Discover how automation can improve your productivity
FANUC to focus on delivering productivity through automation at inaugural Open House
In order to answer some of the burgeoning questions on automation in UK manufacturing, FANUC is hosting its first ever Manufacturing, Automation, and Digital Transformation Open House.
Taking place at its state-of-the-art UK headquarters from 29thto 31stOctober 2019, the event is open to UK industry to understand how automation can improve productivity across manufacturing. Including a number of demonstrations, as well as hosting industry debate, manufacturers can sign up to attend the event via the FANUC website.
Recent figures suggest that UK automation is currently falling behind other leading manufacturing nations, which is having an impact on its ability to keep pace in terms of productivity. To illustrate the point, there are just 71 industrial robots per 10,000 workers in the UK, positioning it behind 14 other European countries. In contrast, Germany has 309 units, contributing to a production rate which is 30 percent higher per hour than that of the UK.
FANUC UK managing director,Tom Bouchier comments: “Many in UK manufacturing remain suspicious of automation, with a common misconception being that it equates to a high up-front cost. However, automation solutions are accessible to everyone, from family run subcontracting businesses, through to multi-national organisations.
“FANUC’s inaugural Open House will showcase a range of technologies, seeking to address misunderstanding within UK industry and highlight how turning to automation can drive significant and tangible productivity.”
One area of automation which will be demonstrated is collaborative robotics (cobots). With built-in sensors and vision systems, cobots are capable of working alongside human operators in a variety of different operations. Cobots are already in use in a range of processes in the UK, across a range of industries. Three distinct models will be exhibited at the Open House including the CR-35iA, which is the only cobot in the world with a 35 kg payload.
FANUC’s production equipment series: the ROBODRILL, ROBOSHOT and ROBOCUT, will also be displayed, offering visitors the chance to see these state-of-the-art machines in action. There will be live demonstrations throughout the event, illuminating the power of automation in the manufacturing process.
The ROBODRILL, a compact yet powerful 5-axis drilling machine, will be represented by the α-D21MiA with Mechatronic iTend machine-tending solution, alongside the α-D21LiB5 complete with DDR Tl-iB additional axis control.
To highlight how automating injection moulding can drive further productivity gains, FANUC will be displaying its α-S50iA injection moulding ROBOSHOT as part of a hi-tech automation pick-and-place-to-conveyor application.
The ROBOCUT wire-cutting machine exhibits will feature an aerospace application for precision machining on the C-400. The C -600 and C -800 will also be showcased.
FANUC’s software offering will also be exhibited, including its ROBOGUIDE software, Zero Downtime (ZDT) technology and the newly launched FIELD (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive) system. There will be a team of experts on hand to talk visitors through how these various pieces of technology can improve factory productivity, highlighting how the manufacturing process can be optimised.
Tom Bouchier concludes: “We’re thrilled to be able to highlight the wide range of possibilities in automation. It’s crucial that UK manufacturing maintains its position as a world leader and the adoption of automated solutions is key to this.”
SCHUNK is investing 85 million euros in its production sites
With a broad-based investment program, SCHUNK is preparing for the next step of its global growth with around €85 million euros to be invested at locations in Brackenheim-Hausen, Mengen, St. Georgen and Morrisville in the USA by mid-2020. This will create around 42,000 square metres of additional production and administration space. It all starts with the US plant in the state of North Carolina, where the new buildings were officially handed over a few days ago.
In addition to the expansion of the production area, SCHUNK Intec USA created a generous new administrative building that, through its open architecture, encourages and inspires creativity and lateral thinking. In the newly created Customer Center, users can experience SCHUNK’s components live and receive additional know-how in technology forums and workshops. Under the motto “One Team – One Family – One Future”, the approximately 4,000 square meter new building expansion was inaugurated in early May with an official ceremony followed by a Family Day.
Alongside Managing Partner Heinz-Dieter Schunk and Chief Executive Officer Henrik A. Schunk, the President of SCHUNK Intec USA, Milton Guerry was enthusiastic about the opportunities that the investment offers for the future. Anthony Copeland, Minister of Economic Affairs of North Carolina, praised SCHUNK as a great example of a company that creates jobs and highlights the assets of North Carolina as a business location. The largest subsidiary of SCHUNK was founded in 1992 to ensure proximity to American customers and to the subsidiaries of German corporations. This strategy is a complete success; on-site production ensures short delivery times and high flexibility, especially when it comes to specific components that are produced specifically for the American market. Today, the USA site plays a leading role within the group of companies for the entire North and South American market. SCHUNK has invested a total of almost 10 million euros in the expansion of the site.
A boom in automation and digitalisation
In addition, 40 million euros are being put into the Competence Center for Gripping Systems in Brackenheim-Hausen, just five kilometres from the headquarters in Lauffen. The expansion covers an area of 22,000 square metres and represents a doubling of the existing production area. SCHUNK is investing another 30 million euros in the Competence Center for Lathe Chuck Technology and Stationary Workholding in Mengen, in the district of Sigmaringen. Here, 12,000 square metres are to be added for production, research, and development. 5 million Euros were invested at the St. Georgen site in the Black Forest, where the production area was doubled with an increase of 4,200 sq m. CEO Henrik A. Schunk, sees the total volume of 85 million euros as a consistent investment in the future of the company: “In the coming years, we will experience a boom in automation and digitisation worldwide and we’ll only be able to handle this by having the right capacities.”
For several years, SCHUNK has been successfully focusing on these two trends and concentrating its resources and know-how. Henrik Schunk expects high growth rates, especially for mechatronic and increasingly intelligent clamping devices and gripping systems. The innovative family-owned company employs more than 3,500 people and has been a pioneer and source of ideas in production automation for years. SCHUNK also recently announced its cooperation with AnotherBrain, one of the world’s leading specialists in artificial intelligence. SCHUNK’s customer base includes the Who’s Who of mechanical engineering, robotics, automation, and assembly handling, and all the renowned automotive brands and their suppliers. The company operates 34 directly owned subsidiaries and nine plants around the world.
Pryor to demonstrate unique robotic marking solution at Paris Air Show
Pryor Marking Technology, the world-leading marking and identification specialist will showcase its latest digital and fully automated robotic marking solution at this year’s International Paris Air Show in June.
The Aerospace Rotatives Marking Cell delivers exact standards through robotic controlled programming and the company’s unmatched vision systems. Automation of component marking reduces time and costs; robotic control is key. This is integrated into Pryor’s software and every detailed move is programmable. The company’s vision systems are used to guide the robots to execute marking automatically and at predefined locations which removes operator errors.
Visitors to Hall 2b Stand H111 will see a demonstration featuring robotic marking of large rotative aerospace components.
Alastair Morris, sales director at Pryor, says, “The International Paris Air Show provides us with the perfect platform to showcase our marking and traceability solutions designed specifically for the aerospace industry. As a UK company with a French subsidiary, our Paris-based colleagues are looking forward to explaining our technology to show visitors. We understand the challenges faced by the aerospace industry and can offer many solutions.”
The company has a strong wealth of knowledge and experience in aerospace marking. Their software and hardware can be set to mark against the requirements of many international standards such as ATA, A4A, US Department of Defence and AIM-DPM.
Pryor Marking Technology is a world leader in the manufacture and design of both traditional and innovative marking, identification and traceability solutions.
Founded in 1849 in Sheffield, UK, a hub of manufacturing and the birthplace of stainless steel, the company’s success is built on providing solutions for all manufacturing industries, with extensive expertise in aerospace and automotive standards.
Operating from sites in the UK, USA, France and India, Pryor serves an extensive customer base, supported by a comprehensive distributor network in countries across the globe.
The 53rd International Paris Air Show takes place on 17 to 23 June 2019 at the Le Bourget Parc des Expositions.
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Altus welcomes Quick as a pre-eminent supplier
Altus, a leading supplier of capital equipment in the UK and Ireland, has recently added a range of innovative automated handling solutions, robotic soldering systems and technical furniture to its range following its collaboration with Quick.
The recent partnership with the American company has broadened Altus’ portfolio, and provided many new solutions to enable manufacturers to expand their automation needs. Offering a wide selection of modular robots, as well as fully automated lines, Quick has a variety of equipment for many applications.
A spokesman for Altus comments “Every manufacturer that we speak to, say that they are looking to automate as many processes as possible in their facility. This is to either reduce overheads, increase reliability, or increase repeatability of their processes. As you know, this just can’t be achieved manually with both human error and the associated cost.
“By partnering with Quick, we have added substantial value to our portfolio and can offer a variety of solutions to those customers wishing to address their automation processes.”
Quick prides itself on its ability to be applied to almost any type of application and offer a complimentary evaluation service (under NDA) where it uses a customer’s specific sample and perfects the process. This enables it to provide a report, quotation and video of the sample being created.
The Altus Group was formed in 2001 to support the UK and Irish market for surface mount technology, capital equipment for every process, peripheral equipment, spares and consumables and most importantly excellent service support.
The Altus Group product line has evolved over the years with carefully selected suppliers who offer ‘best in class’ products at cost-effective prices, from world leading brands. The Altus team comprises a network of highly skilled technical sales specialists, applications and service engineers, providing local support across the UK and Ireland.
In 2005, sister company Danutek was formed with offices in Hungary and Romania to service the needs of local customers and multi-national companies with manufacturing facilities in the Central and Eastern European marketplace.
Kemppi opens up robotic welding application centre in China
In order to strengthen its robotic welding business and speed up the growth in Asia, Kemppi has opened a robotic welding application centre in China. The centre provides complete and innovative solutions and services to both integrators and end customers. Kemppi’s experienced welding engineers help customers to optimise their welding applications and offer comprehensive training covering all aspects of welding.
“Robotic welding and Asia are both strategic focus areas for Kemppi. The company made its first deliveries to China at the end of 1980s and has invested significantly in robotic welding solution development during the past years. The robotic welding application centre is a natural next step in serving the important and fast growing robotic welding markets in China and Southeast Asia even better”, says Hannu Jokela, vice president APAC and Export Sales, Kemppi Oy. “Local expertise is the key business factor for Kemppi.”
The centre is equipped with Kemppi’s wide range of robotic welding equipment and robots from well-known robot manufacturers. Visitors can see the state-of-the art A7 MIG Welder, KempArc Pulse450 and KempArc SYN500 welding automation systems in action. They can witness the efficiency and quality reached with Kemppi’s application optimised Wise welding processes and find out for themselves how easy the unique web browser-based user interface for A7 MIG Welder is to use and how much it saves setup time.
Kemppi robotic welding application centre is located in Kemppi China Subsidiary facilities in Beijing.