Think You Know Industrial Robots? Think Again

Jim Lawton for Forbes:  Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and in my experience there’s no industry where that wisdom holds more true than manufacturing. I’m not a hardened cynic, just a pragmatist, having spent the majority of my career bringing technology that disrupts the status quo – from inventory optimization and managing risk in the supply base to collaborative robots. Manufacturers are among the most skeptical buyers and for good reason – what they do is hard, complex and things are done the way they are done because it’s been proven to work. There are times though when the opportunity to transform the business is so compelling that – as Drucker said – executives need to spend whatever time is necessary to tear down the cultural barriers that are getting in the way of the strategy that capitalizes on the moment. In the category of robotics and industrial automation, now is one of those times. It’s been more than 50 years since Unimate went to work at a GM plant unloading heavy parts and welding them onto automobile frames. Manufacturing has changed a lot and today is on an evolutionary path toward the 4th industrial revolution. Unfortunately, while executives may be ready to move quickly toward the factories of the future for first mover advantage, many automation engineers remain entrenched in 20th century thinking about robots — when they were highly customized solutions, designed to perform one task over and over again, with a price tag to match.   Cont'd...

A shared vision: SICK AG and MVTec Software GmbH step up cooperation

Up to now, cooperation between the two companies has been limited to 3D cameras but it will now be expanded to include various sensors in the vision sector.

The Robotic Industries Association Announces New Director of Standards Development

New Director brings expertise in project management, facilitation, communication

Universal Robots to build architectural scale pavilion in direct collaboration with attendees at Autodesk University

The Autodesk University conference merges traditional craftsmanship with computational design and manufacturing processes as the Hive Pavilion takes shape during the three day event in Las Vegas December 1-3. The Pavilion will be designed and built with the collaborative Universal Robots working in tandem with attendees, showcasing the future of digital construction and human-robot collaboration.

Nearly 100 Million Consumer Robots Will be Sold During the Next 5 Years, According to Tractica

Household Robots to Lead in Adoption, with Strong Growth in Robotic Personal Assistants, Robotic Toys, and Educational Robots

2015 Robotics Alley to feature Health Care and Medical Device Track

Robotics Alley has brought back one of its most popular tracks from 2014, the Health Care and Medical Device Track. The conference takes place in Minneapolis, at the heart of one of the nation's largest medical device clusters.

How Universal Robots Doubled Production at Tegra Medical

Medical device manufacturer Tegra Medical faced profit erosion as costs went up and customers demanded price cuts. Deploying three collaborative robot arms from Universal Robots to tend the machines manufacturingmedical instruments doubled throughput, freed up 11 full time positions and enabled the manufacturer to keep up with customer demand while keeping costs down.

Yaskawa Motoman Prepares for Continued Growth with New V.P. and Organizational Changes

Scott Jenkins has joined Yaskawa Motoman as Vice President of North American Sales & Marketing.

MIP Robotics Launches Its First Model of New Generation Industrial Robot "MIP Junior", Designed with Its Own Technology

After several years of R&D, MIP robots have a new gear reducer type suited for robotics, patented by the French start-up.

Rethink Robotics and Sumitomo Announce Exclusive Distribution Partnership in Japan

Rethink Robotics' Sawyer Robot Now Available Throughout Japan

Intelligrated appoints Jon Tutuncu as senior director, commercial operations and strategy

Commercial operations veteran to lead data-driven optimization of sales, analysis and strategy

MIP Robotics Launches Its First Model of New Generation Industrial Robot "MIP Junior",

MIP robotics is a startup founded in 2015 and based on research conducted for many years. The company aims to provide accessible, industrial robots, especially for SMIs (small and medium industries). In other words, like 3D printing in recent years, MIP wants to democratize industrial robotics. The robots can be used to automate repetitive, arduous or dangerous tasks; indeed it is possible to set the standard gripper arms: suction cup, hook, screwdriver, blade etc. Application examples are numerous: storing goods in cartons, checking the tightening torque, making the automated cutting, removing non-compliant products etc. MIP allows its customers to increase their productivity (and hence margins) in order to improve the quality or reduce the hardship. The investment can be made profitable in only 6 month. The "Junior " is a robot called "SCARA" (that is to say a horizontal arm) operating on a range of 600mm and fixed on a vertical axis in a standard 400mm high. These dimensions can be adjusted on demand. Its speed reaches up to 250mm/s with an accuracy of 0.5mm and can move up to 5kg. Junior is also characterized by its ease of use: for instance you can teach the robot the movements to be carried out by manually moving the robotic arm. Finally, the robot stops in case of impact, enabling collaborative applications if all safety conditions are met. While prices often start around €20,000 on the market, Junior is available from €8000.   Full Press Release:

Robotics Alley to Host Career Fair for Engineering, Technical Jobs

For the second year, the Robotics Alley Conference & Expo will offer a free career fair for engineering, manufacturing and technical professionals.

OMRON Releases New Models to Join Machine Automation Controller NJ101-series.

-New Models Connect to Database Directly and Accelerate Leveraging Big Data and IoT at Production Sites-

Global Robotics Industry to Surpass $151 Billion by 2020, According to Tractica

Consumer Robots, Enterprise Robots, Autonomous Vehicles, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Will Drive the Rapid Diversification of the Sector beyond Traditional Industrial Markets

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product

ST Robotics Develops the Workspace Sentry for Collaborative Robotics

ST Robotics Develops the Workspace Sentry for Collaborative Robotics

The ST Robotics Workspace Sentry robot and area safety system are based on a small module that sends an infrared beam across the workspace. If the user puts his hand (or any other object) in the workspace, the robot stops using programmable emergency deceleration. Each module has three beams at different angles and the distance a beam reaches is adjustable. Two or more modules can be daisy chained to watch a wider area. "A robot that is tuned to stop on impact may not be safe. Robots where the trip torque can be set at low thresholds are too slow for any practical industrial application. The best system is where the work area has proximity detectors so the robot stops before impact and that is the approach ST Robotics has taken," states President and CEO of ST Robotics David Sands.