GAMS preview: Robotics’ overlooked advantages
In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference on Sept. 14 in Chicago, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles.
The 2016 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), presented by CFE Media, will bring together experts from all areas of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to look at not just the current state of IIoT but also at the potential benefits of deployment for the manufacturing industry.
The third GAMS conference takes place Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at noon. It is held in conjunction with the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event is co-presented by Hannover Fairs USA.
In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles leading up to this year's conference:
CFE Media: What's one area about introducing robotics into manufacturing that you think often gets overlooked?
Lindley: Quality assurance. I think it is very practical to have a small, collaborative robot working on a line to pick up and inspect parts. New 2-D/3-D vision technologies and the low price point of small robotics make this an ideal area to target. Plus, the ROI can be quite short when based on improved production throughput and reductions in instances of imperfect products being shipped.
Vanden Boom: When someone considers using a robot to perform a task currently performed by a person, very often they overlook some of the subtleties that the person may be adding to the process. For example, machine tending is a common application for both people and robots (loading parts to and from a machine). The action may be simple and easily done with a robot; however, it's important to understand if the person is also inspecting the part—visually or by feel—or adjusting the angle of part presentation each time, etc.
See related stories on GAMS and IMTS linked below.
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey