Berkeley, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/22/2014 -- Machine integration is a specialty that goes back decades. Robots have been used to perform tasks that require heavy lifting, and are repetitious or dangerous for a long time and the technology used to integrate devices is decades old. The connectivity is often done through a wired interface where around ten wires connect the machine tool to the robot and then the signals are converted into PLC inputs that then signal behavior in the machine.
Will Sobel, CEO of System Insights recently shared, “Each integration is specific to that process and often ends up costing 2-5 times the cost of the original robot. If you compare to labor, it may be cheaper to hire more people than to use a robot. Automation has the advantage of continuous operation and reduced variability at the expense of having no human monitoring and validating the operation of the machine.”
In a project sponsored by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), System Insights, and Southwest Research Institute were able to connect a machine tool and a robot in a novel way, using read-only messaging via MTConnect. The big difference with the new approach and the classical integration is the intelligence was placed with the machine tool and the robot. This means that the protocol was only communicating a desired action, not giving an instruction and changing state on the other device.
International Federation of Robots (IFR) reports that robots have actually created 8-10 million jobs between 2000-2008 which amounted to around 1 million jobs per year. In countries that have adopted automation, manufacturing unemployment has actually decreased. These are jobs in manufacturing and robotics. Automation creates more jobs because companies can produce more and labor costs become less an issue so more shops can compete in the global market – thus creating more jobs.
About System Insights
System Insights, (http://www.systeminsights.com) based in Berkeley, California, with offices in Chennai, India, is a leading global supplier of manufacturing software in both machining based, discrete and process industries. The SI flagship product - vimana - delivers predictive analytics solutions to improve clients’ efficiency, productivity, and profitability. vimana provides these data while enabling customers to realize sustainable manufacturing objectives. The vimana software platform delivers a unique combination of Cloud Computing and Big Data capabilities that sets out to revolutionize the economics of manufacturing. System Insights is a proud member of both AMT (Association for Manufacturing Technology) and NTMA (National Tooling and Machining Association). Follow System Insights on Twitter @systeminsights.