Pirelli Tire North America (www.pirelli.com) has received the 2003 Robots & Vision User Recognition Award for its robotic tire assembly process. Known as MIRS, the system reduces the lead time from raw materials to finished product to 72 minutes, compared to six days in the traditional process. A six-axis Comau robot, incorporated with an auxiliary axis, provides drum rotation during the rubber application to the tire drum. As a result, the robots—rather than the rubber—move. Pirelli is the fourth company to win the award.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.