Monday, September 30, 2013

The Multi-Axis Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing

Ever since the industrial revolution gave us the assembly line, manufacturing has sought to improve it.  Conveyance, progressive assembly, interchangeable parts, and repeatable processes are all pieces of the modern manufacturing puzzle that were pioneered then and priceless now.  The digital revolution, lean manufacturing, and automation are among the latest advances that make modern manufacturing possible, and are the latest places of engineering research and improvements in our time.
One of the biggest recent advances in automation is the availability of multi-axis robotics.  For a variety of applications, multi-axis systems offer a dramatically increased range of motion and flexibility, which can in turn potentially increase the number of processes that can be automated; this may dramatically increase the efficiency of a production line.  6-axis machines are fairly common for many operations including pick-and-place, welding, finishing, and other robotic “arm” manipulations.  Another common instance is in CNC machines, where, without rearranging the orientation of the part, multiple processes can be performed on the work piece, eliminating time-consuming secondary processes. 

Often, these systems are controlled by servomotors, for efficient automation of each process in the system.  As sensors and automation control interfaces like SERCOS continue to progress, you can count on IIS to be on the cutting edge of the latest iterations of innovation in advanced manufacturing.  Check back here at our blog to get our perspectives, and tweet @MichaelHupf1 to get in touch on Twitter – we’d love to hear what you have to say.

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