Robotics and additive manufacturing markets have entered into a new phase of growth, ripened by an era in which maintaining the status quo is no longer viable for manufacturers who struggle to secure quality labor. That’s because robotic systems are enabling manufacturers to deliver higher quality parts and maximize throughput, said Mark Ermatinger, vice president of sales at Zeeland-based Industrial Control Service Inc., who does not see the “rise” of robots stopping anytime soon.
The boundary between the physical and virtual worlds is blurring as augmented reality gains momentum for uses across a broad range of industries In industrial automation, the implementation of AR could take place sooner than many people might imagine, according to Joe Dyer, team lead for manufacturing technical service at Disher Corp., a Zeeland-based engineering, product and development firm.
Dan Brookhouse can’t stress enough to his control engineering students that automation is the future for the manufacturing industry.
Joe Dyer wants manufacturers to know that automation isn’t an end goal but a means to drive greater productivity, profitability and efficiency in the workplace.
Fifteen years ago, Micron Manufacturing Co. made a bold gamble. The Walker-based manufacturer invested substantial resources into replacing more than 60 lathes and other outdated equipment with 19 state-of-the-art CNC lathes featuring autonomous capabilities. At the time, the new automation equipment was relatively unknown, and represented a big step toward what company executives thought would be the future of manufacturing for their business.