The factory of the future: people and machines working together in harmony

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming the efficiency of industrial production, through stronger interactions between man and machine that can boost productivity. A new, promising model for ‘factory harmony’ is based on intelligent, integrated and interactive design for tomorrow\’s manufacturing processes.

Many people still believe that man and robots can’t work well together – or they’re afraid that machines will eventually replace people. However, the co-existence of people and automated machines and robots is becoming increasingly common in manufacturing companies.

Furthermore, digitalization gives manufacturers an enormous choice of technologies for implementing the factory of the future. For instance, smart networking using AI can be used to convert manufacturing data into strategic information. It also enables the smooth integration of high-precision, high-speed robotics. Visit here; Marker laserowy.

Intelligent, integrated and interactive production

The latest innovative production solutions will increase efficiency and flexibility, reduce costs and strengthen a company’s competitive edge. At Omron, we offer collaborative robot solutions that shows how technology can revolutionise the factory floor by promoting harmony between people and machines.

Our robot automates applications traditionally carried out by people. It can be seamlessly integrated into an autonomous mobile robot and can enable the automation of complex tasks. One example is bin picking.

The robot quickly sorts different articles and deposits them where they’re needed. A 3D camera locates the items and sends their co-ordinates to the robot, while the software, supported by AI algorithms, performs the advanced calculations required for optimised goods picking.

Meanwhile, a mobile robot is responsible for transporting the goods.

This efficient combination of different production processes forms the basis for flexible and reliable production and material handling. It also gives a foretaste of factory harmony, in which integrated, mobile and collaborative robots will work with people to ensure flexible manufacturing and customisation.

Automation and quality control

Changing consumer behaviour is forcing manufacturers to produce smaller quantities of more product variants. The factory of the future must therefore be able to convert production more rapidly, with smaller runs. The ultimate goal is to deliver personalised products from an agile and networked production line, in which automation is achieved by all devices, machines and solutions operating in an integrated way.

Effective quality control is essential in all production and packaging lines. The early identification of defective products can save time and money, by avoiding costly product recalls, loss of production and possible damage to the brand’s reputation.

Quality control is also vital in product packaging for food or medicines: an illegible barcode or wrong expiry date can cause the disposal of faultless products. Stricter legislation has prioritized the unambiguous labeling of all products.

With increasing automation, there’s a corresponding need for automated quality control processes, with machines that can collect data to optimize predictive maintenance. The more data that’s collected and processed, the more ‘intelligent’ the machine can be to extend production line life, reduce downtime and increase productivity.

For example, Omron\’s Sysmac AI controller includes a predictive maintenance library and collects, analyses, and uses data on edge devices to extend their life, detect anomalies and prevent failures.


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