AUTOMATICA 2016: Integrated Assembly Solutions


No. 6/04/06/2016
AUTOMATICA 2016: Integrated Assembly Solutions

It is the largest area at AUTOMATICA: Integrated Assembly Solutions (IAS) will showcase more than 200 exhibitors at the trade fair in Munich from June 21 to 24. It is already clear today: The providers in the IAS industry have the right answer for every trend: from Industry 4.0 to human-machine collaboration.

IAS providers have already demonstrated their capabilities as enablers for Industry 4.0 projects for quite some time. They recognized the trend toward networked, self-optimizing production at an early stage. IAS companies create innovations, including digital components that provide information and can be networked. Without these Industry 4.0 would be not a living reality but still just a vision today. At AUTOMATICA, the industry will again demonstrate its innovative strength and present the most recent developments for efficient production of tomorrow.

The success of IAS providers can also be measured by its impressive figures. With sales of more than six billion euros, the IAS industry generated more than half of the 11.4 billion euro record result of the entire German automation industry in 2014. The signs also point to growth in the future. The VDMA Robotics + Automation expects further sales growth of four percent both in 2015 and 2016.

Development has already been constantly toward smaller batch sizes, increasing variety and shorter product life cycles in assembly automation for some years. What manufacturers want here: flexibility! Consequently, IAS providers are betting increasingly on modularity, system concepts that can adapt to the order situation and the reduction of setup times thanks to automated solutions, which enable efficient installation of smaller batch sizes. They are also introducing many other technology details for increasing flexibility.

Industry 4.0: flexibility in a new dimension
Schunk CEO Dr. Markus Klaiber explained how the Industry 4.0 megatrend affects the increase of flexibility: "The goal of all measures in Industry 4.0 is the comprehensive flexibility of all production processes with maximum transparency and cost effectiveness. In actual practice, this means that Industry 4.0 has to provide flexible and adaptable components and structures that make it possible to produce even small batches economically." The company will demonstrate at AUTOMATICA what such solutions look like in reality.

Human-machine collaboration: the best of two worlds
The most recent developments in human-robot collaboration for flexible assembly are greatly anticipated at the trade fair. The meaningful combination of manual and mechanical skills can prove to be particularly economical at all places where the assembly of small batch sizes in many variations is required.Fraunhofer IPA emphasizes how easy it is to implement collaboration between humans and robots in the meantime. Scientists will exhibit workplaces at AUTOMATICA where workers perform demanding tasks manually and are supported by robots that handle repetitive, non-ergonomic activities at the same time. The collaborative robot systems are integrated into mobile tool trolleys and can be docked to manual workstations as needed.

Conventional assembly concepts reinterpreted
Of course, AUTOMATICA also takes a look at conventional assembly systems and equipment, which still make up the lion's share in practice. In many applications, it concerns the fundamental question of linear transfer systems versus rotary transfer systems. Many of the exhibitors have all solution variants in their product range.

For example, Püschel: The assembly technology specialist can implement flexible linear transfer systems or fully automatic rotary transfer systems for very different industries depending on the task. "The specific customer application determines which technology is used," Managing Director Cornelia Püschel explained. Among other things, the company is going to exhibit new developments in the field of rotary transfer machines. For example, a semi-automatic machine, in which an operator handles the pre-positioning of difficult parts in the workpiece carrier of the rotary switching table. This hybrid solution provides added flexibility and also enables variant processing using conversion kits.

Components, modules and complete systems for all production areas
Manufacturers are certainly going to be impressed by the highly flexible solutions that will premiere at AUTOMATICA. In addition, assembly technology is proving useful in all industry sectors. The exhibitors have components and systems for even the most sensitive operations in the areas clean room, life sciences and food in their product ranges. Component and module vendors as Gehmeyr, Festo, Montech and many other well-established plant engineering companies, including names such as Mikron, ATS Automation, Manz and teamtechnik, will exhibit comprehensive products and solutions in Munich that leave nothing to be desired.

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