For a product to be assembled successfully, it’s essential to move the right parts, to the right place, in the right orientation, at the right time. Motion control technology makes that happen. Here’s a sampling of the latest technology.
Today, every car tire is equipped with a wireless pressure sensor that warns drivers of dangerously low pressure levels. Given that there are more than 1.5 billion motor vehicles worldwide, that equates to at least 6 billion pressure sensors.
Every day in more than 45 countries, photovoltaic modules designed and manufactured by First Solar go to work converting sunlight into clean, reliable electricity. First Solar is the only American company ranked among the world’s top 10 solar manufacturers. The company’s headquarters is in Tempe, AZ, but its roots are in Ohio, where it operates the largest solar manufacturing footprint in the Western Hemisphere. More than half of First Solar’s 2,700 U.S. employees are located in Ohio.
Vehicle production plants are undergoing a massive transformation as automakers evolve from internal-combustion engines (ICE) to battery power. While EVs use fewer parts overall, those components tend to be heavier than their ICE equivalents. That demands new ways to deploy robots on assembly lines.
Under the laws of cricket, it is illegal for players to rub any substance other than saliva and sweat onto the ball, let alone scuffing it with their fingernails. Similarly, strict rules apply to the manufacturing of cricket balls.
U.S. manufacturers have faced significant headwinds this year: supply chain problems, a skilled labor shortage, inflation, and the war in Ukraine. And yet despite these issues—or perhaps, because of them—manufacturers continued to invest in people, plants and equipment.
Manufacturing in the age of Industry 4.0, digitally connected machines and smart factories require a new breed of engineers who are equipped with a fresh set of skills. That’s why Arizona State University recently launched the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks.
To automate an assembly task that requires two hands, engineers have two options: one robot equipped with a tool changer or two robots. Now, there may soon a third option. We have developed a single end-of-arm tool that can simultaneously hold a part, such as a dowel or a long screw, in place and install it at the same time.