AUTOMATION & ROBOTICS
In the economy of rapid change and world-wide recession, Automation & Robotics seems a feasible solution to improving productivity, quality,and other measure of performance.Today it has become important for the entrepreneurs to opt for automation and robotics to compete with the world market and survive by sustaining quality withminimization of costs and operating expenses. In the next few years, everything that has anything to do with manufacturing will be automated. Also, information systems, controls and measurements will be Internet/Ethernet connected
The target of automation may be broadly considered for the human less factory and plant; but it may not materialize yet for some more years. However the semi-automated plants are more flexible than fully automated plants. Moreover, the former requires higher investment costs, which is not advisable in present scenario in many countries. Therefore we feel that the major Industries may opt for SemiAutomation with the proper controls.
Automations and innovations make sense only as long as they are of benefit to the industries; they lead, and achieve the market success and profitability. The significance of automation in the industry with the Electronic, Electrohydraulic, Electro-pneumatic and Servo Controls has become today’s necessity for a large number of industries looking to remain profitable and competitive in an extremely dynamic environment.
The industrial production is not only determined by a continuing quest for greater productivity, but also by progressive consolidation, flexibility and platform strategies. The majority of industries therefore demand powerful, highly available, open and modular automation systems which can be retrofitted or modified without long shutdown periods. On the technical front, this goes hand in hand with greater complexity and shorter innovation cycles.
Overcoming world-wide recession the North American Robotics Market has set new records in the first half of 2015. According to the statistics released from Robotic Industries Association (RIA), an industry’s trade group, a record 14,232 robots, valued at $840 million were ordered from North American robotics companies in the first half of 2015,that is an increase of one percent in units and seven percent in revenue over the same period in 2014.
The President of RIA, Jeff Burnsteinsaid, “We are encouraged by the continued strength in the North American robotics market, and the interest in robotics remains strong not just in North America, but all over the world, as companies recognize that robots can help them improve productivity, product quality, and flexibility.”
The Managing Director of Crane-Bel International P Ltd, Er. Sarvesh Gupta says “We have continued to consistently expand our product and service portfolio, turning it into an integrated technological offer which has already been supplemented by globally known well reputed large groups like Bosch – Rexroth, Eaton – Vickers and many more. These have been the trendsetters in Fluid Power & Electro-Hydraulic technologies and Servo Control systems on an ongoing basis. Thus, our customers get state-of-the-art machine tools, Broaching Machines with WingedAutomation, as shown on the cover Page, integrated with the latest technology as a result of our ongoing R&D activities and Innovations including the technology up gradation and integration of automation and robotics into the systems.”
For further information, the readers may contact: Er. Sarvesh Gupta
Managing Director; at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the objectives & important matters to be kept in consideration by the entrepreneurs for Industrial Automation and Robotics in Industry are as follows:
1. Increasing the efficiency and performance of the product along with the profits.
2. Improving the business health and standing in the segment of superstars. The business fortune lies in the innovation and automation by the entrepreneurs
3. Improving the levels of business, quality and consumer confidence.
4. Investing capital in things which are likely to lead to a brighter future.
5. The manufacturing sector must always continue R&D and innovations as the important fields
6. It is the R&D along with innovation that will only move the industries in the superstars’ segment.
7. Almost all of the superstars remain in alignment for continued growth of the business through a properly planned Automation, R&D and Innovations
8. Sometimes, the question is asked “Whether the manufacturing sector would grow, and should we go on investing in Automation, Robotics, R&D and Innovations?” the response of the majority of economists is “Yes! It would certainly grow for the growing industries.” Infect the Investment should be done as per the economic conditions, not as an extra burden on the industry
9. All over the world, factories are becoming more efficient. They have installed new control systems, Automation and Robotics with proper utilization of new technology
10. Improvising system design and utilization of new innovative products like the Integrated Motor Pump Units. These are the vital factors which greatly affect the performance, efficiency and the profitability of the Industry.
HISTORY OF U.S. ROBOTICS RESEARCH
The fundamental research in computing and engineering that has enabled robotics to develop in the US has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since its inception. We are briefing below the NFS’s 40 years history of supporting US Robotics research as under:
1970S: Robots for the factory floor
In the mid-1970s, robotics gathered steam at NSF. Among the first research projects classified as robotics were mechanical arms that could pick a part out of a box and visually identify it and orient it properly for the next step on an assembly line, as well as computercontrolled welding robots. These and other NSF-funded projects were aimed at improvising the productivity of American manufacturing processes — a goal for roboticists that continues to this day
1980s: the rise of walking machines
In 1980, there was an increased diversification in the types of robots being explored and the ways they could be used. At Ohio State, Electrical Engineer Robert McGhee and Mechanical Engineer Kenneth Waldron, along with a 60-member team of students and technical assistants, developed the Adaptive Suspension Vehicle (ASV), which was 17 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 10.5 feet high, and had six legs to support its three-ton aluminium body. It was designed in such a way that it could carry cargo for industrial and military applications over rough, mountainous, icy or muddy terrain, and had the capability of crossing 9-foot-wide ditches or 7-foothigh walls.
1990s: the robots explore the new environments
In the 1990s, roboticists began turning their attention to day-to-day tasks with which a robot could assist. For instance, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University developed a series of mobile, personal service robots, such as Nursebot,basically designed for the purpose of assisting elderly people in their everyday life.
In 1991, the Omni-Directional Intelligent Navigator (ODIN), a sphere-shaped, autonomous underwater robot capable of instantaneous movement in all six directions was built. In 1995 it was upgraded to ODIN II, an autonomous underwater robot.Sentry, a successor robot developed through a grant from NSF, plies the deep waters today locating and quantifying hydrothermal fluxes.
2000s: miniaturisation and mobility
Researchers have always envisioned a future where robots could serve the general good in disaster recovery and search-and-rescue operations, but it wasn’t until 9/11 that robots were broadly put to that use
Robotics expert Robin Murphy, then an Associate Professor of computer science at the University of South Florida, arrived on site the morning after the collapse of the World Trade Centre. Murphy’s research on experimental mixed-initiative robots for urban rescue operations was originally funded by NSF. She brought with her a response team that included three graduate students — Jenn Casper, Mark Micire and Brian Minten— and software-guided “Marsupial” robot systems. These intelligent anonymous “marsupial” robots are especially useful in rubble because the “mother” robot releases smaller robots to explore tight spaces unreachable by other means.
2010s: investing in co-robots
In June 2011, the administration launched the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) to develop robots that work with or beside people to extend or augment human capabilities, taking advantage of the different strengths of humans and robots. This provided focus and funding for robotics research. The NRI is led by NSF and supported by multiple agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Defence (DOD).Since 2011, NSF and its partners in NRI have invested more than $120 million in robotics research.
Today, robots impact our lives in a myriad of ways. Robots are being used in classrooms across the nation to capture the excitement of students and help them learn STEM (and non-STEM) principles.
They’re helping doctors in diagnostics perform surgeries, and providing assistance to individuals with disabilities. They are also helping in various important activities of inspecting the bridges and roads to ensure our safety. “Robots, which once were limited to the realm of science fiction, are now a transformative technology, a demonstration of how NSF-funded basic research can bring about changes in human life,” said Marc Rothenberg, former NSF historian
Though robots may be an emerging area of research, many of the underpinnings of today’s robots began in fundamental research in sensing, computer vision, artificial intelligence, mechanical engineering and many other areas that some might not immediately recognize as being related to robots.
An autonomous mobile robot that “lives” in the home of a chronically ill elderly person could remind its owner to take medicine, provide videoconferencing with doctors, collect patient data or watch for accidents, manipulate objects for arthritis sufferers, and provide some social interaction. New versions have evolved over the years and a General Electric developed hospital robot is expected to be tested at a Veterans Affairs hospital in 2015.
NSF-supported researchers are making incredible advances in robotics, creating a new generation of co-robots that can handle critical tasks in close proximity to humans, safely and with greater resilience than previous intelligent machines.
The Robot Report’s database of robotics-related companies, research facilities, schools, start-ups and ancillary businesses has grown over 3,000 robots.
Following are the major sectors of robotic industries:
Ancillary Businesses (1062)
Industrial Robots (293)
Educational & Research Facilities and Organizations (292)
Service Robots for Governmental and Corporate Use (690)
Service Robots for Personal and Private Use (125)
Start Up Companies (393)
IMPROVING THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM
Fluid Power Technology is the main power transmission and control system. The Hydraulic system is used when the most reliable and repeatable forms of power and motion control is desired. For the proper operation of the Machine Tools and plant, improvement in the design, operation and maintenance of the power and motion control system of the machine tool and automation is required.
Design of the system plays very important partin the performance and maintenance of the automation system. For an efficient operation, energy conservation and long service life without causing any major breakdown, it is essential to consider following important points during designing and operation of the efficient Hydraulic System:
a) Incorporation of the Suitable FailSafe® Accumulators to reduce the hydraulic pulses, vibration, noise, surges & jerks, conservation of energy and instant power supply
b) Avoid using Suction Strainers instead use Automatic Indicating Inlet Filters with in-built By-pass & Air-bleed, if the filters are required in the inlet lines of Hydraulic systems.
c) In case, the use of Suction Strainers is necessary, we should use Anticavitation Suction Strainers in place of ordinary Suction Strainers in order to protect the systems against any cavitation
d) Incorporation of H O Pro, Water Removal Filters to remove the moisture and water content from the system.
e) Incorporation of H O Gate Breathers 2 for restricting the entry of moisture into the oil reservoir during inhaling and allowing the moisture to exit during exhaling.
f) Using the Honeycomb Type Oil Coolers to maintain the temperature of the system.
g) Adopting Contamination Monitoring and Control systems, Oil Management Machines, like Systemguard.
h) Using the Variable Delivery Pumps with additional Controls and features as per the specific requirements for the conservation of energy and improving the efficiency of the plant, machinery and system
i) Adopting Flow divider-cumcombiner for simultaneous operation of actuators.
j) Adopting Dynamic Controlled pressure control-cum-relief valves to offer a better stabilization of pressure in the system.
k) Adopting Automatic Power Saving Flow Controller for adjustable speeds and to conserve the energy along with increase in the system performance.
l) Using Soft-shift Solenoid controlled Directional Valves for No-Bang-Bang operation.
Automation in Various Segments
Automation is a feasible solution for improving quality, productivity and other requirements of performance in most of the industrial segments, the following main segments may be considered for strategical consideration towards the improvements and Automation:
1. Automation in Machine Tools
WingedAutomationin the Machine Tools itself, for feeding, handling, holding, clamping and locking of job and tool handling, shifting, movement, feeding and retraction of tools are the main segments of Automation and Robotics in the Machine Tools
2. Automation&Control in Process Industries
Controls in process industries refer to the regulation of all aspects of the process. Precise control of level, temperature, pressure and flow is important in many process applications. The strategies in the control of the individual manufacturing processes may be quite different. Whereas the strategy with control at the plant level is concerned, it attempts to manage and coordinate the aggregate operations in the plant more efficiently. Its implementation usually involves a high level of computer networking within the factory
3. Flexible Automation
This strategy attempts to achieve maximum utilization of equipment for job shop and medium volume situations by using the same equipment for a variety of parts or products. It involves the use of the flexible automation concepts. Prime objectives are to reduce setup time and programming time for the production machine. This normally translates into lower manufacturing lead time and less work-in-process.
4. Combination of Various Operations
Production occurs as a sequence of operations. Complex parts may require dozens, or even hundreds, of processing steps. The strategy of combined operations involves reducing the number of distinct production machines or workstations through which the part must be routed.
This is accomplished by performing more than one operation at a given machine, thereby reducing the number of separate machines needed. Since each machine typically involves a setup, setup time can usually be saved as a consequence of this strategy. Material handling effort and non-operation time are also reduced. Manufacturing lead time is reduced for better customer service
5. Specialized&Simultaneous Operations
The first strategy involves the use of special-purpose equipment designed to perform one operation with the greatest possible efficiency while the second is an analogous to the concept of labour specialization, which is employed to improve labour productivity
A logical extension of the combined operations strategy is to simultaneously perform the operations that are combined at one workstation. In effect, two or more processing (or assembly) operations are being performed simultaneously on the same work part, thus reducing total processing time.
6. Integration of Operations
Another strategy is to link several workstations together into a single integrated mechanism, using automated work handling devices to transfer parts between stations. In effect, this reduces the number of separate machines through which the product must be scheduled.
With more than one workstation, several parts can be processed simultaneously, thereby increasing the overall output of the system.
7. Process Control and Optimization
This includes a wide range of control schemes intended to operate the individual processes and associated equipment more efficiently. By this strategy, the individual process times can be reduced along with improved product quality
8. Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
Taking the previous strategy one level higher, we have the integration of factory operations with engineering design and the business functions of the firm.
CIM involves extensive use of:
Computer data bases
Computer networking throughout the enterprise
9. Improved Material Handling and Storage
There is always great opportunity for reducing non-productive time consumed in the operations and use of various material handling and storage systems. Typical benefits include reduced workin-process andshorter manufacturing lead times.
10. In-Process, Parallel & On-line Inspection
Inspection for quality of work is traditionally performed after the process is completed. This means that any poor quality product has already been produced by the time it is inspected. Incorporating inspection into the manufacturing process permits corrections to the process as the product is being made.
This reduces scrap and brings the overall quality of product closer to the nominal specifications is the normal intention of the designer.
Automation Safety in Motion Control System
Motion control products supply a complete motion control safety automation system by providing and extending the capability of PLCs and servo motors in industrial machines and systems
As programmable electronic solutions become ever-more sophisticated and capable, they’re also becoming easier to integrate, configure and use. One of the remaining areas for convergence is machine automation solutions that offer an effective balance of integrated control and safety products in one system under one label.
Automation Safety device manufacturing companies offer a wide range of product lines for the purpose. These companies report their new motion control products and supply a complete motion control safety automation system by providing and extending the capability of PLCs and servo motors in industrial machines and systems to the well-known Automation technology companies.
The new motion-control products are the latest development in the automation products that integrate safety technology. The current products from the range of PSS programmable safety systems and the open bus safety system are to be normally approved to SIL (safety integrity level) 3 of EN IEC 61508. Safety and control technology should be built as per the actual automation technology, and it must communicate with its environment, from the very simplest status message to the complex shutdown of a machine, in case of any safety problem.
Also the motion control systems must have jerk-less positioning, virtual main shaft and electronic gearbox efficiencies, integrated flexible cam synchronization, and tensioning control of the high-end motion control. The performance requirements must be considered as per the products’ requirements and the system must meet the objective of safety technology, which is the protection of man, machine and the environment.
Machine Safety has to be the focus of the manufacturers along with the buyers/users/operators of the machines. Safety requirements are to be defined clearly, without any potential operator error or interference that might create an unsafe environment.
To meet the safety, productivity and environmental objectives the manufacturers have to take a taskoriented approach. Accessing many machine variables and controlling their limits—in essence creating safety zones during machine operations as the primary approach to safety. The smart safety control systems that provide redundancy, monitoring, diagnostics and safety networking have to be effective for absolute safety. The different functionality levels of the various safety controls have to provide a multitude of solutions depending on the machine, interlocking devices and access requirements
Demand of Industrial Automation & Robots
The use of industrial Automation & Robots continues to grow, not just in the U.S. but around the world. Implementing an industrial robot drastically improves productivity. Robots are able to work 24/7 if necessary and do not require breaks. They help reduce product cycle times, increase throughput, improve consistency, and lead to greater efficiency. All of this helps improve the overall process and lead to higher profits
It is estimated that the world-wide demand of Industrial Robots alone may go up by about 15% during 2015-16 and more than 200K, industrial robots can be installed during this period worldwide. As industrial robots become more advanced, and innovative technologies are brought to the forefront, new applications are revealing themselves
From packing product and palletizing cases to loading trailers and tending machines, industry is continuously finding more and more uses for robots. As these new applications are discovered, demand for industrial robots increases, there is a rise in the number of installations. Japan, China, Korea, Germany, and the United States accounted for 70% of the total robot sales in 2014. While these countries are well-established in the robotics market, new countries are starting to invest heavily in industrial robots as well.
Robot sales in Mexico increased by 30% to hit a new record high in 2014. Bastian Solutions, a leading global systems integration solutions organization, opened Bastian Mexico and has now sold numerous robotic solutions in this region across a variety of industries and expects significant growth in 2015.
Mexican customers recognize the advantage of purchasing systems through local engineering integration companies working side by side with a top of the line conveyor manufacturer and materials handling solutions. Mexican customers require, insist, and demand the local personalized service installation and support.
From increased sales and installations to more affordable robots and quicker ROIs, all evidence points to the multibillion dollar market of industrial robotics continuing to grow for years to come. Robots will continue to have a major role in manufacturing and production across the globe. Combined with the high demand for automation and conveyors, the total requirements and the growth of automation and Robotics with material handling continues to be very optimistic indeed.
By: Er. Ashok Kumar Gupta & Editorial Team of Global Hydraulics Journal,
A-57, Sector-16, Noida-201301, India.