Automation companies from around the world flexed their muscles at last week’s Automatica in Munich Germany. The exhibition boasted 46,000 visitors and 890 exhibitors, each representing a 7% increase since the 2016 show. This in part reflects the growth in the European robotics industry in response to global demand.
According to the International Federation of Robotics‘ (IFR) World Robotics Report 2017, the average robot number of robots per 10,000 employees in manufacturing has grown to 74, compared with 66 two years earlier.
Europe is in the lead with 99 units, followed by America with 84 and Asia with 63. Among the countries with the highest robotics density or automation adoption rates, Germany has third place behind South Korea and Singapore, with 309 units.
Established multinationals such as ABB, Fanuc, KUKA, Staubli, and Yaskawa have robots in operation throughout the continent, some newer companies are starting to make inroads.
Kassow Robots develops efficient cobots
The motto of Kassow Robots is “strong, fast, simple.” The Copenhagen-based company has been developing uniquely efficient seven-axis industrial lightweight robots since it was founded in 2014.
Kassow Robots launched three models at Automatica: the KR 810, with a reach of 850mm (0.33 in.) and a payload of 10 kg (22 lb.); the KR 1205, with a reach of 1200mm (47.2 in.) and a payload of 5 kg (11 lb.); and the KR 1805, with a reach of 1800mm (70.8 in.) and payload of 5 kg (11 lb.).
The European robotics company’s first two models — the KR 810 and the KR 1205 — are now entering production. They will be followed by the KR 1805 at the end of 2018.
The 7-axis robots boast joint speeds of up to 225 degrees per second.
The start-up plans to gradually establish a network of systems integrators and said it anticipates a wealth of applications for its products.
“It will ultimately be up to system integrators and end customers to decide how and where to use our cobots,” stated Dieter Pletscher, Kassow’s head of sales. “Some of the traditional applications we have in mind are loading and unloading machinery — for example in metalworking — pick and place, palletizing, small assembly tasks, testing, quality control, and adhesive applications.”
PAL Robotics updates European robotics line
Barcelona-based PAL Robotics showcased four robots designed for different tasks:
The TIAGo Base is a smart mobile platform that works delivering materials from one place to another in industrial settings. At Automatica, PAL Robotics unveiled the model’s new upper body accessory, which conforms itself to the assembly line to give a wider 3D perception to the base.
The TIAGo Base has a graphical user interface that’s designed to be easy to use. The European robotics product has multiple standard mounting holes, so more add-ons can be integrated to customize it to any specific purpose.
TIAGo is a fully integrated mobile manipulator robot designed to perform tasks that combine perception, navigation, and manipulation. The collaborative robot can move around the factory, freed from any cage. Workers can command TIAGo and reschedule tasks on the go.
The cobot includes mounting ports to integrate extra tools, sensors, or end-effectors.
StockBot is designed to speed up stocktaking and to optimize inventory management in stores and warehouses. It now includes vision cameras as well as the legacy RFID technology and the autonomous robotic navigation.
The combined technologies enable the robot to check a store planogram, move a product to enhance its visibility or to revise prices.
REEM-C is a 1.65m-tall bipedal robot designed for advanced research in service and collaborative robotics fields.
Besides walking and interacting with people, PAL Robotics showcased new developments that helped the humanoid robot to answer to external stimuli.