Software platform boosts machine tending

Universal Robots, the Danish manufacturer of collaborative robots (cobots), is releasing a new software platform specifically for machine-tending tasks. The name is PolyScope X and, through a customisable user interface, UR says it will add new levels of flexibility to high-mix, low-volume machine tending automation.With PolyScope X, machine shop operators can achieve changeover times of less than 10 minutes – far below what is possible today with any other software, reports the company.This capability will empower users to run more batches in a day and in a more strategic and flexible way.

PolyScope X arrives at a time when manufacturers all over the world are looking for increased flexibility to handle shifting and increasingly diverse orders. At the same time, the new software platform introduces a powerful reworked programming experience and toolset. This enables integrators and OEM partners to structure their program code in a way that makes each operation simpler to understand, maintain and troubleshoot.

“PolyScope X is a landmark development in machine-tending automation,” says Anders Billesø Beck, Universal Robot’s vice president for strategy andinnovation.“The simplicity of the user interface and the much faster changeover times will provide manufacturers with a whole new set of possibilities regarding how they automate their machine tending tasks.It will allow them to break some of the barriers that are holding them back today.”

PolyScope X for machine tending is initially available in Germany, the UK and Denmark.
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Perfect 10 for MACH Machine Tools

MACH Machine Tools, a supplier of CNC and manual machine tools to UK, Irish and European component manufacturers, and part of the Vigilance Group, will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in September.Over the past decade, the Bristol-based company’s product portfolio has increased and improved significantly, and its range of CNC machines today focuses exclusively on the DynaPath control. MACH Machine Tools is now looking forward to the next 10 years, starting off with MACH 2024 in April where the company will be introducing a new range of 6”, 8’ and10” chuck slant-bed DynaPath-controlled lathes.
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Cognex vision system enables AI-based inspection

Cognex, a specialist in industrial machine vision, has released the In-Sight 3800 vision system. Designed for high-speed production lines, In-Sight 3800 offers an extensive vision toolset, powerful imaging capabilities and flexible software to deliver a fully integrated solution for a range of inspection applications.

“The In-Sight 3800 offers twice the processing speeds of our previous systems, performing tasks like quality inspection in as little as one-third of a blink of an eye,” says Lavanya Manohar, vice president of Vision Products. “This added power allows users to maximise throughput and accommodate faster lines while delivering the high accuracy that they have come to expect from the In-Sight product line.”

The new system features an embedded set of vision tools that includes AI-based edge learning technology and traditional rule-based algorithms. Easy-to-use edge learning tools solve tasks with high variability and are set up in minutes with just a handful of training images. These industry-proven, rule-based tools are suited to solving deterministic tasks with specific parameters. Customers have already begun using the In-Sight 3800, with impressive results.

“When we selected Cognex, we were under the assumption that the processing time of the In-Sight 3800 would be 30% faster than the current In-Sight 7900 vision system in use,” says Nicolas Chomel, technology development director at SIDEL, a provider of equipment, services and solutions for packaging consumer products. “However, during qualification tests, the In-Sight 3800 proved to be 50% faster in our application.”

In-Sight Vision Suite software, a common platform across all In-Sight products, powers the In-Sight 3800,offering both EasyBuilder and Spreadsheet development environments.
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Four new energy-saving ABBrobots in 22 variants

ABB Robotics is expanding its large robot range with four new models and 22 variants, offering more choice, increased coverage and greater performance. The next-generation models include the IRB 6710, IRB 6720, IRB 6730 and IRB 6740, suitable for payloads ranging from 150 to 310kg, with a reach from 2.5 to 3.2m.

“Sustainable production is a major priority of automotive manufacturers, with 78% of companies identifying it as important to their business and a further 77% identifying it as a priority for their customers,” says Marc Segura, president of ABB’s Robotics Division. “ABB’s four new robots offer 22 variants and energy savings of up to 20%, responding to our customers’ needs; offering greater choice and flexibility for more sustainable production. These new robots will help our customers build resilience across a range of industries including automotive, general manufacturing and foundries.”

ABB’s OmniCore controller and lighter robot design lead to energy savings of up to 20%. Featuring ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove motion control technology, ABB says the robots can achieve class-leading repeatability with a minimum of 0.03mm deviation. These capabilities make the new series of robots suitable for complex tasks such as spot welding, laser welding, screwdriving and riveting.

“Our new robot range meets the needs of the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) industry,” says Joerg Reger, managing director of ABB Robotics Automotive Business Line.“As manufacturers ramp up the production of EVs and batteries, they can choose from a wide range of ABB robots to ensure they have the right variant to handle batteries of different sizes, from individual cells and modules to complete packages.”
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Exotec manufactures milestone 5000th robot

Exotec, a global warehouse robotics provider, has manufactured its 5000th robot, just three months after the production of its 4000th model. This is the shortest time yet between manufacturing milestones, signifying a growing business momentum driven by the increasing demand for warehouse automation. The 5000th robot carries the name ‘Monu’ (short for ‘Monumental’).

Romain Moulin, CEO and co-founder at Exotec says: “We continue to see a strong demand for scalable and proven warehouse robotic solutions. We have a track record of serving the world’s largest brands, which places Exotec at the heart of the explosive growth of the global warehouse robotics market, which is expected to be worth $16bn by 2031.”

In 2022, Exotec signed its first major UK customer – multichannel fulfilment and returns expert iForce – and is already deploying two additional large customer projects in the UK.
Exotec has made significant strides in making warehouse jobs easier and less physically demanding. To this day, Exotec robots have saved warehouse workers from having to walk at least 16 million miles, which is the equivalent of going to the moon and back 33 times.

This year, Exotec is continuing its track record of innovation by investing in R&D. Since its inception, Exotec has doubled its R&D spend every year, and the company also commits 10% of all sales towards the development of new products.As of today, Exotec holds 26 granted patents with 68 patent applications still pending. The company filed almost 50% of all patents in the past six months.
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