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Grow with a Robot [Jan 2012]

Today, it has become hard to imagine an industry without robots! Over the years, seeing the importance of automation, the demand of robotics has grown manifold. The need to automate is increasing in all industries at a higher pace. Though percentage wise robotics have higher acceptance in the automotive segment; sectors such as electrical/electronics, rubber and plastics, metal and machinery, pharmaceutical, food & beverages are demanding more and more automation. Introduction of electric cars, modernisation of production processes, development of new materials, and automation of assembly tasks are primarily driving the growth of robotics in the automotive industry. In the electrical and electronics industry the trend towards more energy-efficient products and technologies is one of the prime demand drivers. The increasing concerns over energy-efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions have stimulated the need of efficient automation in the metal and machinery industry. This modern technology also complements the metal and machinery industry in flexible production and reducing costs.
Huge potential for robot installationsAccording to the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), the average robot density is 51 units per 10,000 employees worldwide in which Japan heads the list with an average of more than 300 units, followed by Korea (280), Germany (260), Italy (170) and Sweden (160). Though late, the Indian industry has started accepting the robotics technology. “With the rapid development across the spectrums, the demand of automation is bound to grow within the Indian industry. Though, as of now the robot density in the country is far below the world average, it is gradually catching up”, said Rajesh Nath, Managing Director of VDMA India during a curtain raiser event of AUTOMATICA 2012 held in Mumbai recently. Dr. Bernd Forster, Deputy Consul General of Consulate General of Germany was also present at the venue.
Currently, the robot density in India is 1 unit per 10,000 employees. “AUTOMATICA 2012 is the right platform for the Indian players to witness the modern technology and its applications”, said Mr. Nath. AUTOMATICA 2012, the 5th international trade fair for automation and mechatronics will take place at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 22 to 25 May 2012.
Safety MattersThe further development of ‘safe robots’ enables a space-saving cell concept without rigid barriers on one hand. On the other hand, it opens the door to new applications involving people and robots, for example, in installation, medical technology and the service sector. Various institutions have worked out basic principles for this over the years, which link sensor technology with control and process control engineering as well as mechanics and consequently create new automation possibilities. The way into industrial practice is also being smoothed by the norm ISO 10218-1 with respect to the safety aspects of man-robot cooperation (also referred to as human-machine collaboration). It contains safety requirements for industrial robots, so that people and robots can work together in a defined work area without spatial separation using safety barriers or light grids. The visitors to AUTOMATICA 2012 can obtain an overview of the far-reaching perspectives provided by ‘safe man-robot cooperation’.
Master the challenge of automated production of lightweight construction partsFibre-reinforced composites are among the materials of the future. The composites are in demand thanks to their slight weight and enormous durability not only in the aerospace industry. The automobile industry, mechanical and plant engineering, and wind energy technology have high expectations for this material. The turnover for lightweight construction parts is already showing an upward trend. With their automated manufacture, composite parts are finally going to soar to new heights. Consequently, ‘Automated Composite Production’ has been announced as one of the major topics at AUTOMATICA 2012.

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