I attended the RUC 2019 show in Quebec last week and what an amazing show it was! I had the privilege of speaking on a panel where we discussed Cobot Stories From Factories. We dove into starting small and not over complicating cobots, looking beyond ROI, and standardizing cobot setups.
Photo Credit: Robotiq
There were many technical and sales workshops I attended. The first, New Tools for Growth which helped map out viable opportunities and explained how to avoid the ones that are not a good fit for automation with cobots. Another was Do it Yourself or With a System Integrator where I learned when an integrator like Fusion is absolutely required and when a DIY is good enough.
For someone like me who loves all things cobots, there were 54 Universal Robots cobots equipped with Robotiq’s complete product family, including its world’s best-selling adaptive grippers, vacuum grippers, camera technology, force sensors, and related software, available to do hands-on training with. I was like a kid in a candy factory!
Did I mention the hands-on automation challenge everyone got to take part in? We had to put our cobot programming skills to the test to complete assembly, machine tending, and sanding applications. My team won for the Machine Tending Challenge, not to brag or anything.
Photo credit: Alex Owen-Hill, Robotiq
Another exciting segment of the conference was when Robotiq's co-founder and CTO, Jean-Philippe Jobin, Robotiq's announced seven new Robotiq products and resources. They are:
- The Lean Robotics book will be available as an audio book.
- Robotiq Product Configurator which provides information and helps when assessing Robotiq products.
- Robotiq eLearning platform which provides tutorials and courses on key cobot applications.
- Machine Tending Kit which allows for machine tending applications with a cobot, available for pre-order.
- External Tool Finishing Kit which allows for "part to process" finishing tasks with a cobot, available for pre-order.
- Update to the Finishing Copilot which adds new functionality of a path generator for spherical shapes, and a Contact Offset feature.
- Update to the Wrist Camera URCap which adds new functionality of a Visual Offset feature, and a barcode reading and image saving feature.
My main takeaways from this event were: keep your first applications simple and to not over complicate, get that first win of automation although it may not be the biggest production improvement impact (or quickest ROI), and how the implementation of cobots on the production floor is a journey just like the factory floor lean process journey.
As a company it is important to us that we are always at the forefront of developments in the Cobotics industry. We regularly attend these types of events to stay educated, adapt our business accordingly and foresee what our customers are going to need in the future.
Contact us if you’re interested in Fusion’s Cobotic Machine Tending Solutions: cobotics@fusionOEM.com or 866.922.9020.