Skip to content

Automation Marches on at FABTECH

Bruce Morey
By Bruce Morey Senior Technical Editor, SME Media

FABTECH 2019, held Nov. 11-14 at McCormick Place in Chicago, featured multiple educational opportunities for attendees. A key feature of the FABTECH educational program, and one open free to all attendees, were the Leadership Exchange Panels.

FABTECH Image 2 768x432.jpg
State of the Industry discussion on automation included moderator Jay Douglass, COO of ARM (Advanced Robotics for Automation) along with Mingu Kang, CEO of Aris Technology, Tyler Vizek, Project Engineer for MxD, and Steve Czajkowski, head applications engineer, Siemens Industry Inc.

On November 12 in the Lakeside Center Theater, a Leadership Exchange Panel explored through discussion how automation is changing manufacturing. Also covered was both the role of automation technology and people in the future of manufacturing. Joining the moderator Jay Douglass, COO of ARM (Advanced Robotics for Automation) was Mingu Kang, CEO of Aris Technology, Tyler Vizek, Project Engineer for MxD, and Steve Czajkowski, head applications engineer, Siemens Industry Inc.

Automation is one of those touchstone topics. There are concerns about automation replacing jobs even while it offers the possibility of lowering costs as it improves quality. Douglass was instrumental in creating a lively discussion, addressing numerous questions from a motivated audience.

Vizek said that robotics has hit an inflection point in adoption, well on its way to wider acceptance, even with smaller shops. Part of that growth is fueled by the accelerating growth of collaborative robots (cobots). Will people be replaced? “The dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs will certainly be replaced,” said Douglass. This will lead to workers re-assigned to more challenging tasks, tasks that robotics and automation are not suited for. He also noted that the industry is continuing to employ advanced sensors with automation, expanding their use to an even wider set of tasks.

The panel agreed that this greater adoption of automation will raise the needed skill level of the remaining workers. There is an upside. “Adoption will make it more interesting for younger workers,” said Vizek. This may make manufacturing in general more attractive to younger generations, who seem to be shunning it.

Related Articles

  • The Gears Have It

    January 24, 2020
    When it comes to making something move, whether it be a robot arm, machine head, assembly line or more, you need to get the power from where it is generated to where the movement happens – enter gearboxes. Mike Quaas, President of DieQua, sits down with Chris Mahar, Associate Editor, to talk about the world of automation and how gearboxes are critical to its deployment. Gearboxes have been around for hundreds or years, but today’s engineers have more choices than ever in how to utilize their power.
    By Chris Mahar - Associate Editor, SME Media
  • In-Depth On Custom Automation

    January 13, 2020
    SME interviewed at FABTECH Greg Morehouse. He is the Executive Vice President for operations, Acieta, a leading RIA certified and FANUC Authorized System Integrator. This podcast describes how Acieta defines custom automation and how one should approach the task of engaging an integrator like Acieta in procuring an automation system, whether your shop has three people or 300.
    By Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media
  • Two 500-kN presses used with a platen workstation to give users the required force. Eric Britton, Promess senior application engineer, stands next to the machine.
    Automation

    Servopress 101: A Basic Guide

    January 8, 2020
    Servomechanisms are at the heart of 21st century automation. The basic elements are a servomotor; a device to convert rotary motion into linear motion; a suite of sensors to provide the required feedback; a controller to convert feedback data into command signals; and enabling software.
    By Stephanie Price - Senior Applications Engineer, Promess
  • Latest Videos

  • Connect With SME Media

Webinars, White Papers and More!

SME's Manufacturing Resource Center keeps you updated on all of the latest industry trends and information. Access unlimited FREE webinars, white papers, eBooks, case studies and reports now!