In workplace, robots to replace manpower

Article from The Financial Express

Robots may soon be serving you meals, or may even assist at your workplace, if the latest robotic applications and technologies showcased by the Japan-based Kawasaki Heavy Industries are anything to go by.

The robotic applications and technologies were showcased under the theme of cooperation between humans and robots, and their coexistence, at the 21st International Robot Exhibition 2015 in Tokyo.

The company demonstrated various applications using the Kawasaki “duAro”, a popular dual-arm SCARA robot which was launched in June 2015.

Yasuhiko Hashimoto, General Manager, Robot Division, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., said, “Unlike the conventional dual-arm robot, this model enables easy operation. We are proposing this robot as an easy replacement of the labour forces to the industries such as electronics and food productions, which are conventionally operated by sheer force of numbers of labour.”

In the food production factory, a large number of employees are working in the production line.

Each of them are repeating simple tasks, such as putting fries, Soya sauce and other items in a box.

Hashimoto further said, “Robots are cost-effective, maintain quality and reduce burden for the labour. Robots are now widely used throughout Asia. A human being has limited working hours. It is a hard work and there’s always labour shortage. We think we can provide robots to resolve this issue.”

Robot towards automation is a theme for Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd.

Koji Yabe, a company official, said, “This time, the company developed a 3D picking work piece system from a random pile without modelling data registration.”

The Bin picking system was developed mainly by the automotive industry.

It has a 3D CAD modelling data to pick any material. A human being can easily differentiate between Mango and Banana, but it is difficult for the Robot to recognize because each piece is having different shape.

Yabe added, “In actual case, the robot has to pick the item from random pile and each of the images was not fully visible. The big challenge for the robot was to decide which product to pick from the basket as the whole images are not visible. Also, the robot has to avoid contacts to other items and box when it picks up the item. This was a key development point of this machine.”

Daihen is known for its welding robots.

The company exhibits their complete welding solutions under the theme “Robotics and Beyond.”

The company proposes innovative welding and robotics solutions that contributes to total automations in production line.

Masashige Fujita, Deputy General Manager, Daihen Corporation, said, “Customer’s most quality concern is the spattering. They concern about how to reduce the sputter. This time, we are exhibiting the latest, industry’s best-in-class robotic welding solutions with light weight, increased speed machines.”

Robots are now getting popular in Asia, especially in countries facing labour crisis.

Fujita added, “60 per cent of our robot business is from the Asian region. We established business bases in China, Thailand, and Indonesia. There are significant rising of labour cost in those countries as the standards of living have developed. Robots can be a direct replacement of the labour, and there is a potential of sales explosively for the robots.”

The strongest robot in the world was displayed at the FANUC stall.

The highly flexible robot appears to defy gravity, with the ability to lift and position entire car bodies effortlessly.

With its 1.7 ton payload capacity, it provides maximum flexibility on operations involving large and heavy objects.

The robot’s six axes and strong protected wrist make it an agile weightlifter, moving and placing objects within a large defined working area to an extremely high degree of precision.

This robot has been designed to improve workflow, increase efficiency and reducing running costs.

The Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation also showcased the compact and super fast robot.

It’s small, simple structure, high speed and high accuracy robot which is optimal for material handling and other application in electronics and food packaging.

The lightweight and compact robot arm helps to keep the equipment simple and save space. The installation area is same as A5 paper size.

The lightness of the robot arm and the latest control technologies give it the fastest operation in its class, which improves productivity.

The robot has a sophisticated and smooth form. Hand cables are neatly housed inside of the hollow wrist. Smart cable routing helps prevent interference with peripheral equipment, which greatly improves equipment reliability.

“Nachi robot has used the latest mechatronics techniques, supplying robots suited for industries utilizing welding and the material handling techniques.

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