Increased Competition in the Field of Robotics

5485 words 22 pages
1. Introduction
In recent years the field of robotics is mainly focused on industrial environments due to resource and productivity and changing human mind issues. Today’s businesses are facing increased competition and are under pressure to cut costs. They face escalating labour, energy or material costs and are concerned about their business’s environmental impact. Robotics is a powerful tool to address these pressures and sharpen their competitive edge. Robotics has come a long way in the last 20 years, from its beginning in highly structured environments, where native intelligence on the part of the robot was not required. Today, once prohibitive costs in developing on-board intelligence are plummeting, and robots are now gearing up
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According to the Robotics and Automation Society, whose goal is to ”advance innovation, education, and fundamental and applied research in Robotics and Automation, ” (1) says that ”Nearly every major user industry increased its purchases in the opening quarter of 2010. Especially strong gains were seen in robot sales to the semiconductor/electronics/photonics industries as well as food & consumer goods.” In addition, “Material handling remains the largest application area for new robot orders, accounting for some 60% of the units sold. Many food companies and packaging machinery manufacturers have successfully applied robots in a wide variety of processes in the dairy, meat, baking, confection, frozen, snack, beverage, and even produce industries. Some are unique new applications exploiting the flexibility of robots, but more typically a robot is used to complement a traditional packaging machine as an infeed loader or outfeed unloader: • Placing products into the infeed buckets of side-loading cartoners • Placing products directly into top-loading cartons
• Loading the infeed of a flow-wrapper
• Filling the product pockets in a form, fill and seal (FFS) machine • Arranging products in blister and thermoforming machines • Creating product arrays or stacks at the infeed to a bagging operation • Placing products directly into clamshell packaging
• Loading and unloading a


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