Manufacturing, Automation & Robotics OVERVIEW
The primary force behind the Unimate was an American named Joseph Engelberger (sometimes referred to as the “father of robotics”) of the Consolidated Controls Corp.
of Bethel, CT.
These efforts led to the establishment of a related firm, Unimation, Inc.
By the late 1960s, automobile manufacturers were racing to install robotic units such as automated welders in their plants worldwide.
As the decades went by, Japanese and German firms grew to be world leaders in factory automation equipment and robotics.
This trend was directly tied to the growing dominance of Japanese and German automobiles, and the decline of the American auto industry. Meanwhile, China has official hopes to be a world leader in factory automation technologies by 2025, and it is investing accordingly under its “Made in China 2025” plan.
America is attempting to improve its global stance in industrial robotics and automation through the establishment of “Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation” centers, which have attracted backing from both government and corporate funds. The ever-growing drive for efficiency and quality, both at the factory and in the supply chain, will make automation technologies more and more
The ever-growing drive for efficiency and quality, both at the factory and in the supply chain, will make automation technologies more and more vital. Robotics and automation assist manufacturing in a wide variety of ways, far beyond final assembly. Robots can control the warehouse, delivering parts to the factory floor on an as-needed basis. The fact that robots can assist or even replace humans, makes it easier to keep workers spaced further apart during pandemics or flu season. Computers and sophisticated software help to design, model and test products prior to their actual manufacture, and then upload final instructions to computer-driven factory equipment. The design of components and sub-assemblies are, to a dominant degree, conducted through computer-aided design tools (often called CAD-CAM) that can be tightly coordinated with the factory floor.