Three Major Automation Trends from Automate 2019
The automation industry is hot with startups, new innovations, tools to streamline the automation chain and minimize downtime, and all of this, and more, was on display at this year’s Automate Show, produced by the Association for Advancing Automation.
The Automate Show takes place every two years, in conjunction with Promat (an exhibition of innovations in distribution, manufacturing, supply chain and systems), and showcases hundreds of automation and technology integrators, distributors, and manufacturers.
Mobile Robots (AMR)
Autonomous mobile robots are a great solution for warehouses, logistics, and e-commerce companies. They are the future of factories and warehouses, helping to optimize space and offering an alternative to stationary infrastructures of the past. Flexibility – can do different jobs, whereas conveyors and positioning systems. Both Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) and Omron were two of the most notable and versatile mobile robot manufacturers on exhibit at this year’s Automate Show.
Ease of Use Design
Simplifying the automation process has helped automation in manufacturing grow beyond the automotive industry, previously the top sector. While robot sales in the automotive industry have slowed over the last year, food and beverage and electronics have begun implementing robots and automation at an encouraging rate.
“We’re finding that [robotics for] electronics is growing faster than automotive or metals,” said ABB’s Hui Zhang told The Robot Report. “In the U.S., medical instruments and food and beverage are still growing strong.” The ease of use design of the latest industrial and collaborative robots has made them easily adaptable for all industries, helping the robotics industry expand beyond automotive factories.
Over the past year, the biggest rise in automation has notably been collaborative robots, often referred to as cobots. With the rise of the collaborative robot has come an onslaught of end-of-arm tools (EOAT) and vision guide tools to assist in material handling and a few other applications, such as those by Robotiq and Pick-it. The affordability and ease of use of collaborative robots make them a great way to start adding automation into almost any manufacturing process.
The next Automate Show, held (biennial) every other year, will take place in Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan on May 17-20, 2021.