HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Slideshow: Packaging Robots Become Superhuman

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Injury Prevention
Rob Spiegel   10/29/2013 3:46:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Good points, Greg. As for safety, the move to robots tends to improve safety. for one, a virtual safety network can be set around the robot. Also, because of the servo technology, the robots stop instantly -- no gearing down. At the show, folks at the booths showed the safety by sticking their hands in the path of the speedy robot. With the safety breech, the robot would freeze instantly.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: All the packaging robots
Rob Spiegel   10/29/2013 3:57:30 PM
NO RATINGS
That was exactly my impression, Chuck. The new features presented at the show were all tied to robots, whether it was motion control, drives, or the number of axes. It really was a robotics show.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: All the packaging robots
Rob Spiegel   10/29/2013 8:15:37 PM
NO RATINGS
My Design, safety was one of the selling points at Pack Expo. The servo drives and safety programs tied to individual robots seem to be an advancement in safety. The virtual light curtains and instant halt seem to be taking safety to a new level.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Packing and Logistics
Rob Spiegel   10/29/2013 8:21:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Mydesign. It does look like companies are putting more emphasis on packing. And while the robots reduce the need for manual labor, they do employ engineers. They also reduce the differential between labor costs in Asia and the rest of the world. Thus, logistics costs may trump labor as the expense to watch -- that helps fuel the trend toward buiulding plants close to markets.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: All the packaging robots
Rob Spiegel   10/29/2013 8:24:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Well said, far911. Robotics engineering does seem to have a bright future. And not just in packaging. Look at the robotics growth in manufacturing, medical, defense, and automotive.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Packing and Logistics
Mydesign   10/31/2013 3:04:06 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
"Thus, logistics costs may trump labor as the expense to watch -- that helps fuel the trend toward buiulding plants close to markets."

Rob, hope this Roberts can be used to reduce such expenses.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Packing and Logistics
Rob Spiegel   10/31/2013 5:47:08 AM
NO RATINGS
MyDesign, I think robots really help in reducing the power of labor to determine everything in where stuff is built. If logistics costs play a bigger role than labor, it's natural that manufacturing moves closer to markets. A side benefit would be energy savings and environmental gains.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Packing and Logistics
Mydesign   11/5/2013 8:29:39 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
"If logistics costs play a bigger role than labor, it's natural that manufacturing moves closer to markets. A side benefit would be energy savings and environmental gains."

Rob, that's true.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Packing and Logistics
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2013 6:56:39 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, MyDesign. It looks like this trend is gaining ground over recent years. This is the reason Texas Instruments gave for opening new plants in Maine and Texas.

Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
My opinions
Jim_E   11/11/2013 10:09:04 AM
NO RATINGS
As a robot programmer with my previous company, I got to learn a bit about robotics. (Well, I still fool with them here, but only in maintenance aspects usually.)

 

The ABB FlexPicker is really amazing. Watching the youtube video of it picking up widgets off of a conveyor and putting them onto another conveyor in an endless cycle at amazingly high speed is really mesmerizing to watch.

 

The end tooling / gripper is usually one of the limiting factors in robotics use.  Some items just don't pick up well with robots.  One of the most incredible grippers to see is a "Jamming Phase Transition" gripper.  It's basically a balloon filled with coffee grounds, and the balloon can have a vacuum applied.  The gripper is placed against an item and a vacuum applied, which makes the device rigid, which conforms to what it was pressed against.  You really have to see this to believe it, and here's a video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKOI_lVDPpw

 

I haven't seen any industrial applications of this technology yet, but I hope it will eventually happen.

 

As for the human-safe robots, the Baxter seems more like a toy without the ability to reach pre-programmed points with accuracy.  The Universal Robotics devices seem more like industrial robots.  I played with a UR-5 at a trade-show and was impressed with it.  I tested it running into my arm and it was a bizarre to me considering that I'm used to working with giant robots which would crush me.  The reach and payload capacity of their two models aren't good enough for any of my applications yet, but I'd love to get one in my plant somehow.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
Imagine if you could train it from San Francisco to New York faster than flying?
Advanced visualization can depict an entire plant in motion, while also detailing an individual workstation. Individual products can be rendered different for each discipline involved — marketing, engineering, or suppliers.
The custom vehicle designs in Mad Max: Fury Road are probably just as amazing as the film's off-the-wall action sequences.
A test conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in April 2014 showed that the current practices for transporting lithium batteries on airplanes are not as safe as they could be.
Design News Webinar Series
5/21/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/11/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
May 18 - 22, Embedded System Design Techniques™ - Mastering the ARM Cortex-M Processor
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course June 2nd-4th:
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service