ABB (www.abb.com) is introducing robotics developments that include: A "bending backwards" robot arm for a new articulated robot to make work cells more compact and less costly, and allow faster tool changes; BendWizard programming to reprogram press brake robots, which can be applied to both new equipment and retrofitted to existing machines, making runs of less than 50 pieces economically viable; and its Compact Assembling System for laminated windshields that creates the glass sandwich in a controlled environment so the panes cannot be marked or scratched, as in manual assembly.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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