Written by Michael Taylor, Mechanical engineer and project manager at NIST MEP.
Written by Andrew Peterson, NIST.
Collaborative robots are increasingly attractive to manufacturers who require flexible solutions for their growing product mix but may not have the scale of work or capital resources needed to justify larger investments in automation systems.
Manufacturers across the state are taking advantage of IMEC’s Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher program! Just last November, IMEC announced a leading-edge economic development program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers accelerate technology adoption in their products and processes. Awarding up to $25,000 in matching funds, Illinois manufacturers can obtain external technical assistance to solve technology adoption challenges.
It is awe-inspiring to walk into today’s manufacturers and see the efficient and productive way things are made. Yet, even though the United States remains one of the most productive countries, manufacturing productivity has remained flat over the past decade. This should be a major concern. Productivity is a vital foundation for stronger companies, rising standards of living, and vibrant communities.
This is an original article written by Shekhar Chandrashekhar of California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, part of the MEP National Network.
Today, most manufacturers are engaged in activities that could be considered part of “Industry 4.0.” (70% according to the World Economic Forum’s [WEF] white paper, “Fourth Industrial Revolution: Beacons of Technology and Innovation in Manufacturing”).
This is an original article by Aaron Fox, President of Oregon MEP.
If industrial manufacturing had a buzzword of the decade, it might be “Industry 4.0.” The concept is inescapable, yet it can be hard to define, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). After all, SMMs’ capabilities, needs, and budgets look very different from the large companies who often drive the latest innovations and trends. However, Industry 4.0 is so pervasive that many smaller manufacturers know more about the technologies than they might think. Below, we define Industry 4.0, then explore ways that SMMs can and do implement it already.
IMEC partnered with Fusion to host the Cobots: Solving the Manufacturing Labor Challenge event. The fun and informative afternoon featured educational sessions led by cobot vendors and experts, all in the name of helping manufacturers understand the benefits of implementing cobots at their facility: improved productivity, safer working environment, and more efficient installation than traditional automation.
This is an original infographic from NIST Manufacturing Innovation Blog.
Manufacturing industries as varied as automotive, electronics, chemical products and food already use collaborative robots (cobots) for tasks such as assembly, loading and packaging. The partnership between humans and cobots is an important one that combines tasks and drills with thoughts and skills.
This is an original article, written by Buckley Brinkman, the Executive Director/CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity (WCMP).
Reluctance to Employ Cobots Driven by 4 Common Misconceptions
It has been nearly six decades since the first industrial robots rolled on to a General Motors assembly line in Trenton, New Jersey. Today, a new generation of collaborative robots is changing how the manufacturing sector operates. These semi-intelligent machines are driving growth and improving efficiency not only for the GMs of the world, but also for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) as well.