Traditionally, industrial robots have been deployed for manufacturing tasks that required brute strength, such as the heavy-payload robots used in the automotive industry, or they were of the speedy pick-and-place variety, the type of robots often deployed in medical or semiconductor applications. In most instances, safety requirements mandated that robots be entirely sealed off in fence-guarded cells to protect human workers from injury.
Displaying 1-10 of 389 results for
Speeding the flow of jobs through the shop, while maintaining top quality, ranks among the hallmarks of any successful manufacturing operation’s goals.
Taking stock of a surprising and challenging 2016, a number of trends may point to a future where manufacturing output increases while continuing to decentralize.
The virtualization of business-critical infrastructure is transforming the production and distribution of goods and services throughout the supply chain as industrial organizations shift focus from private to public and, ultimately, hybrid cloud deployments that connect and integrate on-premise resources with cloud resources.
Ask the owner of any machine shop or sheet-metal house to name the biggest obstacle to company growth and you’re likely to receive the same answer—it’s not a lack of working capital that’s slowing them down, nor a shortage of advanced technology, but something far more basic: the need for someone to push a green button or pack boxes. “We can’t find enough people,” you’ll hear.
There are plenty of manufacturing catchphrases: the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0 and the Digital Factory. “Sometimes it’s a lot of buzzwords. Sometimes there’s a lot of reality behind it,” said Roger Hart, research and development manager of Siemens (Berlin and Munich, Germany).
With a shortage of young workers willing and able to do today’s factory jobs, manufacturers are taking steps to retain the older workforce already punching in.
These days mirror the late 1990s, when the Internet evolved to widespread use—and the topic bedeviled many. But others—in banking and entertainment, for example—who quickly learned the new lingo and jumped at the chance to explore the Web’s potential benefited greatly. Today’s tantalizing topic: blockchain.
Will automation and robotics create jobs or only cut them? Less than a week after the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) institute was announced as the fourteenth hub in the network of Manufacturing USA institutes, Reuters News Agency published an article headlined “U.S. investors see more automation, not jobs, under Trump administration.”
Smarter, faster nesting software programs with better automation and other major improvements are helping fabricators and metalcutters at job shops and other builders inject a jolt of productivity into their factory operations.