- SPECIAL REPORTS
As high-mix, low-volume manufacturing increases, so does the need for flexible feeders.
Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, many Tier 1 suppliers have either closed or downsized.
BERLIN—Global sales of industrial robots increased 5 percent in 2013, reaching a record high of approximately 168,000 units, according to the International Federation of Robotics.
An Airbus assembly plant here is leading a project to introduce humanoid robots to the assembly line.
HUNTSVILLE, AL—Raytheon Co. has revolutionized missile manufacturing at its sprawling, classified factory here, where automated transporters ferry missile parts to gleaming assembly stations, and even tuck themselves away for charging when their batteries run low.
REDDITCH, UK—GKN Aerospace has begun a project that aims to automate the assembly of aircraft structures with the goal of creating high-quality wing structures 30 percent faster than is possible today.
SHREVEPORT, LA—Robot supplier and systems integrator Comau Inc. will provide Elio Motors with powertrain and automated assembly systems to build the company’s three-wheel, high-efficiency vehicle here.
NASHVILLE, TN—The Doerfer Cos. will integrate Universal Robotics’ software for artificial intelligence and 3D vision to create flexible parts feeders for automated assembly.
STERLING HEIGHTS, MI—Boeing Corp. and KUKA Systems are hosting a day-long summit Feb. 6 to help aerospace suppliers find their niche in the supply chains of the two companies. KUKA and Boeing have identified more than 50 procurement needs for which they would like to find suppliers.
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