This year’s MD&M (and ATX) West is dominated by a common theme of automating and robotizing an array of new manufacturing, semiconductor, and medical end uses.
Earlier this week we blogged at motioncontroltips.com about how that relates to the application of motion-control and power-transmission technologies; today we profile robotics we’ve seen at the show.
ATI Industrial Automation — MD&M West Booth 4211 — End-effector innovations
ATI Industrial Automation — which last we checked is still undergoing an enormous facility expansion (to 185,000 ft2) at its Apex, N.C. location — is highlighting a pretty recent release at MD&M West. The U1-050 Universal Compliance Compensator is an end-effecting technology that combines adaptability to boost throughput and precision in bin picking (the application everyone seems to want to discuss here in Anaheim) as well as automated assembly and loading and unloading tasks and robotic finishing.
The U1-050 is compliant to address misalignment in multiple directions … with concurrent Z compression, X-Y lateral, and X-Y-Z axis rotation compliance. (Upon completion of a task requiring forgiveness, a reset piston returns U1-050 to a repeatable center.)
In addition to this newer release, ATI Industrial Automation is also displaying its core product offerings — including force-torque transducers that measure force and torque from multiple directions.
Cognex — MD&M West Booth 4523 — New barcode readers to cutting-edge deep learning
Check out this booth for the latest on this manufacturer’s mobile barcode reading; tools for (IoT-ready) realtime automation monitoring; and even a bit on Cognex’s efforts to advance Deep Learning through the use of machine-vision data collection.
Denso Robotics — MD&M West Booth 4139 — for cobot functionality from traditional industrial robots
Highlighted in Anaheim this year is Denso’s RC8A robot controller with what the company calls Safety Motion. Released last year, the software and sensor system essentially creates a virtual fence around the equipped robot to protect the robot itself and nearby personnel. More specifically, twin optical sensors scan for approaching people and objects and trigger incremental speed reduction as needed. Then the RC8A Safety Motion function triggers the robot to resume operations at normal speed when the coast is clear.
Epson — MD&M West Booth 4109 — Long-reach and compact SCARAs
At our tour of the booth (with colleague Garrett Cona) we visited with Gregg Brunnick, Rick Brookshire, and Sacha Arts saw Epson’s T3 All-in-One SCARA robot (which we’ve covered extensively on therobotreport.com) as well as the Flexion N2 6-Axis featuring a compact folding arm. Espon booth patrol also gave us a demonstration of the Epson G6 SCARA targeted to high-volume jobs that need quick response with minimal vibration — even when servicing wide work zones. Here’s the release from before the show on these and other robots Epson is showing.
FANUC America Corp. — MD&M West Booth 4001
New offerings from FANUC include CR-4iA, CR-7iA, CR-7iA/L, and CR-35iA collaborative robots; seven-axis spot-welding robots — highlighting FANUC’s continued targeting of the automotive industry; an R-30iB Plus controller with the company’s iPendant for quick setup; and SR-3iA and SR-6iA SCARA robots.
KUKA — MD&M West Booth 872 for cobots capable of delicate-part handling
Among other things, KUKA is showing the LBR iiwa — short for Leichtbauroboter (light-build robot) intelligent industrial work assistant. The collaborative robot is suitable for production processes requiring delicate piece handling. Two variations of the LBR iiwa cobot have 7 and 14-kg payloads.
Locus Robotics — MD&M West Booth 3995 for automated warehousing
This is a maker of autonomous robots for automated warehousing and ecommerce fulfillment centers. What’s cool about their robots is how they impart new modes of material transport and collaborative operation — working alongside people to triple productivity in some cases … and helping personnel fill orders with far less manual labor.
Fun stuff 😄 🆒 @LocusRobotics (Booth 3995) for automated-warehousing #robotics @ #AdvMfgExpo #medtech #MDMWest @SteveCrowe @DW_Editor @therobotreport #ecommerce #technologies @UBMAdvMfg @DesignWorld @DW_Editor pic.twitter.com/UIJag4ANyq
— Lisa Eitel (@DW_LisaEitel) February 8, 2018
Mecademic — MD&M West Booth 4188 for tiny six-axis offerings
The new Meca500 miniature six-axis industrial robot from Mecademic Inc.is twice as small as other small six-axis industrial robots on the market … and one of only a few without a bulky controller cabinet. The robot’s controller is embedded in its palm-sized base — and the robot design has easy-to-use interfaces for quick connectivity.
Visit us at #ATXwest in Anaheim, California (Feb. 6-8) and be among the first to see the new generation of the Meca500 industrial robot. Some of the novelties:
– EtherCAT support;
– faster movements;
– unlimited rotation of joint 6;
– absolute encoders on all joints. pic.twitter.com/enQRy4UtaM
— Mecademic (@Mecademic) January 24, 2018
Omron Automation — MD&M West Booth 4395
We saw Omron for a thorough booth tour; the highlight was a ping-pong-playing robot. Called FORPHEUS, the ping-pong AI-equipped robot demonstrates kinematic actuation, sensing, control, machine learning, and barcode reading.
OTTO Motors — MD&M West Booth 3965
OTTO Motors is part of Clearpath Robotics and designs and manufactures self-driving vehicles for indoor material-handling applications.
The vehicles use navigation methods that don’t rely on the tracks or references that AGVs need. Featured at ATX is the OTTO 100 that’s suitable for moving bins and boxes through environments populated by other vehicles as well as personnel.
Stäubli North America — MD&M West Booth 4461
Stäubli is showing its new TX2 line of collaborative robots and other dynamic robots for uses in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, cleanrooms, and laboratories. Check out this brief summary for more — and expect a video taken at the booth in coming weeks.
Toshiba Machine (with tm Robotics) — MD&M West Booth 4489
My colleague Mary Gannon recently covered how tm Robotics is showing its newest SCARA robot at ATX West. I also got the chance to chat with Nigel Smith of tm Robotics as a recent event — and we’ll soon be sharing his insight in target applications for the THE400 SCARA robot … as well as his view of how bin-picking is the next frontier in automating tasks.
Universal Robots — MD&M West Booth 4616
On display here are user-friendly collaborative robots (cobots) automating common manufacturing tasks. Universal Robots’ Zero Footprint Palletizer is the main attraction … more after the jump.
Zimmer Group US Inc. — MD&M West Booth 4431 — Showing parallel grippers and more
We remember this company at Sommer Automatic — but it still manufactures grippers (with parallel grippers being the most widely known) and other material-handling as well as end-effector, damping, and linear technologies.