Industry News

Choosing between variable speed drives and soft starters

Demand for industrial products has risen considerably over the past two decades — and with that, we’ve seen an increase in energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In fact, in 2020, the industrial sector accounted for 33 per cent of total U.S. energy consumption. As pressure to minimize consumption mounts, how can industry reduce its environmental impact? Here, Claudia Jarrett, US country manager at obsolete equipment supplier, EU Automation, suggests two changes that can make a big difference — variable speed drives (VSDs) and soft starters. 

One of the highest areas of energy consumption for electric motors is the start-up cycle, as accelerating up to the necessary speed requires a lot of power. Soft starters and VSDs are great ways to reduce and manage energy usage during these periods, by reducing stresses on motors through optimizing start-ups and controlling speeds. Gaining improved efficiency doesn’t need to be complicated and can be done easily to automate parts of production, but which should you choose?

Variable speed drives

Adoption of more sophisticated control techniques has increased the requirement for better process control, which can be found in equipment like VSDs. A VSD is an automation device that controls the speed, torque output or rotational force of motors, fans and pumps, by matching their speed and torque to the requirements of the application.

More specifically, VSDs vary the input current and frequency during the start and stop cycle, and while the machine is being powered. This is carried out by converting the frequency and voltage input power to adjustable frequency and voltage sources.

In most cases, VSDs deliver considerable energy savings. For example, using a VSD to slow a fan or pump motor from 100 per cent to 80 per cent can save up to 50 per cent of the energy used. Controlling the speed of a motor reduces energy usage during the highest energy consuming points, the start-up cycle, which requires extreme acceleration to power it at full speed. 

VSDs not only help reduce consumption during start-up, but also give manufacturers total control of engine speed in all phases of the motor, which reduces stress on the system, helping devices to last longer.

Soft starters

Soft starters provide control of a motor current to reduce inrush and limit shaft torque. As the name implies, soft starters are used only at start up and slowly let in increasing amounts of current, softly ramping up the speed of the drive and allowing for a gradual start. By gradually increasing the motor terminal voltage, soft starters produce a more regulated motor acceleration up to full speed.

The steady approach to full power protects the motor from torque spikes and sudden tension and reduces motor heating, helping to extend equipment life.

Some soft starters use solid state devices to help control the flow of current, whereas a reduced voltage soft starter helps protect the motor and connected equipment from damage by controlling the terminal voltage. This limits the initial inrush of electrical current and reduces the mechanical shock associated with motor start up.

In industrial plants, soft starters are often used in conveyor belts to steadily adjust torque to the necessary level. Without this control, sudden tensions could deteriorate the belt and cause it to snap due to mechanical stress. 

Application considerations

While both VSDs and soft starters deliver greater process control, before taking the steps to upgrade a plant, it’s critical to assess the application, system requirements and cost for initial start-up and life cycle of the system.

VSDs are significantly larger and therefore up to three times more expensive than soft starters. This initial cost must be considered, as well as maintenance and replacement costs. However, VSDs can provide energy savings of up to 50 per cent, which can deliver better return on investment (ROI). However, if constant acceleration and torque control is not necessary, and an application requires current limiting only during start up, a soft starter may be a better solution.

Now, let’s look at some specific applications for each. VSDs are ideal where complete speed control is optimal. As VSDs can reduce power when it is not required and increase it whenever it is needed, they are particularly beneficial in manufacturing scenarios where equipment is used for multiple processes. Take for instance a food processing facility that requires different cooking temperatures and fans that need continuously adjusting to monitor cooling.

Soft starters are most beneficial where speed ramping and torque control are desired primarily when starting or stopping, such as conveyors, belt driven systems and gears. In addition, soft starters are also suited to piping systems that need to avoid pressure surges when fluid changes speed too quickly.  

Although these devices support a longer equipment life cycle, eventually they will need replacing — and fast. To ensure manufacturers reap the benefits of these devices, there must be a back-up plan to prevent prolonged downtime and minimize waste and costs when failure occurs. EU Automation sources and delivers obsolete automation parts, including VSDs and soft starters, to 15 countries in the APAC region.

VSDs and soft starters are easy to integrate control solutions that can greatly improve process control, while reducing energy consumption. For manufacturers seeking to change their processes, investing in these small upgrades can really make a big impact.  

EU Automation recommends forging relationships with reliable spares suppliers. For more information on its range of automation components to support the sustainable surge, or to help you source parts, visit the website at www.euautomation.com/us.

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Vesconite Bearings Reduces Lead Time with New Saw

A sliding table panel saw has been well utilised since it was installed late last year at Vesconite Bearings’ warehouse in Johannesburg.

The saw has mainly been used to cut Vesconite and Ultrablack wear plates that are used in a range of wear applications.

The introduction of the machine means the Johannesburg warehouse can dispatch cut-to-size orders quickly, reducing the longer lead times of having plates cut at the company’s busy factory.

Vesconite stores manager Martin Nyathi informs that a large number of plates and strips have been accurately cut on the machine and expects the saw to be a great asset in 2022.

The machine can cut lengths up to 3,700 mm long and 1,500 mm wide to an accuracy of ±0.25 mm, so it can accurately and swiftly cut the most-frequently-ordered plates that Vesconite Bearings produces.

Caption 1 – Vesconite stores manager Martin Nyathi expects a sliding table panel saw to be a great asset in 2022

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Explore The Future with Test Automation – What to Expect In 2022 And Beyond

As companies are aspiring for digital transformation, the necessity to adopt automation has been more than ever. Besides the usual IT processes, test automation also plays an important role in an organization’s software quality assurance process. 

Since test automation came into existence as an improvement over manual testing, the domain has constantly evolved.  

Here are some of the latest trends that are likely to impact quality engineering frameworks in 2022. 

2022 trends in test automation 

From cloud testing to AI-based testing, numerous trends are projected to enter and overhaul the existing technology domain in the next few years. However, let us only discuss some of the crucial test automation trends that are likely to capture the limelight in 2022: 

Cloud-based testing is the future 

Cloud technology has exploded in the last few years, with most workplaces going virtual and businesses focusing more on online service delivery. Moreover, this irreversible phenomenon is likely to expand in the coming years across the industry spectrum. 

As per the predictions from Gartner, spending on cloud services globally has increased to $482 billion in 2022 from $313 billion in 2020. 

To cope up with such rapid growth, businesses would be required to integrate and test these cloud systems seamlessly. And, this is where cloud automation testing comes into the picture.  

Organizations primarily go for cloud adoption to increase their businesses’ scalability and efficiency. However, companies cannot achieve these features fully without embracing test automation. Therefore, enterprises looking to integrate cloud technology in their systems in the near future also need to be prepared to adopt cloud test automation. 

API testing is crucial for business application  

As more and more organizations are moving towards online service delivery, the need to have a robust system is indispensable. In this regard, API testing can prove to be a real gamechanger. Moreover, as part of the integration testing, API testing validates the APIs directly by checking their performance, functionality, reliability and security. 

Companies, too, understand the importance of API and embrace it with both arms. As per a recent report, the global market for API testing is expected to reach USD 1,099.1 billion by 2022 from USD 447.4 million in 2017. 

API test automation is also considered a crucial part of an organization’s test automation journey. There are also various API testing tools to help automation engineers go ahead with the process seamlessly. 

Transformation of SDLCs into CI/CD pipelines  

Businesses have replaced their traditional Waterfall model for a faster alternative with Agile & DevOps. However, organizations are continuously striving towards achieving speedier service delivery. In addition, the need for shorter development lifecycles has pushed businesses towards continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). 

As a result, CI/CD frameworks are also being integrated into the Agile & DevOps methodologies giving rise to CI/CD pipelines. 

Test automation is a crucial aspect of the CI/CD pipeline. Right from creating builds and unit testing to user acceptance and regression testing, CI/CD frameworks rely heavily on automation tools and techniques. Therefore, business leaders and QA teams need to look out for options to leverage test automation for a seamless CI/CD pipeline. 

Mobile automation testing is the new normal

The scope of mobile testing has been rising steeply over the last few years. The latest report predicts that the mobile application testing market will surpass USD 13585.73 Million by 2026 at 20.3% CAGR. 

Mobile applications play a significant role when it comes to providing an excellent user experience to its customers. In this regard, developing and testing mobile applications is the only way forward. Moreover, the growing competition in the mobile application market has driven companies to integrate test automation into mobile testing. 

Even several Quality Engineering providers have realized the importance of mobile test automation and have equipped themselves with the required tools and expertise. 

Time to embrace the AI-driven test automation 

Automation is no longer limited to automating the repeated task to minimize redundancy in a process. An intelligent component is associated with automation now, which stems from AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). 

Besides speed, AI-enabled automation also brings in cognitive learning, which reduces the chances of manual error. 

AI-driven automation has been in the picture since 2019. But, as we are in the initial phases of AI, the focus will continue to increase in this area. 

Key takeaways 

As test automation is evolving with every passing day, businesses need to keep themselves abreast with this evolution. Unfortunately, most of the time, organizations are not aware of the latest technology and even when they are made aware of it, they lack the expertise to use it.  

This is where experience Quality Engineering firms like Qualitest come into the picture. Our experts in highly proficient quality engineering and brand assurance frameworks. 

You can reach out to our experts today! 

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OKUMA Launches MA-600HIII Horizontal Machining Center

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 10, 2022) – Members of the management team at Okuma America Corporation are excited to announce the launch of a next-generation machining center to join the company’s horizontal machining center lineup. This new machine – the Okuma MA-600HIII – brings next-level machining capabilities to the MA-600H family by offering several new features.


Impressive 10K Spindle
The MA-600HIII’s new 10K RPM standard spindle effectively handles a wide range of applications, from heavy-duty to high-feed machining. The enhanced spindle is now equipped with a new thru-spindle coolant suction feature, which removes residual coolant inside the tool and spindle.

Smart Design
This next-generation horizontal machining center weighs in at a massive 55,000 pounds, ensuring structural stability and consistent precision machining operations for the long haul. This machine has a larger work envelope than its predecessor, with added X-axis travel capabilities. Additionally, the MA-600HIII can perform automatic tool change operations in less than four seconds flat! Additional enhancements have also been made to Okuma’s market-leading thermal management technology, including decreased temperature deviation of the machine to an improved 7μ (seven micron) dimensional change per 24-hour period. This is particularly effective when faced with severe swings in the ambient temperature.

Upgraded Chip & Coolant Management Systems
The Okuma MA-600HIII features an enhanced coolant management system, ball screw cooling for the X, Y and Z axes, an upgraded workspace design to prevent chip accumulation, and improved chip evacuation functionality. This level of innovation maximizes uptime and allows for long periods of continuous machine operation.

The all-new sludge-less tank technology activates sophisticated filtering and liquid flow patterns of the chip / coolant mixture to mitigate settling of the mixture in the bottom of the receiving tank. This new technology reduces the need for time-consuming tank cleaning and affords increased machine operation time.

Automation Friendly
The MA-600HIII’s flexible design allows for a variety of automation applications. The workspace area can equip up to seven part loading/unloading ports or up to eight workholding clamp ports, which can help eliminate the need for complicated circuit arrangements for hydraulic applications. Up to 16 ports are available in the machine’s setup station, expanding part capacity and the possibilities for robotic applications.

Key Specs of the MA-600HIII Horizontal Machining Center:
• Table Size mm (in): 630 x 630 (24.80 x 24.80)
• Max Loadable Size mm (in): 1,050 x 1,200 (41.34 x 47.24)
• Spindle Speed min⁻¹: 10,000 [6,000, 12,000, 15,000 and 20,000 options also available]
• Weight kg (lbs): 25,000 (55,000)
• Rapid Traverse m/min (ipm): X: 60 (2,362), Y: 60 (2,362), Z: 60 (2,362)

Equipped with an impressive list of standard features, the Okuma MA-600HIII is a reliable and profitable addition to any shop floor. Visit okuma.com/products/MA-600HIII for more details and to request a quote.

About Okuma America Corporation

Okuma America Corporation is the U.S.-based sales and service affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in CNC (computer numeric control) machine tools, controls and automation systems. The company was founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan, and is the industry’s only single-source provider of CNC machines, controls, drives, motors, encoders, spindles and automation systems, all manufactured by Okuma. The company designs its own CNC controls to integrate seamlessly with each machine tool’s functionality. In 2014 Okuma launched the Okuma App Store, the industry’s only centralized online marketplace for machine tool apps and related content. Along with its extensive distribution network (largest in the Americas), and Partners in THINC network of enhanced manufacturing technologies, Okuma is committed to helping users gain competitive advantages through the open possibilities of machine tools today and into the future.

https://www.okuma.com | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

 

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EXAIR’s Basics of Static Electricity White Paper

The Basics of Static Electricity white paper presents 20 comprehensive and full colored pages on the causes of static electricity, how it develops, and solutions for combatting it in manufacturing processes. Static electricity is a product of non-conductive materials coming into contact and separating, or creating friction between them leading to imbalanced ions. EXAIR Static Eliminators restore this balance and assist in maintaining proper process speeds, preventing product damage, and injured employees.

Electrostatic buildup is a common phenomenon, especially in colder months when the air gets dryer. Static presents itself in a number of inconsequential, every-day situations, but when it’s present in a manufacturing process it can lead to major problems affecting product quality, process speeds & harmful shocks to employees. EXAIR manufactures a line of highly effective static eliminators to assist in a multitude of processes, but, to truly control static problems, it’s important to fully understand the science behind static. For this reason, EXAIR provides an all-encompassing white paper on the Basics of Static Electricity, detailing not only how static is generated, but the most effective ways of controlling it.

This white paper is a helpful road map to eliminating static in your processes, as well as highlighting the different solutions that best suit each unique process like the Super Ion Air Knife for applications needing wide area coverage; the Ion Air Cannon for remote mounting or at a distance; the Ion Air Gun is for hand-held, manual applications; Intellistat® Ion Air Gun for labs or clean rooms; and Ionizing Bar or Ionizing Point for processes sensitive to airflow. Read or download our Basics of Static Electricity and start tackling static in your processes today. https://exair.co/bosepr

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Connecting Manufacturers and Workers Through Technology

 

The demand is increasing for skilled manufacturing labor in order to meet the accelerating rate of technological change. A recent report by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 4.6 million jobs will need to be filled in U.S. manufacturing over the next decade, and 2.4 million jobs may be left open due to a lack of trained workers. The problem is that the skill sets required for today’s factories are very different from what was needed in the past.

Collaboration among manufacturing companies in the private sector, and workforce and training organizations in the public sector, is critical to keep pace with these changes. The Manufacturing USA® network is responding to this need by convening the advanced manufacturing community to build the workforce required to be globally competitive.

Manufacturing USA® is a national network created to secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing through large-scale public-private collaboration on technology, supply chain, and education and workforce development. The 16 manufacturing innovation institutes in the network are collaborating with researchers, private sector partners and government entities to develop and accelerate the adoption of manufacturing technologies. As part of this mission, the institutes also invest in empowering the next generation of workers with skills to fit the needs of advanced manufacturing. That combination will ensure the U.S. reaps the rewards of innovation at scale, strengthening global competitiveness and the economy.

In his Proclamation on National Manufacturing Day, President Biden highlighted the important role being played by Manufacturing USA in supporting and strengthening today’s manufacturing base and its workers – as well as “the manufacturers and workers of the future.”

The institutes in the Manufacturing USA network are responding to the changing landscape by working with partners to define new job roles roles and careers, creating educational programs for exciting emerging manufacturing careers and equipping workers with the skills they need to succeed in those positions.

Determining the Manufacturing Jobs of the Future

MxD (Manufacturing times Digital) in cooperation with ManpowerGroup created a Digital Manufacturing Jobs Taxonomy, a massive undertaking that identified 165 roles in  manufacturing that will be created or transformed by the introduction of digital  technology. The project identified 20 roles that will provide the bridge between our current and future workforce by outlining a more aligned and accelerated path for digital manufacturing workforce development and the economic benefits for individuals and companies alike.

The researchers summarized what the manufacturing ecosystem (that includes government, educators and the workforce itself) needs to ask and answer:

  • What’s on the roadmap to being successful in adopting digital manufacturing and design technologies?
  • Where are the skills and capabilities to lead and deliver on the promise of digital technology?
  • How do we describe the work to be done, the jobs and the roles, and workforce needed to do it?
  • How can workforce roles and job structures change in response to a transforming global industry?

The project authors point out that the succession path to a newer and more adapted state demands the time to honor our productive past and create a talent base for the future. This will require alignment from all stakeholders in the workforce community. There will need to be more proactive management of the talent ecosystem if manufacturers are going to attract the needed tech workforce.

Credentialing the Career Opportunities in Robotics

Numerous studies have shown that automation and robotics create new jobs and career advancement opportunities in manufacturing. Careers in robotics and automation are growing, well-paying, and offer new opportunities for employment in manufacturing.

ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) has collaborated with 300 member organizations across industry, government, and academia to define the robotics skill sets, competencies, and the pathways needed for these careers. They have launched www.roboticscareer.org – the nation’s first resource to connect manufacturers, workers, and job seekers with education programs to develop skills for careers in automation and robotics. Each program on the site aligns with an industry-vetted pathway, has been certified, and earned the ARM Endorsement Badge.

Robotics is an avenue to solve a growing skills gap and overcome outdated perceptions about manufacturing by upskilling existing workers and paving the way for future generations to strengthen manufacturing.

The ARM endorsement badge is designed to meet the highest standards set by the robotics industry in:

  • Relevance to the Industry
  • Effective Curriculum
  • Efficiency of the Training
  • Impact of the Program
  • Program Sustainability and Transportability

Five programs to date have earned the endorsement.

Many of the skills required for a job like a robotics technician are things that are already present in a lot of mechanically inclined professions. For instance, working with car engines or electrical applications can provide a solid foundation of skills and knowledge that could be built upon for application in working with modern robotics. In these cases, all that might be required is upskilling, or building on existing abilities.

The Job Roles of the Future Mirror the Promise of Advanced Manufacturing

Through defining new manufacturing job roles, careers, and curriculum, the institutes and their public and private partners demonstrate the value the Manufacturing USA network delivers with large-scale collaboration on innovation and workforce development for U.S. manufacturing.

In 2020, 16 manufacturing innovation institutes collectively worked with over 2,000 member organizations to collaborate on more than 500 major research and development projects and engaged over 70,000 people in building workforce knowledge and skills in advanced manufacturing. State, industry and federal funds contributed $400 million to these activities.

To learn more about how the Manufacturing USA network is helping develop new careers in advanced manufacturing technology, visit the Institutes’ page.

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Datanomix & Caron Engineering Announce Partnership to Benefit Precision Manufacturers

October 19, 2021—Datanomix, the leading automated production intelligence platform, and Caron Engineering, the leader in manufacturing tool optimization technologies, today announced a partnership to jointly develop data-driven solutions that leverage the companies’ manufacturing domain expertise in real-time production monitoring and machine tool optimization. This integration adds a new dashboard in the Datanomix platform that aggregates and displays the metrics for all Caron devices deployed in a factory. At Eastec they will show a single visualization for the job performance data from Caron Engineering’s adaptive tool monitoring system, TMAC, helping accelerate continuous improvement efforts across all jobs.

The data generated by today’s manufacturing machines offers tremendous opportunities to drive production insights, and Datanomix is using advanced analytics and machine learning to empower manufacturers to understand the state of their production in real time. Caron Engineering uses advanced sensors and signal processing techniques to improve machine performance, optimizing how CNC machines produce parts and measure tool usage to track tool wear and prevent costly repairs. This partnership and its resulting technology will help manufacturers proactively optimize whole-factory performance and profitability.

“Manufacturers are demanding an integrated solution that delivers a rich visual experience around real-time job performance, predictive machine parameters, and cutting tool behavior over time,” said John Joseph, CEO and co-founder of Datanomix. “The combination of Caron Engineering and Datanomix delivers more real-time data for production than any other solution, providing incredible opportunities to apply data science to an industry segment in need of contextualized production intelligence. Together we will build the next generation of analytics solutions for precision manufacturers that covers the entire machine and production workflow.”

“There is a symbiotic fit between the tooling expertise at Caron and the data science capabilities at Datanomix,” said Rob Caron, founder and president of Caron Engineering. “This partnership lets us offer our installed base of thousands of customers worldwide an analytics and intelligence solution that spans from the cutting tools and machine health all the way to the executive suite. Data is at the heart of Caron’s strategy, and with Datanomix, we will be able to leverage our combined data into actionable insights that will help transform manufacturing at a practical level.”

Development efforts have been focused on integrating data from Caron systems for analysis and visualization through the Datanomix platform in the following ways:

  • TMAC (Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control):  A new Datanomix dashboard will display the status of every TMAC-enabled machine in the factory for a consolidated view of performance that accelerates job-level continuous improvement. Datanomix will present Caron performance parameters, including horsepower, vibration, pressure, strain, and coolant information for each TMAC machine. Users will be able to create alerts for out-of-tolerance conditions for rapid responses. Other Datanomix production charts and graphs for associated machines will include an active Caron Engineering icon that will let users drill down to Caron tool performance for that machine.
  • DTect-IT (Machine Condition Monitoring): DTect-IT combines high-precision sensor technology with advanced analysis to monitor, detect, and correct anomalies in the machining process. Datanomix enables customers who need deeper analytics and optimization strategies for cutting unique parts to visualize DTect-IT data in the Datanomix platform. Existing Datanomix customers will be able to schedule installation of DTect-IT on any machine by clicking a purchase button in the Datanomix platform.
  • AutoComp (Automatic Tool Wear Compensation Software): AutoComp processes measurement data from any electronic gauging device and automatically calculates and compensates tool offsets in the control, without any operator intervention. Datanomix can compare this part quality data with cutting data from the above systems.
  • ToolConnect: (Tool Data Management System): ToolConnect automates the process of loading tools into the machine by automatically transferring tool offset data directly from the presetter to the CNC control, via RFID tags embedded in tool holders and 2D presetter-printed barcodes. The system is completely customizable to meet the users’ tool load specifications and records every step, action, and data exchange. This data is valuable as Datanomix analyzes how variations in tool geometry affect cutting data.

“With Caron’s focus on data, it was a natural fit to collaborate on advanced analytics and visualizations.” said Greg McHale, CTO and co-founder of Datanomix. “Customers who implement Caron or Datanomix are looking to understand exactly what’s happening with every part they manufacture. We envision a data-driven future that visualizes production starting with raw materials, to machining, to the finished part, leaving manufacturers with insights into productivity, continuous improvement, maintenance, and business optimization. We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Rob Caron and his team to accelerate this future for our customers and theirs.”

Both Caron and Datanomix put customers first, and feedback and suggestions from customers have been a critical aspect of designing and developing solutions that deliver added value for users of both companies’ solutions.

“At Nikel Precision Group, data and analytics are core value drivers, helping us meet our customers’ exacting requirements and demanding production schedules,” said James Bell, vice president of operations at Nikel Precision Group LLC. “As a customer of both Caron and Datanomix, Nikel Precision Group is getting tremendous value from the real-time data driven by each of their solutions. We’re excited about the potential enabled by the depth of experience in manufacturing and data science of these two teams.”

Existing customers for both companies will have the opportunity to purchase these software tools through existing sales channels. The companies have worked out a reciprocal support network to route customer requests to the technical experts at each company providing the highest level of quality in their support experience. This partnership has created career openings at both companies across engineering, customer support, and sales.

Datanomix and Caron Engineering exhibited at the 2021 Eastec Conference in West Springfield, Massachusetts and held a press conference related to this announcement. See the full interview by MTDCNC on YouTube.

About Datanomix
Based in New Hampshire, Datanomix provides real-time production monitoring and performance analytics for CNC machines, without the need for operator inputs or links to ERP systems. Datanomix’s mission is to level the data analytics playing field for industrial manufacturers by giving them robust decision-making tools so they can proudly build world-class products. Learn more at www.datanomix.io.

About Caron Engineering
Founded in 1986, Caron Engineering develops advanced sensor and monitoring technology for CNC machines that interface directly with almost any control on the market to optimize and automate manufacturing processes. Their smart factory solutions focus on unattended operation, machine health and process diagnostics, tool wear and breakage detection, automatic tool offsetting, cycle time reduction, and eliminating operator error. Learn more at www.caroneng.com.

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Automation Will Help Drive the Need for One Million Additional Warehouse Workers Through 2024

San Antonio, TX, Dec. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Plus One Robotics, the leading 3D vision software maker for logistics robotics published new research findings from a study that examined warehouses in the US and Europe to understand warehouse footprints, square footage and number of employees working in the locations. The company commissioned the research, carried out by market intelligence firm Interact Analysis, to also study which roles are carried out by these workers. Plus One sought to understand how many people are performing common warehouse tasks in environments such as ecommerce fulfilment and distribution centers that could potentially be automated.

The research found that automation is driving sustained jobs growth, as automation creates a virtuous circle: robots aren’t being used to displace manual workers rather, robots are used alongside personnel to augment overall productivity. Warehouse operators and logistics companies face a critical struggle to meet the ever-increasing consumer demands that far outweigh anything that could be met with human manpower alone.

“The International Federation of Robotics has often pointed out that Germany and Japan have some of the highest concentrations of industrial robots per head of manufacturing workers in the developed world. And yet it will come as no surprise to most to learn that Germany and Japan also have amongst the largest numbers of manufacturing jobs in the developed world. The same logic applies here,” said Ash Sharma, Senior Research Director, Interact Analysis.

He continues, “Our research shows that warehouse automation is an understandable necessity in a fast-growing market. As automation gets more advanced, it makes fulfillment cheaper and more efficient, resulting in more consumers choosing to shop online leading to greater warehousing demand. On this basis, and assuming the overall warehouse market keeps growing, the warehouse companies that automate the most will also grow the most, and therefore it will be these companies that create the most jobs of all types – including manual warehouse roles.”

The evidence suggests that many of the people who gravitated to e-commerce temporarily during COVID-19 will stick with it permanently. During the lengthy periods of lockdown, huge numbers of consumers bought essentials – from light bulbs to shoes to prescriptions – that they wouldn’t previously have purchased online. For many, they will not be going back, and they want their orders sooner. The average package delivery time in the US decreased from 2.1 days before the pandemic to 1.7 days by the end of 2020, according to ParcelLab.*

The research, which involved speaking to almost every single significant warehouse automation provider globally, revealed:

-The US had 1.6 million warehouse employees in 2019 which is forecast to grow to just under 2 million in 2024, while Europe had 2.5 million warehouse employees in 2019 which is forecast to grow to 3.1 million in 2024.

-Both Europe and the US are forecast to grow with a similar CAGR of approximately 4% between 2019 and 2024, With demand forecast at this rate, the research found that one million additional warehouse employees will be required, or 25% growth in five years.

“Plus One was founded on the notion that people and robots working together is the best solution in the warehouse. Our goal has been to help humans move to value-added positions by building software that functions intelligently on its own, but also recognizing that no fully autonomous software solution will be perfect on its own. Robots are useful tools, but they function best with intelligent software and human oversight. We see first-hand the challenges our customers are facing to meet labor shortages, and this research confirms that even with the forecast levels of automation, we’ll need more humans in the loop,” said Erik Nieves, CEO and co-founder, Plus One Robotics.

The survey also examined which tasks required the most workers, and which were the fastest growing areas for automation. Goods-to-person (G2P) picking is the fastest growing warehouse activity – where items are delivered to sorting and packing stations. G2P picking leverages AMR’s and is scalable, enabling warehouse operators to economically automate in existing environments. Packing and conveyor induction were also in the top three fastest growing positions. These three sectors represented 17% of all warehouse roles in 2019 (over 693,000 jobs), but this figure will be 21% by 2024 (over 1,000,000 jobs) – a CAGR of 9.3%.

Download the white paper, The Great Exploding Warehouse, for more details. Research publication date: May 2021.

https://plusonerobotics.com/resources/white-paper-the-great-exploding-warehouse/

*Interact Analysis ‘Warehouse Automation 2021’

About Plus One Robotics, Inc.
Plus One Robotics was founded in 2016, with a mission to bring leading-edge 3D and AI vision to industrial robots, enabling hand-eye coordination for material handling in the warehouse. Founded by computer vision and robotics industry veterans, Plus One’s novel approach to human/robot collaboration and supervised autonomy ensures fast, accurate, and scalable solutions, with one person able to manage many robots simultaneously. Plus One’s customers include logistics and ecommerce leaders in the Fortune 100; the company is headquartered in San Antonio, TX, with offices in Boulder, CO and The Netherlands. Visit www.plusonerobotics.com for more information, and follow us on www.linkedin.com/PlusOne-Robotics.

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FANUC America’s New Mobile Apps for CNC Product and Maintenance Support

(Hoffman Estates, IL – December 14, 2021) FANUC America, a leading automation solutions provider, releases a suite of new mobile apps for quicker delivery of vital information. The CNC Comparison, the CNC Functions Catalog and the CNC Alarms set of apps provide key FANUC product information in a user-friendly way. 

The CNC Comparison and the CNC Functions Catalog are two newly created apps designed to help easily evaluate the vast array of FANUC CNC products available. The FANUC CNC Comparison App is a convenient way to compare and contrast the wide variety of FANUC CNCs. For a deeper dive into the extensive selection of FANUC components, functions and software, users can download the CNC Functions Catalog App.  

For quicker troubleshooting, the FANUC CNC Alarms App helps identify alarm codes from the various controls. Maintenance workers will no longer have to page through manuals to decipher an alarm message with the CNC Alarms App.  

“We know the nature of manufacturing work is changing and having easy access to information from mobile devices is crucial,” says Paul Webster, Director of Factory Automation Engineering for FANUC America. “With multiple generations working in the manufacturing field, we believe it’s important to deliver information via the tools many workers are now using.”

The CNC Comparison, CNC Functions Catalog and CNC Alarms Mobile Apps are available to download now in the Apple Store and Google Play. 

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems and factory automation. From small shops to large assembly operations, companies rely on FANUC automation to improve productivity, increase quality, maximize profits and maintain a competitive edge.

FANUC America is headquartered at 3900 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309 and has facilities located throughout the Americas. For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: www.fanucamerica.com .  Also, connect with us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

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Okuma America Corporation Names Gosiger Distributor of the Year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 15, 2021) — The leadership team of Okuma America Corporation, a world-leading builder of CNC machine tools, controls and automation systems, is pleased to name Gosiger as the Okuma Distributor of the Year. Gosiger co-owners, Pete Haley and John Haley, accepted the award at Okuma’s Distributor meeting in November in Naples, Fla. Gosiger is based in Dayton, Ohio, and has been an Okuma distributor partner since 1980.“We are very honored and proud to be recognized as Okuma’s Distributor of the Year,” shared Gosiger co-owner Pete Haley. “We are deeply grateful to our employees and valued customers that made this recognition possible. Gosiger has been fortunate to represent and sell Okuma ‘world class’ machine tools for over forty years. Relationships like this are rare in our industry and greatly appreciated.”

The Okuma Distributor of the Year Award was established to recognize a distributor partner for exceptional performance in the areas of selling and servicing Okuma products and services throughout a given year. More specifically, the award criteria focuses on performance across many disciplines, including sales, operations, engineering, service, aftermarket parts, finance, marketing, HR and IT. An exemplified commitment to each of these areas is important in assisting Okuma in achieving its mission of passionately pursuing a customer for life.

“We are incredibly grateful for our lasting partnership with Gosiger,” said Tim Thiessen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Okuma America Corporation. “They worked diligently to service customers throughout a uniquely challenging year and their efforts did not go unnoticed. We look forward to many more years of successful partnership with Gosiger.”


About Gosiger

Since 1922, Gosiger, a third-generation family-owned company has built best-in-class solutions around the industry’s finest machine tools and accessories. Gosiger provides access to hundreds of qualified technicians and engineers with automation systems and controls expertise to meet the entire spectrum of manufacturing and automation needs. Gosiger is committed to ensuring the success of our customers by providing installation, training, maintenance, replacement parts, and unmatched technical support.

Gosiger maintains some of the longest-term Distributor/OEM relationships in the industry. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Gosiger services customers from 13 strategically located facilities within the United States.

For more information, visit www.gosiger.com or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

About Okuma America Corporation

Okuma America Corporation is the U.S.-based sales and service affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in CNC (computer numeric control) machine tools, controls and automation systems. The company was founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan, and is the industry’s only single-source provider of CNC machines, controls, drives, motors, encoders, spindles and automation systems, all manufactured by Okuma. The company designs its own CNC controls to integrate seamlessly with each machine tool’s functionality. In 2014 Okuma launched the Okuma App Store, the industry’s only centralized online marketplace for machine tool apps and related content. Along with its extensive distribution network (largest in the Americas), and Partners in THINC network of enhanced manufacturing technologies, Okuma is committed to helping users gain competitive advantages through the open possibilities of machine tools today and into the future.

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