Leading the Manufacturing Revolution

VSGImagine having a highly adaptable robot worker that is deployable to multiple tasks in multiple work cells each day.  That sets the steady cadence for other line workers, and now which has task specific “hands” at a click.  All it takes is a matter of seconds to optimize this robot’s agility.

Rethink Robotics® has recently released their own ClickSmart™ family of gripper kits. When combined with the collaborative robot, Sawyer™ powered by Intera™ software, the ClickSmart gripper kits provide fully integrated deployment, saving time and money.

The ClickSmart Plate, the foundation of the gripper kit family, features a quick release mechanism that facilitates rapid changing of End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) without any additional tools in a matter of seconds. The configuration of the attached EOAT is stored in the ClickSmart Plate’s embedded memory module so the type of end effector is recognized immediately when attached to any robot running the Intera 5 software.

These plug and play grippers greatly reduce custom design costs and enable fast deployment. There are five selections of gripper kits, each ideally suited for a range of applications including CNC machining, metal fabrication, packaging, PCB handling, molding operations, line loading, test and inspection.

No other project you choose will empower your people, and impact your productivity, with a faster ROI than Sawyer.

Collaborative Robot to Orchestrate Entire Work Cell

Sawyer Intera 5Rethink Robotics® announced this week an upgrade to Intera™, the train-by-demonstration software platform that drives their collaborative robot Sawyer™. Intera 5 connects all other equipment to the robot controller, simplifying automation and enabling the fastest, easiest deployment.

“With the introduction of Intera 5, we’ve created the world’s first smart robot that can orchestrate the entire work cell, removing areas of friction and opening up new and affordable automation possibilities for manufacturers around the world,” explains Scott Eckert, president and CEO, Rethink Robotics. “Intera 5 is driving immediate value while helping customers work toward a smart factory, and providing a gateway to successful industrial internet of things (IIoT) for the first time.”

Manufacturers now have access to data that wasn’t available before, improving metrics for downtime, throughput, cycle time, and equipment effectiveness. With the single robot controller, users can coordinate conveyors, equipment and other machines all at once, decreasing the need for complex, time-consuming automation options.

Watch the demonstration video below to see how Intera 5 uses embedded cameras and force features to inspect multiple points on a piece of equipment, how the robot is easily trained by demonstration within minutes, and how Sawyer can pick and place parts from a random array into a pattern.

World’s First Collaborative SCARA Robot

The lightweight PF400 collaborative SCARA robot from Precise Automation is ideal for applications needing quiet, smooth operation, limited floor space or high safety requirements. The collaborative robot can operate side-by-side with human workers without safety shields. Motions by the PF400 robot will not hurt individuals even if they collide at full speed due to the robot’s intrinsic safety features.

All controllers and harnesses for the PF400 are built inside the robot structure, resulting in a small footprint that’s also easy to set up and can be lifted by a single person. The robot can be mounted on a table and is ready to operate by simply plugging into a standard outlet and adding Ethernet for connectivity to other devices.

Watch the video below or visit our Precise Automation page to learn more.

More Energy Savings with Expanded VSD+ Technology

GA VSD+ Compressors
GA VSD+ Compressors

Atlas Copco has recently expanded their VSD+ technology to the complete range of GA oil-injected rotary screw compressors, previously only available on the G 7-37 compressor model. All pack and full feature versions worldwide now include the variable speed drive plus technology, enabling 50% more energy savings over traditional compressors.

VSD compressors already cut significant energy costs since they only run at the required speed. VSD+ compressors offer even more energy savings and decreased operational costs with their iPM motor, new compression element and sentinel valve. The GA VSD+ series also offers a smaller footprint than VSD compressors as well as the lowest noise levels in the industry.

Contact HTE to learn more about Atlas Copco Air Compressors, including their GA oil-injected series… all offered now with VSD+ technology.

Epson’s Newly Released 6-Axis Robots

Epson Robots, a global leader in robotic technology and precision factory automation, has recently released their C8-Series of 6-axis robots. Built for applications requiring maximum flexibility in tight spaces, the C8-Series offers more reach, faster speeds and more payload in a SlimLine design.

EpsonC8SeriesThe C8-Series robots have industry-leading cycle times (faster than many SCARA competitor models) with maximum payloads of 8Kg and up 1400mm of reach. The superior motors and servo controls enable fast, precise motion on a smooth path. EPSON’s equipped Residual Vibration Technology uses their QMEMS sensors to detect and adjust for vibration automatically, maximizing speed and accel/decal rates. Epson C8-Series robots feature their RC700-A controller that enables ease of use and reliability. Integrated options, including Vision Guidance, Conveyor Tracking and more, maximize performance and reduce development time.

Like the previously-released C4-Series, the C8-Series features Epson’s SlimLine design, resulting in slimmer arms, less weight and a small footprint while still maintaining high performance and payloads. The compact body and wrist design of these C8/C8L/C8XL models allows for a greater range of motion and the ability to reach confined and restricted work areas. They can access spaces from many angles, continuing to operate with smooth motion and fast speeds.

Epson’s C8-Series robots provide superior performance for demanding, complex applications ranging from component handling to machine loading/unloading to product assembly. The robots are ideally suited for industries including Automotive, Medical, Plastics, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace and more.

In addition to these 6-axis robots, Epson Robots provides easy to use SCARA and Linear/Cartesian models on a common controls platform. Visit our Epson or Robots pages to learn more.

Sawyer at Work: Packaging

Sawyer™, the newest collaborative robot from Rethink Robotics®, is perfectly suited for repetitive, monotonous packaging applications. Packaging tasks involve frequent changes on the line and in the plant, so robot flexibility is crucial. With market changes including decreased batch sizes, increased product diversification and higher traceability demands, Sawyer’s agility during production is necessary to maintain customer satisfaction.

A cost-effective and high performance automation solution, Sawyer is the ideal tool for packaging raw materials and finished items in many different containers and configurations. Its patented compliant motion control technology allows the robot to adapt to changing factory conditions or semi-structured environments. Workers can quickly and easily train Sawyer for new packaging tasks when production demands change.

In the following video, watch the ease at which Sawyer alters its end-effectors for the different materials in this packaging application.

Dorner Conveyor Configurator

Simplify your conveyor design with the D Tools Configurator from Dorner Conveyor. This online configurator tool helps you design simple conveyors or complete conveyor packages. The tool walks you through each design aspect, including motor placement, belt type, speed, environment and more.

It’s now easier than ever to specify the conveyor design you need. Get more details in the video below.

Dorner’s Redesigned 2200 Series Belt Conveyors

Dorner Conveyor has recently released their new 2200 series of belted conveyors. Featuring updated frame widths, new belt options and accessories, universal T-slots and a high-speed nose bar transfer option, the redesigned conveyors are more flexible, faster and stronger than ever before.

Designed to handle small to medium part applications, the 2200 series conveyors feature a single piece frame, come in several models and is compatible with Dorner’s recently released Universal Drive. The new series is ideal for small part transfers, precision part movement, part infeed and outfeed, and part accumulation for automated and manual assembly.

Watch the video below for more details on this redesign, or read the original release here.

Visit our Dorner Conveyor page for more types of manufacturing conveyors available.

Sawyer at Work: Line Loading & Unloading

Whether you’re in manufacturing, packaging, metal fabrication or the automotive industry, chances are you encounter line loading and unloading applications in your facility. Sawyer™, the newest collaborative robot from Rethink Robotics®, is an optimal solution for critically important yet monotonous jobs like moving parts to and from conveyors, tables, cases and more. The robot can count, re-orient parts, and position them in place.

Need Sawyer for a different task? The flexible robot can change applications quickly and is easily trained, implemented and redeployed.

Watch Sawyer at work in the following video.

The Highest Read Rates with Cognex ID Technology

DataMan image-based barcode readers from Cognex offer the highest read rates of any industrial ID technology. Their handheld and fixed-mount readers minimize no-reads with their ability to read almost any size, quality or printing method, even under the following conditions:

  • Print variations (unclear printed, scratched or faded barcodes)
  • Marking types (laser etch, direct part mark, dot peen)
  • Surface material (glass, metal, cardboard, plastic and more)

Whether your application uses 1-D linear barcodes or 2-D matrix codes at low or high speeds, Cognex has a reliable, easy-to-use solution with unmatched code performance.

Cognex is the world leader in image-based ID technology. Offering the largest selection of solutions to meet the most application requirements, Cognex products guarantee that manufactured items meet quality demands from all industries. Implementing vision and ID systems from Cognex result in fewer production errors, lower manufacturing costs and increased customer satisfaction. Visit our website and learn more about the Cognex Vision and Cognex ID solutions HTE has to offer.

In the following video, see the ease at which the Cognex DataMan reads a 2-D data matrix code on a curved metal surface.