Date: 02-28-2017
In recent years, we’ve been getting the question much more frequently: Is it better to work with a single-source robotic integrator or a robotics OEM when choosing a new or retrofitted robot/machine tool system? There are more robotic integrators and OEM robotic integrations available than ever before. This presents a challenge for prospective buyers who are weighing the options. Their shop may already have a number of different press brake brands, or they may have managed to stay loyal to the brand that got them started. The dilemma is whether to make use of the asset already owned (retrofit the robotic cell to an existing brake) or go with an entirely new system. There are standard offerings from the larger press brake OEMs, as well as smaller automation houses working on projects to... Read More
Date: 02-06-2017
5 Myths about Robotic Vision Systems Vision systems for robotic manufacturing applications have significantly evolved over the last decade. While the vision systems of old were unreliable, clunky and expensive, today’s systems are anything but. Proper vision systems can make the difference between an efficient robotic system and one that is not working optimally. Here are 5 myths and truths about vision systems. Myth #1: Vision System are Complicated In actuality, modern vision systems are very simple to install and use. Most of the algorithms and communications are built in, so it can be very easy and quick to make adjustments without the help of a trained engineer. New users are often surprised just how easy it is to use and maintain their vision systems. Myth #2: Vision Systems are... Read More
Date: 01-09-2017
Now’s that time of year when people make personal resolutions to lose weight, get organized and make more money. It’s not much different for manufacturing companies, that need to take time to review the coming year and set goals to grow business. Of top priority for most manufacturers is to streamline operations, reduce waste, improve product quality and maintain worker safety. It may seem like a tall order to achieve these goals simultaneously, but a robotic handling system can satisfy all these needs. Robots are ideal to improve jobs with large parts and repetitive motions, and those jobs in dangerous, dirty and undesirable conditions. Plus, implementing a robot can give manufacturers more flexibility to expand capabilities and take on new client work. And the boss will love the... Read More
Date: 12-19-2016
The manufacturing industry faces a challenge, and it's not coming from overseas. Quite simply, there aren't enough skilled workers in the U.S., and the problem is going to get worse over the next 10 years. A recent report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projects 2 million unfilled jobs in manufacturing. That will crimp output and increase the need for imports. It's going to limit economic growth too because, as the Deloitte report points out, “Every job created in manufacturing creates another 2.5 new jobs in local goods and services.” Manufacturers have two choices: do nothing or invest in creating more capacity. One way to increase capacity is by deploying manufacturing robots. Contrary to myth (learn how we bust four robotic myths here), robots create jobs in America.... Read More
Date: 11-08-2016
Everybody likes strawberries, except, perhaps the engineer developing a robotic strawberry packing system. Like everything natural, strawberries vary greatly in size, shape and weight. Their textured surface can be wet, and they crush easily. Developing robotic gripper systems to grasp and move fruit and vegetables is challenging. Fortunately for manufacturing companies, rigid cast, molded or machined parts, flat materials like cardboard and sheet metal, and even soft, flexible bags and pouches are all easier to handle. Grasping The most common way of grasping an object is with 2-finger robotic grippers. These pinch together, holding parts firmly for lifting and moving. This style is used for tending machines like presses and lathes, and for picking and inserting parts in assembly... Read More
Date: 02-29-2016
Robotic automation is contributing to a manufacturing renaissance. Companies are installing more robots than ever, increasing productivity and growing their businesses. Picking the right robot is no easy task. Experienced users find sticking with one brand or vendor simplifies programming, maintenance and support, providing they chose wisely. For a company making a first foray into robotic automation though, the options can be bewildering. Of the many reliable machines on the market, Acieta has partnered with FANUC delivering proven solutions. Over the course of 30-plus years, Acieta has installed thousands of FANUC robots for applications ranging from material removal and polishing to palletizing. Workers are protected from dirty or dangerous operations, robot transport units maximize... Read More
Date: 08-18-2015
Automotive Assembly Robot
Manufacturers in every industry want to automate, and it’s not just about driving down costs. Automation improves quality and protects workers from hazardous tasks and environments. When used to address skills shortages, it increases capacity, and by enabling companies to reshore work from overseas, it even helps protect intellectual property. Yet, despite the tremendous technology advances made over the last two decades, there’s a mindset that automation requires high volumes, low variety and extended product lifecycles. That’s regrettable, because it means small-to-medium manufacturers, as well as those dealing with short product lifecycles, are missing an opportunity to improve margins. Traditional automation hardware, like transfer lines and pick-and-place machines, is expensive to... Read More
Date: 05-20-2015
HMI Design By Acieta
In too many robot automation projects, the Human Machine Interface (HMI) is overlooked until the cell is installed. Rather than defining the requirements in the specification, it's left to the controls engineer to provide the screens and information he thinks might be useful.  But, that's a missed opportunity, and here's why: Communication is two way Through the HMI any piece of automation equipment communicates with users. The HMI will, or should, display information about what the equipment is doing, and the user will enter commands, telling it what actions to take. Multiple HMIs A robot cell will usually have two HMIs, one for the robot and one for the cell, sometimes more. Robots come with a pendant HMI that has a touchscreen plus a number of buttons — some dedicated to specific... Read More
Date: 05-19-2015
Collaborative Robots By Acieta
A collaborative robot can share a workspace with humans: physical separation is not required. This is a break from past practice where robots had to be caged to avoid harming anyone who got in their way. Now, with the change of sensor and robot controller technology, a robot can reliably detect and adapt to intrusion into its work envelope, meaning physical barriers are no longer essential for safe operation. Updated robot safety standards account for these advances but require the robot to possess at least one of the following characteristics to work collaboratively: Safety-rated monitored stop Cell-hand guiding Speed and separation monitoring Power and force limiting Robots employing the power and force limiting approach have compliance in case of impacts, but also lack speed, accuracy... Read More
Date: 02-25-2015
Robot Programming By Acieta
If you've never programmed a robot before it can seem daunting. Tool Center Points, coordinate systems, avoiding singularity problems and so on. The reality though, is that basic robot-programming skills can be picked up quickly by anyone with a background in manufacturing technology. The biggest hurdle most users face is switching their thinking from the x-y-z linear motions of a CNC machine to the joint rotations of an articulated robot. In CNC programming moving the tool in a straight line only needs one axis. Doing the same with a robot takes the simultaneous rotation, at different speeds, of multiple axes. While novice robot programmers may not find this very intuitive, with training and practice programmers can quickly become proficient. To help the newcomer, robot manufacturers... Read More

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