series

The human factor: GE Digital automation boss hints at new directions for Predix

Exclusive interview with Matt Wells, of GE Digital. By Abdul Montaqim

GE Digital is a subsidiary of General Electric, the quintessential American multinational corporate conglomerate with operations in more countries than the United Nations. 

But far from being just one of its parent company’s dozen or so subsidiaries, GE Digital is something of a shooting star, outperforming many other subsidiaries to the point where it is informing, if not transforming, the entire culture and ethos of the company.

Nowadays, General Electric likes to be known as a “the world’s digital industrial company”, except they capitalise the words to emphasise the importance of the virtual realm.  Continue reading The human factor: GE Digital automation boss hints at new directions for Predix

Tend claims launch of first ‘smart cloud’ to enable remote control of robots

tend.ai in.control

Tend says its new in.control platform is the first smart cloud robotics platform for remote control, monitoring and analysis of production lines. 

Tend announced it has introduced the first hardware-agnostic, smart cloud robotics software platform that allows manufacturers to remotely control, monitor and analyze the performance of their robots and production equipment from their mobile devices.

Tend’s in.control – short for “intelligent control” – software has made smart manufacturing simple and accessible for companies of all sizes, allowing them to monitor and control any robot, tending any machine, from any location.  Continue reading Tend claims launch of first ‘smart cloud’ to enable remote control of robots

Integrating industry with the universe

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A scene from last year’s Hannover Messe, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors

lockHannover Messe is widely regarded as the world’s leading trade fair for industrial companies – particularly those in engineering, robotics, and automation.

Held in Germany every year in April, the event attracts more than 200,000 visitors and over 5,000 exhibitors.

Considered to be the most important exhibition of its type, last year the special guests were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and US President Barack Obama.  Continue reading Integrating industry with the universe

Reassuringly expensive gear: Overcoming the challenges of the packaging industry

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Graham Mackrell, managing director of precision gearing specialist Harmonic Drive UK, explains actuators, boots and socioeconomic unfairness 

As a famous fictional policeman once said, “The reason that the rich were so rich… was because they managed to spend less money”. 

What he meant was that although the rich may buy more expensive things, they buy products that will last longer and are therefore a better investment.

Although the policeman in question was referring to boots at the time, the same is true of cars, phones, and even servo actuators used in packaging machines.  Continue reading Reassuringly expensive gear: Overcoming the challenges of the packaging industry

Delta launches new PLC series enabling ‘easy and advanced programming’

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Delta Electronics has launched a new series of programmable logic controllers which it claims enables “easy and advanced programming” for sectors such as electronics manufacturing, labeling, food packaging and textile machines.

The AS300 PLC series covers most automation applications at a very attractive price, says Delta.

Delta adds that the AS300 series Compact Non-backplane Mid-range PLC is a “high performance multi-purpose controller designed for all kinds of automated equipment”.  Continue reading Delta launches new PLC series enabling ‘easy and advanced programming’

Beyond Moore’s Law: Human-plus-machine computing

d-wave processor

By Adam Devine, vice president of marketing, WorkFusion

How do we move forward in a world where Moore’s Law no longer holds true? For five decades, Gordon Moore’s famous prediction about processing power doubling about every two years held firm.

It was a reliable sort of constant as innovators continued to increase the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits.

But all good things must come to an end, and Moore’s Law has been confounded by another, more immutable law: physics.  Continue reading Beyond Moore’s Law: Human-plus-machine computing