CNC, Motion Control

As a control algorithm moves robots through a space, each state the robots can be in is represented by a spot on the 3D graph. As the algorithm explores new options, it finds failures and potential next moves. This graph represents all of the wrong moves explored (blue) and the one route that is correct (red). Courtesy: Duke University
Robotics July 14, 2020

Coordinating complex behaviors among hundreds of robots

Duke University researchers have developed an approach to designing motion plans for multiple robots grows "trees" in the search space to solve complex problems in a fraction of the time.

By Ken Kingery
Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation
Automation July 2, 2020

Modular window film application system reveals high precision, throughput

PDS IG Equipment doubles window film throughput compared to the industry standard by using EtherCAT and PC-based control.

By James Figy
Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology
Machinery and Equipment June 26, 2020

Improving machine performance and reliability with predictive maintenance

With more advanced predictive maintenance tools at their disposal, today’s maintenance and operations teams can improve efficiencies and minimize unplanned downtime.

By Phil Burge
Courtesy: igus
Automation, Controls June 4, 2020

Creating history: Motion control, industrial communications challenge

Integrated automation and motion controls help to suspend, move heavy garden ‘clouds’ as part of Chicago museum exhibit using a wireless pendant. Fiber-optic, water and power cables used are typically for heavy duty indoor applications and in high bay warehouses, packaging machines and indoor cranes.

By Dan Thompson
Courtesy: North Carolina State University
Robotics May 17, 2020

Soft robot movement speed inspired by cheetahs

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a type of soft robot capable of moving more quickly on solid surfaces or in the water, which was inspired by how cheetahs move.

By Matt Shipman
ActiNav from Universal Robots (UR) is a new UR+ application kit for companies of all sizes that simplifies the integration of autonomous bin picking of parts and accurate placement in machines using UR cobots. ActiNav synchronously handles vision processing, collision-free motion planning and autonomous real-time robot control, eliminating the complexity and risk usually associated with bin picking applications. UR called the kit the “world’s first autonomous bin picking kit for machine tending applications.” Courtesy: Universal Robots
Robotics April 30, 2020

How to quickly start a robotic pick-and-place application

Moving parts from a bin to a precise location has required repetitive human agility or talent to address vision, programming and robotic integration challenges. A pre-integrated kit can shorten time to productivity, helping machine tending and pick-and-place robotic applications. See May 12 live webcast and 7 tips below.

By Mark T. Hoske
Courtesy of: Northrop Grumman Newsroom
Discrete Manufacturing April 24, 2020

How Northrop Grumman engineers helped Apollo 13 astronauts safely return home

Look at how engineers helped the Apollo 13 astronauts got home safely 50 years ago.

By Northrop Grumman
Graduate student Zach Fredin operates the Zund large-format cutter in MIT’s Center for Bit and Atoms. The machine was used to make prototypes of the face shield. Courtesy: Center for Bits and Atoms, MIT
PPE April 2, 2020

University initiates mass manufacture of disposable face shields for COVID-19 response

An MIT team launched mass manufacturing of a new technique to meet the high demand for disposable face shields with a single-piece design that uses die cutting to create them quickly.

By Mary Beth Gallagher
Manufacturing index slides into contraction territory for March 2020. Courtesy: Opto 22
Business of Engineering April 1, 2020

Manufacturing index falls in March as COVID-19’s effects hit suppliers, consumers

The purchasing manufactuers' index had a slight decline in March, but the specter of COVID-19 continues to loom over the manufacturing industry as the pandemic spreads.

By Chris Vavra
Courtesy: Emerson/Aventics
Mechanical March 6, 2020

Transform pneumatics systems for energy conservation, efficiency and safety

Machine automation evolution proves the only limitation is the imagination

By Bob Bradley and Robby Haun