Emerging Tech from IMTS 2016

IMTS 2016 featured over 2000 exhibitors and welcomed over 100,000 attendees ranging from eager-to-learn students to seasoned professionals who operate multi-million dollar manufacturing facilities. The expo spanned six days, which is the amount of time needed to see everything the show floor had to offer. Among the sea of machines and solutions displayed, these emerging technologies are poised to disrupt the manufacturing industry:

Yaskawa's Next-Gen Cobot

Yaskawa Motoman had an impressive booth showcasing cobots, mobile robots and machine vision. A new solution they previewed was the HC10 human-collaborative robot, which has 6 axes of motion, a range of 1.2 m and a 10 kg payload. Featuring a speed- and force-limited design, the HC10 works safely with, or in close proximity to humans. It is built to align with ISO TS15066 standards and is therefore collaborative with plant personnel. The HC10 learns by demonstration or simple programming, and can be easily integrated with existing operations. Available in 2017, this robot can perform material handling, machine tending or light assembly tasks.

Stratasys’ vision for additive manufacturing

It’s no doubt that partners Proto3000 and Stratasys see the benefits and potential of 3D printing within the manufacturing industry. Among the 15+ solutions that were highlighted at their booth, the Infinite-Build 3D (IB 3D) Demonstrator promises profound impact for aerospace, automotive and other industrial manufacturing industries. It is designed to address industry demands for large, lightweight thermoplastic parts with repeatable mechanical properties. IB 3D Demonstrator features a revolutionary approach to FDM extrusion that increases throughput and repeatability. The system turns the traditional 3D printer concept on its side to realize an “infinite-build” approach - it prints on a vertical plane for virtually unlimited part size in the build direction.

Olli for outdoor logistics

Brought to you by Local Motors, Olli is your “friendly neighborhood mobility solution.” To put into layman’s terms, the bus stop is wherever you are. Similar to an automated carpool service, the idea is that people can use the mobile app to call it to their location and also make payment. It is outfitted with a full suite of lidar and optical sensors spanning Velodyne to Hokuyo and boasts an electric drivetrain offering passengers a quiet ride while being environmentally sustainable. Olli is designed to fit 12 passengers comfortably and two prototypes are currently being used in the world: one in Berlin, and the other was at IMTS. Olli is made for the outdoors rather than indoors, but the self-driving vehicle technology is certainly something to be accounted for - one can only imagine how this type of technology could be used in the logistics world. ...What would happen if Olli met OTTO?

OTTO Motors

The OTTO self-driving vehicles for material transport showcased their newest configurations. The OTTO 1500 for heavy-load transport boasted an integrated lift to raise and lower loads on a pickup and drop station, while the OTTO 100 for light-load transport was engaged to a shelving unit to demonstrate lineside delivery or inventory transport. OTTO Motors team members demonstrated the vehicles’ ability to recognize objects and personnel in their path by stepping in front of them; the vehicles would then safely stop, then continue on their way by navigating around them. OTTO self-driving vehicles move through their environment without the use of any infrastructure - no barcodes, magnetic tape or beacons - and can drive up to 2m per second. Utilizing industry 4.0 technologies like big data and cyber physical systems, these indoor autonomous vehicles are something to consider for operations looking to scale up and increase throughput.

What trends did you find at IMTS 2016? Let us know @OTTOMotors.

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