The new, compact C4 six-axis robot from EPSON Robots can perform a standard cycle—move a part 1 inch up, 12 inches across, 1 inch down, and back again—in just 0.37 second. To put that in perspective, an eye blink takes 0.4 second. Despite that speed, it’s also very accurate. It can place a part with an accuracy of ±0.02 millimeter—or one-fifth the width of a human hair.

“Our C3 robots have been well-received in the industry and are being applied to a wide variety of applications in the medical, automotive, electronics, consumer products and other industries,” says Michael Ferrara, director of EPSON Robots. “The new C4 arms build on the success of the C3 by adding more payload, while maintaining the unique SlimLine design originally provided with the C3 arms. Also, an extended reach C4, called the C4L, has been added to our product lineup, providing up to 965 millimeters of reach.”

The robot’s slim body and compact wrist design allows for greater motion range and less mechanical restrictions. The robot can easily reach into confined and restricted work spaces from many angles with smooth motion.

Through EPSON’s unique QMEMSTM vibration-sensing technology, C4 and C4L arms are able to automatically adjust to minimize vibration and therefore maximize speed, acceleration and deceleration.

The C4 robot is just one of many dazzling new technologies that will be unveiled at the second annual ASSEMBLY Show, which will be held Oct. 28-30 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, adjacent to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Bigger and Better

The 2014 ASSEMBLY show will be bigger and better than last year’s show, consisting of 196 exhibitors spread across more than 52,000 square feet of exhibitor space. That’s a 33 percent increase in exhibitors and a 45 percent increase in floor space.

Exhibitors will be showing the latest advances in multistation assembly systems, robotics, screwdriving, adhesives, dispensing, plastics assembly, presses, riveters, conveyors, machine components, fasteners, workstations, software, vision systems, wire processing, test equipment and other technologies. Among this year’s exhibitors are such leading suppliers as Balluff Inc., Dymax Corp., FANUC America Corp., Ingersoll Rand, Ixmation, Nordson Sealant Equipment, Schleuniger Inc. and Schmidt Technology.

At press time, 3,033 manufacturing and design engineers and managers had already registered to attend the show. Registrants represent such diverse manufacturers such as AugustaWestland, Badger Meter Inc., Becton, Dickinson & Co., Caterpillar Inc., Delta Faucet Co., General Motors Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., Panduit Corp., S&C Electric Co., Tracker Marine and Whirlpool Corp.

The conference program comprises 18 hours of educational sessions covering topics ranging from power tools to snap-fit assembly to high-speed automated assembly. The highlight of the program will be the keynote speech, “Bringing Jobs Back to the USA: Rebuilding America’s Manufacturing Through Reshoring,” which will be presented by Timothy J. Hutzel, president of Tim Hutzel American Business Services, and David Lippert, president of Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing Co. The speech will take place Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 9 a.m.

Can’t attend the show? No worries. Six of the conference sessions—including the keynote—will be broadcast live as webcasts. (For more information on the webcasts, visit

Just as important as the conference sessions and the technology exhibits is the opportunity to network with one’s industry peers. The ASSEMBLY Show will offer networking receptions from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, and Wednesday, Oct. 29.

New Technologies

Certainly, robots like EPSON’s new C4 will be the “glamor” technology at The ASSEMBLY Show, and there will be no shortage of robotics suppliers on the floor. Besides EPSON, at least eight other robot suppliers will be attending, including OEMs, like FANUC and Janome, as well as suppliers of grippers and other robotic peripherals, such as SCHUNK Inc. and ATI Industrial Automation. And, that’s not including companies like dispensing equipment supplier Fisnar Inc., which offer various specialty robots in their product portfolios.

The ASSEMBLY Show features not only the machinery needed to assemble parts, but also the supplies, such as fasteners and adhesives. It may not be “sexy,” but one of the most interesting new products that will be introduced at the show is actually an adhesive.

Henkel Corp. will be introducing Loctite 4090, a “hybrid adhesive” that combines the strength of an epoxy with the speed of a cyanoacrylate. Versatile enough to be used in both indoor and outdoor applications, the new adhesive greatly expands the capabilities of cyanoacrylates, especially in applications where traditional instant adhesives offer too little strength or are too brittle.

The adhesive produces high-strength bonds on a variety of substrates, including metals, most plastics and rubbers, and it can be used to bond dissimilar materials. A high-viscosity gel, the adhesive fixtures in 3 to 5 minutes when applied to gaps of 0.2 inch or less. The low-blooming product is ideal for appearance-sensitive applications. Because it resists moisture, impact, vibration, UV light and temperatures of up to 300 F, the adhesive is an excellent choice for outdoor and marine applications.

Henkel is one of at least 13 adhesive suppliers exhibiting at the show. In addition, there are at least 14 companies displaying equipment to dispense and cure adhesives.

Once a product has been assembled, it must be inspected and tested. The ASSEMBLY Show hosts some 18 suppliers of test and inspection equipment, ranging from vision systems to wire harness testers.

One of those exhibitors is Inficon, which will be displaying the new Sensistor Sentrac hydrogen leak detector at the show. The instrument pinpoints the location of fluid and gas leaks via a sniffer probe. Engineers can use the device to facilitate rework and repair of subassemblies—engines, transmissions or radiators, for example—that have failed a pressure-decay or mass-flow leak test. After the subassembly has been pressurized with a hydrogen tracer gas, the operator guides the probe around potential leak points. The instrument emits a signal when it detects the tracer gas.

“The device can pinpoint the exact spot of the leak,” says Thomas Parker, automotive market sales manager at Inficon. “If you’ve got a porosity leak in an aluminum casting, the leak can be the size of a dime. A leak in a brazed component, like a condenser, could be a pinhole.

“We have a customer that makes diesel engines. They could spend hours, if not days, looking for a leak in a big engine. With our instrument, they could find the leak in minutes. It paid for itself in a matter of weeks.”

For more information on The ASSEMBLY Show, visit

A juicy, char-broiled steak. A heaping bowl of pasta. Sizzling shrimp fajitas. A grilled bratwurst loaded with kraut and mustard. 

A cardiologist’s nightmare or the perfect dinner? Decide for yourself at The ASSEMBLY Show’s welcoming reception on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. This reception will bring back the popular “Taste of Rosemont,” featuring flavors and cuisine from 12 local restaurants. Connect with hundreds of suppliers, buyers and users of assembly equipment while you enjoy food and drinks in a relaxed and friendly environment.

The following restaurants will be offering a variety of tasty treats during the reception. They’re also the perfect spots for a quick bite during the show or a customer dinner afterwards. Tables book fast, so be sure to call ahead for reservations.


Adobe Gila’s
Five Roses Pub
Fogo de Chao
Harry Caray’s Restaurant 
King’s Bowling 
Liberty Tavern
McCormick & Schmick’s
Nick’s Fishmarket 
Rosemont Catering 
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill