Robotics and Automation
Clearpath Robotics | September 07, 2023
Rockwell Automation, a global company specializing in digital transformation and industrial automation, has announced its definitive agreement to acquire Clearpath Robotics, a frontrunner in autonomous robotics. This acquisition aims to bolster Rockwell's expertise in autonomous production logistics and augment the realization of the Connected Enterprise concept.
As per the analysis of Interact, the autonomous mobile robots (AMR) market in manufacturing is anticipated to increase by approximately 30% annually over the next five years, reaching an estimated $6.2 billion in 2027.
The acquisition addresses the complex and labor-intensive task of material transportation within manufacturing facilities, optimizing operations and efficiency. AMRs, coupled with PLC-based line control, offer versatility across various industries, from automotive to consumer packaged goods. The integration of autonomous mobile robots into manufacturing processes will revolutionize the transportation of parts and materials within assembly lines, minimizing inefficiencies and production bottlenecks.
Chairman and CEO at Rockwell Automation, Blake Moret, emphasized,
Rockwell and Clearpath together will simplify the difficult and labor-intensive task of moving materials and product through an orchestrated and safe system to optimize operations throughout the entire manufacturing facility.
[Source: Business Wire]
The combination of autonomous robots and PLC-based line control has been a longstanding aspiration of plant managers in various industries, said Blake Moret. He added that with Clearpath, Rockwell has asserted that it is uniquely positioned to turn this aspiration into reality across nearly all discrete and hybrid verticals, with the aim of operations, optimizing planning, and the workforce. The data generated by Rockwell and OTTO Motors will be utilized in AI-powered Software-as-a-Service applications, enhancing efficiency, traceability, and real-time adjustments in manufacturing processes. The acquisition will also strengthen Kalypso's production logistics consulting practice.
Clearpath's OTTO Motors Division, offering AMRs and navigation software, reduces costs, enhances throughput, and ensures timely component availability. With Rockwell's existing partnerships in fixed robotic arms, leadership in programmable logic controllers and Independent Cart Technology solutions, OTTO Motors' addition of AMR capabilities completes an unparalleled advanced material handling solutions portfolio. The acquisition will be financed partially by the proceeds from the sale of Rockwell's investment in PTC and is subject to customary regulatory approval, expected to conclude in the first quarter of Rockwell's fiscal year 2024.
About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation is a prominent global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. Its mission revolves around human imagination with cutting-edge technology, thus amplifying human capabilities and contributing to a more productive and sustainable world. It has played a pivotal role in shaping the modern manufacturing landscape by providing solutions that enable companies to optimize their operations, increase efficiency, and reduce downtime.
About Clearpath Robotics
Clearpath Robotics is a global player in the field of autonomous technology. The company serves a diverse array of the most innovative brands through two distinct divisions: its research-focused Clearpath Robotics division and the industrial division known as OTTO Motors. Clearpath Robotics is dedicated to the mission of automating tasks that are often mundane, hazardous, or dirty, utilizing Autonomous Mobile Robots to enhance workplace safety and productivity.
Accruent | September 13, 2023
Accruent, a leading provider of intelligent solutions for the built environment, has announced the full integration of its Maintenance Connection CMMS with the Meridian engineering document management system (EDMS) and vx Observe IoT platforms. This integration marks a significant step in Accruent's commitment to enhancing efficiency and collaboration among operations, maintenance, and engineering teams in the manufacturing industry while ensuring compliance.
Chief Product Technology Officer at Accruent, Richard Leurig, remarked,
We are excited to introduce this transformative integration that exemplifies our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and regulatory compliance.
He added that by integrating seamlessly the Maintenance Connection, Meridian, and vx Observe, they empower their customers with a comprehensive solution that boosts their operational efficiency and helps them navigate the complexities of regulatory standards. This empowers maintenance teams to efficiently manage asset documentation, access IoT data, and achieve compliance with industry standards, ultimately improving operational efficiency.
Traditionally, users of Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) faced challenges when switching between CMMS platforms and engineering document management or IoT software. This often led to inefficiencies and difficulties in accessing critical documents on-site. By integrating Accruent's EDMS and IoT solutions with Maintenance Connection CMMS, a centralized platform is created. This enables maintenance teams to effortlessly access, visualize, update, and review all asset documentation from a single location, significantly reducing downtime and enhancing technician efficiency. The IoT integration also provides easy access to energy and remote monitoring for early detection and resolution of potential asset failures.
Accruent's integration solutions are designed to streamline operations in manufacturing industries, benefiting organizations worldwide. This integration aligns with Accruent's commitment to innovation, collaboration, and regulatory compliance.
These integrations are part of a broader initiative to help organizations achieve compliance under 21 CFR part 11. Accruent's dedication to providing cutting-edge technologies underscores its commitment to helping organizations succeed and address industry-specific challenges in the manufacturing sector.
Accruent is globally renowned as the foremost provider of software solutions that unify the built environment. Their comprehensive offerings encompass workplace management, asset management, and both physical and digital applications. Accruent is at the forefront of redefining how organizations harness data to revolutionize facility and asset management practices. It provides solutions to a customer base of over 5,000 organizations spanning industries in more than 150 countries.
California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) | September 11, 2023
California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) has played a pivotal role in boosting the business of control solutions provider George T. Hall by delivering Lean, Quality, and Information Technology services. This collaboration has transformed George T. Hall's operations, leading to increased productivity, certifications, and substantial cost savings.
CMTC's collaboration with George T. Hall resulted in several significant outcomes. George T. Hall expanded its workforce, doubling service demand and estimated increased sales of $1.5 million, along with cost savings exceeding $2.5 million. Capital investments of $1.9 million were made to enhance products, equipment, information systems, software, training, and other resources.
The need for operational enhancements drove the partnership between CMTC and George T. Hall, overcoming pandemic-related setbacks and strategic growth during a challenging business environment.
George T. Hall, founded in 1932, started as a small distributor and has evolved into a full-service control solutions provider. The company operates in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, renewable energy, mining, and wastewater, serving clients across California and beyond. George T. Hall initially faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a slowdown in its business growth.
Recognizing the need for strategic improvements, the company engaged with CMTC in June 2020. The key areas of focus included Lean and continuous improvement, quality management systems, and the implementation of a new ERP system, Acumatica. Implementing Acumatica ERP system replaced multiple disparate systems, improving productivity and visibility. The company achieved ISO 9001 certification and was recognized as one of 2023's Best Places to Work in Orange County. These efforts aimed to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and provide unified access to critical information.
George T. Hall's transformative journey, facilitated by CMTC's services, underscores the value of strategic improvements in business operations. The company's achievements, including certifications, workforce expansion, increased sales, and cost savings, reflect the positive impact of these enhancements on its overall performance and competitiveness.
California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering technical support, workforce development, and consulting expertise to small and medium-sized manufacturers across California. CMTC's operations are conducted through various cooperative arrangements with both federal and state government entities, most notably with the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a department within the Commerce sector, specifically for the State of California.
Desktop Metal | September 20, 2023
Desktop Metal, a global leader in Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, has released a video highlighting how the BMW Group employs ExOne binder jet 3D printers for the serial production of powertrain components.
The use of binder jet 3D printing for casting applications is a sustainable choice, with advantages like reduced waste, cost-efficiency, and flexibility in materials. It aligns with efforts to minimize environmental impact and reduce emissions.
BMW and ExOne, a brand under Desktop Metal, have collaborated for over two decades on various project developments. The automaker currently utilizes four ExOne Exerial binder jet 3D printing systems to produce water jacket cores for metalcasting in serial production. These systems operate continuously at high speeds, with two more slated for delivery. The setup includes a microwave, a desanding station, and a fully automated conveyor system, ensuring high-accuracy parts.
The key points to be noted from this video release are:
Desktop Metal's ExOne digital casting brand manufactures binder jet 3D printers for sand castings.
BMW Landshut uses a fleet of four ExOne 3D printers for serial production of cores made with inorganic compounds that produce no aromas or emissions.
Binder injection technology from ExOne enables the delivery of complex designs for cast aluminum powertrain components.
Binder jetting is employed in this process, where an industrial printhead deposits a binder selectively into a bed of powder materials, creating a solid part layer by layer. For sand casting, the sand part is removed and used in a mold package for casting molten metal. This technology is favored for its speed, minimal waste, cost-efficiency, and material flexibility, making it an environmentally sustainable production method.
The partnership showcases how advanced manufacturing technologies, like binder jet 3D printing, are used to enhance efficiency and sustainability in the production of critical automotive components. The technology's ability to produce parts with high accuracy at high speeds makes it a valuable asset in the automotive manufacturing process.
About Desktop Metal
Desktop Metal is at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing 2.0 in a new era characterized by on-demand, digital mass production of industrial, medical, and consumer goods. Its innovative 3D printers, software, and materials suite are engineered to meet the speed, cost efficiency, and part quality demands inherent to this transformative shift. Its systems can 3D print various materials, including polymer, metal, ceramics, foam, sand, and recycled wood. It streamlines operations, minimizes waste, reduces costs, enhances adaptability, and brings designs that tackle some of the intricate challenges to life.