Software : Operational Technology : General
Omron Automation is an industrial automation partner that creates, sells and services fully integrated automation solutions that include sensing, control, safety, vision, motion, robotics and more. Established in 1933 and currently headed by President Yoshihito Yamada, Omron’s 30,000 employees help businesses solve problems with creativity in more than 110 countries.
Sensor fusion gets robots roving around factories
Adam explained that most manufacturing processes are organized around fixed conveyors and robotic systems. To vary the specifications of the end product, human operators are typically needed to move product pieces from one assembly process to another. ‘Increasing flexibility requires more people to handle the work pieces and push them around, but this human intervention does not add much value,’ he said.
For that reason large manufacturing companies are keen to deploy mobile robots to transport inventory and product pieces around the factory floor. These autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are designed to move and operate by themselves, which means that they must be able to perceive their surroundings and react to them. Visual information is crucial to aid navigation and avoid collisions, as well as to enable the robot to perform simple functions such as selecting and picking up the objects that need to be moved.
Cable-path optimization method for industrial robot arms
The production line engineer’s task of designing the external path for cables feeding electricity, air, and other resources to robot arms is a labor-intensive one. As the motions of robot arms are complex, the manual task of designing their cable path is a time-consuming and continuous trial-and-error process. Herein, we propose an automatic optimization method for planning the cable paths for industrial robot arms. The proposed method applies current physics simulation techniques for reducing the person–hours involved in cable path design. Our method yields an optimal parameter vector (PV) that specifies the cable length and cable-guide configuration via filtering the candidate PV set through a cable-geometry simulation based on the mass–spring model.
Sensor Fusion: The Swiss Army Knife of Digitalization
With the proper communication protocols and network architecture in place, smart sensor technology and the data it provides can be the bulwark on which digital transformation is built.
If industrial control systems are the brains of a plant, then sensors are its eyes and ears. Simply put, without sensors there would be nothing for SCADA, DCS, or PLCs to respond to. That’s why increasingly intelligent or ‘smart’ sensors packing more onboard processing power, the ability to monitor new variables, and digital communication capabilities are playing such an important role in helping plant operators and enterprise level planners alike to see better and respond to problems with more finesse.