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Industry 4.0

by   -   July 26, 2016
Photo credit: The Robot Report
Photo credit: The Robot Report

AUTOMATICA 2016, held in June in Munich at the massive Messe tradefair facility, is a gigantic show focused on automation, mechatronics, robotics and emerging technologies as they relate to the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Image: Messe München International
Image: Messe München International

Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution – was the main theme at the largest robot and automation fair in the world, Germany’s AUTOMATICA, which took place in Munich throughout the last week of June. But what exactly is Industry 4.0 and how do developers and manufacturers big and small believe it will revolutionise production?

ATV in warehouse. Source: Wikipedia Commons
AGV in warehouse. Source: Wikipedia Commons

By Paula de Villavicencio

Technology has been in development for the last decade and has now come to fruition in the form of self-driving vehicles. These vehicles are driving into industrial centers and beginning to replace traditional AGVs, and it’s no wonder why. The first AGV was introduced in the early 1950s and more than 50 years later it has marginally advanced from following radio transmissions from the ceiling to following magnetic tape on the floor. Its slow advancement isn’t the only limitation; AGVS are fixed, reactive, captured and adoptive machines, and they leave a lot to be desired in today’s complex manufacturing environment.

Source: Smart & Digital Factory Application Lab van Sirris in Kortrijk
Source: Smart & Digital Factory Application Lab van Sirris in Kortrijk

We often see robotic or automated cells purposed to do a single motion or a very specific application. However, with all the new technology available in the market, it is interesting to see how each separate technology can be integrated into a single versatile cell. This is what Sirris did and it is quite impressive.  



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