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Automate 2022 Preview: Robots and Automation on Display

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June 3, 2022

By Keith Shaw

Starting on Monday, June 6, thousands of attendees are expected to visit the Automate 2022 show, which runs through June 9 in Detroit. Along with the attendees, hundreds of exhibitors will show off the latest in robotics, automation, components, vision systems and more to highlight the current and future state of automation.

Robotics-World is planning to attend the event as well, and we plan on bringing you updates throughout the week on new products, as well as look for the latest trends in the automation space (hint: it’s about the tasks, not the robots).

Several companies have already made announcements of new products (for example, Epson has launched new SCARA robots), while others are waiting until Monday to launch their new offerings. Here’s a roundup of what companies will be showing off at the show that have piqued our interest (presented in alphabetical order):

ABB (Booth #1832): The industrial robot arm giant will showcase a variety of hardware, software and application demonstrations at its Automate booth, including:

  • ASTI Mobile Robotics (The AMR company it acquired in July 2021) will show how intelligent autonomous mobile robots can navigate materials, parts and finished products between smart connected workstations in factories, logistics centers, laboratories, shops or hospitals. The company will feature two EBOT 350s lifting, moving and placing an array of racks, boxes and other products, as well as a UniBOT 1200 towing automated guided vehicle demonstrating assembly, kitting, robot cell interaction, and milk run processes.
  • IRB 5710, designed for complex manufacturing applications with payload options from 70 kg to 100 kg, and reach options from 2.3 m to 2.7 m. At the show, the IRB 5710 will be equipped with Integrated Vision and a part handling end-of-arm tool that picks and presents a metal part to a stationary pedestal spot welding machine.
  • A six-axis GoFa (CRB 15000) Cobot Welding Cell, which will perform interactive, live arc welding demonstrations. Visitors can create their own weld program and watch GoFa replicate that path in a live weld.
  • The IRB 5510 FlexPainter, which will simulate intricate painting motions, along with the ABB Ability RB 1000i Connected Atomizer. THe platform will demonstrate SMS notifications that result from a fault within the robot system that requires attention. Visitors to the booth will be able to receive a simulated text message when the robot faults out and an alarm is generated.
  • Other applications, such as a Cobot Education Cart, live 3D printing demos, RobotStudio VR/AR software, virtual touch screen demos, and omnichannel order fulfillment demos.

Apera AI (Booth #4113): The company plans to demonstrate its 4D Vision system, which gives robots human-like precision, speed and perception. Demonstrations at the show will focus on applications such as bin picking, sorting, packaging, and assembly. 

Bosch Rexroth (Booth #3752): The advanced manufacturing hardware, software and engineering company will showcase several interactive exhibits and several working systems demonstrations, including:

  • MP1000R Autonomous Mobile Robot, which uses the RoKIT Locator Software to navigate autonomously in h highly dynamic environments without additional infrastructure to replace manual forklifts and tuggers in manufacturing spaces;
  • The Flexible Transport System (FTS), a working system to demonstrate a magnetically propelled pallet transport system for high transfer speeds and precise pallet positioning.
  • Smart Function Kit for Handling, which will combine with a working Cartesian mult-axis system. The exhibit will present how predefined multi-axis combinations can be easily sized, configured and ordered as one part number.
  • ctrlX AUTOMATION Cube, a unique four-sided demonstration exhibit that shows the key capabilities of the ctrlX CORE automation controller.

Cardinal Kinetic (Booth #1654): The motion control and automation company that focuses on material handling will showcase its new all-in-one Integration Motion System, which combines the capabilities of a servo amplifier, motion controller, and logic engine.

Edgewater Automation (Booth #1000): The Michigan-based systems integrator will showcase two demonstration machines at its booth. The first machine, which uses a FANUC CRX collaborative robot and FANUC iRVision 3D and 3DA area sensor, will putt custom golf balls to a putting green, while simultaneously assembling the Edgewater name using custom-cut blocks. The second demo machine, made out of a Stein 300E Palletized Conveyor with SOFTMOVE technology, a FANUC SR-31A SCARA Robot, and custom pneumatic pick and place station, will play the classic wooden peg game (like the one you see at a Cracker Barrel restaurant). If you want to know how to win this game, stop by the booth to memorize the robot’s pattern.

Kassow Robots (Booth #1452): The developer of 7-axis cobots aimed at machine tending, material handling and other related applications will demonstrate its KR1805 model at the show. In addition to bin picking and quality control demonstrations, the company will showcase the speed, strength and 18000 mm reach of the KR1805. Along with partner BlueBay Automation, Kassow said it will demonstrate how 7-axis cobots can improve 3D bin picking (along with the PickIT L-HD 3D vision system and OnRobot VGC10 customizable vacuum gripper) to reach objects positioned in corners, close to the robot, or in hard-to-reach places.

KUKA (Booth #1823): The industrial robot arm manufacturer will spotlight multiple live demonstrations at Automate, including technologies that highlight the capabilities and flexibility of KUKA sensor integration and feedback. This includes a multi-robot cell targeting the fast moving consumer goods industry, a bolt-picking cell, palletizing/depalletizing cell, automation software and simulation technologies, as well as robots performing bin picking and friction stir welding (FSW).

LUCID Vision Labs (Booth #113): The designer and manufacturer of industrial vision cameras will showcase its latest GigE Vision cameras at the show. The company’s cameras are used in applications and acquisition technologies such as area scan and line scan, 3D Time of Flight and SWIR. The company will showcase its Helios2+ TOF camera offering, as well as its industrial Triton and Atlas 5GigE camera line that feature the latest Sony Pregius S sensors.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Booth #1023): The manufacturer will highlight a wide variety of solutions for applications and industries, with partnerships that focus on its theme of “better together” and examples of solutions developed by companies based on Mitsubishi Electric’s automation products. This includes:

  • SICK, which will show automated conveyor-tracking featuring a SCARA robot;
  • Thinking Robots, which will show simplified robotic programming, flexible for applications where parts change frequently;
  • Realtime Robotics (multi-robot work cell showing collision management)
  • ICONICS, which will show SCADA solutions including remote monitoring and incident management;
  • Absolute Machine Tools, which will highlight automated machine tending, including SCADA integration for remote monitoring;
  • Mitsubishi Electric Contact Image Censors (CIS), which will show continous scanning for quality control.

OnRobot (Booth #4118): In addition to its newly announced OnRobot Palletizer platform, the end-effector/gripper company will host four demonstrations that showcase its wide range of collaborative applications, including:

  • Partner EMI Corp. will demonstrate custom enhancements of OnRobot’s 3FG15, 2FG7 and VCG10 vacuum grippers for pick and place applications;
  • Partner Acieta will showcase a dual-gripper collaborative machine tending application, which includes Acieta’s FastLOAD CX1000, an expandable cell for collaborative applications that can be moved and set up in minutes.
  • Eckhart will demonstrate the OnRobot Sander tool in a live material removal application with the help of a UR10e collaborative robot from Universal Robots.

PBC Linear (Booth #1856): The Illinois-based linear motion solutions company will showcase its new automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), aimed at helping small- and midsized companies boost their robot production without significant increases in labor. The system assists cobots and other robotic applications by providing a continuous arsenal of machinable parts over a longer time frame. It does this by consistently loading and unloading up to 17 consecutive dunnage trays onto a cobot-accessible work area. The system can also work with industrial applications such as CNC lathes and mills, material handling, and assembly.

Realtime Robotics (Booth #2332 – Kawasaki Robotics; Booth #1023 – Mitsubishi Electric Automation): The company’s motion planning and collision avoidance software, RapidPlan, will be on display in from cells at the Kawasaki and Mitsubishi Electric booths. Company executives will also be sharing insights during conference presentations during the event.

Check this space for updates, as well as the Robotics-World.com home page for event news and analysis.

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