NMW 2017: Artificial Intelligence And Autonomous Robots

The Industry 4.0 led industrial environment is seeing another wave of automation and roboticisation of manufacturing processes, even beyond the extensive developments we have seen to date.

Robots that talk to one another, robots that are increasingly autonomous and apply AI to decision making in more ways than ever before. Organisers from National Manufacturing Week have suggested four sessions perfect for manufacturers interested in learning about the major trends and issues around robotics and automation.

Opportunities for Australian manufacturing SMEs to use collaborative robots, May 12, 11:30 – 12:05pm, Industry 4.0 Theatre

Any gain in productivity can have a huge impact for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which account for 99.7 per cent of all Australian businesses. Automation offers significant advantages, but many manufacturing SMEs believe that robots are out of their reach.

They cannot afford large, complex robots that do not fit within their limited floor space, require specialised personnel to program and maintain them, and are simply too expensive, with a payback period that is too long to justify the investment. In this session, Universal Robots’ Andrew Pether will discuss collaborative robots as a game changer for smaller manufacturers.

Robotic Welding and Cutting in the Mining Industry, May 12, 12.10 – 12.45pm, Industry 4.0 Theatre

Most industrial sectors, including fabricating and welding, are experiencing pressures due to the downturn in the global economy.

Many are now looking to emerging welding products, services and technologies such as robotics to help improve productivity, reduce costs and increase process repeatability.

In this session, BO Technical Manager Paul Kuebler will share his perspective on the future of robotic welding and cutting for the mining industry.

 Automated Offline Programming for Industrial Robotics, May 12 2017, 12.50 – 1.25pm, Industry 4.0 Theatre

This session will explore a University of Wollongong software development which programs industrial robots automatically from CAD files.

The software uses automatic computer algorithms to analyse the CAD software and robotic setup, and then generate a complete robot program including robot motions, sensing, and I/O controls within hours instead of months if the program is generated manually.

The program has been tested in a few robotic welding processes with long cycle time and small batch products and shows promising results for SMEs to adopt the robotic automation cost effectively. The session will be led by Zengxi (Stephen) Pan, Senior Lecturer with the University of Wollongong.

 Robot Tournament, May 12, 9.30am – 3.30pm

For the past two terms of school, students from around Victoria have been building and designing robots for the DATTA Victoria pre-season game.

Teams will play eight qualifying matches over the course of three hours, requiring robots to run for 15 seconds autonomously before they can be manually controlled.

Visitors will be able to watch emerging talent battle it out, with top teams qualifying for the finals and winning spot.

 For more information about the National Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition, or to register for the 2017 event, click here.

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