Intelligent Robotic arm at work

Collaborative robots opening new opportunities for factory automation

Until recently, factory automation has been limited to large manufacturers that have large enough budgets to pay for highly customized robotics systems. Because of this, smaller manufacturers have been unable, and unwilling, to pay for these expensive systems. The most prohibitive part of purchasing factory automation is the installation process. The total cost of installing…

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Industrial engineer

Automation may take over some jobs, but not humans

Automation is becoming more commonplace in factories today. This prompts many workers and analysts to wonder if this automation will come to replace workers entirely. Research being conducted at Purdue University points to automation as unable to replace humans completely. David Hummels, a professor of economics at Purdue University, says humans still have a unique…

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China may not be able to catch up using automation

Chinese factories are home to the production of many of the electronic devices we use every day, like laptop computers and mobile devices. The manufacturers that build these devices in China have been looking to come up with a way to be more cost effective as wages begin to grow in the country and manufacturing…

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Working with robots makes employees happier

With the 21st century’s wave of distrust in technology beginning to wane, research is being undertaken to better understand the best ways to implement automation into the workplace. On such project, being performed at MIT has determined something interesting, that humans seem to be happier when robots are making decisions. [N]ew research coming out of…

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Machine cutting steel in a factory

Factory robots play a big role in growing the US manufacturing industry

As the presence of robots in factories has increased in the last few decades, the opinion that robots will take away manufacturing jobs has been growing. Even so, the robots that have replaced human labor have also opened up new opportunities and jobs for people, rather than making them obsolete in the workplace. Yes, a…

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Creating parts from scratch to gain insights into factory automation

In the age of automation, manufacturers are getting further and further away from the manufacturing process and relying on machines and computers to produce their products. Toyota is trying to bring itself closer to the production process in order to better understand their production needs. Inside Toyota Motor Corp.’s oldest plant, there’s a corner where…

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Factory automation’s benefit of being connected

The 21st century brought about many technological advances to factory automation, from basics like internet connectivity all the way to remote data collection and production control. Since the beginning of automation, with robots performing never-changing repetitive and dangerous tasks, automation technology has been changing, new tasks being automated, new technologies being added, and more information…

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A portable assembly line makes factory automation more practical

Coming out of the last recession, companies that had invested heavily into new automation technologies beforehand are less willing to invest again in new technology. However, there is new automation technology that would make new investment worthwhile: the portable assembly line. It uses battery-free automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with inductive power transfer (IPT) to create…

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Automation’s flexibility a benefit to large-scale manufacturing

In manufacturing, automation has existed for several decades as a tool for performing repetitive tasks. Today, though, automation can be a great benefit to production, allowing for flexibility and increased efficiency. It is through the subtle flexibility of large-scale automation that allows the economy of scope to excel against the economy of scale. Technologies are…

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Preventative maintenance strategies to keep your factory going

There is no way to prevent a factory from having an unscheduled shutdown from time to time. However, there are ways to prevent many of the equipment failures that can cause these shutdowns. One of the easiest preventative measures is conducting proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance. An analysis by ABB’s Process Automation Service found the…

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