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Non-Automotive Manufacturing Sectors Flocking to Robotics

Cheaper robots with more functions, along with more flexible work cells and installations that facilitate robotics, are accelerating the growth of automated manufacturing facilities in the non-automotive sector. Ideas on whether robotics and automation lead to lights-out manufacturing on the shop floor, though, are mixed.

Automotive Industry Improves Automation, Adopts Advanced Tech

The U.S. auto industry has been automated for decades. Production of cars and trucks is associated with large, hulking robots fenced off from human employees. Inside those fenced off areas, tasks such as welding are performed. The industry, though, is advancing on the automation front.

Optimization Module Tackles Tough Materials

Most anyone who’s worked in a machine shop for any length of time has at some point attended a trade show or machine tool distributor’s open house. There they see canned demonstrations of CNC machines busily carving up chunks of brass, mild steel, or aluminum into business card holders and tic-tac-toe games.

Structured Vision in Manufacturing

Structured light systems measure surfaces by projecting a pattern of fringes, then using cameras and sophisticated software to convert them into point clouds of metrology data. Accuracy can reach the single-digit microns over millions of points.

Robot Company Creates Industry 4.0-Friendly Software

FANUC has made real one of the promises of Industry 4.0, that of predictive maintenance for factory equipment, with its Zero Down Time IoT solution. ZDT can be applied to any of FANUC’s robotic arms and their peripherals.

Salesforce Launches Manufacturing Cloud

Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), a CRM software developer, announced Manufacturing Cloud, ​a new industry-specific product ​for manufacturers. Manufacturing Cloud brings sales and operations teams together around a unified view of market and customer demands to more accurately forecast, plan and drive predictable business performance, according to Salesforce.​