Making automation more accessible!
The participation to the international competitions, the executed projects and researches within Robohub Eindhoven have resulted in a great platform of knowledge and expertise in Robotics and AI. We believe that sharing our knowledge is key to tackle the challenges of tomorrow and therefore we want to apply this expertise in the field.
With the rise of the ‘Industry 4.0’ and ‘Smart Industry’ we see an increase in demand for automation. Where industrial automation used to be an industry catering almost exclusively to large car manufacturers, High tech companies and mass production factories, we can see a shift. Over the last decade more and more small companies have started becoming interested in automating their productions. With this shift comes a new market for creating automation projects relating to small scale production, flexible manufacturing and collaborative robots that can work together with humans.
Taking the first step in automation is a difficult and often can be a scary step to take if you don’t know where to begin. We want to make this first step more accessible with small projects by advising companies and by possibly providing a pre-study, a proof of concept or by executing experiments. This can be done a lot cheaper and a lot more accessible than with a big company. The result of this will be constrained to the ‘first step’. After this process we will suggest companies which we have gotten to know over the years who could execute the following steps in automation.
Besides this, we also focus on companies who have already started automating but who want to explore a different and still unfamiliar field of automation like using Automated Guide vehicles (AGV), implementing computer vision or exploring the possibilities of Artificial intelligence.
Kampert Nauta is a printing company in Oss (in The Netherlands) making flyers, posters, banners, business cards and a lot more. Kampert Nauta asked the RoboHub Eindhoven to look at their production process and see what could be automated and show them a demo. After looking at their process we identified the de-stacking of paper as a good proof of concept.
During the production process the paper is de-stacked several times. The de-stacking is currently done by hand with a tool designed for picking up a certain number of sheets at a time. This is a very labour-intensive process and (depending on the amount of paper) can be quite heavy. By adapting the ‘gripping’ tool to be fitted to a robotic arm we automated the process. The demo allowed us to demonstrate how the automated de-stacking works and how it would fit in their production process.
By Helping Kampert Nauta identifying what steps in their production process could be automated and giving them an example of how it could be done, we helped them in orienting their company to a more sustainable and future proof production process.