Electronics and robotics mergers
In September, the two trade shows E-18 and R-18 combine electronics and robotics under the same roof. Here you can experience a self-propelled picking solution for the supply of pick’n place machines.
There will be plenty of inspiration and new knowledge for visitors today between 11 and 13 September at the Odense Congress Center when the doors are opened to both E-18 and R-18. For the first time, two fairs will take place at the same time focusing on electronics and robots, which, according to one of the exhibitors, makes a real sense.
Where would the robots be without the electronics? And how would you produce electronics without robots?
“The electronics industry is largely a pioneer in the use of robots, so robotics is nothing new to this part of the industry. Even smaller electronics manufacturers use pick’n place machines for the assembly of electronics, and for more than a couple of decades it has been everyday for electronics manufacturers, who are fully confident in automation of production, Mikael Thomsen, Director of Eltraco Automation and active in the messaging around E-18.
Radically thought-through electronics project with robot solution
Eltraco Automation will, among other things, use the combined E-18 and R-18 trade show concepts to show a self-propelled pick-up solution for supplying pick’n place machines from the component bearings of electronics manufacturers.
“It is a solution that truly represents radical innovation in the use of robots in the electronics industry. At the same time it is a solution that is aimed at smaller electronics manufacturers who often face high-mix production of relatively small series and therefore frequent job shifts. It is a solution that also includes the best in cooperation between several manufacturers, suppliers and integrators in the Danish electronics and robot industry, as Eltraco has worked with Enabled Robotics under dedicated project management from the Odense company, Tekproject, says Mikael Thomsen.
The platform is a running MIR platform with a robotic arm mounted from Universal Robots. For this almost “standardized” robot solution, Enabled Robotics has developed a sensor and software that reads and decodes component rollers on the electronics manufacturer’s inventory. The system is thus able to communicate with a production line and if there is a need to replace a component roll, the robot solution itself brings a new roll and places it in the machine.
– The solution we will show in practice during E-18 and R-18 is a fine example of how robotics and electronics interact in developing a new application that can give small and medium-sized manufacturers a tool that helps optimize automatic production in Denmark. The solution not only increases competitiveness, but also increases quality as human error is extracted from a significant part of component logistics, concludes Mikael Thomsen.
What else can be automated?
Eltraco has even moved from being a pure “machine supplier” of finished machines to the electronics industry to becoming system integrator and developer of more customer-specific robot and automation solutions. It also involves the use of traditional automated solutions, known from the electronics industry, as customized solutions.
The latter is in many cases developed by Eltraco in cooperation with third party companies, many of which come from the robot environment around Odense, which is becoming nationwide.
“We have to ask ourselves what else we can automate in the industry? Many other branch segments outside the electronics industry are currently looking for robotic solutions that can automate heavy or mandatory tasks. This is due not only to the purely competitive factors in relation to low-wage regions, but also that robots are in many cases a prerequisite for the production of the current products, explains Mikael Thomsen.
Far from the goal in the robot context
As an example of the need for robots for very specific tasks, Mikael Thomsen specifically mentions the pick’n place machines that solve difficult tasks with an ability to handle components down to 01005 (0.25mm x 0.13mm) format. The robots have thus been a prerequisite for products that have been realized within the latest generations of electronics.
“The big groups in most branch segments already have some kind of robot policy, and it is not necessarily the big companies we need to get between the combination of electronics and robots at the upcoming fair in Odense. We are very far from the goal of robotics in Denmark, and therefore we need to get hold of small and medium-sized companies from several industry segments in the industry. They will have an experience of what to do with robots and / or electronics and to achieve a hands-on experience that robots can create profitable products of even small and interchangeable manufacturing processes, says Mikael Thomsen.
Much is about the complexity of robotics, where the electronics industry has simplified many automated tasks. The embedded intelligent solutions are inverted in the robots, and in the very short term robots can be configured to configure themselves for given types of tasks.
A number of exhibitors in both E-18 and R-18 will also show examples of how the robots in teaching modes “teach” the tasks literally with the hand of operators combined with AI-based controls (artificial intelligence).