In North America robots have generally been seen as scary for shop floor workers. Some of them are afraid that robots will steal their jobs. I am not saying that job relocation as a result of automation doesn't happen. In some cases, companies can be badly structured and the introduction of robots results in job lost. In the following example though, this company has expanded from 0 to 42 robots and has hired 50 new employees during the same time span.
Emerging Applications in Robotic Industrial and Service Blog
The machining world has been using robots for a little while. Mostly to do machine tending. Although, with a lot of technological progress, industrial robots are now ready to do machining. In fact, with processes that must deal with more crazy shapes and differing rigidities, an industrial robot can be a great alternative.
Recently, during Robobusiness, a Workshop on Advanced Manufacturing was held. As a sponsor of the event, we've put together a little video with some sequences coming from our customers to ask the question: "What is advanced manufacturing?" Is it experts pushing he boundaries of robotics? Or is it making robots accessible for everyone? In fact, the workshop answered mostly the latter question. Many discussions seemed like a flashback from the recent RIA Collaborative Robot Workshop. Here are a few notes and afterthoughts.
What is flexible grasping and manipuation? Can you benchmark flexibility to compare different approaches? These are fundamental questions being studied at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The NIST robotics' testbed for manufacturing consists of several labs located in three buildings on the main NIST campus. Combined, these serve as a resource for research in robotics for advanced manufacturing and material handling.
STAMINA (Sustainable and Reliable Robotics for Part Handling in Manufacturing Automation) is an ambitious industry led automation project looking to handle a wide variety of parts in a manufacturing plant for automotive parts. The flexibility, robustness and ease of integration of the 3-Finger Adaptive Robot Gripper made it the right choice to quickly build a useful test bed.
SMED is a manufacturing technique that targets the reduction of setup time for a given manufacturing process. SMED stands for: Single Minute Exchange of Dies. This technique was developed in the printing world so this is why it uses the word 'dies'. This technique though, can be applied to every automated manufacturing process these days and is an important tool of lean production. The SMED has been invented by Shiego Shingo, a Japanese industrial engineer who successfully helped companies reduce their changeover time. One of his books claims to reduce the setup or changeover time by 94% (going from 90 minutes to 5 minutes). This article will give you the key points of this technique, but I really encourage you to read his book to have a deeper understanding of the details involved.
An article by Rob Centner on welding consumables first appeared in The Fabricator, a trade journal for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) out of Rockford, Illinois. The FMA is a professional organization, which provides the tools, resources, and a community of companies who work together to improve the metal forming and fabricating industry. Since the subject is pertinent to all welding environments, including robotic welding, I thought we should revisit these important aspects of welding.
There are several important areas to look at when considering welding consumables such as:
There are many welding robots and even more applications that can be integrated into your workshop. To get the best welding operations out of your robotic cell, you should be aware of a couple of tips. These tips will enhance your productivity and reduce your downtime for robotic welding applications in industrial automation. Make sure to have the following 7 points working in your welding workshop to make your investment worthwhile.
These days, robotic applications are becoming popular in every aspect of manufacturing. Processes that were completely manual a couple of years ago are now becoming robotized. Two main reasons for robotizing a process are either to enhance productivity or to increase quality and repeatability. For the Swiss company, BMC, the robotic step was more a question of quality than productivity. This relatively young company was established in 1986 because of a crazy idea by Mr. Bob Bigelow. Back then, the Swiss businessman was manufacturing mostly commuting bikes. In 2001, the company decided to support a pro cycling team called PHONAK.