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Industrial Robotics Industry Insights Resource

October 2019

Robots Embrace the Daily Grind of Abrasive Work

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/25/2019

There should be a lot of praise for today’s robots, not the least of which is that robots never get

September 2019

The Power of Cloud Robotics

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/27/2019

Rapid Deployment, Data-Based Insights, Supervised Autonomy, Continuous Improvement

August 2019

Testing Thresholds for Collaborative Robot Safety

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/27/2019

Cobots could someday corner the market. Get the latest collaborative robot safety standards updates at IRSC.

July 2019

Cultivating Robotics and AI for Sustainable Agriculture

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 07/22/2019

Robots and AI relieve labor shortages, increase farming efficiency and support new, sustainable agriculture methods across the food supply chain.

June 2019

Autonomous Mobile Robots Push Robot Boundaries

by Morgan J Zenner, A3 Marketing Manager

POSTED: 06/17/2019

There’s a new robot in town that is moving and shaking things up in a big way: Autonomous Mobile Robots

May 2019

ROS-Industrial for Real-World Solutions

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/28/2019

No longer confined to the halls of research, open-source robotics takes on real-world challenges with ROS-Industrial.

April 2019

Trades Embrace Robotics on Construction Sites

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/29/2019

From remote-controlled earthmovers and demolition robots, to automated masons and digital fabrication, robotics will revolutionize construction.

March 2019

Automate 2019 Preview

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/21/2019

How will automation impact your future? See it at Automate 2019. Learn – Network – Explore – Get Certified

February 2019

Why Should I Automate?

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/22/2019

New to automation? AUTOMATE 2019 is for you! Learn the basics, ROI, pitfalls to avoid, how to choose an integrator.

January 2019

Robots to Extremes

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/25/2019

When driven to extremes, robots go where people cannot.

December 2018

Robots for Rent – Why RaaS Works

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/20/2018

Robotics as a Service (RaaS) delivers robots on demand, when and where you need them.

November 2018

Robots and AI in the OR

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/26/2018

Robotic surgery is on the cutting edge with flexible, maneuverable robots and machine learning.

October 2018

The Dream Labs of Future Robotics

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/30/2018

The nation's top universities for robotics research envision our future with robotics and AI.

September 2018

Demystifying Robot Offline Programming

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/21/2018

OLP software solutions have evolved. They’re faster, more reliable, and easier to use. Spend less time programming, more time producing.

August 2018

Fenceless Safety Embraces Human-Robot Interaction

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/23/2018

Collaboration comes in many forms. From conventional robots to cobots, and even collaborative conveyors.

July 2018

Force and Tactile Sensors Give Robots a Feel for the Job

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/27/2018

Force, torque and tactile sensing put robots to work with a sense of touch.

June 2018

Cybersecurity a Must for Safe IIoT Robots

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 06/22/2018

In this age of IIoT, cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. For a robot to be safe, it must also be secure.

May 2018

Smarter Robot Grasping with Sensors, Software, the Cloud

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/24/2018

Robot grasping is becoming a multidisciplinary endeavor with mechatronics, soft robotics, sensors, AI, cloud robotics all having an impact.

April 2018

The Robotmakers – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – Part 2

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/24/2018

After another record-breaking year for robotics, we offer this retrospective.

March 2018

Service Robots on the World Stage

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/23/2018

No longer a mere novelty, service robots are moving into retail, hospitality, food service and many other consumer-facing spaces.

February 2018

Collaborative Robotics Puts People First

by by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 02/27/2018

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Humans and robots can work together, safely.

January 2018

Why AI Won’t Overtake the World, but Is Worth Watching

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/25/2018

You probably encounter it on a daily basis. Though you’re not always aware. Your actions help it grow.

December 2017

Driving Robotic Rehab

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/18/2017

Rehabilitation robotics is forcing us to reevaluate what we thought was possible for recovery and renewal.

October 2017

Building the Future with Robotic Additive Manufacturing

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/26/2017

Additive manufacturing is not only transforming how we make things. It’s changing how engineers think. Robots help make it possible.

September 2017

Robotic Machining On Tap for Aerospace

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/26/2017

Robotic machining proves to be robust and accurate enough for the demanding tolerances of the aerospace industry.

August 2017

Industrial Mobile Robot Safety Standards on the Forefront

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/28/2017

As mobile robots enter new territory reserved for humans and manned vehicles, safety standards writers race to keep up.

July 2017

Elevating the Art of Entertainment – Robotically

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/26/2017

Industrial robots, put them on the stage and now you have a performer’s best friend. An extension of their art.

June 2017

Cloning Master Welders with Robotics

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/28/2017

Precision, consistency, control … qualities we’ve come to expect from welding robots.

May 2017

Readying Your Robots and Workforce for Industry 4.0

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/25/2017

Industry 4.0 is not a distant vision for the future. A Big Three automaker capitalizes on its connected robots.

April 2017

The Robotmakers – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/28/2017

Hot on the heels of industry’s greatest showcase for automation, Automate 2017, we offer this retrospective.

March 2017

U.S. Alliance in Robotics for Manufacturing Means Innovation, Education, More Jobs

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/23/2017

Facing a widening skills gap, two years ago we made a Call for Action.

February 2017

Automate 2017 in Chicago, Your Destination for North America's Automation Showcase

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/23/2017

Automate is back! Bigger and better than ever.

January 2017

The Consumerization of Robots – Implications for You, Me, and Industry

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/26/2017

Consumerization will drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution, powered by artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and robotics.

December 2016

Next-Gen Assembly Robots Turn Heads

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/15/2016

Forget what you think you know about assembly robots. How they look and move. Newcomers are about to change perceptions.

November 2016

Robots Race for the Cure

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/17/2016

Cancer touches all of us. For everyone knows someone affected. Knows someone who has lost a loved one.

October 2016

Robots Help Feed the World

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/27/2016

Food producers must keep up with the trends, while trying to anticipate the future. Flexible automation is the ticket.

September 2016

Robotics Software for the Next Generation

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/29/2016

Sophisticated software and intelligent robotics depend on us, on our evolution.

Collaborative Robots and Safety Hand in Hand

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/09/2016

Collaborative robotics and safety go hand in hand. You can’t have human-robot collaboration without mitigating the risks for injury.

July 2016

Mobile Robots and Intralogistics the Always-On Supply Chain

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/26/2016

The supply chain never sleeps. Neither do robots.

June 2016

Robotics Clusters the Epicenter for Startups

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/20/2016

It starts innocent enough. First you have a curious few. Then a tight-knit group of visionaries with big dreams...

May 2016

The Business of Automation, Betting on Robots

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/19/2016

Once again, the robotics industry broke its own record. In 2015, worldwide industrial robot sales rose by 8 percent...

April 2016

Mexico, Land of Automatización Opportunity

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/22/2016

From automotive and aerospace, to consumer electronics and the medical device market, Mexico’s manufacturing sector is a hotbed for FDI.

March 2016

Robotic Bin Picking – The Holy Grail in Sight

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/17/2016

Robotic random bin picking requires accuracy in the face of chaos. A tall order, but not impossible.

February 2016

Aerospace Manufacturing on Board with Robots

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/18/2016

Since the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, to the SpaceX launch and land in 2015, aerospace has shot high.

January 2016

2016 – The Year of Robot Democratization?

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/26/2016

Bold predictions for Collaboration, Connectivity and Convergence rang in 2015. One industry insider even called them prescient.

December 2015

Design Your Product for Producability, Design for Automation

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/16/2015

Forget naughty or nice. Consumers want what they want, when they want it. Manufacturers have to deliver...

November 2015

Robots and Healthcare Saving Lives Together

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/23/2015

Physicians, nurses and technicians are the superheroes of healthcare. But even Captain Marvel needs a trusted sidekick. Enter the robots.

October 2015

How SMEs in the Know Win with Automation

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/26/2015

SMEs represent the majority of businesses that have yet to realize the advantages of automation and robotics.

September 2015

Small Assembly Robots with Big Gains

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/28/2015

Our electronics are shrinking. Products are more customized. Product lifecycles are getting shorter. So what’s a manufacturer to do?

August 2015

Robot Safety, Everything But Routine

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/20/2015

Robot safety is always top of mind with industry advocates. For they know the robot’s power and understand its capabilities.

July 2015

Robots, the Plastics Molder’s Best Friend

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/23/2015

Plastics molders’ best friends come in all shapes and sizes. One thing they have in common – they’re all robots.

June 2015

Intelligent Robots: A Feast for the Senses

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/25/2015

Dumb robots – it’s a phrase we’ve heard too often. Well, no more!

May 2015

Robot–Scientist Collaboration (and Separation) in Lab Automation

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/20/2015

Automation in the life sciences industry spans an array of applications, from medical device assembly and pharmaceutical high-throughput screening (HTS)

April 2015

Closing the Skills Gap in Automation: A Call for Action

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/30/2015

A panel of automation professionals has weighed in, sharing ways to bridge the skills gap, and recruit talent.

March 2015

Calculating Your ROI for Robotic Automation: Cost vs. Cash Flow

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/19/2015

Your customers want it faster, better, cheaper. Your competitors are closing in. And the stakes are getting higher.

February 2015

One and Only Automation Showcase for Robotics, Vision and Motion Control

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/26/2015

Automation is becoming a contact sport. No longer are the machines over there and the humans here.

January 2015

Robotics 2015 and Beyond: Collaboration, Connectivity, Convergence

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/19/2015

One of the most transformative periods in the robotics industry is upon us.

December 2014

Robots Fill the Welding Gap

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/17/2014

Manufacturing is sexy. No longer reserved for ops meetings and supplier showboating, behind-the-scenes views of the manufacturing machine...

October 2014

Packaging & Palletizing Robots Solve Industry’s Pain Points

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contribting Editor

POSTED: 10/30/2014

Throughput, quality, labor and ROI, this is what keeps manufacturers awake at night. Fear not. Robots are at the ready.

The Shrinking Footprint of Robot Safety

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/06/2014

Robots are in the zone. They are are cleverly focusing their movements to finely tuned angles and reshaping the robot

September 2014

Major Robot OEMs Fast-Tracking Cobots

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/25/2014

Still in its infancy, the rapidly evolving domain of human-robot collaboration (HRC) has seen remarkable technological advancements.

August 2014

Robotic Assembly: Shrinking Footprint, Expanding Market

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/22/2014

SUVs, ovens, surgical devices and hard drives … What do they have in common?

July 2014

Our Autonomous Future with Service Robots

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/24/2014

Robots are increasingly broadening our horizons beyond the factory floor.

June 2014

The Realm of Collaborative Robots – Empowering Us in Many Forms

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/17/2014

No area of industrial robotics has attracted more fanfare than human-robot collaboration.

May 2014

Take My Hand, Behold the Future of Robot End Effectors

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/08/2014

Robot end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) is a hotbed for development right now. It’s also one of the most critical parts

April 2014

Robots, Cameras and Cables: Avoiding Catastrophic VGR Failures

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/08/2014

By themselves, robots lack perspective. Pair them with vision. Now you’re cruising. Welcome to the Big Dance in vision guided

March 2014

Robots with an Appetite for Food

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/06/2014

Too often in the food industry we hear the term Dirty Dozen. Usually it refers to unsavory hygienic practices.

Virtual Sales Support From Better Packaging and QR Codes

POSTED: 03/04/2014

Have you ever stood in front of a rack of similar products in a big box store?

February 2014

Material Handling Robots in the Mix

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contibuting Editor

POSTED: 02/06/2014

Mobility, modularity and mixed-load are the big movers in this space

January 2014

Robotics in 2014: Market Diversity, Cobots and Global Investment

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/10/2014

Twenty thirteen will go down in history as the year robotics took the marquee spot on the world stage.

December 2013

Optimizing Robot Cycle Time: When Every Fraction of a Second Costs

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/04/2013

With their inherent speed, repeatability and accuracy, robots are undisputedly efficient. But that doesn’t mean they are without waste if

November 2013

Why Robots Are Taking It Off

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/06/2013

Never ones to shy away from attention, robots are striking a formidable pose on the material removal stage.

October 2013

The Art of Industrial Painting with Robots

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/07/2013

Some may be seduced by their graceful, delicate movements. But don’t be fooled. Industrial paint robots are relentless perfectionists

September 2013

Robots and Laser Welding, the Perfect Fit

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/09/2013

From those early days when Unimate first reached across the assembly line, robotic welding has flourished to become a permanent

August 2013

Latest Trends in Intelligent Robot End-of-Arm Tooling

by Tanya M. Anandan , Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/08/2013

The role of robot end-of-arm tooling has never been more important.

July 2013

Robotics+Vision at a Glance: The Dos, Don’ts and Applications

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/12/2013

Robots are renowned for their repeatability and speed. They take on monotonous, physically taxing, and even hazardous jobs

End of Line Packaging Cell for Rolled Roofing Materials

POSTED: 07/02/2013

End of Line Packaging Cell for Rolled Roofing Materials by  Motion Controls Robotics, Inc. - These two FANUC R2000

June 2013

The End of Separation: Man and Robot as Collaborative Coworkers on the Factory Floor

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/06/2013

A new realm of industrial robotics is upon us. Human-robot collaboration is here, on the manufacturing floor, viable and successful.

April 2013

Protecting End Users and Suppliers - Best Practices for Robot Integrators

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/30/2013

Robot systems integration is the Grand Central Station of an automation project

Advanced Vision Guided Robotics: Technology & Trends Impacting VGR Proliferation

by Tanya M. Anandan, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/02/2013

Give a robot “sight” and you expand its range of possibilities.

February 2013

Linear Robot Rails in High Cycle Applications

by Roberta Zald, Mary Sweeny, IPR Robotics Communications

POSTED: 02/15/2013

When FANUC Robotics Systems Integrator, Advatec, was looking for linear rail option that would endure in their customer’s application while

Q & A for Plastics Business

by Eric Esson, National Sales & Marketing Manager

POSTED: 02/15/2013

Machine Guarding Q&A with Eric Esson

Industrial Safety is an Ever Changing Animal

by Eric Esson, National Sales & Marketing Manager

POSTED: 02/15/2013

It has been said that the only constant in life is change. Several aspects of the industrial safety standards are

Shifting Paradigms: Keeping Up with Evolving Industrial Safety Standards

by Eric Esson, National Sales & Marketing Manager

POSTED: 02/08/2013

SHIFTING PARADIGMS: Keeping Up with Evolving Industrial Safety Standards

Robot Design, Integrated Controls and Software Architectures of Industrial Robots

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/05/2013

The software architecture of industrial robots, the “brains” of an automated work cell, enables the robot to perform assigned tasks

January 2013

Robotics Industry Expected to Thrive in 2013

by Bennett Brumon, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/03/2013

As the economy continues its recovery from the Great Recession, the robotics industry is reaping the benefits

December 2012

Robots and Vision for Semiconductors and Electronics Manufacturing

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/03/2012

Robotics have long been a staple in the electronics and semiconductor industry.

November 2012

Robotic Material Handling

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/06/2012

Material handling is the essence of industrial robotics with most robotic applications falling within this category.

October 2012

Robots in the Lab

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/05/2012

Tasks in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries have always been complex and time-consuming. With the advent of new

Automatic Water Jet Process is a Smart Business Decision

by Bob Rochelle, Foot and Packaging Industry Specialist

POSTED: 10/04/2012

For the past fifty years, manufacturers have experienced increasing pressure to produce more while simultaneously meeting challenges to reduce operating costs, improve operational efficiencies, increase part quality, reduce waste and reduce labor content.  These challenges are being met by adopting Lean Manufacturing practices and at the heart of Lean Manufacturing

September 2012

Robot Safety Trends in Automotive

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/10/2012

There are vibrant new activities related to industrial safety in robot applications; none more so than in the automotive industry

July 2012

Robots in Aerospace Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/31/2012

While robotics play an important function in the fabrication of aircraft engines, aerospace companies are increasingly investing in robots

New 2012 Edition of ANSI/RIA R15.06 About to be Approved

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 07/31/2012

The big national robot news is that the 2012 edition of R15.06 is in the final stage for ANSI approval

Robotic Grinding, De-Burring and Finishing Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/02/2012

Due to the dangers involved in manual grinding, de-burring and finishing, robots are increasingly called on to do these operations.

June 2012

Machine Vision for Robot Guidance

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/04/2012

Without a vision guidance system, robots would be blind, unable to present itself to parts. The increased power of vision

May 2012

Palletizing and De-Palletizing Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/08/2012

Robotics have been a staple of manufacturing for decades but improvements have pushed flexible robotics downstream

April 2012

New Applications for Mobile Robots

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/05/2012

While fixed robots will always have a place in manufacturing, augmenting traditional robots with mobile robots promises additional flexibility

March 2012

RIA Launches New Certified Robot Integrator Program

by Armando Barry, Certification Consultant

POSTED: 03/06/2012

Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s largest trade group representing over 265 companies, has announced the launch of their Certified

New Trends in Robot and Controller Design

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/06/2012

Without a controller, industrial robots would not be able to perform their application tasks. Controllers contain software giving robots the

February 2012

Basic EOAT & Tooling Trends for Consumers Goods and Beyond

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/06/2012

Robotics have the speed, strength, and precision to accomplish an ever-widening range of tasks in the manufacturing and packaging of

January 2012

Robotics Industry Poised for Another Banner Year in 2012

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/06/2012

In most applications and regions around the globe, the robotics industry can look forward to a prosperous 2012.

Choosing the Right Robotic Gun for GMAW Applications

by Robert Ryan, P.Eng., MBA, Director, Automation and Aluminum Group

POSTED: 01/06/2012

Robotic GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) arc welding has become increasingly popular due to potential weld quality and productivity

December 2011

Robotics in Alternative Energy

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/08/2011

Alternative energy systems, solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and fuel cells, continue their rapid technological change

November 2011

Robotics in Security and Military Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/07/2011

Robotics have been a staple of advanced manufacturing for over half a century. As robots and their peripheral equipment become

September 2011

Updating the R15.06 Robot Safety Standard

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/07/2011

In my last article, I discussed the publication of the new ISO 10218-1 and 10218-2 standards. These two standards

August 2011

Navigating Robot Safety

by Brette Christe, Technical Writer

POSTED: 08/31/2011

Sharing the occupational highway with robots has inherent risks. Industrial robots are heavy and stiff, and can

New ISO Robot Safety Standards Published!

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 08/15/2011

For several years now, I have been informing you of the progress in the revision of the International Standard for

July 2011

Industrial Robotics Market Opportunities in Russia

by Paul Kellett, RIA Director – Market Analysis

POSTED: 07/13/2011

Spanning nine time zones and over 17 million square miles, Russia is not only the largest country in the world,

Robotics in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Industry

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/06/2011

Robots in laboratory, life science and pharmaceutical applications perform tasks at rates beyond human capability. These robots function in potentially

June 2011

Economic Conditions and Opportunities Bode Well for Robotics Market

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR

POSTED: 06/16/2011

What is the outlook for robots and automation now that we are almost half-way through the calendar year?

Robotics in Electronics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/08/2011

The electronics and semiconductor industry has emerged as an important sector for robotics. While automotive applications still constitute the lion’s

May 2011

Designing Motion Control Systems

by Kevin Hull, Supervisor, Applications and Deployment, Yaskawa America

POSTED: 05/23/2011

Click here to view a .pdf presentation featured at Automate 2011, Designing Motion Control Systems.

Top 3 Motion Control Trends for The Next 5 Years

by Bill Allai, Motion Control Principal Engineer, National Instruments

POSTED: 05/23/2011

Click here to read a .pdf presentation featured at Automate 2011 on motion control trend predictions from Bill Allai of National Instruments.

Press Brakes and Robots

by Ken Miller, Product Manager

POSTED: 05/17/2011

Still reluctant to automate your press brakes? Time to rethink this while you still can, because the latest robotic automation

From Technology to Technical Support: Thoughts for Improving Welding Operations in Today’s Automotive Industry

by Deryck Hart, Business Development Manager

POSTED: 05/08/2011

Worldwide, companies serving the automotive industry have faced a unique set of challenges in the last several years. Still, as

April 2011

Robots in Consumer Goods

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/13/2011

As robots and their control systems become more powerful and flexible, robotics are moving from heavy industrial applications into producing

March 2011

A Preview of the Automate 2011 Conference

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/01/2011

The Automate 2011 Show and Conference promises to be an event where robot suppliers, integrators and potential end-users of robotics

February 2011

Robotic Warehousing: A New Market Opportunity for Robot Manufacturers and Integrators?

by Paul Kellett, AIA/MCA/RIA Director – Market Analysis

POSTED: 02/07/2011

According to a new ATC study on robotic warehousing, a revolution is underway in order fulfillment and automation is enabling

Food Robotics Comes of Age

by Bennett Brumson, with contributions from RIA staff

POSTED: 02/07/2011

From the beginning, robots were built for harsh environments, a trait that serves them well in food processing applications. Freezers

Unique Robotic Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/07/2011

When people think of industrial robotics, the automotive and electronics industries often come to mind first. As robots and their

January 2011

After 50 Years Robots Have New Horizons

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/11/2011

Advancements in safety systems, end-effectors and sensors are rapidly bringing robotics into new applications

Robotics Industry Is Optimistic in 2011

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/11/2011

As the global economy emerges from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, business activity is slowly picking up.

December 2010

A Look Ahead to 2011

by Jeff Burnstein, RIA President

POSTED: 12/15/2010

2010 has been a very good year for the robotics industry; RIA President Jeff Burnstein shares excitement for 2011.

November 2010

A Look at Robots in Alternative Energy

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/01/2010

As the world grapples with diminishing supplies of petroleum and the increasing carbon impact of coal, nations and manufacturers are

October 2010

Automation Proves the Intrepid Solution to Higher Demand - A Robot Case Study

by Clare Goldsberry, Senior Editor/U.S., Copyright Modern Plastics Worldwide, April 2010, reprinted with permission

POSTED: 10/06/2010

Overseas sales increase, and you need more workers or more automation. For this small processor, automation proved the right choice,

September 2010

Service Robots – Getting Successfully Established

by International Federation of Robotics, Statistical Department

POSTED: 09/16/2010

The robot companion still a vision?

August 2010

Robot Safety Standard to be Revised

by Jeff Fryman, Director of Standards Development, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 08/31/2010

How Changes to International Standard for Industrial Robot Safety (ISO) affect American National Standards (ANSI).

International Robot Safety Standard in Final Review

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 08/02/2010

The ISO 10218 International Standard for industrial robot safety is entering its last stage of approval prior to publication.

July 2010

What’s New with Robots in Electronics and Semiconductors?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/07/2010

Robotics manufacturing electronic components and semiconductors have a long history. As the trend towards ever smaller electronic devices continues along with the requirement for cleanliness, the need for robots will increase in these applications. The electronics within the robots performing tasks in semiconductor and electronic applications mirrors the trends toward becoming

June 2010

What's New with Robotics in Injection Molding?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/01/2010

Robotics are being applied in increasing frequency in injection molding related processes

April 2010

Motoman’s Dean Elkins is RIA’s New Chair

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/30/2010

The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) selected a new chair in January 2010.

What's Cooking with Food Robotics?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/05/2010

Robotics have an increasingly important role in maintaining a food supply that is safe, efficient and cost-effective. To gauge the

Sustainability and Total Cost of Ownership with Packaging Conveyors

by Amy DeFayette, Product Manager, VarioFlow Conveyor Systems

POSTED: 04/04/2010

Companies making consumer products today often achieve a competitive advantage through more appealing and easier-to-use package designs. As a result,

March 2010

Simple Ways to Protect Your Robotic MIG Gun ... and Your Overall Investment in Automation

by Rob Ryan, Product Manager Automation Group , & Thomas Jaeger, Engineering Manager, R&D and New Product Development

POSTED: 03/15/2010

Given that the single-most enticing reason for companies to invest in welding automation is to improve productivity, it may seem

Portal to Success: Update Multiple Robot Programs in a Minute or Less

by Brette Christe, Technical Writer

POSTED: 03/03/2010

Product variations, changes, and introductions are commonplace in manufacturing today. In response, many companies are choosing to use robots for

January 2010

“S” Shaped Recovery for the Economy?

by Brian Huse, Director, Markeing & PR

POSTED: 01/22/2010

At RIA’s Robotics Industry Forum, Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics offers a new type of prediction for the economy.

Robots Use 3D Vision to Improve System Costs and Product Quality

by Steve Prehn, Sr. Product Manager for Material Handling and Vision

POSTED: 01/20/2010

3D vision could become standard equipment on robots in a decade or less, according to experts in the machine vision

Robotics Market Cautiously Optimistic for 2010

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/18/2010

The robotics industry, like the world economy, is slowly emerging from the most trying economic times since the 1930s.

December 2009

Classic Metal Finishing: Robot Provides Increased Production and Flexibility

by Brent Lamarand, Engineer

POSTED: 12/07/2009

A Robot Case Study

What Is New with Robots in Press/Machine Tending and Material Removal

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/07/2009

Material removal or press/machine tending: Which task is more dull and dangerous? Manufacturers often have had difficulty in finding people to fill these positions. With improved vision systems and off-line programming (OLP), manufacturers are increasingly investing in robotics to perform tending and material removal chores. “I see the overall acceptability of

November 2009

Food Lovers Can Thank Robots

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 11/23/2009

Thank a robot for your food? Then and now (I Love Lucy vs. Quattro Robot for packaging chocolates). Video

Safety Triggers Military Robot Alert

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR

POSTED: 11/05/2009

If you like “Future Weapons” on Discovery Channel then you’ll be interested in the MAARS Robot. Video included

Robotic Simulation and Off-line Programming: From Academia to Industry

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/02/2009

Robotic simulation and off-line programming (OLP) are powerful tools for saving integrators and end-users time and money when designing a

October 2009

A Little Green in Every Robot

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR

POSTED: 10/19/2009

Robots are among the most efficient machines available to manufacturers and can be part of any company’s strategy for green

Robots in Medical Applications: How LOSTPED and Cartesian Robots Can Help

by Danielle Collins, Applications Engineering Supervisor

POSTED: 10/15/2009

From packaging and material handling to semiconductor fabrication and automotive assembly, virtually all manufacturing processes incorporate some type of linear

Food Processing Gets New Safety Controls

by (RIA Staff Interview with) Gary Ferguson, Managing Director, Schmersal Inc.

POSTED: 10/13/2009

Food applications are important to many RIA members. RIA caught up with Gary Ferguson for a Q & A session.

Making it Safe: National Robot Safety Conference 2009

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/06/2009

On the eve of major changes to robot safety standards, robot makers, integrators, and peripheral equipment manufacturers will attend...

September 2009

Robotics and the Big Trends

by Jeff Burnstein, President, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 09/21/2009

I’ve been thinking and reading quite a bit lately about how robotics ties in with the big trends impacting our

International Robot Safety Standard Enters Final Phase of Acceptance

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/04/2009

I have just returned from Frankfurt, Germany, and a very successful meeting where the ISO TC184/SC 2 WG3 team completed their work on reviewing the technical content of the proposed new Part 2 of ISO 10218, the International Standard for robot

August 2009

Don’t be Marginalized: Learn How Peripherals can Maximize your Robotic Welding Performance

by Thomas Jaeger, Engineering Manager, R&D and New Product Development

POSTED: 08/24/2009

Robotic welding systems introduce speed, accuracy and repeatability into the fabrication process. The repeatability of these systems can increase productivity and reduce welding production costs, thereby maximizing the return on the investment in automation. When compared to semi-automatic welding operations, a robot has the ability to perform the same or

Roadmap to the Future

by Paul Kellett, RIA Director - Market Analysis

POSTED: 08/12/2009

If Hollywood’s vision were correct, robotics in the future would represent a stark departure from today’s commercially available robots.

Planning a Safe and Successful Integration: Robots in Packaging/Palletizing

by Brette Christe, Technical Writer, JR Automation Technologies, LLC

POSTED: 08/12/2009

You’ve got a lot on your plate when implementing packaging/palletizing robots into a production process. The choices you make when

July 2009

What's New with Robots in Pharmacies and Laboratories?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/20/2009

Robotics have become an element of mainstream production in heavy industry for decades, but flexible automation is rapidly becoming commonplace in laboratories and pharmacies. “Stäubli has seen an increase of activity in life science applications, especially in

Robotic Application Research: Past, Present, & Future

by Brette Christe, JR Automation Technologies, LLC

POSTED: 07/16/2009

In 1961, the first manufacturing robot, the Unimate, hit the assembly line for GM. This welding robot, which received its commands

RIA is a Common Sense Investment in Any Economy

by Richard O. Litt, President, RIA

POSTED: 07/05/2009

In a few years we will be looking at a strong, resurgent economy, but will you be ready before that happens? The trick for all of us will be to recognize the bottom of the economic cycle and position ourselves to outpace our competitors in capitalizing on renewed customer demand. In

June 2009

Is Automation Right for Your Welding Operations?

POSTED: 06/15/2009

Considerations to Make Before Investing by Kevin Summers, Business Development Manager, Robotics/Automation, Miller Electric Mfg. Co., and Rob Ryan, Product Manager, Automation Group and Thomas Jaeger, Engineering Manager, R&D and New Product Development, Tregaskiss Ltd. Many

Going Green with Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/02/2009

As the world reaches its peak of energy production along with increasing concerns about the health of our planet, manufacturers are looking at ways to be more environmentally friendly. “More products will become greener by using robotics to build them,” says, John Dulchinos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Adept

May 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Buy an Industrial Robot Today

by Ted Wodoslawsky, VP Marketing, ABB Robotics North America

POSTED: 05/18/2009

The economy may be off to a slow start in 2009, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead for

Robotics and the Green Trend: A Q&A

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/04/2009

Concerns about the natural state of our planet have never been higher. Manufacturers are putting a considerable amount of thought into how to lower their impact on the natural environment while still supplying the goods that people and industry require. Investing in robotics is among one of several strategies that

April 2009

Machine Vision Aids Solar Cell Production

by Paul Kellett, RIA/AIA/MCA Director – Market Analysis, courtesy Automated Imaging Association

POSTED: 04/20/2009

As seen on AIA's Machine Vision Online. Despite lower energy prices during the recession, the realization is growing that alternative energy sources are needed.  An increasing number of people are convinced that alternative energy sources are essential to controlling energy costs, limiting

Seeing and Moving: A Preview of the 2009 International Robot, Vision and Motion Control Show

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/06/2009

The biennial International Robot, Vision and Motion Control Show (IRVMCS), taking place June 9-11, 2009, will take on the theme of “Win Globally: Innovate and Automate.” Major players in the robotics, motion control and vision industries will gather at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois

March 2009

Robotic Sealing Automation for Smaller Industrial Operations

by Paul Cutean, Process Manager – Sealer Technology, ABB Inc., Robotics Division

POSTED: 03/16/2009

Historically Sealing robots have been utilized in many

Positive Action: One Robot Integrator's Unique Response to the Economy

by (staff interview with) Keith Wanner, President, RobotWorx

POSTED: 03/04/2009

RIA: How is the economy affecting the used robot market? KW: This is a good time to be in the used robot market. There are a lot of robots available from companies that are downsizing - newer models with fewer hours. At the same time,

Ask the Experts: Robotics Online’s Advice Column

by Bennett Brumson , with contributions from RIA staff

POSTED: 03/02/2009

  Executive Summary Ask the Experts offers unique insight into customer needs and vendor capabilities in the robotics industry. According to participants, users improve the chance for valuable feedback if they follow these guidelines: 1) Give context for the problem (big

February 2009

Robot Safety in Difficult Times

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 02/04/2009

These days it seems like the news is filled with nothing but more “bad news.”  The economy is clearly in a down-turn, no question about it.  Turn on the TV, read a newspaper, surf the web

January 2009

2009 Robotics Forecast: Productivity, Expansion Counter Recession Pressures

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/09/2009

What to do in a Recession

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 01/02/2009

Is your company recession proof? Last year wasn’t so bad for some RIA members. Many had big months in the fall even while consumer spending dried up in the broader economy. One industrial cable company had a terrific October

December 2008

Robot, Heal Thy Self: The Latest in Robotic Maintenance and Diagnostics

by by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/17/2008

Maintenance and diagnostics are important in keeping industrial robots at their optimal operating performance. While simply cleaning and lubricating robots periodically can go a long way in achieving peak performance, controls built into them provide preventive maintenance capability as well as the ability to diagnose problems. “Robot operators often have difficulty

November 2008

High-Density Robotic Painting: Latest Trend Lowers Costs

by Randy Schuetz, Tech. Leader, Painting & Dispensing, and Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor, Motoman

POSTED: 11/14/2008

One of the primary reasons paint spray booths are expensive to operate is the high energy cost of providing temperature-controlled supply air to replenish exhaust air.  As companies look for ways to maximize floorspace utilization to help them cut costs and remain competitive in the global marketplace, spray paint booths


by Brette Christe, Technical Writer

POSTED: 11/14/2008

If lean manufacturing is a goal, it may be a good idea to investigate automation solutions that integrate with business systems. This method combines a business’s network and software with machinery and automation equipment. The benefit of this approach is manufacturing systems that are easier to control and

Robotic Paint Automation for Smaller Industrial Operations

by Mark Freels, Paint Business Development Manager, Robotics Division

POSTED: 11/03/2008

Recent advancements have made paint and coating robots highly affordable and useable Painting robots and industrial robots in general have

October 2008

What’s Next for Robotics

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR

POSTED: 10/15/2008

One day you will turn on your computer, punch up an online world where your avatar can assemble different objects to make a custom robot, test it in a simulation of your factory and have the real thing sent to your brick and mortar location. Sound far fetched? Consider this:

Twisting and Bending: A User’s Guide to Robotic Cables

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/01/2008

September 2008

Forging New Relationships for the Robotics Industry

by Jeff Burnstein, Executive Vice President

POSTED: 09/16/2008

One of our main goals at RIA is to educate our members and others interested in robotics about new opportunities and “what’s next” for robotics applications. In order to accomplish that goal, we sponsor shows and conferences, workshops, award programs, and the industry’s most comprehensive Web site, Robotics Online. All of

A Preview of the International Conference for Vision-Guided Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/03/2008

As robotic vision systems become increasingly powerful, more adaptable and less expensive, robot suppliers are incorporating them as a standard feature in systems provided to end-users. Robot suppliers, integrators and end-users have the opportunity to see, learn and contemplate the latest in vision-guided robotics at the International Conference for Vision-Guided

August 2008

New RIA Technical Report on Robot Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 08/19/2008

If you have not already seen it, soon you will see the announcement that the Robotic Industries Association has introduced a new Technical Report, R15.206 providing Guidelines for Implementing ANSI/RIA/ISO 10218-1-2007.  Of course this is always exciting news when we release a new

Robotics Online Clicking Strong for Members and Customers

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR

POSTED: 08/19/2008

Customer connections are thriving on Robotics Online where more than 4,900 clicks were recorded by advertisers in July, and a growing list of members received hot leads by way of RFQs and contacts from

Robotics Industry Forum Turns Networking into Connectioneering!

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & Public Relations

POSTED: 08/08/2008

Are you ready for a unique kind of networking that leads to new and improved business? On November 6, 2008, your RIA membership unlocks the door to Connectioneering at the Robotics Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida. Business

Robots on the Grindstone: Material Removal Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/06/2008

In an era of historically high prices for metals and energy, manufacturers are feeling the pinch. To ease the effect of increasing costs of these products, industry is taking a close look at ways of keeping energy and material expenses in line. Investing in robotics for material removal can be

July 2008

Mixing it up: Trends in Packaging and Palletizing Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/23/2008

The accelerating adoption of robotics has been among the most important trends in packaging and palletizing in recent years. With the speeds and flexibility that robotics offer, this trend will continue. “Packaging and palletizing robotic applications are a growing industry. Just about everyone palletizes or packages their product,” says Kawasaki’s Bob

Robotic Inspection: A Guide

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/09/2008

Robot-based inspections systems are an application whose time has come. As vision systems become increasingly powerful and flexible, more end-users will consider inspection tasks being integrated into robotic work cells. Robot makers and integrators can offer end-users some valuable advice on having vision systems do more than just guide the

Examining Robot Safety Standards

by Roberta Nelson Shea, General Manager/COO Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

POSTED: 07/07/2008

ANSI R15.06-1999 is the accepted American National Standards Institute standard covering safety requirements for industrial robots and robot systems. Speaking of safety, it’s safe to say that many end users or systems integrators simply assume that any new robots or systems automatically

June 2008

Food For Thought: Robotics in the Food Industry

by by Bennett Brumson , Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/12/2008

Visit a food production facility and you will notice a mix of tasks performed by manual labor and robotics. While the reliance on manual labor has been steadily declining, more and more of the jobs in food manufacturing

May 2008

Robotic Transporters for Large Weldments

by Chris Anderson, Technology Leader – Welding

POSTED: 05/19/2008

Robotic transporters are key when you want to automate welding of extremely large, heavy parts.  The maximum work envelope radius of an extended-reach robot is about 3-meters (9.84’).  If the parts you are welding require more reach than that, you need to find ways to move the robot to the

Reducing Carbon Footprint with the Right Vacuum System

by Josef Karbassi, , Business Unit Manager, Automotive

POSTED: 05/05/2008

Introduction Today, carbon dioxide (CO2) is considered to be the largest environmental threat to our world by most researchers. Heightened levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to global warming, which in the long run can jeopardize our future on

April 2008

Robots for Life: Laboratory, Medical and Life Science Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/19/2008

Strong, Consistent Robotic Welds Stand Up to Automotive Seat Tests

POSTED: 04/18/2008

Did you ever stop to think about all the safety considerations involved when you adjust a car seat for

Briggs & Stratton Introduces Automated Welding with ABB Robotic Docking System

POSTED: 04/18/2008

In 1996, the Specialty Products Division of Briggs & Stratton, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, expanded its services after 15 years

Making The Most Of Motors And Drives

by Jack Browne, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/07/2008

Electric motors and drives improve year after year more as an evolutionary process than by revolutionary developments. Since these smaller motors and drives are integrated into robotics systems, they are helping to bring new levels of efficiency and productivity to more compact robotic solutions. Sorting through the choices in

March 2008

Press and Machine Tending Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/18/2008

Manual press and machine tending applications are among the least desired jobs in industrial labor due to the danger, repetition and nasty environment. When manufacturers manage to find people willing to perform these jobs, retaining them is another major challenge. Robotics have proven to be an ideal means for

The European Robotics Market and How the Germans Lead

by Gordon Feller, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/04/2008

 As the EU economies continue to expand, Germany, the largest of the 26 EU economies, offers profitable market opportunities for producers of innovative automation technology and peripheral equipment. The German automation sector is highly international with exports amounting to 80%, and imports at 67%. Germany produces 14% of the

February 2008

New President Brings New Agenda to RIA

by Rich Litt, President, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 02/18/2008

The Year Ahead in Robot Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 02/04/2008

We are only a few weeks into the New Year, and I hope one of your resolutions is to work safe.  Your association is busy with our continuing efforts to support this resolution, including the upcoming 2008

January 2008

Continuing 100 Years of Innovation: Automation Shines at Grote Industries……A Robot Case Study

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 01/21/2008

Driving along any highway, chances are that many of the vehicle lighting systems you see on semi-trucks, RVs, buses, and other vehicles are manufactured by Grote Industries (Madison, IN), a privately owned 100-year-old company with a history of innovation.  High demand by major automotive OEMs and aftermarket suppliers for

Smooth and Steady: Prospects for the Robotics Industry in 2008

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/04/2008

Despite the possibility of a slowdown in the economy, the outlook of those in the robotics industry in 2008 is generally optimistic. ‘‘I think 2008 will be a strong year for the robotics industry,’‘ says Richard O. Litt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Systems Group, Davenport,

December 2007

Robots Rally CNC Operations Against Offshore Competition

by Jack Browne, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/17/2007

Robots have traditionally served CNC applications and systems by loading and unloading tools and work materials. While this is still an important part of the robotic CNC relationship, robotic systems are increasingly substituting for larger and costlier fixed-bed CNC platforms for certain applications.  Robots have aided larger computer-numerically

Robots Sort Blood Specimens: Help American Red Cross Improve Productivity and Traceability . . . A Robot Case Study

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 12/03/2007

  In addition to being an international humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross is the biggest single blood collecting agency in the United States.  Operating as a non-profit organization, the Red Cross supplies blood and blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals daily.  They now use advanced robotic automation linked directly

November 2007

Robotics Industry Forum Looks to Future of the Industry

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR

POSTED: 11/14/2007

From big news for Platinum members to predictions about the industry, RIA’s Robotics Industry Forum in Orlando (November 7-9, 2007) was packed with market intelligence and high-level networking. As detailed in a “Robots in America” blog, Platinum Members Emerge at Top of Industry during Robotics Industry Forum, a

Is the Wood Industry Ready for Robotics?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/14/2007

 When thinking of the role of robotics in manufacturing, working with wood-based products is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, as robots become less expensive and more powerful, end-users, system integrators and robot manufacturers are taking a closer look at deploying robots in the wood

October 2007

Robots in Consumer Goods

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/24/2007

While industrial robotics have been the mainstay of the automotive industry for many years, the use of robotics in producing consumer items is still on the rise. ‘‘Consumer production with robotics is a growing area,’‘ says Jarrell D. Sills, Sales Application Engineer at Remtec Corp., an integrator based in

Construction Robots and Constructing a Robotics Community

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/11/2007

Automobiles and consumer goods are among the many products we see every day that traditionally have been manufactured with the help of robotics. The use of robots in the construction and building industry is still not commonplace, but it is increasing slowly but surely. From welding steel I-beams for

September 2007

The Complete Safety Story and Other “How To”s

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/20/2007

The National Robot Safety Conference, our nineteenth annual gathering taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana, is only a week away.  I am looking forward to getting it started on Monday morning, October 1st.  This will be a great way to start a week

News About Changes in Robot Standards

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/07/2007

New Standard Addresses Wireless Pendants; Safety Rated Axix Limiting; Multiple Arms and more. As we look forward to our next National Robot Safety Conference (XIX) we can share highlights of what is new, and therefore provide information to help you decide whether to

August 2007

Robo Removal: Parts Finishing is Big Business for Robots

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/17/2007

In fabricating just about any item, from children’s toys to aerospace turbine blades, inevitably a need will arise for some type of parts finishing. Whether it is degating a tiny injected plastic part or precisely grinding a large and heavy component for an aircraft, industrial robots are becoming, for many,

All Together Now: Networked Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/08/2007

Robot networking, where multiple robots operate together in coordination with controllers, computers, and humans while working toward a common production goal, is a means to ensure efficiency and safety within a work cell. Ethernet connections usually link networked robots together. While networking robots have its benefits, care must be

July 2007

Hybrid Sensors in Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/19/2007

Robotic hybrid sensors, those sensors that have multiple types of detection systems, are not part of the mainstream in flexible automation. However, the use of hybrids, while small, is on the rise. More and more end-users of robotics believe hybrid sensors have a role in manufacturing. Hybrid sensors are

Robotics in Composite Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/05/2007

  Composites and robotics are practically made for each other. Because composites have such a wide variation among them from part to part, flexible industrial robotics is well matched for applying composites in the aerospace sector and for general industry. Using robotics for applying composites is an idea whose

June 2007

The Challenges of Robotic Aluminum MIG Welding

by Joe Hoffman, Senior Welding Engineer, FANUC Robotics America, Inc.

POSTED: 06/21/2007

Robotic Aluminum MIG Welding presents many challenges. The aluminum MIG process is not as forgiving as steel and requires unique control to achieve successful results.  A good understanding of the welding process and how to control it from the robot are critical.  From a robotic perspective, the welding process can

Gentlemen, Start Your Robots...

by Donald A. Vincent, Executive Vice President, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 06/01/2007

Have you seen the new NASCAR race car?  Since hearing about the 'Car of Tomorrow,' I couldn’t wait to see how different this new car looks, and I am anxious to size up the competitiveness of 43 drivers in the next generation of

It’s Show Time: A 2007 International Robots & Vision Show Preview

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/01/2007

The International Robots and Vision Show (IRVS) is coming to Chicago (Rosemont), Illinois, on June 12-14. As the premier robotics trade show, it is the place for those in the robotics market to see and be seen by end-users, manufacturers and the general public.  ‘‘This is a technology show that the

May 2007

Lights, Cameras, Robots, Action: Advances in Robotic Vision

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/21/2007

Next month’s International Robots & Vision Show and Conference is the perfect venue to explore the advances and changes in robotics, vision, and motion control…the keys to global success. With some 170 exhibitors demonstrating real-world products, plus continuously running new technology and product presentations, and an Emerging Robotics Pavilion, this

Networking Matters at RIA – Join Today

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & Public Relations, Robotic Industries Association

POSTED: 05/18/2007

Meet RIA To ensure the entire industry stays connected RIA has corporate membership that is open to more than just suppliers, an arrangement not often found in a trade group. Founded in 1974, RIA is the only North American trade group dedicated solely to robotics automation. Today, membership keeps growing

A Successful Partner: Choosing an Integrator

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/03/2007

For end-users of robotics, choosing who will integrate their work cell is one of the most important decisions they will make, other than the initial decision to invest in flexible automation. Picking an experienced and knowledgeable integrator makes the difference between deploying a viable robotic system and an investment that

April 2007

GM Strengthens Competitive Grip with Decentralized Vacuum System

by A Case Study Featuring Dan Anfinson, Senior Manufacturing Project Engineer, General Motors Corporation

POSTED: 04/19/2007

Automotive Manufacturer Embraces Energy Savings and Improved Performance Dan Anfinson, senior manufacturing project engineer at General Motors, recognizes that competition is the driving force in today’s automotive industry. ‘‘Competitiveness has never been greater. In terms of manufacturing, this has driven two points of the four-point GM Turnaround Plan – to

March 2007

Robots…A ‘‘Butter’‘ Way to Palletize: A Robot Case Study

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 03/19/2007

  California Dairies, Inc. is the number one dairy cooperative in California and the second-largest in the United States.  It is owned by more than 650 California dairies that ship nearly 17 billion pounds of milk to be sold and processed annually by one of its five

Food Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/19/2007

  Deploying robotics in many industries is so routine, that it is taken as a given. The presence of robotics in other industries, such as in the food market, is relatively low. The potential for robotics in the food and beverage industry is immense, for both ‘‘traditional’‘ applications such as

Debate Continues on Fieldability of Visual Servoing. . . .by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor, Courtesy AIA's Machine Vision Online

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/02/2007

Visual servoing sparks as much debate among technologists as it does among end users, as was illustrated at a recent panel discussion on the topic at AIA's recent Vision & Robots for Automotive Manufacturing Workshop. Visual servoing is hard to do, so why would we like to do

February 2007

Considering Safety Implications

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 02/15/2007

  Contemplating this article, I was searching for a “catchy” theme to write about that tied in well with our upcoming North American Robot Safety Conference in Toronto, March 26 – 28, 2007.  Then a flurry of e-mails across my desk this week highlighted a

Robot Palletizes Putter’s Pickles: A Robot Case Study. . . .by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor, Motoman Inc.

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 02/01/2007

  Aliment Putter’s Food, Inc. (Sainte-Sophie, QC), a well-known eastern Canadian producer of a wide variety of pickled vegetable products -- found themselves in a bit of a production pickle.  Their manual end-of-line palletizing operation was limiting their processing capacity, particularly during their peak season between July and mid-November,

January 2007

Chemical and Hazardous Material Handling Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/18/2007

Among the many justifications for using robotics, the most important is to shield people from working in dangerous environments and from handling hazardous materials. From dealing with chemicals that are explosive to handling radioactive substances, robots are routinely used to perform tasks that would kill or maim people.  Robots are

Robotics Industry Strives to Diversify in 2007

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor (with contributions from RIA staff)

POSTED: 01/03/2007

Despite a slowdown in the automotive sector, the robotics industry as a whole is still relatively healthy. That is the consensus of executives in the robotics industry.  'My feeling is that 2007 will be an okay year for the robotics industry. I do not see 2007 competing

November 2006

NASA Perfects Orbital Docking Here On Earth With Help Of Robotics

POSTED: 11/30/2006

Space exploration and research usually calls to mind images of weightlessness and advanced technologies. But a great deal of engineering takes place right here on Earth, on the ground. Due to the high cost of failure in space and the inherent danger involved, NASA performs exhaustive tests and simulations of

The Perfect Swarm: Robots Past, Present and Future

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & Public Relations

POSTED: 11/30/2006

It’s always a swarm. When you’re examining the robot market, at some point someone will reference a swarm. And artificial intelligence. And drone. Android. Robots capture the imagination in ways shared by no other factory equipment.

Plastic Welding Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/20/2006

Take a look around and you will no doubt see plastic parts everywhere.  Given the wide variety of plastic materials and processes used to produce these parts and weld them together, it should come as no surprise that manufacturers are increasingly incorporating highly flexible robots into their operations.   To

Trends and Motivations for Robot Purchases

by Trevor Jones, President

POSTED: 11/06/2006

An ongoing trend in the life sciences sector is adoption of robots for research and development, and when I think about why robots matter, it’s just obvious to me they are critical to the drug discovery process. That’s a reflection of

October 2006

Nanotechnology Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/24/2006

Nanotechnology, the manipulation and assembly of tiny devices often not much larger than a group of molecules, is a perfect application for industrial robotics. Due to the fact the objects being handled are so small, a few billionths of a meter, it is impossible for a human to see or

Why Robots Matter

by Donald A. Vincent, Executive Vice President

POSTED: 10/10/2006

In this age of soaring energy costs, trade imbalances and vigorous struggles for market share, robots are one of the few options a country like the USA has to stay competitive with emerging industrial nations. I am happy to say friends in

September 2006

Robot Safety Changes Ahead

by an interview with Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/06/2006

The National Robot Safety Conference is scheduled for early October, so Robotics Online took this opportunity to sit down with Jeff Fryman, Director of Standards Development for the Robotic Industries Association to talk about recent safety developments.  The following is a recap of

August 2006

Clean Machines: Clean Room Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/17/2006

With the miniaturization of electronic components comes challenges for people to assemble their tiny constituent parts. Humans have difficulty seeing and manipulating the impossibly small elements that make up electronic devices, so they are a good candidate for robotics. However infiltration of dust that is shed by robots and other

Robotics and Energy Cost Reduction

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/02/2006

With the price of fossil fuels at historic highs, reducing the cost of the energy component of production is on the mind of manufacturers all over the globe. There are several strategies to meet this challenge. One proven method is to deploy robotics. ‘‘Robots with servo motors are already very efficient

July 2006

High Precision Thermoforming Packs a Perfect Fit

by Nicky Borcea, President

POSTED: 07/21/2006

The Evolution of Automotive Materials Handling Today, shipping trays, or dunnage, for the automotive material-handling arena are custom made to fit specific part dimensions and to hold them in the proper orientation needed for assembly. Automotive manufacturers have traditionally

Indispensable Dispensing: Sealing and Dispensing Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/10/2006

Many sealing and dispensing applications use robots due to the precision required and the potentially hazardous materials often used. From depositing sealant into car bodies to applying precise amounts of adhesives onto tiny electronics, sealing and dispensing robots provide

June 2006

Error-Proofing in Today’s Competitive Manufacturing Environment

by Rick Bondy, Field Marketing Product Manager

POSTED: 06/22/2006

Error-proofing is an essential systematic process for improving the reliability, quality and stability of lean manufacturing methods.  You can never completely eliminate error, but error-proofing helps mitigate the impact of human error involved in the manufacturing process.  The goal is to catch the mistake on the assembly/production line, before it is

Robotics Partner with AGVs to Increase Production Flexibility and Speed

by Jan Rupnick, Public Relations Coordinator, (Reprinted by permission from Robotics World Magazine)

POSTED: 06/06/2006

Manufacturers in the United States, in attempting to remain competitive in a global economy, often reach for technology to help improve production efficiency and reduce labor costs. For many companies, that technological boost comes in the form of robotics. And one area that is paying the most dividends for robotics

May 2006

When Two Arcs are Better Than One: Tandem GMAW Versus Multiple Robot Arms

by Chris Anderson, Thermal Market Segment Manager

POSTED: 05/16/2006

Manufacturers of Tandem Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) systems that supply two welding wires through a single torch often promise to double welding productivity – but in actuality, the results you can reasonably expect to achieve vary depending upon your application.  When does it make sense to use the  Tandem

The Importance of Vacuum Flow in Robotic Material Handling Applications

by Andy Lovell, Application Engineer

POSTED: 05/03/2006

Industrial manufacturing is undergoing a revolution with fresh opportunities and challenges. Average profit margins have declined, putting increased pressure on manufacturers to come up with innovative cost saving alternatives to increase productivity. From a global perspective, demand for cost efficient engineering is at a premium, as with the trend toward automation

April 2006

Home, Home of the Range…Robotic Press Tending at Whirlpool Corporation

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 04/17/2006

With annual sales of over $13 billion, some 68,000 employees, and nearly 50 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe, Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances.  The

Robots Minus Burrs Equals A Good Finish: Robotic Material Removal

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/04/2006

When manufacturing metal or plastic products, a material removal procedure such as grinding and deburring is inevitably part of the process. It is rare that there is not a need to remove a sharp burr along an edge, grind off excess welding material, or remove a gate on a casting.

March 2006

Make Existing Cells Leaner and Safer

by Tina Hull, Remote Application Engineer

POSTED: 03/14/2006

With numerous multi-robot cells in use, a company wanted to increase existing robotic cell efficiency, making their systems more 'lean,' but with no compromise in safety. The company would only proceed if the new setup improved overall production uptime, was cost justifiable, and reduced the number of steps for troubleshooting.  The

Interface Options for Robotic Safety Control Systems

by James F. O’Laughlin, North American Product Marketing Manager for Safety Interface Technology, Safety Systems Division

POSTED: 03/04/2006

With the increasing acceptance of safety-rated network architectures and firmware-based control systems, users have the opportunity to leverage numerous benefits previously reserved for non-safety applications.  These systems are typically third-party certified to meet the requirements defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Ministry of Labour regulations as

Painting With the Sims

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/01/2006

Simulation, the process of imitating the real dynamics of a robot with a set of mathematical formulas, is becoming increasingly more important in work cells. While simulation is used in just about all robotic applications, its use in designing painting cells is particularly useful. ‘‘Simulation

February 2006

Flexible Automated End-of-Line Solutions for Packaging and Palletizing: Systems Integration is Key to Success

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 02/16/2006

Most consumer goods manufacturers need the ability to create variety packs or mixed loads of product on demand to meet specific customer requirements, pack product into trays or cases, palletize the trays and cases, and add stretch wrap or band the load – while always knowing what is inside each

Reflections on Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 02/01/2006

As a new year begins I can look back on what robot and industrial safety activities took place in 2005.  Our October National Robot Safety Conference was very successful.  I want to thank all the participants, and especially the speakers who share their time and expertise with us.  On the

January 2006

Robotics Industry Poised for Continued Growth in 2006

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/05/2006

It is clear that 2005 will be a red letter date in the history of industrial robotics, even supplanting the unbelievable volume of 1999 as the Best Year Ever. With 2005 growing at a rate of 30 percent, what is in store for the robotics industry in 2006? The consensus

December 2005

Vacuum Pump Technology: Multi-Stage Air-Driven vs. Mechanical

by Michael Tuohey

POSTED: 12/15/2005

In a high pressure manufacturing environment, where every second counts, it’s ironic that the steady, unceasing flow of product would rely so heavily on a low pressure solution. Vacuum pressure, created by any pressure lower than atmospheric pressure, is the method of choice for keeping so many products moving and

Melded Together: Welding Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/02/2005

Arc and spot welding are some of the oldest and most established applications in robotics. Despite this, they continue to be an important part of the mix of automation for many manufacturers and have a future in robotics due to developing technology. ‘‘Welding is growing

November 2005

A Moment of Reflection: A Glimpse Ahead and Thanks

by Åke Lindqvist, President

POSTED: 11/11/2005

During the last two years in North America, we have witnessed tremendous growth and continued opportunities in the robotics industry. As an industry, last year we surpassed the $1 billion mark for orders and it appears that 2005 is well on its way

Customized Distribution Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/01/2005

Robotic-based distribution systems are among the fasted growing applications in flexible automation. This is due to manufacturers responding to the demands of their customers, who require that product comes into their facilities palletized in a structure that best suits them. The configuration of each manufacturer’s pallet is customized to meet

October 2005

ANSI/RIA Remains Widely Accepted Standard for Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 10/17/2005

With fall upon us, the calendar schedule of safety-related activities has increased, signaling that it is time to get back to the business of safety.  Surveying the progress of activities to date, 2005 can be marked as a very productive year. The American National Standard for robot safety, ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999, continues

Hometown Manufacturing: Robots Work for Companies of All Sizes

by Donald A. Vincent, Executive Vice President

POSTED: 10/17/2005

Remember the days when robot sales were driven primarily by large volume orders and by companies in the automotive sector? Today, small and medium sized companies receive more attention than ever from robot suppliers. Now, ‘‘Hometown Manufacturing, Inc.’‘ with its small workforce and short runs is a coveted customer of

September 2005

Robots: The Lower Cost, More Flexible Process Improvement Alternative to CNC Machine Tools

by Greg Webb, Manager Software R&D, and Mary Kay Morel, Staff Editor/Writer

POSTED: 09/19/2005

Robots are poised to take away a significant portion of the CNC machine tool market.  Emerging technology is making it possible for robot systems to perform many diverse manufacturing processes -- such as complex cutting and material removal, grinding, mold creation, surface finishing, and drilling and tapping applications -- that

Robotic Press Loading Made Easy – Using Vision to Identify Blank Orientation

by Peter Stephen, Program Manager for Stamping and Sheet Metal

POSTED: 09/01/2005

You know the expression: ‘‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’‘ How about a new one: ‘‘Vision systems have saved me thousands of dollars.’‘ Yes, thousands of dollars can be saved with the use of a tried and true press loading package that encompasses

August 2005

Manufacturing Competitiveness through Robotics and Automation

by Kevin Ostby, Vice President General Industries

POSTED: 08/12/2005

Challenges facing North American manufacturers have escalated as the manufacturing industry struggles to stay competitive in the global marketplace. Labor costs, tax rates, health care costs, retirement costs, tort costs and pollution abatement costs are just some of the problems.  Recently, the following initiatives were outlined by the U.S. Government with

July 2005

Lean Automotive Supplier Uses Robots, Flex Machines to Increase Productivity

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 07/29/2005

Aztec Manufacturing Corporation (Romulus, Michigan) is a tier-one full-service supplier of mid- and high-volume precision-machined castings and forgings to the automotive industry.  A minority-owned small business, Aztec currently employs 95 people in its 73,000 square foot facility.  The company had sales of approximately $30 million in 2004 and projects $34

Why a Bell-Bell Process May Be Right For You

by Martin Rola, Director, Products & Application Technical Engineering

POSTED: 07/18/2005

A significant trend over the past five years has been an increase in the use of rotary atomizers, or bells, for metallic painting applications.  This approach is commonly called a ‘‘bell-bell’‘ process to distinguish it from the previous standard process that utilized a spray

June 2005

ROBOTICS: Looming Ever Larger in Smaller Businesses

by John F. Neal

POSTED: 06/17/2005

Increasingly, automation is strengthening smaller businesses and providing a much-needed competitive edge. Time was, the notion of ‘‘robotics and automation’‘ fell on the deaf, often skeptical ears of smaller manufacturing firm owners throughout the country. ‘‘Too expensive for my little operation.’‘ ‘‘Robots are only

The Law is the Law: Using Robotics to Comply with FDA Regulations

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/06/2005

Many industries use robotics to help them comply with a myriad of legal requirements. This runs the gamut of ergonomic requirements to avoid on-the-job injuries and repetitive stress syndrome, to the necessity of having robots perform dangerous jobs involving hazardous or toxic materials. The pharmaceutical

May 2005

What Material Removal Process is Right for You?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/16/2005

When manufacturing many automotive and non-automotive parts there is usually a need for a material removal operation. Wise manufacturing engineers will choose robotics as a means of performing material removal. With several types of robotic material removal processes available, integrators have a choice of waterjet

Bulk Palletizing Robotics: Strengthening the Food and Beverage Industry’s Bottom-Line

by Larry Kelley, BSME

POSTED: 05/02/2005

With an improving economy and increased demand for ready-made food and drinks to meet today’s busy lifestyle, robot OEMs are busier than ever designing products to improve palletizing efficiency for food and beverage processors. While budgets remain about the same as last year, equipment

April 2005

Robotic Ergonomics and Part Traceability

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/18/2005

Until recently, ergonomics and part traceability had little in common except that they are two of the most significant issues that manufacturers face today. Ergonomic hazards are among the chief concerns companies and workers face, where repetitive motion and lifting actions can lead to

Optimized Vacuum Design for Material Handling Applications: How System Design Parameters Affect Productivity

by Andy Lovell, Application Engineer

POSTED: 04/04/2005

Designing or implementing a vacuum system for material handling applications is an important and often costly expenditure that can cause many decision makers to encounter mixed messages, making the right choice unclear.  In order to ensure a profitable investment, engineers should consider the following design parameters: reliability, product safety, efficiency,

March 2005

New Canadian Standard for Lockout Programs Debuts at Toronto Safety Conference

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 03/15/2005

Preparation for the next North American Robot Safety Conference, March 21-24, 2005 is complete. Continuing the pattern of the last couple conferences, we are excited to be part of the introduction of a new Canadian industrial safety standard. This time it is the new standard for lockout programs – CSA

Robotic Whole Body Stereotactic Radiosurgery: Clinical Advantages of the CyberKnife® Integrated System

by È Coste-Manière, D Olender, W Kilby, R A Schulz , Reprinted by permission from The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery

POSTED: 03/01/2005

È Coste-Manière Accuray Europe, Paris, France D Olender, W Kilby and R A Schulz Accuray Inc., Sunnyvale, California, USA Correspondence to: R Schulz RIA EDITOR’S NOTE:  Medical applications of commercial robotics have gained widespread acceptance.  This paper examines the use of robots in radiosurgery. The definition of an

February 2005

Robots: Flexible Automation for a Strong Economy

by Donald A. Vincent, Executive Vice President

POSTED: 02/11/2005

Just how should American manufacturing react to the cheap foreign labor available overseas? Many people have answered this question by proposing tariffs and organizing boycotts, but others are taking a much more productive and proactive approach. More companies in a growing number of industries are recognizing that wealthy societies such

At the ‘‘Fore-Front’‘ of Automation: Acushnet Uses Robot to Handle Golf Balls

by Mary Kay Morel

POSTED: 02/05/2005

Robots and Titleist golf balls might seem an unusual pairing.  However, Acushnet Company (Fairhaven, Massachusetts) -- the leading producer of Titleist® and Pinnacle® golf balls,  Titleist® and Cobra® golf clubs, FootJoy® shoes and gloves, and other golf-related equipment and accessories -- is at the ‘‘fore-front’‘ of golf-ball manufacturing technology,

January 2005

Control of Robo Motion

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/17/2005

Without motion control, robotic work cells would not be able to perform their assigned tasks when and where they are needed. As robots have gotten more flexible, it has been necessary for controllers to keep up with them. However, not only have controllers kept up

Robotic Industry Looks for Continued Strong Growth in 2005

by Winn Hardin

POSTED: 01/05/2005

Robots in the next few years will become more adaptable, more flexible and more accepted than ever. Last year, the industry recorded its fastest start since the record-setting year of 1999, and most industry insiders expect a continuation of this rebound. They also believe

November 2004

Robots Take Furniture Industry into Their Own Hands

by Winn Hardin

POSTED: 11/24/2004

The automotive industry generally led the economic rebound for the robotics industry in 2003 and 2004. Today, industry insiders like Craig Jennings, Past-President of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and President of Motoman Inc., West Carrollton,

Machine-Vision Inspection

by Brian Kreifels, Industrial Engineer, IBM

POSTED: 11/14/2004

Reprinted by permission from Robotics World Magazine IBM Corp. recently installed a new quality assurance system, using machine-vision hardware and software that not only detects and removes nonconforming parts, but also provided a return on investment just over a month after

Reflections on Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 11/01/2004

The National Robot Safety Conference has just concluded on a very successful note.  Attendance was strong (nearly 160, the most since 2001) as was the line-up of speakers.  It was a great four days devoted to safety.  I am now flying across the Pacific to Japan for our next series

From Televisions to Tanks: Electronics Production with Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/01/2004

Robotics and manufacturing electronics are a perfect fit for one another. In both military and consumer electronics, production would be next to impossible without robotics for many reasons, ranging from quality and quantity to ergonomics and economics. ‘‘Electronics is a wide industry. Adept Technology, Inc. sells robots to build disk drives,

October 2004

Software and Firmware Based Safety Controllers

by Tina Hull, Application Engineer

POSTED: 10/15/2004

(as presented at the Robots 2004 Conference, June 9 and 10, 2004) Many manufacturing companies are looking for ways to implement safety while maintaining if not even increasing production.  They desire a more robust system that meets the needs of control reliability, but with the

Machine Vision and Industrial Robots: A Powerful Team

POSTED: 10/05/2004

Reprinted by Permission from Robotics World Magazine While robotic assembly applications have increased in both number and complexity over the years, a large number of applications have been passed over due to technology. When smart camera machine vision teams with industrial robots,

The Eyes Have It: Robotic Vision and Guidance

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/04/2004

September 2004

Expanding Application Base Pushes New Gripper Designs

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/17/2004

Robotic gripper, actuator and end of arm tool (EOT) suppliers have created vacuum and mechanical grippers for thousands of manufacturing applications. The EOT industry has developed different metals to meet a variety of application scenarios and environments, anodizing techniques to guard exposed gripper surfaces from

Service Robots: No More Waiting, They're Here Today

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/01/2004

Long stigmatized by hype and overactive imaginations in the mainstream media and consumers, the service robot industry has seemed like the industry that was always just around the corner. That's all changing, especially in the wake of the terrorist events of September 11,

August 2004

Lean, Mean Robotic Machines: Robotics in Lean Manufacturing

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/13/2004

Lean manufacturing, a system of production, is ripe for robotics. This system emphasizes the efficient use of resources that shortens lead times and decreases costs by eliminating all non-value waste. Robotics are particularly suited for lean manufacturing since a successfully integrated manufacturing work cell has many of its concepts designed

Robot Safety and You: Examples of Real-Life Accidents We Can Learn From

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 08/02/2004

The Robotic Industries Association remains very involved in promoting robot safety, and for that matter, industrial safety in general.  Industrial safety in North America has seen continual improvement in recent years, but even one accident is one accident too many. I am frequently asked about robot accidents.  Robot accidents specifically are

July 2004

PLC or No PLC?: Robot Controller Takes on More

by Erik Nieves, Manager of Technical Advancement, and, Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 07/02/2004

As robot controllers become more advanced, they are adding functionality and capabilities that were once the bailiwick of programmable logic controllers (PLCs). PLCs have been around for a long time, and people in medium to large manufacturing plants are often familiar with their  functions, programming, ladder logic editing and troubleshooting.  Smaller

June 2004

Rise of the Machines

by Matthew Little, Editor, Products Finishing Magazine

POSTED: 06/18/2004

Robotic technology is nothing new to the finishing industry.  For decades, painting robots have been used in automotive, aerospace and general industrial facilities.  At the same time, the hefty price tags associated with introducing one or more robots to a facility kept many small and mid-size job shops in a

April 2004

Taking the Heat: Robotics in Foundries

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/30/2004

Foundry operations encompass the three dreaded D’s in industrial labor: Dull, Dirty and Dangerous. Work at such companies is less than desirable for people, but perfect for robotics, which are ideally suited to take on

Biotech Material Handling Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/04/2004

Biotechnology material handling applications are among some of the fastest growing areas of robotics. Drug discovery and vaccines research have moved material handling robotics from the factory floor to academic laboratories and to research and development departments of biotechnology firms. Biotech vs. Non-Biotech Biotech is not just another industrial material handling

March 2004

The Culture of Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 03/15/2004

This past year I attended a conference where one of the speakers was asking the question ‘‘Do you have a Safety Culture?’‘  It was an interesting question that got me contemplating the significance of simply a safe work place versus a true environment or culture of safety. I thought about it

Simulators Focus on Simplicity, Safety

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/02/2004

This year the members of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) will spend time looking back on the association’s first 30 years. Discussions will be nostalgic, as the industry remembers the UNIMATE, the first industrial robot installed in a New Jersey automobile plant;

January 2004

Cooking Up Success: Space and Labor Limitations at Frozen-Foods Manufacturer Overcome By Robotic Palletizing System

by Reprinted by permission from Robotics World

POSTED: 01/19/2004

Rich Products, a frozen food company, needed three, and eventually four, automated case palletizing lines for the three-shift operation in its Winchester, Va., plant. The area’s labor pool was small, with many manufacturers competing for it. However, there was no floor space available for automating the three packaging lines, and

Coming Off Banner Year, Robot Industry Looks Forward to 2004

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/15/2004

Just two short years from one of the worst economic downturns in the robot industry's history, companies are using words like it’s 1999 … when the industry was at its peak. But after a painful industry contraction in recent times, companies from coast

December 2003

Deployment of Robots Within Insert Molding Workcells Results in Dramatic Improvements

POSTED: 12/15/2003

Every year products are being made smaller and smaller and tolerances become tighter and tighter. And when you add the need to meet strict safety-code requirements, it becomes a formula for finding new ways to

Automated Cell Phone Housing Assembly Line Combines Robotics & Vision Guidance

POSTED: 12/01/2003

Reprinted by permission from Robotics World Magazine   Spectra Technologies Inc. of Euless, Texas, recently designed an automated cell phone housing assembly line for Triple S Plastics Inc. The assembly line consists of 12 stations that combine to automatically load, assemble, process and unload parts. Ten of the stations use

November 2003

Manufacturing Athletic Shoes in the USA

by remarks by Herb Spivak, Executive Vice President of Operations, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

POSTED: 11/12/2003

New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., provides insight into the use of robotics technology in the production of footwear. Following is an excerpt from their presentation at the 2004 Robotics Industry Forum: We (New Balance) stitch our uppers on computer controlled vision stitching machines where a camera controls the sewing head of

October 2003

Robots For Small Business: A Growing Trend

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/31/2003

Many people assume that the majority of robot customers are in larger, more traditional industries that deploy dozens of work cells in the course of production. While it is true that automotive, electronics, and consumer goods manufacturers are major users of robots, small businesses - enterprises with fewer than 100

Robot Safety Begins with the Design Process

by Stacy Kelly, Safety Systems Product Manager

POSTED: 10/17/2003

To realize the many benefits that robots offer a production facility, safety considerations are THE top priority in protecting the operator, maintenance personnel and other personnel that interact with the robot.  These safeguards should be designed into and around the robotic cell early in the design process to maximize the

Recent Developments in Robot Safety Standards

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 10/17/2003

This has been a particularly exciting year for developments in robot safety standards.  However, most of these developments have taken place outside the United States, so for many of us they have gone relatively unnoticed.  Since I have been an active participant in these developments, I would like to take

Safety First: A Review of Robotic Safeguarding Devices and Issues

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/03/2003

Industrial robots use is increasing, and so the need to understand robot safety issues affects an ever-growing cross-section of industries, applications and personnel. For more than twenty years, Robotic Industries Association has been developing robot safety standards and is now in the fifteenth year for its annual National Robot Safety

August 2003

Robotic Welding of Precision Aluminum Parts in Telecommunications and Medical Devices

POSTED: 08/18/2003

Reprinted with permission from Robotics World Magazine Faced with the need to adopt robotic arc-welding technology to increase capacity in the face of a local shortage of qualified welders, Clarence Rierson, founder of Quality Metal

Robot Vision – Technical Issues

by Nello Zuech, President, Vision Systems International, Consultancy

POSTED: 08/03/2003

Much of the early work in the field of machine vision was driven by robot guidance applications. Back in the mid- to late-70s, the National Science Foundation sponsored research at the Stanford Research Institute under Charles Rosen that lead to the pioneering work in their global feature analysis algorithms. It

July 2003

Grippers Grab the Future with Greater Functionality

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/14/2003

With customers demanding standardized solutions that set up easier, last longer and work faster, it’s no wonder that the robotics industry and its component ‘‘gripper and clamp manufacturers’‘ are in a sea of change. Growing more common every year, the ease of use

It’s Not Your Father’s Vacuum Pump Anymore

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/01/2003

Today’s smart pumps and decentralized vacuum systems are making vacuum systems more efficient and more dependable. It wasn’t always that way, however. Vacuum material handling systems had a sub par reputation twenty years ago. Like today’s systems, manufactures used vacuum generators or pumps

June 2003

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

by Michael Francoeur, President of Joining Technologies

POSTED: 06/16/2003

The development of the GTAW process was accelerated early in 1940. Initially the process was called ‘‘Heliarc’‘, because Helium was used for the shielding gas. Later when argon was available the process was renamed tungsten inert gas or ‘‘TIG’‘. Now, it is generally and preferably called

Robotic Baggage Handling

by Bernd Schnoor and Norbert Cottone, as published in the 2003 International Robots & Vision Show and Conference Proceedings CD-ROM

POSTED: 06/13/2003

For the past several decades now, baggage handling systems at major airports have successfully deployed automated conveyor systems and intelligent sorter technologies. Nevertheless, the most difficult operation in the entire baggage handling process is still performed manually, and entails the physical laoding of baggage into ULDs and onto transport carts.

May 2003

Marriage of Robotics and Machine Vision Illustrates Next-Generation Automation at IRVS and Conference

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/16/2003

From concept to design, to production and shipping, automation decisions are made, affecting quality in the process. Robots, machine vision and metrology automation ... any one of these choices can help elevate yield, savings and quality. This year’s International Robots & Vision Show (IRVS)

Flexible Metrology Systems Extend Their Reach to the Shop Floor

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/05/2003

Many manufacturers supporting the automotive, aerospace and defense industries, among many others, have a busy room somewhere in the back where quality control engineers, designers, machinists and shop foreman come to see if their products match the original specifications. Custom and tool and die

April 2003

Flexible Fixturing on the Rise

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/17/2003

The expected life cycle for an industrial robot can easily exceed ten years with proper maintenance. Part of that extended life cycle is due to the robust design of the robot and the ability to reprogram and retool robots for different tasks. Of course, simplifying tooling and speeding the reuse process is

Stack ‘em and Stamp ‘em: Press Transfer and Destacking Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/03/2003

Press transfer and destacking robots, a type of material handling application, fulfill important functions in many manufacturing facilities including such diverse industries as electronics, automotive, and medical devices. Although the process that these workcells undertake is relatively simple, they present some challenges. 'In operation, press

March 2003

Have a Seat: Getting Comfortable with Furniture Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/20/2003

The use of robotics technology in the furniture industry is relatively small when compared to other industries, yet the opportunities are numerous and compelling. The chores for robots in the furniture sector range from material handling to welding to finishing. While robotic automation is

February 2003

Robot Market: Heal Thyself -- With the Help of Medical Devices

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/18/2003

The areas of medical device manufacturing, biomedicine and drug discovery have shown little reaction to today’s economic hardships, prompting many robot vendors and integrators to aggressively pursue manufacturing, material handling and R&D applications in these booming industries. ‘‘The medical industry hasn’t been highly automated

Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul Helps Robot Suppliers and Customers

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/04/2003

What do you do with a good machine when it gets a few years old, or ten or even twenty? How many pieces of capital equipment even stay in production that long before the process or product changes so much as to render

January 2003

Robotic Vehicles Come of Age

POSTED: 01/21/2003

Once futuristic, the success of Sandia’s small robotic vehicles on surveillance missions in Afghanistan has led to an accelerated program for robotic vehicles for military and other applications. Due to overwhelming demand for our small RATLER™ (Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover, originally a prototype for lunar exploration), we transferred production

2003 Robotics Industry Outlook: Robot Companies Have Hopes for Recovery

by Bennett Brumson and Brian Huse

POSTED: 01/03/2003

Many executives in the robot manufacturing business are hopeful that the slow pace of sales will be a thing of the past in 2003. While industry insiders believe that the coming year will bring an increase in sales, most are expecting modest improvements now with a return to better days

December 2002

Robotic Finishing Applications

by Paul F. Miekstyn, CMfgE, Sr. Product Manager, Robotic Systems

POSTED: 12/01/2002

This paper surveys Robotic Finishing applications utilizing abrasive and synthetic belts, flap and buff wheels.  The primary emphasis is placed on the polishing of parts to achieve a surface finish for preparation to paint or plate. Introduction Provided is an overview of what components comprise a robotic finishing system, how the

November 2002

Integrated Intelligent Warehouse Systems Boost Efficiency for Auto Parts Distributor

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/18/2002

Discount Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: DAP), one of the nation’s leading automotive aftermarket retailers, operates 660 stores in six Southeastern states.  At the end of 1998, DAP was rapidly outgrowing their existing 621,500 sq.ft. Lakeland, Florida distribution center (DC).  The company needed a new DC to relieve pressure on the

Material Handling On the Money

POSTED: 11/18/2002

Reprinted with permission from Robotics World Magazine Case Study: A Staubli robot picks up a box of Euro coins for packaging at the Pessac Mint Facility in France The European Single Currency, the Euro, made its debut in January. April 2001 marked the service introduction

Companies Tweak Vision Software to Robotic Purposes

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/01/2002

Whether it is for part inspection, robot guidance or as a robot cell programming aid, robots are increasingly using automated vision systems to expand their application base thanks to efforts to (1) simplify the robot/vision human-machine interfaces (HMI) and (2) improve communication. ‘‘Machine vision is much easier to use today, more

September 2002

Reflecting on Robot Safety

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 09/25/2002

As the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) 'point man' for robot safety, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with a number of robot users in plants throughout North America. In many cases, this has been as the instructor conducting the Robot

Pick and Place Evolves Beyond Traditional Roles

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/13/2002

Once the domain of pneumatics, pick and place robotic systems are finding themselves in a more favorable competitive light as production lines move to greater varieties of products moving at faster speeds. Today, low price points and greater education among manufacturers are prompting more customers to realize that the flexibility

August 2002

Logic Control for Robot Work Cells

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/27/2002

Work cell control is an area of robotics that is changing rapidly due to the fast pace of change in technology. This is especially true of the evolution of controllers and their ability to monitor and manage elements within the work cell. THERE ARE THREE MAJOR TYPES of control units available

Arc Welding Cells-in-a-box Answer Today's Customer Needs

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/16/2002

Today's difficult economic environment and emerging standard interfaces are changing the shape of robotic arc welding systems. End users once concerned with the cost of the entire project - including purchase, integration and operational costs - are now taking more narrow views that tend to ignore many of the offsetting

Assembly Robots 101

by Joe Campbell, Chairman, RIA Membership Committee (2006-2008)

POSTED: 08/05/2002

Assembly Robots 101 by Joe Campbell   While robots are among the highest technology products on the manufacturing floor, they are essentially just another tool. Twenty years ago, cam-actuated devices were commonly accepted, then pneumatic

Parallel Kinematic Robots

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/05/2002

Most robots used for industrial manufacturing have articulated arms equipped with serial technology, where each axis is in line relative to the preceding one. In 1987 a new type of robot, the parallel kinematic robot (PKR), was designed and built by Karl-Erik Neumann.

July 2002

Dispensing Profits with Dispensing Robots

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/19/2002

Dispensing is one of the more demanding and varied robotic applications due to the range of tasks demanded of it and its need for precision. From dispensing fluids to wire to tape, this application can be especially rewarding compared to traditional systems. A big key to success is knowing what

Robots Save on Consumables, Raw Material Costs

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/03/2002

While labor cost reduction and quality improvements have always been drivers for robotic automation, the act of automating has enabled many manufacturers to save on the consumables used in the process, including power, components and raw materials. Although most industries that use robotic automation can point to some form of consumable

June 2002

Manufacturing Best Practices Include the Best Robotic Peripherals

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/13/2002

When setting up a robotic workcell, there is a tendency for robot makers and end users to focus on the robot itself. This is understandable as the robot arm is at the heart of the system. However, there are other ingredients-peripherals-that are vital to its effective and efficient function. These include

Robotic Resistance Welding: Improving Productivity

by Chris Anderson, Market Segment Manager, Welding, and Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 06/03/2002

Sometimes a New Solution is Right in Front of You The same servomotors used to control robot motion are now being applied to spot welding guns with excellent results.  Precision servo-control improves quality, reduces cycle times, and extends tip life.  This improved gun control has been further enhanced by integrating

Spot Welding Keeps Moving Forward

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/01/2002

Spot welding is one of the most mature applications in robotics. Particularly in the automotive industry, the speed, precision, efficiency and resulting cost reductions afforded by automated spot welding are well documented and accepted. But industry requires that even the most mature solutions continue to evolve. End users, including experts from

May 2002

Arc Welding Thin Walls

POSTED: 05/17/2002

Reprinted with permission from Robotics World Magazine Manufacturing the metal frame that reinforces and supports the visible portion of an instrument panel of an automobile is no small feat. Each substructure contains as many as 27 main components that have to be welded

Robotic Grinding For Metal Cabinets

by Mary Kay Morel, Staff Writer/Editor

POSTED: 05/03/2002

Reprinted with permission from Robotics World Magazine Manually grinding welds is tough, dirty and noisy work, and the metal dust produced by grinding is harmful to workers' eyes and lungs. When Special Products & Manufacturing Inc. (SPM) in Rockwall, Texas, needed

Take It Off: Robotic Material Removal Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/02/2002

In many robotic manufacturing processes, there is a need for some form of material removal operation, whether that is grinding, sanding, deburring or polishing. 'Robotic technology has relatively low risk,' says Lester Godwin, vice president of the Dallas, TX based Pushcorp, a maker of force control devices for robotic material removal

April 2002

Robotic Integrators Take Their Specialties Seriously

by Winn Hardin, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/15/2002

Flexibility, ease of use, and market acceptance are increasing user acceptance and application of robotics in key industries, including pharmaceutical, electronics and food processing. Object based menus and simple icon driven user interfaces along with a better understanding of return on investment are also boosting sales into markets that were

Pharmaceutical Robotic Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 04/01/2002

In the world of pharmaceuticals, there is a vital role for robotics to play in the complicated processes of research and development, production, and packaging. Justification for robots ranges from improved worker safety to improved quality. Speeding up the drug discovery process is another benefit of robotics. A number of

March 2002

Robotic Material Handling: Bottles

POSTED: 03/15/2002

Reprinted with permission from Robotics World Magazine, December 2001 Pyraser Bier GmbH & Co KG, founded in 1870 in Pyras, Germany, brews eight types of beer to meet demand in Bavaria. The company, which employs 45 persons, also sells carbonated beverages, juices

February 2002

New Thinking in Machinery Safeguarding Strategy

by Jeff Fryman, Director, Standards Development

POSTED: 02/18/2002

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the 2nd International Conference on Safety of Industrial Automated Systems.  This was an excellent chance to learn of new developments and trends in the international market place.  Held in Bonn, Germany, this was the second in a series.  The next conference is

Moving the mail: Postal Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/15/2002

The United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) has emerged as one of the larger end users of robotics in the United States. The needs and challenges of implementing a robotic system to help move more than 200 billion pieces of mail a year present unique challenges over those faced in general

Is it Time for Plastics Manufacturers to Invest in 6-axis Robots?

by Bob Turner, Quadcom Ltd.

POSTED: 02/02/2002

The versatility of multi-axis robots and the many processes in the plastics sector that are within their capabilities for a wide range of common tasks in the plastics sector, from high speed demolding right through to inspection and assembly. The economic benefits of automation by using industrial

January 2002

Robotic Applications for Weapons Demilitarization

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 01/17/2002

With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, there was a drive by NATO and Warsaw Pact countries to reduce the large stockpiles of aging nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons. Because of the inherent hazards involved, the

December 2001

How Robots Will Affect Future Generations

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & Public Relations

POSTED: 12/13/2001

What does the future hold for robot applications? How will robots affect society in five years; 10 years; 20? These are typical questions received by Robotic Industries Association. Following is a look forward based on a correspondence I recently sent to a student to address in a small way a

Case for a V-shaped Recovery

POSTED: 12/12/2001

Part of an economic outlook delivered during the 2001 Robotics Industry Forum by Don Reynolds, Consulting Economist and Futurist  Once a year, industry leaders come to the RIA Robotics Industry Forum to learn about the state of the industry. In November 2001, more than 120 industry leaders convened for

November 2001

Get a Grip: Choosing a Gripper for your Robotic Application

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/29/2001

There are numerous types of grippers on the market, both in style and power source. Determining which is the best type to use is an important issue that robotics users must face. 'There are advantages and

Emerging Trends in Robotic Integration

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/16/2001

Integration is the vital link between an industrial robot and its ability to perform manufacturing tasks. What trends are driving the robotic integration market? 'Application-specific software, pre-developed for an integrator, helps to put a robot to work easier,' says Ron Potter, director of robotic technologies at Factory Automation Systems of Atlanta,

September 2001

Scara vs. Cartesian Robots: Selecting the Right Type for Your Applications

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/27/2001

With several types of robotic arms on the market, it is important to know the differences among them in order to select the type that best meets your needs. Categories of robots include articulated arm, polar, cylindrical, gantry, cartesian and scara (selective compliance assembly robot arm). Of these, scara and

August 2001

Here Come the Super Heavyweights!

by David R. Brousell, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 08/23/2001

Reprinted from Managing Automation July/2001 © 2001 Thomas Publishing Company They may not be ripping off their T-shirts as they enter the ring, but a new class of superheavyweight robots is making its way into the competitive arena with earth-shaking force. One of these muscular creatures was spotted last month

Automation's Untapped Gold Mine

by Carl Traynor, Director of Marketing

POSTED: 08/23/2001

Use of Simulation Software to Improve 'Design to Manufacture' Robotic simulation software has become a valuable tool used to perform a variety of time- and cost-saving tasks - from robot reach studies, up to and including off-line programming of robot cells - but simulation offers additional resources that we've

Robots Take Over Automotive Plant Floors

by George Weimer, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 08/03/2001

This article is courtesy of Material Handling Management Magazine The progress of robots in the past 30 years has been amazing. In fact, the progress in the past year is something to brag about. Proof? Besides taking a plant tour to any automotive assembly plant in the world —

July 2001

From Stodgy to Speedy: Advances in Gantry Robots

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/30/2001

Through the mid 1990's, gantry robots were considered slow, inefficient and inflexible--the black sheep of the robotic family. But with the advent of more powerful linear motors and faster computers, this view is changing. 'Gantries are now more in line with what articulating robots can produce,' says Bill Torrens, director of

Multi-Axis Robots Provide Flexible Automation Solutions For Mobile Phone Manufacturers

by Bob Turner, Quadcom Ltd., and Mr. Simon Whitton

POSTED: 07/26/2001

It is estimated that there are now more than 40 million users of mobile phones in the UK.

June 2001

Robotic Gluing Spreads Cost Savings

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 06/28/2001

From lavatory sinks to insulated windows to automobile parts, it is difficult to find a product without glued parts, many of them the result of robotic gluing applications. 'Just about any industry that you can think of, from health and beauty

May 2001

PC Evolution Into Robotics to Be Showcased at Robots & Vision Show

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/29/2001

Several leading exhibitors at the upcoming International Robots & Vision Show in Chicago, June 5-7, will demonstrate how PC-based controller technology is impacting the robotics industry. From Motoman Inc. (West Carrollton, OH) comes

April 2001

More Robots Take Up Painting, Coating and Dispensing, Too

by Robert J. Kelsey and Hallie Forcinio, Contributing Editor, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 04/27/2001

When you think about the millions of products that require a painted surface or perhaps a coating to protect a paint job or natural finish, it's not surprising there are thousands of robots performing these tasks as well as dispensing sealant to close gaps or join components. Automating these jobs is

March 2001

Consumer Products Produced by Robotics

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 03/28/2001

It is common knowledge that industrial robots help manufacture big ticket items like automobiles, aerospace components, tractors and bulldozers. But what not be as well known is that robots also assist in producing everyday products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and cell phones. 'Like a human, we can teach a robot to

February 2001

Will Ergonomics Rule Lead To More Robotics Use?

by Bennett Brumson, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 02/27/2001

New rules issued by the U.S. Department of Labor in January are intended to protect some 100 million workers from on-the-job ergonomic hazards. One likely consequence of the regulation will be renewed interest by manufacturers and others in the use of automation as a solution to their compliance challenges. How significant

January 2001

Robot Makers Feel Cautiously Optimistic About 2001

by Hallie Forcinio, Contributing Editor, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 01/30/2001

Despite a slowdown in the economy, in general, and the automotive industry, in particular, robot sales for 2001 should be equal to or even better than 2000, according to most robotic industry executives. While some observers think the automotive industry, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the robots deployed,

Automation Advances Expand Robot Applications

by An Interview With Craig Jennings

POSTED: 01/29/2001

Q:  What Is The State Of The North American Robotics Industry? Jennings:  When I started in robotics 20 years ago, I had heard how the robot industry would do $1 billion by 1990.  Even though the analysts got it wrong, the

December 2000

Robot/Vision Companies Poised on Brink of e-Business Golden Era

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 12/18/2000

E-Business and e-Commerce, although still in their infancy, are proving to yield multiple, significant benefits both for robot and vision companies and their customers. Principal among these benefits are a volume increase in sales, cost savings, reduction in time-to-market, slashing automation lead times 30%, and a vaulting increase in efficiency,

November 2000

Clean Room Robots Sweep Up Big Savings In Semiconductor Applications

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 11/16/2000

Among the most compelling benefits of the use of Class 1 and Class 100 Clean Room Robots in semiconductor manufacturing are the reduction in scrap from broken wafers and chips, which translate into major cost savings in wafer handling. 'When you consider that each wafer is worth over $100,000, the avoidance

October 2000

Robots For Material Removal Maintain Their Cutting Edge

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 10/16/2000

Robots used for laser or weld cutting of materials ranging from plastics, titanium, steel, aluminum, silver and gold, and even wood are seeing some of the most sophisticated advancements ever. In the forefront of these advances are Off-Line Programming (OLP) and Cloning of robotic workcells used in laser cutting of

September 2000

Executive Interview: Rick Schneider, President & CEO, FANUC Robotics North America, Inc.

POSTED: 09/18/2000

How do you think the robotics industry will continue to grow in the coming years?  In the year 2000 and beyond, the robotics industry will continue to penetrate new industries by finding ways to help our customers lower the cost of manufacturing products

Robotic Safeguarding Devices Embody Higher Functionality At Lower Cost

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 09/18/2000

Safeguarding devices for robots essentially fall into five major categories-safety switches, optical devices such as light curtains or safety beams, safety mats, laser scanners, and lastly, bus-compatible systems, according to Roberta Nelson Shea, safety specialist with Honeywell International. While technology continues to make incremental advances,

August 2000

Intelligent Assist Devices Coming of Age

by Hallie Forcinio, Contributing Editor, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 08/17/2000

What's an IAD? It stands for intelligent assist device, but a definition is somewhat of a challenge. Part of the difficulty is IADs, which typically aid workers lifting and positioning heavy, awkward objects, come in more varieties than squash. What everyone does agree on is the units, which enhance worker productivity

July 2000

Advances in Robotic Simulation Deliver More Bang for the Buck

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/17/2000

Tangible advances in the art and science of robotic simulation add up to the delivery of multiple benefits to those manufacturers who use robots in their plants. Most of the robot manufacturers are now providing Realistic Robot Simulation (RRS) modules or "black box", which

Robotic Vision Advances Center Around Software Technology Leaps

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 07/17/2000

Advances in robotic vision software are opening up new vistas in applications in both automotive and non-automotive industries. These advances center around geometric and pattern recognition analysis that eliminate some of the previous drawbacks in shape recognition. "The methods that were available before were blob analysis, which required objects to be

June 2000

Selecting the Right System Integrator for Your Project

by Hallie Forcinio, Contributing Editor, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 06/09/2000

A look at the key issues involved in selecting the right integrator for your specific needs If your company doesn't have the personnel with the skills or time to devote to a robotic installation, it's time to consider hiring a systems integrator. An integrator adds value because a robot is

Used Robots: Do They Make Sense for Your Company?

by Hallie Forcinio, Contributing Editor, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 06/09/2000

A look at the pros and cons of used robots Although prices of new robots have dropped in recent years, a used unit still represents a significant cost savings, in some cases, more than 50 percent. Used robots are 'attractive especially for smaller companies, which don't want a large capital

May 2000

Justifying Your Investment in Robotics

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/10/2000

There are several benchmarks that can be calculated in making a justification for installing robots in your applications; here are just a few of the most compelling: Labor savings Material savings and scrap reduction A quantum

Robots Facilitate High-speed Welding

by James F. Manji, Contributing Editor

POSTED: 05/10/2000

People agree that a weld speed of 100 in./min is considered high speed. But the definition is subtle and can vary from one application to another. In some cases, a speed of 80 in./min is considered fast, while in other cases a speed of 50 in. or 60 in./min is

March 2000

Robotic Palletizing: How the Technology Stacks Up

by Hallie Forcinio, Contributing Editor, Managing Automation Magazine

POSTED: 03/27/2000

It wasn't that long ago that it was unheard of to see a robot at a packaging show. In recent years, however, show visitors find robots on display in virtually every aisle, usually performing palletizing operations. Several reasons have driven the growth of the palletizing robot market.  Basically, it comes down

Designing Your Products for Robotic Automation

by Hallie Forcinio

POSTED: 03/27/2000

Success depends on attention to details Designing products for robotic automation requires switching from a linear to a concurrent thought process and attention to details. 'If you don't have a product that's designed for automated assembly, you're not going to realize the full potential of it,' warns John Rueping,


Safety Light Curtains and Robotic Work Cells

by Russ Wood, Application Engineering Manager


If they are to provide adequate personnel and machine safeguarding, robotic work cells require traditional safety considerations, as well as additional safety light curtain adaptations. Robotics deliver flexible and tireless operation in many roles disagreeable or dangerous to humans.  But along with these benefits comes the responsibility of developing a safe

Yushin Servo Robot Improves Worker Safety


Problem: Productivity and profitability are the benefits most often associated with molding robots, while one of the most important—safety—is sometimes overlooked.  One large, automotive custom molder, however, installed a Yushin servo robot with the specific objective of protecting workers from a hazardous situation.  And while the installation is

How Robots are Used in the Composites Industry

by Rob Schwamberger, Sales Manager, Automotive Component Paint and General Industries


Increasing costs and environmental regulations have forced composites manufacturers to consider robotic automation for the application of fiberglass chop and gel.  As noted in the accompanying case study, robotic automation can be used to apply spray chop and gel to anything from chicken coop fan housings to boats and bathtubs. 

Blind Operator Learns how to Program and Operate a Robotic Arc Welding System


In January 1999, Justin Pierce, of Mississippi Industries for the Blind (MIB), attended a basic robotic programming course at Motoman, Inc.'s headquarters in West Carrollton, Ohio.  Justin is the first blind person to take the training offered by Motoman.  Here, he participated in actual hands-on learning and worked with a

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