Omron Corp. and Techman Robot Inc. have signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance on collaborative robots under which Omron will globally market and sell Techman’s TM series of collaborative robots via its worldwide distribution network under a co-branded logo, starting in the second half of FY2018.
In addition, Omron and Techman will cooperate in developing the next generation of collaborative robots that will be easier to integrate with Omron’s other factory automation products.
Factories worldwide are facing major challenges in having to manufacture a high mix, low volume of products to meet their customer demands, combined with shorter product life cycles and labour shortage issues.
Manufacturing companies must maintain flexibility in quick changeovers and production line layout changes. Collaborative robots that can work safely in the same environment with people have an important role in enabling this kind of “flexible manufacturing”.
In addition to the regular TM series of collaborative robots, Omron will start selling the new models which are “mobile compatible,” i.e. can be easily integrated with Omron’s LD mobile robots.
Omron’s mobile robots, which can move autonomously avoiding people and obstacles, already work safely with humans, automating material handling operations all over the world.
Mounted with a collaborative robot arm on top, they can not only transport material from one location to another, but will also be able to perform tasks, such as the pick and place of parts onto trays, in each of the locations.
“Since the acquisition of Adept Technology in 2015, Omron has been putting great resources into the development of robotics technologies and the market,” said Seigo Kinugawa, Executive Officer and Senior General Manager of the Robotics Business Development Project at Omron’s Industrial Automation Company.
“The alliance with Techman is aimed to advance the collaboration between humans and robots in manufacturing environments. Omron’s entry into the collaborative arm robot market, in addition to the mobile robot market, will accelerate Omron’s “innovative-Automation!” initiative, the goal of which is to bring innovation to the factories through the collaboration of humans and machines,” he added.
“TM robots are smart, simple to use and safe,” said Ho Shi-Chi, Chairman of Techman Robot Inc. “We endeavour to improve the life of humans based on innovation and our alliance with Omron will help us move a big step toward that goal.”