We had a lot of fun last week at the Automate 2017 Show in Chicago — and some 20,000 other people did as well. Hot new robotics, motion control, and other technologies for automation wowed crowds big and small.
On the front for linear motion, the big news this year at Automate was the expanding use of seventh-axis systems for extending the reach of robotics. We’ve covered this technology in the past: Read the feature Designing linear motion tracks for robotic positioning for more on the topic.
Recently Universal Robots announced that they’re partnering with Festo to offer an integrated option for seventh-axis arrangements where material-handling applications might benefit. We touch on the rise of seventh axes at this entry — Show daily: Hottest and most useful robotic technologies at Automate 2017. But here is complete PDF on the solution:
In fact, we learned last week that another manufacturer now offering a seventh-axis solution is Rollon …
Mounting a robot to a seventh axis requires a supporting actuator with a duty cycle, and life to satisfy the application. If a robot is to be 24-7 then the seventh-axis actuator should be rated for that usage profile as well. Expect more from us on this as we get more details from Rollon.
Linear motion in automated storage and retrieval systems — ASRSs
Another hot topic at this year’s Automate Show was the rise of automated warehousing — and all of the technologies that go into automated storage and retrieval systems — AS/RS or ASRSs. Check out the linear motion on this setup from Intelligrated to grab, lift, and release bins of goods onto conveyors:
In fact, Intelligrated (purchased by Honeywell late last year) had two booths at McCormick last week — one on the Automate side and another on the co-located Promat show side. Here are some announcements from the manufacturer and integrator on their offerings and what was new at the show:
As a side note here, also on display was an elegant module showing end-of-line synchronization for bin picking with a Universal Robots arm … fitted with a hybrid pneumatic suction and fingered gripper from RightHand Robotics:
Automate 2017 also had some linear-motion manufacturers announcing new robotic offerings — including HIWIN. One we saw took the form of a six-axis arm for assembly and machining tasks — as well as pick-and-place and general handling applications.
Stay tuned in coming weeks as we cover seventh-axis offerings, linear bin-handling axes, and ASRS permutations that incorporate an array of linear-motion designs right here on linearmotiontips.com. In the mean time, we leave you with this — a Murata Machinery USA (Muratec) ASRS installation that was shown at ProMat. This is a Uni-SHUTTLE HP featuring a dual vertical lifter to make the enormous machine work faster in flexible-storage situations. Enjoy: