IMTS 2016 - Takeaways

Many of the OEMs were showing how their smart products and processes were driving new business models like servitization (manufacturing firms developing the capabilities to provide services and solutions that supplement their traditional product offerings) and new "power-by-the-hour" offerings.

Robot Sews First Complete Garment

From Sewbo:   Sewbo Inc. on Thursday announced that it has achieved the long-sought goal of automated sewing, by using an industrial robot to sew together a T-shirt. This milestone represents the first time that a robot has been used to sew an entire article of clothing. Despite widespread use in other industries, automation has failed to find a place in apparel manufacturing due to robots’ inability to handle limp, flexible fabrics. Sewbo avoids these hurdles by temporarily stiffening fabrics, making it easy for conventional robots to build clothes as if they were made from sheet metal. Afterwards, the process is reversed to produce soft, fully assembled garments. “Our technology will allow manufacturers to create higher-quality clothing at lower costs in less time than ever before,” said Jonathan Zornow, the technology’s inventor. “Avoiding labor issues and shortening supply chains will help reduce the complexity and headaches surrounding today’s intricate global supply network. And digital manufacturing will revolutionize fashion, even down to how we buy our clothes by allowing easy and affordable customization for everyone.” Sewbo performed their feat using an off-the-shelf industrial robot, which they taught to operate a consumer sewing machine. Having successfully proved its core concept, Sewbo is now expanding its team and working towards commercializing its technology... ( company webpage , MIT article )

Big Picture Processes Impact Efficient Lineside Delivery

The self-driving vehicle (SDV) using an autonomous guidance system breaks free of magnetic strips and pre-programmed routes.

Safety solutions for intelligent human-robot collaboration

Fanny Platbrood for SafeToWork:  Human-robot collaboration (HRC) describes a work scenario in which humans and automated machines share and work in the same workspace at the same time. Driven by Industry 4.0, this model of collaboration promises highly flexible workflows, maximum system throughput and productivity, as well as economic efficiency. However, ensuring that HRC is actually able to live up to this promise requires exactly the right safety technology for the application in question. One of the major issues associated with Industry 4.0 is making work processes flexible. At the extreme end of the spectrum, this may involve manufacturing products in batch size 1 under industrial mass-production conditions – that is, manufacturing unique items on a conveyor belt.   Cont'd...

Special News Report for International Manufacturing Technology Show 2016

New product announcements and news from IMTS 2016. Post your company news or read about what others are doing at the show.

Industrial Robots and Manufacturing Jobs - A Catalyst for Loss or Growth?

When disruptive technologies are introduced to the marketplace, there is an initial uncertainty among the general population about these unfamiliar products, services, or new ways of conducting business.

Special Tradeshow Coverage for The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS 2016)

IMTS 2016 will be held from September 12th - 17th in Chicago, Illinois. This RoboticsTomorrow.com Special Tradeshow report aims to bring you news, articles and products from this years event.

Global collaborative robots market expected to grow at a high rate

Market Reports World:  The global market for collaborative robots is expected to grow at a CAGR of 60.04% between 2016 and 2022 from USD 110.0 million in 2015 and reach USD 3.3 Billion by 2022. The market is expected to be driven by the growing demand because of higher return on investment and low price of collaborative robots that are attracting the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and the increase in investments for automation in industries. “The market in the automotive industry and furniture & equipment industry is expected to grow rapidly” The application in the automotive industry accounted for the largest share of the collaborative robot market in 2015 and this trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. However, the increasing installations of collaborative robots in the automotive industry and furniture & equipment industry would provide rapid growth between 2016 and 2022, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.  Full report...

Japan Is Leaping Towards Smart Factory Implementation

A few niche Japanese companies have been producing high-performance all-axis servo-driven take-out robots to make an industry smart in its various stages of planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, delivering, etc.

18 Questions to Ask Your AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) Vendor: Part 1

You need an AGV solution that will grow with your company, adapting to your changing industry and taking on the challenges you face as your business grows.

Do the benefits of robotics outweigh the heavy demands on infrastructure?

Ben Rossi for Information Age:  Robotics has already been deployed in manufacturing to great effect for over a decade, performing delicate and precise tasks with greater accuracy than humans. But now cutting-edge robots and other smart machines are set to join forces with the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, which Gartner estimates will total 25 billion devices by 2020. In healthcare, robotic services are already operating pharmacy dispensers and robotic trolleys are now deployed in a growing number of hospitals. In hospitality, robots deliver services such as drinks dispensing and automated trolley deliveries. Robots have even made their way into education, where they are being deployed successfully as a tutor, tool or peer in learning activities. But what impact will this large-scale adoption of robotics have on existing networks as they encounter inevitable further strain?   Cont'd...

Upcoming Tradeshow, Conference & Exhibition Summary - September - December 2016

Here is a summary of what Tradeshows, Conferences & Exhibitions to look forward to in the coming months.

Robotics, automation, and how a strong network is needed to connect it all up

Manish Sablokk for IoTTech:  Cutting-edge robots and other advanced smart machines are set to be added into the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, which is projected to reach 25 billion devices by 2020. Robotics has already been used in manufacturing to great effect for over a decade, performing delicate and precise tasks with a higher success rate than humans. With advancements such as 'deep learning' robots, delivery drones and ubiquitous knowledge-sharing between machines, widespread robotics adoption is becoming far more feasible. In healthcare, there are already robotic services in operation with automated pharmacy dispensing and robotic trolleys - robots that can navigate between floors and even call the lift using a Wi-Fi sensor. The hospitality sector has also been a keen adopter of robotics to deliver services and in education, robots are being deployed successfully as a tutor, tool or peer in learning activities, providing language, science and technology education.   Cont'd...

Solving the Custom Robot Parts Challenge: The Deshazo-MFG.com Story

The number of unique parts required is high - some 200 parts in the past year or so - but the volume in which each part is needed is low, often only one or two.

Everything You Need to Know About Stepper Motors

Recent servo motors are equipped with the encoder of 20 bits (1,048,576 steps) which has a very fine resolution. Because of this, errors due to the encoder installation accuracy have a huge effect on stopping accuracy.

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Factory Automation - Featured Product

Zaber's X-LRQ-DE Series:  High Precision Stages with Built-in Controllers and Linear Encoders

Zaber's X-LRQ-DE Series: High Precision Stages with Built-in Controllers and Linear Encoders

Zaber's X-LRQ-DE Series of linear stages have high stiffness, load, and lifetime capabilities in a compact size. The integrated linear encoder combined with stage calibration provides high accuracy positioning over the full travel of the device. At 36 mm high, these stages are excellent for applications where a low profile is required. The X-LRQ-DE's innovative design allows speeds up to 205 mm/s and loads up to 100 kg. Like all Zaber products, the X-LRQ-DE Series is designed for easy set-up and operation.