Robotics in the Industry 4.0 Revolution
Industry 4.0 is all the rage in manufacturing today, as it should be when we consider the sweeping advances which are being accomplished with modern “smart factory” automation. The term Industry 4.0 signifies the 4th Industrial Revolution which we are experiencing now. To put Industry 4.0 in perspective let’s consider the three historical paradigm shifts in the manufacturing sector which preceded Industry 4.0.
- Industry 1.0 kicked off in the late 1800s with the introduction of water and steam-powered machines to add mechanical muscle to the human-powered workforce. Production increased so much that businesses were able to move on from meeting local “cottage industry” demand to supplying products to a continuously expanding market in neighboring towns, and eventually nationwide.
- Industry 2.0 was ushered in with the advent of electrical power for individual machines. The moving assembly line and division of labor were the first revolutionary leaps in modern mass production. Continuous innovation brought about “just-in-time” production management techniques as well as “lean manufacturing” practices which optimized production line efficiency by improving quality control and output.
- Industry 3.0 was launched with the introduction of transistors and integrated circuits, enabling the automation of individual production machines which could aid or replace human operators. Basic PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) devices were able to make simple decisions on the production line. Software configured to manage and track production processes appeared on the scene in the last few decades of the 20th Century and the first elements of the smart factory were in place.
Machine Vision and Industrial Robotics 4.0
As the Age of Industry 3.0 hit its peak, industrial robots were busy compiling an impressive record of efficiency in tedious or hazardous production tasks but their potential was still restricted by a lack of versatility. In effect, they were still working blindly. Expensive sensors and analog peripherals provided rudimentary part presentation signals for industrial robots. As a result, production line changeovers created unacceptable downtime when multiple line devices needed to be relocated or modified.
Human oversight was still required to correct anomalies on the line. High-speed production achievements could still be negated by low-speed quality control inspections relying on human vision and judgment. New advances in data processing speed and powerful accurate cameras changed all that and launched the age of vision-guided robotics. At Integro Technologies we’ve made it our mission get your plant up to speed so it can remain competitive and profitable in the age of Industry 4.0.
Upgrading to Industry 4.0 With Vision Guided Robotics at Integro Technologies
The benefits of advanced machine vision on your production line are immense. Modern machine vision can speed up production and inspection processes to frame rates which are merely a blur to the human eye. Inspection processes can be 100% automated while compiling data archives for analysis and lean manufacturing improvements. Robots can rely on precisely accurate imaging to discern the most subtle variations in parts for pick and place sorting tasks.
Integro provides advanced 2D and 3D machine vision applications for industries across the board.
3D Pick and Place
Integro Technologies joined forces with Universal Robots to develop a new 3D machine vision guided application for random bin picking. The 3D Pick and Place system features a UR3 robot arm matched with a SICK 3D Sweeping Laser Topography system. 3D CAD vision import enables versatile trainability with minimized software configuration required to add new products or assemblies.
Precision Machine Vision Inspection and Measuring
3D machine vision literally adds a new dimension to robotic perception. Changes in product shape and size and orientation on the line are all variations which are easily accounted for by a robot with 3D Machine vision. Robots can target a piece regardless of its physical position on the line and then detect defects with a precision that can’t be matched by the human eye.
Precise measuring with a gauging accuracy of 0.01mm is one of the features of Integro’s Raptor 2D and 3D Precision Measuring System, with material measuring applications in diverse industries from aerospace and automotive manufacturing to medical, plastics, and electronics.
Using a 2.2 micrometer-sensitive 3D laser mounted to a 3-axis robot, several high-definition images are acquired and combined to generate a 3D point cloud in Integro’s Micrometer Level 3D Inspection solution.
Integro Technologies: Product Solutions For the Most Challenging Applications
At Integro our engineers work one on one to find the best vision platform solutions for your specific manufacturing needs. We’ve made it our mission to help you seamlessly integrate your company into the age of Industry 4.0 by increasing profitability with cutting-edge machine vision integration so don’t hesitate to contact us.