Robots Grab New Capabilities

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Automation remains a focus in manufacturing—for all the obvious reasons—and robot vendors continue to introduce impressive new capabilities. Many would echo Zach Spencer, robotics automation manager at Methods Machine Tools Inc., Sudbury, Mass., when he says the “big, exciting thing right now is collaborative robots. Cobots are innovative automation systems that open up new machining options and increase your return on investment. Some customers have paid for cobots in less than three months.” Spencer added that cobots are popular in large part because of the intuitive way they can be programmed. “Instead of having to go through the teach pendant to program the robot to move to a specific point, you can manually drag the robot and create a set point in the teach pendant. Then you drag the robot to the next position and designate set point two. That’s one of the better technologies with collaborative robots.”

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