Demand for "big iron" is booming, fueled by the rebounding global economy and the Biden administration’s infrastructure initiative. That’s good news for manufacturers of tractors and other types of agricultural and construction equipment.
Electronics in today's vehicles are increasingly complex. With more sensors, controls and interfaces all using higher bandwidth, faster data throughput and more reliable networks are required. The weight of the cables and harnesses in the vehicle is also a concern.
Vision systems play a vital role in automated assembly systems. They can check for the presence or absence of parts or materials. They can measure key dimensions of assemblies. They can tell robots the precise location of parts. They can even read 1D and 2D codes. Here's a look at some of the latest developments.
In the celebrity world, the price of being well known is the public knows too much about a star's private life. But, in the assembly world, the price of being a well-known technology is end-users sometimes know too much about one process benefit and too little about its other benefits.
Saving a penny per part or a millisecond of cycle time might not matter to some manufacturers. But machine builder Eclipse Automation knows that even small gains can offer huge competitive advantages for its customers. Greater flexibility and uptime through predictive maintenance are also crucial.
Bosch Rexroth's introduction of adaptive control in 2012 advanced the quality and efficiency of robotic resistance welding. Using cutting-edge hardware and software, adaptive control monitors various process parameters to perfect each weld.
Automotive supplier Continental AG has developed its own line of autonomous automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for transporting parts in its assembly plants and warehouses. The autonomous AGVs can transport loads weighing more than a ton.
In late October, nine teams of college students representing 21 universities from around the world descended on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC). The event attracted engineers from as far away as Hawaii and South Korea.
Manufacturers looking to take their operations to the next level often look to automation and robotics to make it happen. This is understandable, for such technology can cost-effectively increase throughput, optimize assembly and testing processes, improve product quality and decrease labor costs.
When it comes to automotive assembly, sometimes a one-solution-fits-all approach is the best one. Just ask the designers and assemblers at Local Motors, an American motor vehicle company located in Phoenix.
My wife works for one of the largest printers in the country. From August through October last year, nine of her co-workers died of COVID-19. All were shop-floor personnel who did not have the luxury of working from home. One was just 28 years old. None were vaccinated, despite ample monetary incentives to do so. Alarmed, the CEO held a companywide meeting via Zoom, begging employees to get vaccinated.