Comau Unveils MATE Wearable Exoskeleton

Comau has unveiled MATE, its first innovative wearable exoskeleton at Automatica in Munich, the international trade fair for Automation and Mechatronics. MATE has been designed to improve work quality in an efficient and highly ergonomic mannerby providing consistent and advanced movement assistance during repetitive as well as daily tasks.

The MATE Fit for Workers exoskeleton uses an advanced spring-based passive structure. MATE delivers lightweight, breathable and highly effective postural support without the need for batteries, motors or other failure-prone devices. It is also compact and ergonomically designedthanks to the partnership between Comau, ÖSSUR, a leading non-invasive orthopedics company and IUVO, a spin-off company of The BioRobotics Institute (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna) specialized in wearable technologies. MATE is fully able to replicate any movement of the shoulder while adhering to the body like a “second skin”.

Reflecting Comau’s vision and commitment to innovative, open and easy-to-use technologies, MATE is an important part in the company’s HUMANufacturing Technology strategy, a concept in which people are protagonists within the smart factory together with cutting-edge, digital tools, enabling technologies and ‘intelligent’ industrial robotics within a networked production system. It is also the first of a series of wearable robotics that Comau is developing and commercializing in partnership with IUVO and Össur. A fundamental aspect of the collaboration is the joint desire to progress and evolve human-machine collaboration within diverse sectors, including biomedical, manufacturing and consumer. MATE was designed and developed at the Comau HUMANufacturing Innovation Center in Pontedera (Pisa), Italy.

At Comau’s booth (Stand 331 – Hall B5) from June 19-22, 2018, visitors can see MATE and the benefits of using it thanks to an application that shows the muscles when wearing an exoskeleton aided by sensors. 

Features

  • Designed in close collaboration with factory workers engaged in manual activities
  • Naturally comfortable,breathable postural structure
  • Compact structure fully follows the movements of the upper limb without resistance or misalignment
  • Passive spring-based mechanism – no risk of battery or motor failure batteries because the system does not use them

Benefits

  • Reduction of shoulder muscle activity for some muscles of up to 50%
  • Users can do the same tasks with less fatigue
  • Consistent, ergonomically-assisted movement support increases the quality and precision of repetitive tasks
  • Users can improve their quality of work

About Comau

Comau, a member of the FCA Group, is an advanced industrial automation products and systems provider.

In addition to a range of modular and highly-configurable products, Comau offers interconnected digital service solutions able to transmit, elaborate and analyze important machine and process data. The full portfolio includes: joining, assembly and machining solutions for traditional and electric vehicles, robotized manufacturing systems, a complete family of robots with extensive range and payload configurations, autonomous logistics, and asset optimization services with real-time monitoring and control capabilities. The offering also extends to project management and consultancy, IoT services, and maintenance and training for a wide range of industrial segments.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Comau has over 45 years of experience and an international network of 32 locations, 14 manufacturing plants and 5 innovation centers that span 14 countries and employ more than 9,000 people.

For more information, visit www.comau.com.

OMRON to Introduce i4 SCARA Product Family

OMRON Corp. has announced at Automatica, that it will be introducing a new line of SCARA robots, sleek design and enhanced performance. Named the “i4,” the new generation of SCARA robot will save space during installation, and allow easier configuration into existing production lines. The i4 is fast, repeatable, easy to operate and flexible for multiple configurations and applications.

OMRON’s i4 SCARA family of robots

Manufacturers around the world are facing major challenges in having to produce a high mix low volume of products and shorter product life cycles while dealing with labor shortage issues. Therefore, manufacturing companies must maintain flexibility in quick changeovers and production line layout changes. They are also challenged by sudden stops, and more than ever need to meet the demands of high accuracy and speed during assembly processes.

To meet these challenges, the i4 line features better communication through EtherCAT, enabling synchronization between other automation devices. This facilitates advanced assembly, inserting and mounting processes that require high accuracy and demanding throughput, as well as ensured quality control with vision integration.

Also, i4 visualizes working data and supervises its status with the world’s first built-in signals for preventive maintenance, allowing users to mitigate unplanned downtime. In keeping with OMRON’s mission to innovate based on social need like the above, the features of the i4 makes it possible for this new SCARA line to meet the demands of mass customization, allowing manufacturers to produce high mixes of products at low volume to offer a wider array of goods to people.

Main Features

  1. Fast and Easy InstallationThe compact controller (iCS) is fully integrated into a stylized base, minimizing footprint and less wiring with no flyover cable, and making the i4 effortless to install. The i4 also has the world’s first design of EtherCAT module, connected directly on the robot controller and arm, which allows users more flexibility in configuring the equipment.

    The i4 series will run on interactive software that will make it easier to users to program and use the robots.

  2. No Unpredicted DowntimeThe i4 is the world’s first SCARA robot with a built-in display designed to simplify troubleshooting and predictive maintenance. The i4 communicates with users to reduce unscheduled downtime, using a light ring and display embedded into the base that indicates the right operations to perform at the right times. The light rings serve as the world’s first robot “health” lighting indicator, informing users of its current mode, such as, “warranty update required.” With the new i4, manual checks and maintenance plans are no longer necessary, which can save opportunity loss.
  3. High-speed and High-accuracyOMRON’s new i4 has EtherCAT connectivity, which allows the i4 robots to easily communicate with other equipment in the production line. By synchronizing the i4 with OMRON’s devices such as controllers, vision sensors and servo motors, customers will benefit by establishing the most optimal production line with advanced speed and accuracy. This will enable complex assembly tasks that were not possible before.
  4. Satisfying Flexibility NeedsThe i4 SCARA family will meet various customer needs, optimizing the machine cost and overall performance and enable more flexible line expansions. In spring 2019, OMRON will introduce the first three models: the i4-650, i4-750 and i4-850, which have an arm reach of 650mm, 750mm and 850mm, respectively. The payload can hold up to 15kg, which is three times heavier than before. Customers also have a choice of two different Z-axis strokes (210mm and 410mm) for each robot.

    Special models will include the IP65, Clean Room ISO 4 (Class 10), ESD and models that use H1 grease — meeting the specific needs of various industries and applications. The i4 will also come with an inverted model with the same sophisticated design.

    The launch of the i4 series is part of a larger OMRON strategic concept called the “innovative-Automation!” initiative, which aims to innovate the manufacturing environment. By introducing the new SCARA family, OMRON continues to pursue remarkable enhancements in labor-saving and productivity for the manufacturing industry.

About “innovative-Automation!”

OMRON has extensive lines of control components and equipment, ranging from image-processing sensors and other input devices to various controllers and output devices such as servo motors, as well as a range of safety devices and industrial robots. By combining these devices via software, OMRON has developed a variety of unique and highly effective automation solutions for manufacturers worldwide. Based on its reservoir of advanced technologies and comprehensive range of devices, OMRON set forth a strategic concept called “innovative-Automation!” consisting of three innovations or “i’s”: “integrated” (control evolution), “intelligent” (development of intelligence by ICT), and “interactive” (new harmonization between people and machines). OMRON is now committed to bringing innovation to manufacturing sites by materializing this concept.

About EtherCAT network

EtherCAT is an Ethernet-based, fast, accurate and highly efficient network in terms of data transmission. It is the fastest emerging network for machine automation, and automation leader OMRON’s de facto machine network for a wide range of field and motion devices.

About OMRON Corp.

OMRON Corp. is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of “Sensing & Control + Think.” Established in 1933, OMRON has about 36,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in 117 countries. The company’s business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to automotive electronics, social infrastructure systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions.

For more information, visit www.omron.com.

Vero Hires Ed Patterson as Application Engineer

In step with its mission to deliver unparalleled service to its growing customer base, Vero Software has hired application engineer Ed Patterson to support customers of its SMIRT viewing software for the die-build stamping industry.

Patterson has been a mold, tool anddie professional for more than 30 years in England, Canada and the United States. Combined with his wealth of industry knowledge, Patterson’s 22 years of experience in application support for various solutions will be a benefit to Vero customers. Having formerly worked for Vero for nine years and for TST Tooling Software Technology, LLC— Vero Software’s master distributor of the VISI and PEPS solutions in the U.S. and Canada — Patterson is well acquainted with the Vero and its solutions.

“I have been made very welcome since returning to Vero,” Patterson said. “As part of the SMIRT team, I am pleased to share in our customers’ success by providing the best customer experience through the power of Vero technology, a winning strategy, and creative solutions.”

About Vero Software

Headquartered in England, Vero Software designs, develops, and supplies CAD/CAM/CAE software.

The company’s brands include Alphacam, Cabinet Vision, Edgecam, Machining STRATEGIST, PEPS, Radan, SMIRT, Surfcam, WorkPLAN, WorkNC, and VISI.

Vero has direct offices in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, USA, Brazil, Netherlands, China, South Korea, Spain and India supplying products to more than 45 countries through its wholly owned subsidiaries and reseller network.

Vero is part of Hexagon, a global provider of information technologies that drive quality and productivity across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications.

For more information, please visit www.verosoftware.com.

Helix Linear Launches Online Product Catalog by CADENAS

CINCINNATI, OH, June 20, 2018 – Helix Linear Technologies launched an online product catalog of 3D CAD models for their popular configurable products, including lead screw technologies and PRA actuators. Built by CADENAS PARTsolutions, the configurator enables customers to instantly find, configure and download a digital 3D CAD model of the Helix product they need.

A manufacturer of linear motion and power transmission systems, Helix Linear offers products essential to the medical, industrial automation, aerospace and defense and industries. Committed to quality and the evolving customer-driven market, the company sought a digital solution to meet the on-demand requests and unique needs of their broad customer base. The new configurator achieves the self-serve features, accuracy and speed their customers need by providing free, instant 3D CAD downloads in over 100 native file formats and versions.

“The standard in our industry is getting CAD models online,” Christopher Nook, chief executive officer at Helix Linear Technologies, said. “By delivering high-end customer service from the second a customer visits our website and by making it simple for them to download a CAD file, we make it easy for our customers to do business with us.”

The new online configurator streamlines Helix Linear’s process for providing CAD models with improved accuracy across the design cycle. It also enables Helix Linear to reduce design time from a couple days to just seconds.

“A lot of our customers come to our website with tight design cycles and very few resources. We knew we weren’t providing information as fast as we wanted to,” Nook said. “We knew if we could make our products self-service from within our website, it would be much easier for customers to get CAD models of our products and to purchase from us.”

Within the interactive catalog, Helix Linear’s customers can also download 3D PDF Datasheets of their configurable product which include an interactive 3D preview of the part, 2D dimension drawings and product specs.

About Helix Linear Technologies

Joseph H. Nook, Jr. and his son Christopher M. Nook founded Helix Linear in 2011 to better serve the expanding and evolving customer-driven market for precision linear motion products with a focus on precision lead screw technology.  Since then, the company has grown to engineer, design and manufacture multiple major product lines comprising over 20,000 configurable products.

For more information, please visit www.helixlinear.com.

About CADENAS PARTsolutions

CADENAS PARTsolutions is a leading provider of next-generation marketing, sales and customer support tools for manufacturers, including 3D product catalogs with digital CAD download technology to help increase sales lead generation and to ensure that components get “designed in” to OEM products.

For more information visit PARTsolutions.com.

Volkswagen Selects ANSYS’ Pervasive Engineering Simulation

PITTSBURGH, PA, June 20, 2018 – Volkswagen Motorsport is charging to the finish line of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb through the help of a new collaboration with ANSYS to develop its first-ever, fully-electric race car — the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak. With a goal of setting a new time record for electric cars, Volkswagen Motorsport is tapping into ANSYS’ Pervasive Engineering Simulation solutions to create a digital prototype of the battery system and optimize the electric propulsion system of the I.D. R Pikes Peak race car.

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak is Volkswagen’s first-ever, fully-electric race car. (PRNewsfoto/ANSYS, Inc.)

Behind the wheel of the 680-horsepower sports car prototype, Volkswagen Driver Romain Dumas (F) will attempt a new time record for electric cars at the 96th edition of the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race.

The aerodynamics of the I.D. R Pikes Peak car was developed for extreme conditions and to meet the specific challenges of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The unique track is 19.99-kilometers long and features 156 turns — climbing from 2,862 meters above sea level at the starting line to 4,302 meters at the finish line.

High altitude results in about 35 percent lower air density, which creates different aerodynamic conditions than a racetrack on flat land. In addition to real-time data and instantaneous results, ANSYS solutions were used to simulate driving conditions that cannot be recreated in a traditional wind tunnel. With ANSYS solutions, Volkswagen engineers calculated the ideal balance of cooling airflow and aerodynamic loss and determined the best battery cooling strategy for optimal performance of the vehicle.

“Perfect energy management is a critical factor for beating the record in the electric car category at Pikes Peak,” said François-Xavier Demaison, technical director at Volkswagen Motorsport and I.D. R Pikes Peak project manager. “The first test drive at Pikes Peak was successful and demonstrated the accuracy of our simulations. Our team is confident in the vehicle’s performance and eager to set a new record in the category.”

“ANSYS is driving advancements in electrification and next-generation vehicles with multiphysics solutions and Pervasive Engineering Simulation,” said Shane Emswiler, vice president and general manager at ANSYS. “The Pikes Peak project demonstrates the importance of ANSYS simulation solutions as customers tackle new challenges and explore new frontiers in electric propulsion.”

About ANSYS, Inc.

If you’ve ever seen a rocket launch, flown on an airplane, driven a car, used a computer, touched a mobile device, crossed a bridge or put on wearable technology, chances are you’ve used a product where ANSYS software played a critical role in its creation. ANSYS is the global leader in engineering simulation. Through our strategy of Pervasive Engineering Simulation, we help the world’s most innovative companies deliver radically better products to their customers. By offering the best and broadest portfolio of engineering simulation software, we help them solve the most complex design challenges and create products limited only by imagination. Founded in 1970, ANSYS is headquartered south of Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Visit www.ansys.com for more information.

Hexagon Manufacturing Launches qFLASH-A 3D Optical Sensor

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence has announced the launch of qFLASH-A, an economical and compact 3D optical measurement system designed for use in smaller shop-floor inspection cells. The robust sensor packages CMOS-based digital imaging technology and blue light LED illumination in a lightweight unit ideally suited for use with smaller robotic systems or collaborative robots, creating a high-speed inspection solution with a small footprint and affordable price point. Projection and image capture take place within milliseconds, enabling precise and rapid data capture as well as protecting the system from the impact of workshop vibrations or changes in ambient light. As a result, qFLASH-A is ideally suited to shop-floor measurement applications and can eliminate the need to transport parts for offline measurement, driving workshop productivity.

The qFLASH-A sensor features dynamic slide projection technology and three integrated CMOS cameras, delivering high frame rate and wide dynamic range to quickly and accurately digitise freeform surfaces without the need for treatment, preparation or marker use. Advanced image analysis and edge detection engines ensure accurate feature capture, enabling the sensor to add value to a range of measurement applications requiring rich point-cloud data. qFLASH-A is certified to VDI/VDE standards and ships with CoreView metrology software as standard.

qFLASH-A is available to order worldwide from today. More information is available through local Hexagon commercial operations and dealers.

About Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence is a metrology and manufacturing solution provider. For more information, visit HexagonMI.com.

Hexagon is a digital solutions provider that create Autonomous Connected Ecosystems (ACE). Hexagon has approximately 18,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 3.5bn EUR. Learn more at hexagon.com.