PETROLIA, CA—Victor Scheinman, the Stanford engineering professor whose electrically powered, computer-controlled robot would become the Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly (PUMA) robot, has died at age 73.
Walk into any modern assembly and packaging facility, and the conveyor systems may very well resemble roller coasters at an amusement park—going up steep inclines, moving down drops, and twisting and turning around equipment and machinery as they transfer product from one area of the plant to another.
In every manufacturing industry, tradition is becoming less important. Companies no longer assume that what worked in the past will be enough to keep and gain customers. Instead, they look to the latest technology to improve manufacturing processes, optimize product quality and expand their customer base.
ATLANTA—Adidas will be opening a factory in Atlanta in 2017 where shoes will be produced entirely by robots. In a press release, the company outlined how the factory, dubbed the Speedfactory, will allow the company to manufacture shoes faster while bringing production closer to U.S. consumers.
Today’s automobiles contain dozens of electric motors. They adjust the mirrors, position the seats, aim the headlights, provide heating and cooling, and raise and lower the windows. In fact, a luxury car might have as many as 120 electric motors of various sizes.