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FANUC to focus on productivity & automation at Open House
In order to answer some of the burgeoning questions on automation in UK manufacturing, FANUC will host its first-ever Manufacturing, Automation, and Digital Transformation Open House.
Taking place at its state-of-the-art UK headquarters on 29-31 October 2019, the event is open to UK industry to understand how automation can improve productivity across manufacturing. Displaying a number of demonstrations, as well as hosting industry debate, manufacturers can sign up to attend the event via the FANUC website.
Recent figures suggest that UK automation is currently falling behind other leading manufacturing nations, which is having an impact on its ability to keep pace in terms of productivity. To illustrate the point: there are just 71 industrial robots per 10,000 workers in the UK, positioning it behind 14 other European countries. In contrast, Germany has 309 units, contributing to a production rate which is 30% higher per hour than the UKs.
FANUC UK managing director, Tom Bouchier said: “Many in UK manufacturing remain suspicious of automation, with a common misconception being that it equates to a high up-front cost. However, automation solutions are accessible to everyone – from family run subcontracting businesses, through to multi-national organisations.
“FANUC’s inaugural Open House will showcase a range of technologies, seeking to address misunderstanding within UK industry, and highlight how turning to automation can drive significant and tangible productivity.”
One area of automation which will be demonstrated is collaborative robotics (cobots). With built-in sensors and vision systems, cobots are capable of working alongside human operators in a variety of different operations. Cobots are already in use in a number of processes in the UK, across a range of industries. Three distinct models will be exhibited at the Open House, including the CR-35iA, which is the only cobot in the world with a 35kg payload.
FANUC’s production equipment series: the ROBODRILL, ROBOSHOT, and ROBOCUT, will also be displayed, offering visitors the chance to see these state-of-the-art machines in action. There will be live demonstrations throughout the event, illuminating the power of automation in the manufacturing process.
The ROBODRILL – a compact yet powerful 5-axis drilling machine – will be represented by the α-D21MiA with Mechatronic iTend machine-tending solution, alongside the α-D21LiB5 complete with DDR Tl-iB additional axis control.
To highlight how automating injection moulding can drive further productivity gains, FANUC will be displaying its α-S50iA injection moulding ROBOSHOT as part of a Hi-Tech Automation pick-and-place-to-conveyor application.
The ROBOCUT wire-cutting machine exhibits will be an aerospace application for precision machining on the C-400. The C -600 and C -800 will also be showcased.
FANUC’s software offering will also be exhibited, including its ROBOGUIDE software, Zero Downtime (ZDT) technology, and the newly launched FIELD (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive) system. There will be a team of experts on hand to talk visitors through how these various pieces of technology can improve factory productivity, highlighting how the manufacturing process can be optimised.
Tom concluded: “We’re thrilled to be able to highlight the wide range of possibilities in automation. It’s crucial that UK manufacturing maintains its position as a world leader, and the adoption of automated solutions is key to this.
“By showcasing FANUC’s automated offering, and addressing any questions that visitors may have, we hope that our first ever Open House will contribute to a wider acceptance of automation across UK industries.”