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Robotics News & Insights | Manufacturing

Recent Posts

Lights-Out Manufacturing with Mobile Manipulation: HIROTEC Case Study

Posted by OTTO Motors on Jul 6, 2017 10:00:00 AM

How do you improve throughput and productivity in an environment that is already operating lean? HIROTEC AMERICA asked the same question after spending three decades focused on the K2 philosophy of working towards continuous improvements (kaizen) and revolutionary changes in technology and process (kaikaku). Taking a deep look at their internal processes, they were able to pinpoint specific tasks within the plant that yielded inefficiencies. By smashing conventional thinking, they were able to use advanced technologies including a self-driving vehicle and a manipulator to drastically improve production and efficiency, and work toward their goal of lights-out manufacturing.

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Topics: Handling, New Technologies, Manufacturing, Mobile Robotics, Automotive


Food Just Got Faster

Posted by Jack Uhl on Apr 24, 2017 10:04:17 AM

If you think of the food industry as a wheel, safety is the hub and its spokes are: production, cleanliness and labor. The rim tying these spokes together ought to be automation because it can directly improve each one. Here’s how:

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Topics: Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Packaging, Food & Beverage


Keep on Truckin’ Lightly with Aluminum Welding

Posted by Chris Anderson on Jan 25, 2017 3:13:24 PM

Manufacturers of over-the-road vehicles (also referred to as OTR or long-haul trucks), and to a lesser degree car manufacturers, are improving fuel economy and reducing the weight of their vehicles with aluminum. Assembling frames, trailers and other components made of aluminum requires welding, and there are important differences between robotically welding steel components versus those made of aluminum.

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Topics: Arc Welding, Manufacturing, Tips and Tools, Automotive


Collaborative Robot Risks & Rewards

Posted by Keith Vozel on Dec 14, 2016 10:01:01 AM

When you’re staring down a dirty, tedious (or even dangerous) job, you know how good it feels to get it completed. The first time you do it – even the first few times – there’s a sense of accomplishment. Over time, these jobs can not only wear down workers but also keep them from higher value tasks in a plant.

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Topics: New Technologies, Manufacturing, ROI, Collaborative


Retrain or Recruit? Tackling the Skills Gap in Your Organization

Posted by Buddy Smith on Dec 5, 2016 1:14:47 PM

My master’s thesis dealt with job satisfaction in the workplace. At the time I wrote my thesis, I was working for a global manufacturer of aircraft parts. In the mid-1990s, I watched my employer go through massive layoffs, reducing its workforce by more than 60 percent in three years. Watching the turmoil made me aware of how important it is to consider people when dealing with shifting economics, production needs and skill gaps.

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Topics: Education and Training, Manufacturing, Production, ROI


Looking for a Way to “Future-Proof” Production?

Posted by Ken Hyun on Oct 10, 2016 11:22:17 AM

At this year’s IMTS in Chicago, I had a number of discussions with manufacturers that were looking for ways to improve their manufacturing process.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Production, ROI


Dismantling the Drudgery of Pallet Recycling

Posted by Roger Christian on Aug 16, 2016 1:24:33 PM

It’s been said taking something apart is easier than putting it together. If you’re in business to dismantle and recycle wood pallets, you might say otherwise. Taking apart (or dismantling) wooden pallets is dangerous, deafening and draining for employees. The work in pallet recycling plants is largely manual labor

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Topics: New Technologies, Manufacturing


What Does a Cable Company and Waterjet Cutting Have in Common?

Posted by Roger Christian on Jul 12, 2016 9:13:12 AM

Some technologies are loved. For other technologies, there’s no love lost. Like your cable provider, waterjet cutting fills a need, but it’s an uneasy (if long-standing) alliance

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Topics: New Technologies, Manufacturing, Material Removal


How Could 240 Minutes Save You More on Manufacturing?

Posted by Zane Michael on Apr 25, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Two hundred forty minutes could save you $240,000 or more on your manufacturing process, but unlike those GEICO® commercials, not everybody knows that. Some of the companies that are in the know, however, say it’s because they agreed to a plant audit.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Tips and Tools


4 Things to Consider When Selecting a Robotics Integrator

Posted by Sam Schenck on Dec 17, 2015 11:30:02 AM

Imagine you’ve decided to automate an application. You’ve chosen robotics to be the fulcrum, but you need a robotics integrator to help you reach your goal. Once you have researched whom to speak with, how do you compare these integrators? There are 4 "Cs” to sizing up any integrator; I define them as concept, cost, capabilities and capacity.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Tips and Tools


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