Why robotics is so important to manufacturing; why Japan is well positioned to benefit from widespread automation; why an AI system scoring at the level of a four year old child is not a disappointment; and more...Read More
As a wrap up of our past two blog posts on the different tools to use to integrate your first robot, the following article talks about the third point outlined in this series: The gap that exist between manufacturers according to the robotic technology they employ. In fact, as most people in manufacturing do not have a robotic background it might at first seem to be scary to get into this topic. But, here are a couple of tricks to close this gap.Read More
The Danish Technological Institute (DTI) has recently led a study to evaluate what was the gap between manufacturers and their lack of automation. As some experts say, more than 80% of manufacturing jobs can be automated, yet only small part of them are being automated presently. At the end of the day, people that are interested in integrating robots (or any type of automation really) need tools to do so. Here are a couple of tips to help integrate your first robot in your manufacturing plant.Read More
Topics: manufacturing, robotic integrator, collaborative robot, manufacturers, robotic investment, collaborative cell, robotic machine tending, robotic integration, manufacturing process, collaborative applications
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.
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.
The decision has been made to automate a manual handling process. The automation concept has been chosen. Now is time to look into the details on how we will pick, hold and place those parts. The cost of the gripping units itself is not a big part of an automation project. Suction cups can be as little as $10 and an electric gripper can be several $1,000; but these costs represent a small fraction of the whole project. That is why grippers are too often the last aspect to be analyzed in an automation project. But grippers have a direct impact on cell performance and throughput. When budgeting and choosing grippers, it is important to consider performance, purchase cost and even more importantly recurring costs that will come from using the gripper in production. Let's assume that you have analyzed the performance of different gripping options and now want to analyze which one will be the most cost-effective. This article explains how to compare the cost difference between robot gripper options for your automation project.
Investment casting (also known as lost wax casting) is a fairly old manufacturing process. It is used in several industries to produce precise parts and especially in those industries producing parts with complicated geometries. This post presents an overview of the process, several examples of where robotic automation solutions have been implemented and the names and contacts for the providers of these automated solutions.