Expiration dates, lot codes, and other important texts are on all our consumer products. Federal regulations require that food and medical related items have this important information and that it is easily read by the end customer. Consequently, manufacturers are responsible for making sure these texts are present and accurate. Traditional optical character recognition (OCR) tool sets use a combination of image filters and pattern matching to determine which character is being read. A large
Automated Sterilization of Work Spaces with disinfection top modules for mobile industrial robots
Organizations have started to adapt to a new reality with restrictions in commercial activities and social distancing. In order to protect employees and businesses, Mobile Industrial Robots is providing flexible solutions, especially when it comes to disinfection processes. Their automated sterilization solution for work spaces is useful across a variety of sectors. Amid this current sit
Cutting-edge performance for the toughest codes
Manufacturing environments in automotive, medical device, electronics, aerospace, and product security industries require rugged, high performing, and easy to use barcode reading technology to ensure top component traceability and productivity. DataMan 8700 series handheld barcode readers decode the toughest direct part mark (DPM) and label-based codes while withstanding harsh oils, dirt, and water. A built-in display screen enables quick setu
In the 2D industrial imaging realm, I am going to split the cameras into 2 groups: Monochrome and Color cameras. They both have different applications and we usually see monochrome cameras used in the automation industry and machine vision applications.
Take a look at the bottom infographic for how to turn light into a digital file. Industrial cameras are digital cameras so this applies to them too.
Light hits the subject (no light, no image), a lens collects the light then gets r
To start, an executive round table happened on Wednesday, September 9th, called “The State of the Global Robotics Industry” at RIA Robotics Week (Link here if you want to watch it). It was an interesting talk about the past couple of months, the current and most importantly the future of advanced manufacturing and robotics. I thought it was great to hear the opinions of some important names of the automation industry.
(If you haven’t watched the round table, feel free to read the summary I
Mitsubishi CC-Link networks have grown substantially over the past decade and it’s no wonder that there is some confusion on the various versions. This blog is to give a quick overview and hopefully clear up some of what can be rather muddy waters.
Let’s start with what CC-Link is: CC-Link is a FAMILY of protocols created and maintained by the CC-Link Partner Association (https://www.cc-link.org/)
Very much like other industrial communication protocols, it is used to communicate betw
I am going to be honest here, I didn’t think I needed a 7th axis on a robot. I thought it was a marketing gimmick or an additional linkage to make the kinematics equations harder… I was wrong.
Disclaimer: There are two different options to get 7 different axis; 1) a 7 axis robot, 2) an additional 7th axis for a 6 axis robot. Two different things. I am going to be talking about 7 axis robots in this post rather than adding an elevator or a slide to a 6 axis arm.
Save time on the d
With the introduction of cobots (collaborative robots) into the manufacturing environment, many people struggle to understand the limits of cobots and rush to assume that every new application they see is a good fit for a cobot. There are several factors to look at when deciding between a cobot, a traditional robot, or a traditional robot with integrated safety components for an application.
Amount of human interaction
Proximity of human traffic
Process positioning toleranc
For most of us in the industrial automation field, seeing a vision solution on a machine is commonplace. Some of us have specified them, some of us have programmed them, and some of us only know, “that’s the vision system over there.” With the latter being the most common, it becomes difficult for some to decide between the types of vision solutions. There are typically two types of self-contained (no separate controllers required) options: vision sensors and vision systems. There is a third
Following on the heels of my blog about Ethernet Protocols, I think it’s worth discussing System Architecture and Equipment Requirements. Over the past several years I’ve been on what I consider the wrong end of system architecture gone wrong and had to help people work their way out of a tough spot on a more than one occasion. And the reason that the architecture has gone wrong is usually the same: either lack of equipment requirements or poorly written equipment requirements.
So what do
There is always debate about when Mitsubishi’s new servo amplifiers such as MR-J4 and MR-JE CC-Link IE Field Basic should be used? To understand this you need to step back and understand what functionality they bring to the wealth of product offering Mitsubishi has in their toolbox. The biggest advantage is that there is no need for extra motion control modules. It is based on CC-link IE Field protocol which in a full functionality mode is a Gigabit based deterministic protocol over Ethernet. Ho
Not that long ago, Ethernet wasn’t common on PLCs and other industrial devices. Even 10 years ago you often had to buy a separate option card to add Ethernet to your PLC. But now it has become ubiquitous and with it has come a plethora of terminology and misunderstanding.
I often hear customers ask, “does this PLC support Ethernet communications?” Unfortunately, the answer for most current PLCs is yes. Why is this an unfortunate answer? The problem is Ethernet is not a communications sta
If you don’t have the right end of arm tooling for your application, it might not matter how good of a robot you pick. Robots and the end of arm tooling go hand in hand together.
(Please read my other blog “5 Major Factors to Consider When Choosing a Robot” to get a better idea on how to choose a robot)
Case 1: Let’s pick an application for a vacuum gripper, a bottle pack out machine. The bottles have flat caps and are fairly easy to get a seal with almost any vacuum cups that are the
There are 5 major factors that I think about when I am specifying a robot for an application; reach, payload, speed, application type/versatility and lastly, cost.
Reach is one of the most important factors to getting the right size robot for your application. Some applications are as easy as just a simple pick and place and you can measure from the pick position to the place position and verify what kind of a reach you need from your robot.
However, sometimes you n
I've been supporting the implementation of a Kassow KR1410 collaborative robot for a pack out application, I wanted to provide some tips on integrating a collaborative robot based on my experiences.
Fully understand the system requirements
I cannot emphasize how important it is to understand the system requirements, or if there is a machine that already does a similar job it is very important to study that machine and fully understand the process. After I’m confident in the re
Let’s say you are trying to implement a pick and place application with your robot. Industrial robots are amazing in terms of going to the place they were told to go. But what if that place we told them to go changes constantly and we don’t know where the part is going to be next time around. That’s when we use machine vision’s help to guide our robot to the right pick location.
The general idea is that a vision system needs to be looking at the potential pick locations, and tell the
FR-E800 brings together advances in quality, performance, and predictive maintenance capabilities in one multi-purpose inverter.
The FR-E800 Series variable frequency drive is built upon Mitsubishi Electric’s proven variable speed control technology throughout years of reliable operation across various constant and variable torque applications. Designed to save energy and minimize cost, the FR-E800 brings together advances in quality, performance, and predictive maintenance capabilities in
Single camera solution to multi-camera applications
The In-Sight 9000 series offers Cognex’s first rugged, ultra-high-resolution, standalone vision systems. With its ability to acquire and process exceptionally detailed images, the In-Sight 9000 delivers high accuracy part location, measurement, and inspection over a large area—even when mounted at longer distances. Line scan and area scan image acquisition options are available for imaging continuously moving or stationary objects.
Mecademic robot arms are intended for industrial use in a wide range of applications including precision assembly, testing & inspection, microprecision positioning, pick & place, and dispensing. The Meca500 is already put to work in various industry sectors such as electronics, pharmaceutical, and health.
The Meca500 Ultracompact Robot Arm is less than half the size of other small industrial robots, and its controller is embedded in its base, eliminating the need for a bulky externa
Intelligent, Autonomous Cobot Pump
Schmalz ECBPi vacuum pumpSchmalz CobotPump ECBPi is a new generation of intelligent vacuum generators that do not need compressed air. These flexible pumps are designed for use in mobile robotics, fully automated small parts handling and stationary handling tasks.
The intelligent electric vacuum generator includes an integrated interface for controlling and monitoring the handling process. Connection via IO-Link allows process monitoring and predictiv
The high-speed IXA SCARA Robot holds the fastest cycle times and yet achieves a lower price than previous SCARA models. The arch motion smoothly blends both horizontal and vertical motion to accomplish continuous high-speed cycle times.
Fastest Cycle Times : The following measurements were taken during arch motion cycle operation under the following conditions.
Achieves a Lower Price : The new SCARA robot is even more affordable than previous models. Plus, it offers even better
The eWON Flexy 205 is an advanced internet data gateway that allows Machine Builders to monitor and collect vital KPIs for analysis and predictive maintenance. With data logging, alarming, built-in web interface, scripting and enhanced internet connectivity, the Flexy 205 is a modular Internet Gateway for your IoT deployment. It also supports VPN Remote Access for easy troubleshooting of your distant industrial equipment.
Allow service engineers to troubleshoot and tune
Designed for high-speed, high-throughput manufacturing and logistics lines, DataMan 470 is the fastest and most powerful reader in the company’s line of industrial barcode readers.
DataMan 470 uses new, patent-pending imaging technology to easily solve challenging applications. The High Dynamic Range Plus (HDR+) technology enhances the image quality of 1D and 2D codes, in addition to providing greater coverage and faster speeds than conventional readers. It also reads low contrast and ultra