Today’s industrial robots can “see” and “feel” what they are doing, and they’re able to detect objects—including other robots—around them.
The result, says Fanuc America’s Neil Dueweke, is that robots can work more closely together. The next challenge, he says, is to give them human-like dexterity that will enable robots to tackle assembly work that involve work with flexible components such as wiring and fabric.
In the meantime, robots are gaining the ability to communicate with each other, says Fanuc’s Paul Santi. They’re also beginning to report their performance to a plant’s central control center, helping managers identify best-practice efficiencies and apply predictive maintenance techniques.
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Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
As OEMs and suppliers seek lightweight solutions to meet higher fuel economy standards through multi-material structures, conventional welding techniques are beginning to give way to new solid-state joining methods better suited for creating strong bonds between dissimilar metals.
In two hours or less, you can create fairly sophisticated animations from your CAD system's solid models so that people who know nothing more than how to use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint on their Windows-based computers can better understand a part or assembly design