21 Mar Present at “Robotics for Industry 4.0”
Collaboration and autonomyare the key words behind the new Robotics vision, one of the foundational technologies of Industry 4.0.
In the scope of traditional industrial automation systems, robots were always constructed and used to perform repetitive tasks. They were precise and rapid, but for safety reasons they were always kept at a distance from interventions performed by people.
In new generation factories, a revolution is occurring in how robots are conceived, with older models now working alongside or replaced by two types of robots: Collaborative robots, capable of working together with people safely and reliably, and autonomous robots, based on artificial intelligence that allows them to move and work, also in the presence of uncertainty and variable conditions in the environment.
New technological solutions are producing changes in the large scale manufacturing sector, as well as in sectors that once did not rely on the use of robots, but that is not all. Thanks to this evolution, industries are currently able to efficiently fulfil special order productions, bringing added value and a wide range of offered services, becoming more attractive to small and medium companies interested in gradually introducing robotics into their productive processes.
The WIRES experiment: the commitment of IEMA to develop innovation
WIRES, an abbreviation forWIring Robotic SystEm for Switchgears experimentis the Italian research project focused on the world of industry. WIRES is a project within the European platform ECHORD++, part of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme.
The protagonists on the front line, coordinating the project along with IEMA, , include the University of Bologna and the Second University of Naples , which have cooperated for years to unite the world of research with the world of business.
Since 1979, IEMA srl has produced electrical panels for automatic machines. The objective of WIRES is to create a robot that is capable of manipulating connections inside of command panels.
The team of researchers is working to reach this objective: automation of the wiring process on electrical panels through the development of a software package and dedicated robotic system.
The software would extracts and optimize the information necessary for the wiring sequence directly from the electrical panel design, interfacing with the company’s IT infrastructure. The robot is composed of an industrial manipulator fitted with instruments used in the connection and layout of wires, and is guided by information provided by the software component.
According to estimates, the robotic process used for assembly of automatic machines would reduce the wiring time by 40%, and would also increase production volume and process efficiency, reducing the time to market.
Staying competitive on the market by reducing production times and costs, offering a better product to customers and growing as a company are the motivating reasons that inspired IEMA to embrace the union of men and machines, and to automate processes to improve service.
Robots do not eliminate the work of people, but instead make it possible for people to dedicate themselves to more complex tasks, leaving the most repetitive and boring tasks to the robots.
The automation process for wiring of electrical panels was founded on the idea of optimizing production costs and times for electrical panels, staying competitive on the market, offering customers an even better product, with constant high quality standards, to continue the growth process at IEMA, not only in terms of business volume, but also in terms of our commitment.