How Manufacturers Can Avoid a “Lost 2021” Now

As Henry Ford used to say, “Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. It is the easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct.” Ultimately, we are all facing challenging times, but those responsible for manufacturing firms have in many ways borne the brunt of trying to manage […]

What is Autonomous Manufacturing?

The term “Autonomous Manufacturing” may be new to many, but the idea of using industrial capacity – the ability to make things – in order to gain more independence is as old as civilization itself. Autonomous Manufacturing is a concept and technology set that can be used by today’s manufacturers in order to achieve greater […]

Why Value-Added Processes Are a Priority for Autonomous Robo...

Autonomous Robots have existed in one form or another for more than 50 years. The first autonomous mobile robot – though hardly as functional as the ones available today – was developed at the Stanford Research Institute in 1969. “Shaky”, as it was affectionately known, was able to localize itself using machine vision, while its […]

Should High-Mix Manufacturers Really Be SCARED of Automation...

Industrial automation solutions are usually pitched to high-volume, mass-market manufacturers or primary materials processors. This can range from consumer electronics and automotive assembly to timber, plastics, chemicals and metal products. While these sectors are somewhat disparate in terms of final goods produced, the fact that they all produce a relatively small variety of goods at […]

The Hidden Costs of NOT Automating

In every economic cycle, businesses are always faced with the same questions: what are our next critical investments? When will we see demand rise? How are we going to get the best possible workforce in place while still making a profit? Are there any strategic threats to our business as a whole? The fact is, […]

What’s the Reality of Robot Vision?

Robot vision or vision-guided robot systems are a novel means by which many manufacturers avoid the jigging and positioning constraints that come with standard industrial robots. These constraints exist because a robot must typically follow a bounded or precise program in order to conduct a repeatable process with a reliable output. You can think of […]

What’s Holding Industrial Robot Integration Back?

The integration of industrial robots is a highly specialized, highly creative and cunning process, while the people who practice it are often a credit to the very idea of human ingenuity and resourcefulness itself. In many ways, robotics integrators represent a corps of highly specialized, highly capable solution architects who help manufacturers rocket their productivity […]

What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial automation is the use of data-driven control systems, whether computers, process controllers or robots, to operate industrial processes or machinery in a way that reduces the need for human action.  Industrial automation has its roots in a variety of applications, but one function in particular was the development of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines […]

What the Hell is a Self-Programming Robot?

When we think of how to combine AI, autonomous functioning and robotics, Hollywood and smooth-tongued screenwriters have us convinced that the future will land somewhere between “The Terminator” and “Her”. While flights of fancy are necessary to keep life interesting, the fact of the matter is that robots that can work autonomously will simply be […]

Is My Factory Ready For a Robot?

Maybe it’s the last missed shift, the last missed order, or a looming retirement from one of your stalwart employees – being ready for a robot is something that tends to linger in the background, but then happens all at once. Robots have their benefits, but deciding whether it’s the right time to start using […]