Flexible Automation is one of the fastest growing areas of Factory Automation.
What is Flexible Automation? Flexible Automation is a concept that allows a robotic cell to be re-tasked quickly and easily allowing for multiple automation processes while requiring minimal change over. The main challenge has been dealing with parts that are difficult to feed and those with high mix / low volume. Traditionally, for many of these applications, automation has been cost prohibitive.
Investing in automation with Redeployable Assets now makes these applications feasible. Grouping key components together typically proves for a very fast return on investment. Risk is reduced as these components can be deployed to other automation tasks with minimal effort.
Flexible Automation Cell Components
The feeder separates, disperses, and sometimes orients the parts.
The Vision System identifies targets on the feeder and passes the coordinates (x, y, and theta) to the robot.
The robot receives the coordinates from the vision system and picks the part using the chosen EOAT.
Grippers / EOAT
End of Arm Tooling: The robot needs a tool to manipulate the desired part and complete the task
Once the cycle is complete the process repeats. No jamming and no dedicated tooling.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Most cells can be deployed quickly, increasing the rate on ROI.
Key components can be used in, and relocated to, other areas and applications when needed. This protects your investment and reduces bottlenecks and delays.
Use the same flex cell for multiple parts and or processes with minimal (if any) tooling changes.
Save on Labor Costs
We've all heard about the labor issues. Flexible Automation allows for re-allocation of human labor from dangerous, repetitive tasks.
Reduce costs of your operations and keep your business running smoothly.
Increase Product Quality
Flexible automation of processes allows for standardized product, and lets you maintain control on your business's products.
Suggested Resources for You
Our Robotics Partners
Industrial robotics in the palm of your hand. The Meca500 is the world’s smallest, most compact and most precise six-axis industrial robot arm. Unlike the typical industrial robot, which is a complex, stand-alone system that is to be programmed via proprietary programming language and interface, the Meca500 is controlled as an automation component, much like a smart electric gripper. These incredible robots have been seen all across different industries, and are commonly used as automation components on machines in addition to traditional industrial robot usage. Our team has a few Meca500s in our lab, and we perform application testing regularly for interested customers.
Precise Automation, now owned by Brooks Automation, manufactures the PreciseFlex lineup of collaborative robots. They make a few different models, all of which are perfect for labratory automation settings. These collaborative robots come in different models, including SCARA. They are some of the fastest and safest collaborative robots on the market today, and come in at an excellent price that makes achieving the return on investment that much easier. We have a few different models available in our lab, and perform application testing regularly.
Yaskawa is a leader in industrial and collaborative robotics. Unlike traditional more complex robot execution, which requires significant upfront investment in training, Smart Series technology provides simple, intuitive robot programming and operation methods for your workforce. Easily adaptable to changing manufacturing requirements, this suite of products can readily be deployed and redeployed for its next job. Motoman comes equipped with a large array of robot types and sizes, ensuring that no matter the application they will have the technology that meets your expectations.
Kassow Robots was founded in Copenhagen (Denmark) is developing and producing unique and efficient 7-axes lightweight collaborative robots for industrial applications. They are one of the newest robot technologies that we have partnered with. The company’s motto is “strong, fast, simple”. Its products offer speed and power, yet also have a long reach. This collaborative robot line was created to address the main issues that come with collaborative robots...the speed, and strength. The user-friendliness of the cobots provides businesses with greater flexibility, allowing SMEs without their own robotics specialists to achieve complex automation and programming cost-effectively and independently. What is more, the cobots are compact enough for use in confined spaces. Our team has models in our lab, and we perform application testing regularly for interested customers.
Our Flexible Feeding Partners
Asycube Flexible Feeders
Asyril develops, produces and markets high performance flexible feeding systems for parts and components from 0.1 up to 150 mm in size. Our unique patented 3-axis vibration technology and intelligent vision system are easy to integrate and allow for optimized speed, accuracy and flexibility. These feeders fit 99% of complex part geometries, and have easily customizable platform options to ensure that your parts are presented in the correct orientation. Flexible part feeding has never been easier.
FlexiBowl® is an innovative device to feed bulk components. It does not work with vibration, but through the combined actuation of servomotor and impulse generator. Once bulk components lie on feeder surface with the right orientation, the vision system can locate them and send coordinates to the robot for pick up. FlexiBowl® is capable of feeding entire families of parts and does not require any retooling cost for product changeovers: product changes can be made in a matter of seconds without any trouble.
Our Vision Partners
SensoPart covers a wide range of industrial image processing with its portfolio of vision solutions – from VISOR® plug & Play solutions for standard applications to the freely configurable Eyesight vision system for particularly complex automation tasks.
The OnRobot Eyes makes it easy and affordable to deploy vision for almost any collaborative application. Eyes is ideal for sorting a variety of objects, CNC machine tending with metal parts that are defined by outer shape, and many other pick-and-place applications where orientation is important.
Asyril's Eye+ describes Asyril’s intelligent optical part detection and image processing system, ensuring straightforward integration of any Asycube vibrating platform with any industrial robot brand. EYE+ consists of a compact controller, a high-resolution camera and a calibration plate. This plug and play system running on the easy to use EYE+ Studio web based interface that requires no in-depth knowledge of machine vision to run your flexible pick and place application.
AI-powered visual quality inspection goes beyond the capabilities of machine vision alone in detecting anomalies and product variations. Using proven vision AI technology, manufacturers can continue to scale production and adapt to workforce changes, while achieving even higher levels of quality control.
End of Arm Tooling
OnRobot products open new possibilities for automating tasks that you never thought possible. Our cutting edge gripping and sensing systems for industrial automation let you easily design truly collaborative applications that enable your workforce to work side-by-side with collaborative robots on assembly, surface finishing, pick and place, machine tending or testing