Custom Manufacturing

Automate 2013: Universal Robots Introduces Low-Cost, Quiet Robotic Arm

Anyone who hears the word "robot" and thinks of cheesy sci-fi buckets rolling around or flailing hooks would have been in for a big surprise at Automate 2013 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Time after time, the robots I was able to see in action were designed for efficient machining, materials handling and supply chain tasks as well as a "softer" approach to human-robot interaction. These robots...

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Custom Manufacturing

European Consortium Developing Robot for Rugged CNC Machining

A European consortium is developing a repair and maintenance robot system to remotely perform CNC machining operations in dangerous, remote and rugged environments, Design News reports. The MiRoR consortium, which is an abbreviation of the project title "Miniaturised Robotic systems for holistic in-situ Repair and maintenance works in restrained and hazardous environments," is a combination of...

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Engineering & Design

GE's New "Power Conversion" Business Involved in World's Largest Wastewater Plant

GE's newly minted Power Conversion business will be supplying eight pump drive trains, with each rated at 6.38 megawatts, as well as process automation technology to the world's largest wastewater treatment plant, located just outside of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as part of a more than $10 million contract. GE's Power Conversion business will be involved with a pumping station...

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Custom Manufacturing

Promat and Automate 2013 in Pictures

Promat and Automate 2013 are in full swing at McCormick Place in Chicago, with buyers, suppliers, and other exhibitors taking advantage of the "two shows, one badge" format. I roamed the trade show floor checking out lots of cool technology at North America's premiere material handling, supply chain, logistics, automation and robotics show. Take a look!     Folks are eager to get...

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Custom Manufacturing

Day Two Social Conversation at Promat and Automate 2013

Promat and Automate 2013 have kicked off with a bang as Steve Forbes presented his keynote address and all the robots, pickers and conveyors started whirring away on the trade show floor. As we did yesterday, here we listen in on the active social media conversations about the shows that are buzzing on Twitter.   As I noted above, Steve Forbes presented his keynote in the morning,...

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Custom Manufacturing

From Promat 2013: Growth and Success -- and a Bit of Politics -- with Steve Forbes

Promat 2013 in Chicago kicked off its second day with a special keynote address from media mogul Steve Forbes, who spoke about the changing political and economic environment and manufacturing's role in its future success. Forbes is the president and CEO of Forbes Media and the editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine who twice ran for the Republican nomination to be a candidate for U.S. president....

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Custom Manufacturing

As Large-Part Markets Flourish, So Goes Large-Size Machinery Designs

Big parts always represent a large-sized opportunity for many machine shops. Aerospace, alternative energy (e.g., wind turbine rotors), marine (ship engines and structural components), heavy equipment and vehicles, mining and power-generation systems are among the plethora of markets that have been growing in recent years, creating opportunities for machining suppliers with the capability to cut...

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Engineering & Design

Batch-Like Reverse Osmosis Promises Massive Cost Savings for Water Purification

A reverse osmosis (RO) water recycling plant that started up in Singapore in mid-January employs closed circuit desalination (CCD) technology from Tel Aviv, Israel-based Desalitech Ltd. that reportedly lowers water treatment costs by up to a compelling 60 percent compared with the most advanced RO systems on the market and can shorten return on investment to less than one year. The technology is...

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Custom Manufacturing

Baxter the Robot Learns By Doing

Even though I knew what to expect, seeing Baxter in action here at Automate 2013 was still amazing. Baxter is Rethink Robotics's inexpensive robot designed for continual operations in material handling applications. Physically, he looks like something out of the Jetsons: a thin center frame with two joined arms that end in small claws, with a small, iPad-like screen hovering where you would...

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Custom Manufacturing

From Promat 2013: The Robotics Impact on Economic Growth with Dr. Henrik Christensen

We're here in the frozen Windy City for the premiere automation and material handling show in one. Promat 2013 and Automate 2013 are open for business on a one-pass, two-show opportunity at McCormick Place, in Chicago, and the trade floor is already buzzing with activity as exhibitors exhibit and buyers buy the exciting new automation, robotics and material handling technologies. Before show...

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