ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION
Yokogawa | February 01, 2022
Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) announces that it has been selected by ExxonMobil as the system integrator for the first field trial of an Open Process Automation* (OPA) system designed to operate an entire production facility. The field trial will take place at an ExxonMobil manufacturing facility located on the U.S. Gulf Coast, replacing the existing distributed control system (DCS) and programmable logic controllers (PLC) with a single, integrated system that meets the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS™). The project will incorporate enhanced control capabilities enabled through the implementation of OPA technologies and interfaces.
“ExxonMobil is excited to have reached this important milestone with Yokogawa and progress the first field trial of an OPA system at an existing ExxonMobil manufacturing plant, The project will take advantage of significant progress made testing OPA components and the O-PAS standards in close collaboration with Yokogawa. The OPA field trial is the next step in commercializing OPA and capturing additional value from our automation and control systems.”
-Ryan Smeltzer, OPA program manager for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.
Most process industries are burdened with integrating multiple proprietary systems in almost every process plant and facility. These include manufacturing execution systems, DCSs, PLCs, and their respective human-machine interfaces and inputs/outputs (I/O). This can result in elevated capital costs on new projects and a high total cost of ownership, especially in the operation and maintenance of such systems. An OPA system is designed to remedy these challenges by supporting the integration of best-in-class components from different suppliers through configuration and application portability. This enables optimization of the total cost of automation systems.
The field trial is a major milestone in Yokogawa's continued support of ExxonMobil and OPA, and shifts OPA technology from concept to a viable alternative to traditional automation for process industries. The company has commenced work on the Front-End Engineering Design phase of the project. The OPA field trial system, which involves over 2000 I/O, is expected to be commissioned in 2023.
For the past two years, ExxonMobil and Yokogawa have been developing, testing, and improving OPA technologies through the joint operation of an OPA test bed located near ExxonMobil’s Houston, Texas campus. This collaborative work has developed and qualified many of the core OPA functions in preparation for the field trial. In addition to the field trial, test bed engineers at the Houston-area development office will continue to implement and refine OPA technologies in-line with the latest version of the O-PAS standard.
* A standards-based, open, secure, interoperable process control architecture being developed by the Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF), a consensus-based group of end users, suppliers, system integrators, standards organizations, and academia. Both ExxonMobil and Yokogawa Electric Corporation are members of OPAF.
Yokogawa provides advanced solutions in the areas of measurement, control, and information to customers across a broad range of industries, including energy, chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals, and food. Yokogawa addresses customer issues regarding the optimization of production, assets, and the supply chain with the effective application of digital technologies, enabling the transition to autonomous operations. Founded in Tokyo in 1915, Yokogawa continues to work toward a sustainable society through its 17,500 employees in a global network of 119 companies spanning 61 countries. For more information, visit www.yokogawa.comThe names of corporations, organizations, products, services, and logos herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Yokogawa Electric Corporation or their respective holders.
MOV.AI | May 19, 2022
MOV.AI announced today its partnership with Ouster, a leading provider of high-resolution digital lidar sensors, to provide autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with uninterrupted autonomy in today's challenging intralogistics and industrial environments. MOV.AI has integrated Ouster digital lidar into its Robotics Engine PlatformTM for industrial equipment manufacturers that are looking to automate.
The global warehousing and storage market is estimated to grow from approximately $450 billion in 2021 to $605 billion in 2027. Demand for material handling and warehouse logistics is driven by the dramatic growth of e-commerce, where U.S. online sales, for example, were up by 32% in 2020.
With the demand for intralogistics services skyrocketing, warehouse environments are becoming increasingly dynamic and dense. AMRs need to be able to navigate and move around autonomously, in tall, narrow aisles, with frequently changing inventory and very few fixed physical features to guide them.
Ouster's digital lidar provides AMRs with high-resolution data to accurately perceive the environment and accomplish specific tasks. The OS0 sensor's ultra-wide vertical field-of-view allows AMRs to map the entire warehouse environment, from floor to ceiling, in real-time. This data is then used in autonomy algorithms to help the AMR safely and efficiently navigate throughout the warehouse.
Combining Ouster's high-resolution data with the MOV.AI Robotics Engine PlatformTM, advanced SLAM navigation, obstacle avoidance, and risk avoidance solutions, AMRs can operate efficiently and continuously in challenging warehouse environments, including:
Environments with little static information (features)
Environments with repeated structures
The MOV.AI ROS-based Robotics Engine PlatformTM provides AMR manufacturers and automation integrators with navigation, localization, calibration, and the enterprise-grade tools they need for advanced automation. It includes a visual Integrated Development Environment (IDE), off-the-shelf algorithms and integrations, fleet management, flexible interfaces with warehouse environments such as ERP and WMS, and cyber-security compliance.
"MOV.AI's mission is to speed up robot development and to provide AMR manufacturers and integrators with everything they need to develop and operate great robots, Through our partnership with Ouster, we are able to offer our customers autonomy solutions that work seamlessly in environments with a limited field-of-view and physical features."
Motti Kushnir, MOV.AI's CEO
"Digital lidar is great for warehouse automation due to its high-resolution, wide field-of-view and reliability. It can provide incredibly precise 3D spatial information that just isn't possible with legacy laser scanning systems, cameras, or radar alone. Reliable data is what enables the robots to move safely and efficiently in dynamic environments," said Aaron English, Ouster's Head of Product Marketing for Industrial & Robotics. "The industry is at a tipping point for automation, which is why we're excited to be partnered with MOV.AI as they scale adoption of their Robotics Engine PlatformTM."
MOV.AI is changing AMRs as we know them. It provides AMR manufacturers and integrators with the tools they need to create enterprise-grade robots quickly, allowing users to benefit from automation products that are as flexible as the age we live in. MOV.AI is a Robotics Engine platform based on ROS and packaged in an intuitive web-based interface. It contains everything needed to build, deploy and operate intelligent robots. MOV.AI completely changes the way Autonomous Mobile Robots are developed, in terms of time to market, cost and flexibility.
Ouster (NYSE: OUST) is building a safer and more sustainable future through its high-resolution digital lidar sensors for the automotive, industrial, smart infrastructure, and robotics industries. Ouster's sensors offer an excellent combination of price and performance with the flexibility to span hundreds of use-cases and enable revolutionary autonomy across industries. With a global team and high-volume manufacturing, Ouster supports approximately 600 customers in over 50 countries. Ouster is headquartered in San Francisco, CA with offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
Nexa3D | March 24, 2022
Nexa3D, leading US manufacturer of high-performance 3D printers for industrial applications, and 3D printed tooling pioneer Addifab today announce that they are joining forces to bring a novel 3D printed injection mold tooling platform to injection molders globally.
The platform, Freeform Injection Molding (FIM), offers a compelling value proposition: Based on 3D printing technology, the FIM process allows the user to additively manufacture complex injection mold tooling in hours instead of weeks or months. These tools are compatible with most thermoplastic materials, including reinforced high-performance feedstocks. They can also be dissolved, which allows the molding of complex components that would otherwise be difficult – or even impossible – to mold with conventional metal tooling.
“Injection molding is a complex process, and the tool building is the most complex part of the process, With Freeform Injection Molding, we provide injection molders with a fully transparent set of tools (no pun intended) that will allow them to fast-track tool designs and validations while raising the bar on tool innovation. Now we can take these capabilities to the next level by partnering with Nexa3D to broaden access and superpower performance.”
Lasse Staal, co-founding CEO of Addifab
Through this collaboration, Nexa3D will supply their NXE 400 system – including the industrial 3D printer as well as wash and cure units – to users of Freeform Injection Molding, while Addifab will be supplying their proprietary tooling resins and post-processing equipment.
“I had the opportunity to witness the powerful impact of Freeform Injection Molding (FIM) for the first time at the RAPID + TCT conference in 2019, and was instinctively intrigued by its potential to reimagine additive tooling,” said Avi Reichental, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Nexa3D. “As both Addifab and Nexa3D have since productized and industrialized our respective processes, it became obvious that together, we can achieve much more by digitizing injection molding at convincing scale sustainably. I can’t wait to see the far-reaching impact of our collaboration.”
Coming full circle, Nexa3D and Addifab will showcase their joint solution at the RAPID + TCT show in Detroit, 17-19th of May 2022. The companies are also setting up joint Silicon Valley demo facilities in Palo Alto, CA.
Carsten Jarfelt, Addifab US Chief Commercial Officer, will be heading the demo office. “I am truly excited to take this important next step with the team members from Nexa3D,” he said. “The packages we are offering to injection molders are truly outstanding, and we look forward to connecting with innovators and thought leaders in the US and elsewhere.”
Nexa3D is passionate about digitizing supply chain sustainably. The company makes ultrafast polymer 3D printers that deliver 20X productivity advantage, affordable for professionals and businesses of all sizes. Partnerships with world-class material suppliers unlock the full potential of additively manufactured polymers for volume production. Automated software tools optimize the entire production cycle using process interplay algorithms that ensure part performance and production consistency, while reducing waste, energy and carbon footprints.
Addifab is transforming the injection molding industry based on one-to-one market knowledge and second-to-none ambitions. Backed by years of experience, we have developed a unique soluble mold tooling technology enabling Freeform Injection Molding.
With a well-recognized Print-Inject-Dissolve process, the Freeform Injection Molding technique is free of any design or material choice limitations. By printing soluble tools and tool elements, you can create unseen designs. You can mold unseen products at unseen speeds, and connect with unseen business potentials. And you can do it today.
Hibiki | March 23, 2022
Japan-based Hibiki-Seiki and Alberta-based Optima Manufacturing (Optima), with support from the Invest Alberta Corporation (IAC) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), announced today that they have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly manufacture and supply high-precision machining and components for the North American Aerospace Industry. This partnership is expected to generate $5 million in new business for the partners and create 10 new high-skilled jobs in Alberta over the next year with up to 50 new jobs between the two companies within the next five years.
“Thanks to the support of JETRO and IAC, we identified Optima Manufacturing as the ideal strategic partner for us to establish our initial entry into the North American market and leverage both complementary manufacturing capacities to rapidly expand our collective business and capture new opportunities across the global value chain,” said Isao Matsuyama, Vice President, Hibiki-Seiki. "This partnership will allow us to fill a major gap in the global supply chain of semi-conductors and meet the growing demand for specialized parts in North America’s rapidly expanding aerospace and satellite industry.”
Based in Yamaguchi, Japan since 1967 with a team of 107 employees, JISQ9100 certified Hibiki-Seiki specializes in reducing the weight of complex parts and components for the global semiconductor manufacturing equipment and satellite industry through its unique combination of turning technology and machining centers for thin precision metal cutting.
The partnership between Optima and Hibiki-Seiki will benefit a variety of industries on a global scale by alleviating current supply chain issues of precision components while unlocking new opportunities for expansion. Following the successful rollout of this initial partnership, Hibiki-Seiki is considering expanding its investment in Alberta by establishing a physical presence with additional equipment and human resources working alongside the Optima team at its Calgary-based headquarters.
"We are elated about this partnership with Hibiki-Seiki, and to expand our global reach, Optima has been growing its global customer-base with clients throughout Japan, Europe, and other international markets. This partnership means we can take on new business opportunities at an accelerated pace by leveraging our combined manufacturing capacity and expertise. What’s more, is that it places us in an optimal position to generate new jobs back home in Alberta. We truly appreciate the support of Invest Alberta and JETRO in making this connection to Alberta’s supply chain and manufacturing advantage.”
Duane Hertzer, President, Optima Manufacturing
Optima is one of Western Canada’s most diversified precision machining facilities. A Calgary-based corporation, it has been ISO-9001 certified since 2005 and specializes in the machining, assembly and kitting of small-to-medium-sized precision components for a globally diverse market of international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). Optima’s team is currently comprised of 52 associates and its global industry market portfolio includes energy, transportation, aerospace and process control. This is spread between markets in North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.
"We are pleased to collaborate with Invest Alberta and Optima Manufacturing to Hibiki-Seiki’s entry into the North American market,” said Kimiya Nakao, Business Development Partner, JETRO. "We intend to continuously support Hibiki-Seiki and other Japanese companies by helping introduce high-end Japanese technologies and promoting investment into new international markets.”
“This partnership between Hibiki-Seiki and Optima is a perfect example of how Alberta’s economy is being further diversified,” said Honourable Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. "Their collaboration in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors presents new opportunities for Albertans. Our province is a destination of choice for business and I look forward to seeing more from Hibiki-Seiki and Optima in the future.”
“Alberta is strategically positioned to be a leading destination for manufacturing and aerospace companies. We’re excited to work with top-tier partners from Japan to support new technologies that are in demand from global industries, creating new investment, opportunities, and jobs in Alberta,” said Rick Christiaanse, CEO, Invest Alberta Corporation.
Founded in 1967 with its headquarters in Yamaguchi, Japan, Hibiki-Seiki is a second-generation family-owned machining and manufacturing company specializing in the production of semi-conductors and satellites for the global aerospace industry. For more information, visit hibikiseiki.com
About Optima Manufacturing
Established in 1990, Optima Manufacturing is a Calgary, Alberta-based family-owned business dedicated to providing the highest quality state-of-the-art close-tolerance machining and precision assembly services. Our parts are used in a variety of industries, including Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Environmental Control, Agriculture and Telecommunications.
About Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO's core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.
About the Invest Alberta Corporation
The Invest Alberta Corporation is dedicated to investment attraction, with a mandate to engage the world and provide high-end tailored support to companies, investors, and major new projects. Alberta, Canada has the lowest corporate payroll and sales taxes; the youngest and highly educated workforce in Canada, and the most livable and affordable cities. Invest Alberta works to break down barriers so investors and businesses can start up, scale up, and succeed without limits.