Rethink Robotics signs up nine new distribution partners in Europe and the US

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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.

With the launch of the Intera 5 software platform and ClickSmart family of gripper kits earlier this year, Rethink says it now offers a complete range of products and services to “help manufacturers around the world improve productivity“.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics signs up nine new distribution partners in Europe and the US

US manufacturing sector is seeing ‘record investment’, says Pence

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US Vice President Mike Pence on a visit to Tendon Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is experiencing a dramatic turnaround in business, according to figures released by the White House. 

President Donald Trump has consistently said he wants the manufacturing sector to grow and has personally intervened to persuade many large manufacturing companies to consider relocating or expanding their operations in the US.

However, the vast majority of manufacturing companies in the US are small businesses, of less than 100 people.  Continue reading US manufacturing sector is seeing ‘record investment’, says Pence

Robotiq releases updated version of its collaborative robots ebook

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Robotiq has updated what it says is one of its “most read” ebooks, and has made it downloadable for free.

This is the seventh update of Robotiq’s Collaborative Robots Buyer’s Guide, and it’s available free at the company’s website.

Robotiq says the guide provides a clear view of what’s available, so manufacturers who are thinking about adding a robot to their production floor, as well as those who plan on expanding automation in their factory, will see which model of collaborative would best fit their requirements.  Continue reading Robotiq releases updated version of its collaborative robots ebook

Daimler lays foundation stone for $280 million Mercedes-Benz plant in Russia

Bense, von Fritsch, Schaefer, Manturov, Ruess and Vorobyov attend a new Mercedes-Benz plant's cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Esipovo outside Moscow
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Rus CEO Axel Bense, Germany’s Ambassador to Russia Ruediger von Fritsch, member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars Markus Schaefer, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, head of production planning of Mercedes-Benz Cars Rainer Ruess and Moscow Regional Governor Andrei Vorobyov attend a new Mercedes-Benz plant’s cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Esipovo outside Moscow, Russia earlier this week. Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva

By Jack Stubbs, Reuters

Daimler began construction of a new Mercedes-Benz plant near Moscow this week, following through on the first new investment by a major foreign automaker in Russia since Western sanctions were imposed three years ago.

Daimler said in February that it will invest more than $280 million in the factory, contrasting with widespread wariness among international investors after a prolonged downturn brought on by sanctions and a collapse in global oil prices.

But Russia’s economy has recently shown signs of recovery, while its car market is returning to growth after four years of decline.  Continue reading Daimler lays foundation stone for $280 million Mercedes-Benz plant in Russia

ABB puts YuMi collaborative industrial robot to work making wall sockets at its factory in Holland

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The dual-armed ABB YuMi robots shown at the company’s plant in Ede, the Netherlands

ABB has installed three YuMi robots on a new production line at its electrification products plant in Ede, the Netherlands.

Designed for use in small parts assembly, the three YuMi robots will assemble a new cavity wall socket called HW52-F.

ABB says that, due to its “inherently safe” design, the YuMi collaborative dual arm robot solution will ensure the safety of those around it and elevate the nature of work at the plant by performing repetitive tasks to perfection.  Continue reading ABB puts YuMi collaborative industrial robot to work making wall sockets at its factory in Holland

Why automated parts inspection is important in manufacturing

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Inspection in manufacturing is a process that involves the testing, gauging, measuring, and examination of a material or specimen, with the express purpose of determining whether or not it is in proper condition.

Typically, specified standards are set, against which the results of the inspection are compared to establish if the material being inspected is able to pass this stage of quality control.

In the past, inspection used to be performed solely by human agents, a special workforce that was commonly equipped with the necessary paraphernalia, and sometimes, simply by their bare senses.  Continue reading Why automated parts inspection is important in manufacturing

MIT spin-out Tulip raises $13 million to ‘digitally transform manufacturing’

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New Enterprise Associates leads $13 million round, with participation from Pitango, to expand product research and development and continue growing customer support capabilities

Tulip, the MIT spin-out which has developed a Manufacturing App Platform, has raised $13 million in Series A financing.

New Enterprise Associates led the round with participation from Pitango Venture Capital and many returning angel investors.

Tulip says it will use the capital to grow its world-class product, design, and research teams, while expanding its customer support capabilities in response to significant customer growth.  Continue reading MIT spin-out Tulip raises $13 million to ‘digitally transform manufacturing’

Acorn shortens supply chain with Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer

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Acorn Sales, a specialist in customized, handmade rubber stamps and embossing seals, says it has significantly shortened its supply chain by deploying Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer at its facility in Richmond, Virginia.

Family-owned and operated for over three generations, Acorn is a self-described “small business operating in an Amazon world”.

With Sawyer, the company says it has maintained throughput, improved quality and reduced its reliance on outside suppliers, results that even five years ago would have been nearly impossible for a company of its size to attain affordably.  Continue reading Acorn shortens supply chain with Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer

World’s oldest consultancy claims new car tech will change auto manufacturing

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Arthur D. Little, which claims to be the world’s first consultancy company, predicts how future mobility solutions will affect automotive manufacturing.

In a new report, The Future of Automotive Mobility, the company says – somewhat surprisingly – that the future vehicle technology will depend less on consumer preferences than government regulations.

The company draws its conclusions on a global survey of 6,500 participants, including customers, industry players and regulators. Its research examines how the megatrends of electric mobility, car sharing and autonomous driving are likely to impact on the global automotive ecosystem and future original equipment manufacturing sales.  Continue reading World’s oldest consultancy claims new car tech will change auto manufacturing

Auto manufacturers refusing to take responsibility for their robot car failures, says campaign group

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Outspoken safety advocate says the same week in which Volkswagen pleaded guilty to felonies in connection with vast emissions deception, the automaker claimed it would stand on its record when it comes to autonomous vehicles

The Safe Autonomous Vehicles Campaign says that out of more than a dozen automakers it challenged to take responsibility for failures in their autonomous vehicle technology, only Volvo has publicly agreed to accept responsibility for their robot cars at some levels of automation.

Meanwhile, the campaign noted that VW, just days after pleading guilty to a massive effort to deceive customers, responded to the challenge by pledging that its “long track record … stand on its own merits”.  Continue reading Auto manufacturers refusing to take responsibility for their robot car failures, says campaign group

5G Automotive Association and European Automotive Telecom Alliance to develop new connected car standards

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The 5G Automotive Association and the European Automotive Telecom Alliance have entered a cooperation deal in the field of connected and autonomous driving solutions as well as standardisation, spectrum and related use cases. 

5GAA and EATA say they are dedicated to prioritising the use cases identified by the two organisations in order to establish the technical requirements that need to be addressed, both in the short and in the long term.

In order to better support standards for connected and automated driving, standardisation prioritisation for standards bodies such as ETSI, 3GPP and SAE is necessary as well.  Continue reading 5G Automotive Association and European Automotive Telecom Alliance to develop new connected car standards

Rethink Robotics agrees distribution deal with Aldakin Automation in Spain

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Aldakin Automation will distribute Rethink’s Sawyer throughout the country

Rethink Robotics has reached an agreement with Aldakin Automation to distribute its collaborative robots to the entire Spanish manufacturing market.

Fresh off the launch of its new Intera 5 software, which can coordinate a work cell from a single Sawyer robot, Rethink Robotics says it aims to help manufacturers across the globe improve automation and production tasks.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics agrees distribution deal with Aldakin Automation in Spain

NarrativeWave claims first of its kind IIoT platform

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Today, large industrial assets, such as airplane engines and gas turbines, generate data through sensors.

In fact, there are around 6 billion connected sensors in the world today and by 2020, more than 20 billion sensors will be connected worldwide, according to Gartner.

During a commercial airline flight, data such as the engine’s health and status is sent to diagnostic engineers to be closely analyzed.

Approximately 1,000 gigabytes of data are generated per flight and with over 100,000 flights per day, this equates to over 100,000,000 gigabytes of commercial flight data every day.

That is what you call BIG data.

While big data can be a curse to manage, it is becoming the most critical asset. Continue reading NarrativeWave claims first of its kind IIoT platform

Connected and autonomous cars: Driving in the cloud

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Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of obsolete components supplier, EU Automation explains how cloud computing can help both manufacturers and owners make the most of their vehicle

Today, we consider wireless connectivity and parking assist to be standard features in new models of car.

However, roll back 50 years and it was a different story; there was much less technology of any kind in most vehicles.

The three-point seatbelt didn’t become standard until 1970 and airbags weren’t mandatory until 1998. With cloud computing on the rise, we’re seeing more high-tech features being added to vehicles than ever.

Cloud computing plays a pivotal role in helping original equipment manufacturers manage and control the data and connectivity needed to run a system of remote downloads and upgrades across all the cars they sell.  Continue reading Connected and autonomous cars: Driving in the cloud

Rethink Robotics launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ software platform

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Rethink Robotics has launched what it describes as a first-of-its-kind software platform that connects everything in a smart factory.

The collaborative industrial robot maker says the extensible software is “redefining automation deployments and providing a gateway to the factory of the future”.

Rethink Robotics calls its software platform Intera 5, and says it “connects everything from a single robot controller, extending the smart, flexible power of Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer to the entire work cell and simplifying automation with unparalleled ease of deployment”.

Built on the backbone of the Rethink robots’ train-by-demonstration software, Intera 5 is designed to pave the way for connected manufacturing environments and helping companies build factories of the future.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ software platform