For small manufacturers looking to overcome productions challenges in these unusual times, the Association for Advancing Automation has a suggestion: light industrial robots.
The ‘Manufacturing: The Next Generation — through collaborative automation’ virtual event will see the robotics thought leaders discuss their powerful visions of the future of manufacturing. The expert panel will share insights on how collaborative automation helps future-proof manufacturing companies, helping to build resilience and reduce risk as the world navigates unprecedented COVID-19 challenges where uncertainty is now the only constant. Collaborative robotic applications are now the fastest growing segment of the industrial automation market. It’s a trend that looks set to gain pace through 2020 and beyond as more companies deploy collaborative automation that solves specific manufacturing challenges with affordable and easy-to-use cobots or light industrial robots. These smaller robots offer application-specific tools with simple programming and setup, even for manufacturers with little experience.
“We believe the use of automation technologies such as robotics, AI, machine vision and motion control is poised to skyrocket in the future as companies seek to improve their competitiveness though improved productivity, product quality, and time to market,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, North America’s largest automation trade group. “Mark Cuban has been a strong proponent of automation as a way to help the United States become more competitive as a nation while addressing skilled worker shortages and improving conditions for the workforce, views shared by A3.
“We look forward to his insights as well as those from Enrico Krog Iversen and Rob Goldiez, who are both innovative robotics industry executives.”
OnRobot CEO Iversen emphasizes how user-friendly ccollaborative applications offer flexibility, low cost and guarantees around worker health and safety that traditional robotics can’t compete with.
“I’m excited to join forward thinkers like Mark Cuban and Rob Goldiez for us to share helpful insights for manufacturers that are thinking about deploying collaborative applications in their facility during COVID-19 and beyond,” he says.
Iversen, formerly CEO of cobot maker Universal Robots (UR), could have retired comfortably when UR was acquired by Teradyne in 2015. Instead, he assumed leadership at OnRobot, which has since become one of the world’s leading suppliers of low cost, no fuss, robotic tools including grippers, sensors and vision cameras.
“OnRobot is focused on lowering the barriers to automation adoption among small-to-medium size companies and serving as a one-stop-shop for all the end-effectors and components manufacturers need to make the most of their robotics investment,” explains Iversen. “We’re seeing that COVID-19 has accelerated pre-existing trends towards the adoption of collaborative automation, enabling companies to quickly retool operations in response to workforce interruptions, public health measures or sudden changes in production demand.”
Mark Cuban may be best known as the CEO of Dallas Mavericks and as founder of the globally successful Shark Tank television show, but he has emerged as a strong advocate for robotics and automation as a way for manufacturers to remain competitive in what he has dubbed “America 2.0.”
In 2017, Cuban became an investor in Hirebotics, a company that pioneered the provision of ‘robots-as-a-service’ and cloud connected cobots.
“We saw a tremendous need in the market to leverage automation in helping manufacturers meet labor shortages quickly without the need for capital investment and robotics know-how,” says Goldiez, CEO of Hirebotics. “With our BotX Welder, we have recently turned our attention to welding—a segment of the manufacturing industry that is in a crisis with the shortage of skilled welders. I am thrilled to join Mark Cuban and Enrico Krog Iversen and share our unique approach to cobot applications.”
Moderated by Robert Huschka, director of Education Strategies at A3, the Nov. 19 event is free and open for all to attend.