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Mobile Robot Colleagues on Wheels Increase Productivity And Worker Safety at Scott Fetzer Electrical Group

High-mix/low-volume manufacturing offers an automation challenge. But at electronics manufacturer Scott Fetzer Electrical Group (SFEG) in Tennessee, a fleet of Universal Robots on wheels receives daily work orders to solve ever-changing tasks—and has optimized productivity by 20%.These lightweight, collaborative robots (“cobots”) are easy to move, set up, and program for new tasks. And the built-in safety system automatically stops the robot arm’s operation if it encounters objects or people in its route.Download the whitepaper and find out how the Universal Robots handle tasks throughout the sheet metal department, fill epoxy into circuit boards, pick and place on conveyor lines, cut wires and perform life cycle testing:Universal Robots Gives SFEG these Advantages: Increased productivity by 20% Improved manufacturing consistency Increased global competitiveness with faster time to production Fast implementation with user-friendly programming and set-up Improved worker safety - “Let the robot get carpal tunnel” Payback period between 12 and 14 months

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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How To Substantially Reduce Encoder Cost While Gaining Functionality With Multi-Turn Rotary Position Sensors

Many applications require rotation counters that can measure angles greater than 360º. However the low-cost 10-turn potentiometers most design engineers are familiar with can’t always meet user requirements for resolution and reliability. As an alternative, optical absolute encoders are too expensive for many applications. These solutions require a continuous power supply or they will lose count when power is restored. Also, geared technology/rotation counters are subject to significant wear.

Posted in: White Papers, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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Prototype Capture System Simulates Asteroid Mission

A prototype of the robotic capture module system is tested with a mock asteroid boulder in its clutches at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. A robotic capture module system prototype was built to help NASA engineers understand the operations required to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid’s surface. The hardware includes three space frame legs with foot pads, and two seven-degrees-of-freedom arms with microspine gripper “hands” to grasp onto the boulder.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Robotics

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Machine-Learning System Recognizes Sounds from Video

A machine learning system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognizes sounds by watching video. The neural network interprets natural sounds in terms of image categories, without hand-annotated training data.

Posted in: News, Machinery & Automation

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Foundry Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1200 Foundry Plus 2 robot for material handling and machine tending. The compact foundry robot features the company’s optional protection system so it resists corrosion and withstands harsh environments, including high-pressure steam washing. The robot is IP66/67-compliant from base to wrist, which means its electrical compartments are sealed against liquid and solid contaminants. It is also available with cleanroom protection. The robot comes in two variants — the 700-mm-reach variant can carry a payload of up to 7 kg, while the longer-reach 900-mm variant can carry up to 5 kg of payload.

Posted in: Products, Robotics

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Robot Programming Software

With the RISE interactive graphical interface from Hypertherm (Hanover, NH), users control the Robotmaster V6 programming software from within a robot simulation environment. Users can modify a robot’s positions and trajectories by clicking and dragging the robot’s arm, axes, tools, or the workpiece. To manage transition moves between operations, users can jog the robot joint-by-joint; move the robot on the workpiece or tool frames; and change the base, elbow, or wrist configurations. The workspace analysis feature is fully integrated into RISE to help position parts. Visualization of the robot’s reach limits, coupled with dynamic recalculation, shows the impact of changes made on all operations. Process parameters can be created, modified, and controlled by the user for the entire program, specific operations, or at select points.

Posted in: Products, Robotics, Software

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Automatic Multi-Pallet Changer

Midaco Corp. (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers an automatic multi-pallet changer for 5-axis and standard vertical machining centers (VMCs). It can load and unload 19 aluminum pallets, one at a time, on any new or existing machine. The servo-driven automatic multipallet changer includes 19 aluminum pallets that are 10" (245 mm) in diameter and 1.25" (31.75 mm) thick. Each pallet’s weight capacity is 75 lbs. (34.05 kg). The pallet changer is equipped with a dual air-blast for chip removal, and the cast iron receiver mounts directly on the machining center table. The enclosure has two drop-down-door loading stations, and the system ensures that a pallet change will not occur if the doors are opened.

Posted in: Products, Industrial Controls & Automation, Machinery & Automation

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