The Changing Role of Robotics in Materials Handling

In companies where there is a distinct approach in presenting the efficacy of robotics, solutions in material handling often include 3D renderings and simulations of the proposed solution. These tools help outline the process flow of the automation and highlight the key areas of process improvement. These renderings and simulations are utilized throughout the lifecycle of the project.  The simulation allows you to do robotic programming in a 3D virtual environment while the renderings are converted to 3D human machine interfaces for advanced system diagnostics and ease of use by operators.

Steven Hogg, Inside Applications Engineering Manager at Bastian Robotics, suggests that  the greatest resistance to change from fixed automation occurs when the company does not have any robots at their facility and have not developed a long-term plan for automation and process improvement. There is a willingness within material handling regarding robotics because many times conventional fixed automation lacks the flexibility required to adapt to changing market conditions and the development of new product lines. Advancement in vision systems has brought robotics to a whole new level of flexibility.

Read more by Thomas R. Cutler, Robotics Tomorrow, 3/24/16