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15 June, 2024

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Autonomous pallet-movers ‘solve many automation issues’

05 April, 2024

The Danish firm MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots) has announced a pallet-moving AMR (autonomous mobile robot) which uses AI (artificial intelligence) to identify, pick up and deliver pallets “with unprecedented precision”. The company says that the MiR1200 Pallet Jack sets new standards for the handling of palletised goods and solves many of the challenges that enterprises face when trying to add automation to complex, dynamic factory and warehouse environments.

AI-powered 3D machine vision system is ‘world first’

03 April, 2024

Cognex has launched a product which it describes as “the world's first 3D vision system with AI”. The In-Sight L38 3D vision system combines AI, 2D, and 3D vision technologies to solve a variety of inspection and measurement applications.

Siemens, UR and Zivid combine to solve logistics issues

28 March, 2024

UPDATED: Siemens, Universal Robots (UR) and the Norwegian machine vision specialist Zivid have joined forces with Mecalux, the Spanish specialist in automated warehouses, to create a “groundbreaking” technology that streamlines warehouse automation and solves intralogistics fulfilment challenges. The technology brings together a long-reach UR20 cobot, a Zivid 2+ M130 camera – said to be the first 3D sensor capable of imaging anything, including transparent and translucent items – and Siemens’ Simatic Robot Pick AI – pre-trained, deep learning-based vision software that allows robots to perform tasks that previously had to be performed by hand.

Robot ‘fingers’ can be configured to suit an application

28 March, 2024

NSK and the German Aerospace Centre are jointly developing a robotic gripper system comprising individual finger modules that can be configured to suit the application – thought to be the first time this has been done.

Remote robot restarts could cut downtime costs by 90%

25 March, 2024

Kawasaki Robotics has partnered with Olis Robotics to allow robot users to restart production faster after shutdowns, cut troubleshooting and downtime costs by up to 90%, and access expert support quickly.

Grease degradation app monitors remaining life on-site

14 March, 2024

NSK is developing a "world-first" technique for diagnosing the remaining life of lubricant grease rapidly and accurately by monitoring changes in colour as it ages. It will offer the capability as a mobile app, allowing users to perform on-site analysis of the condition of the lubricants in their bearings and linear motion systems, thus reducing the need for grease inspections and cutting replenishment costs, and helping them to implement condition-based maintenance strategies.

Grease degrades over time, so on-site inspection of lubricants is essential to maximise uptime and OEE (overall equipment effectiveness). Industrial companies are increasingly switching from time-based to condition-based maintenance strategies. There is therefore a need for an accurate method of diagnosing grease degradation that can be deployed rapidly on site. It would also help to tackle labour shortages and to support carbon neutrality efforts.

‘Revolutionary’ multi-role breaker is up to 1,000 times faster

04 March, 2024

Siemens has developed a “revolutionary” multi-function circuit protection device that it says is to 1,000 times faster than conventional devices and needs up to 80% less space in distribution boards. If circuit faults occur, the Sentron ECPD (electronic circuit protection device) switches them off electronically and, if necessary, can trip mechanical isolating contacts downstream. Previously, such disconnections have needed electromechanical elements.

Schaeffler joins Koreans for mobile two-arm robots

26 February, 2024

The German engineering group Schaeffler has joined forces with two Korean organisations – the robot developer Rainbow Robotics, and the Korea Electronics Technology Institute (Keti) – to co-develop AI-powered mobile dual-arm robots aimed at autonomous manufacturing applications.

‘Smart’ bearings warn as they wear, avoiding breakdowns

19 February, 2024

The German engineering plastics specialist igus is developing a new generation of flange bearings with built-in miniature wireless sensors that allow their state of wear to be monitored and predictive maintenance to be implemented to help prevent machine breakdowns.

E-machine simulation software reduces reliance on prototypes

16 February, 2024

Siemens Digital Industries has announced simulation software that helps developers of electric vehicles (EVs) and their supply chains to predict the performance of e-machines, including axial-flux drives. The Simcenter E-Machine Design software brings together electromagnetic and thermal simulation, helping to reduce reliance on physical prototypes, and to accelerating innovation.

Free AR app helps to avoid robot hazards without a headset

13 February, 2024

The German robot-maker Kuka has developed an AR (augmented reality) app that visualises robot cells live on a smartphone or tablet, helping to achieve fast, safe start-ups. The free KUKA.MixedReality Assistant app does not need an AR headset or other dedicated hardware.

Liquid-cooled SynRM IE5 motors combine efficiency with output

07 February, 2024

ABB has launched a liquid-cooled version of its SynRM (synchronous reluctance) motor, combining the benefits of IE5 energy efficiency with effective cooling. The motors, which were first previewed at the SPS exhibition in 2022, can save energy and cut emissions in new projects or as drop-in replacements for less efficient motors.

Generative AI takes maintenance to the next level

07 February, 2024

Senseye, the UK-based condition monitoring specialist acquired by Siemens in 2022, has added a generative AI (artificial intelligence) function to its predictive maintenance Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), making it more conversational and intuitive to use. Siemens says the development will make human-machine interactions and predictive maintenance faster and more efficient by enhancing proven machine-learning capabilities with generative AI.

Schneider, Intel and Red Hat join forces on open automation

06 February, 2024

Schneider Electric has collaborated with Intel and the open-source software developer Red Hat to release a Distributed Control Node (DCN) software framework that, they say, will help to drive open automation. The framework, an extension of Schneider’s EcoStruxure Automation Expert, will allow industrial companies to migrate from vendor-specific hardware to a software-defined, plug-and-produce model, allowing them to enhance their operations, ensure quality, reduce complexity, and optimise costs.

€145 controller uses AI to generate code within seconds

02 February, 2024

A Greek automation start-up has announced an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) controller that can be programmed and monitored via a smartphone, and avoids the need for programming expertise. Erqos says that the €145 EQSP32 controller can be used for industrial or home automation applications, as well as for instrumentation and for remote monitoring and control.

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