Think You Know Industrial Robots? Think Again.

It’s been more than 50 years since the first robot for manufacturing was installed at GM. While manufacturing has changed a lot since then, many still think the truths about industrial robots haven’t changed. Not so. Smart, collaborative robots bring automation to much of the 90 percent of manufacturing tasks that haven’t been automated yet and manufacturers need to look again at what robots can do for their operations….

When Humans and Robots Work Together

When you hear about innovative technological advances that are reshaping industries, chances are you aren’t thinking about a factory floor. Not much has changed there since the first industrial robots were deployed in the 1960s — until now.

On Your Marks: The Race to Global Manufacturing Leadership Is On

Made in China 2025 was launched in May of this year and from where I sit, it represents an inflection point for US manufacturers. The investment around the world in fulfilling the vision of the factory of the future signals that the race is on to lead how those operations are run. New technologies, including smart, collaborative robots are here – the roadmap for exploiting them isn’t. First mover advantage only lasts so long, and those who wait will find themselves left behind….

Why Robots AND Humans Are the Answer to Manufacturing’s Job Woes

There are a lot of stories these days about the rise of robots and the coming Armageddon on jobs when robots replace everyone from sanitation engineers to CPAs. I don’t know about that, but I do know about the cold hard reality of the manufacturing workforce that’s aging out and the lack of interest in manufacturing jobs among the next generation of workers. The solution, being deployed today, is a harmonious middle ground where robots and humans to work together….

Factories of the Future: A Conversation With Jabil’s John Dulchinos

Recently, electronics manufacturer Jabil Circuit launched its Blue Sky Center, a state-of-the-art facility designed to help customers engineer growth in a world of change. Automation is a key component of the center – with programs to help customers with design-for-automation, as well as, share expertise in deploying flexible automation. I was fortunate to be at the grand opening…

What Legos Taught Me About How Robots Should Work

For decades, robots have been built to perform a single task. That model delivers immense value when the manufacturer needs a single SKU a million times. But the nature of manufacturing is changing and it’s time to change the way robots are built. Driven by software, general purpose robots can perform more than one task and can change applications quickly…

Robots and Real-World Variability

Every day we humans navigate variation in our day. Detours on the commute, our favorite lunch item not on the menu, the list goes on and we move forward undeterred. For robots though, even the tiniest variations cause havoc. Or once did. Today, smart, collaborative robots deal with real-world variability without missing a beat, making it easier for them to work with humans and do more…

Robots and the Human Touch

Have you thought much about what touch means to us as humans? Our ability to touch and feel the environment around us is an extraordinary aspect of what makes us human. Until now, lacking this ability has sorely limited the use of robots in manufacturing environments. That’s all changing…