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Machine Learning: It’s All about the Data 0

Posted on 16, July 2018

in Category Blog

Machine learning is one of the most exciting areas for innovation in industrial automation. Predictive maintenance and process optimization are the two areas with the strongest traction and the highest degree of usefulness, but a fully autonomous factory isn’t impossible. Machine learning means that machines use the data they receive to improve their results and get better at what they do. But where do they get the data? This is an issue for industrial automation. To get a handle on the data question, we need to step away from the industrial environment for a minute. Outside the factory, data is [&hellip

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The Rust Belt or the Robot Belt? 0

Posted on 13, July 2018

in Category Blog

While some worry about robots snatching away their jobs, the robotics industry is celebrating growth in the U.S. So where are the robot makers? At least half are in the Midwest, where the Steel Belt became the Rust Belt. Top robot cities Detroit is the leader in robot-related industry, with 66 companies employing 3,012 human workers. On the other hand, the Detroit metro and surroundings is also the largest employment hub for industrial robots. Nearly half of the 233,000+ industrial robots in America work in Michigan’s automotive industry. The Chicago metro has 42 robotics companies employing 2,367 workers. Boston, Los [&hellip

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Is Your Rexroth TVD Power Supply the Problem? 0

Posted on 11, July 2018

in Category Blog

Troubleshooting problems in industrial motion control systems doesn’t mean trying to fix components in their places. At least not when it comes to Rexroth components. The downtime involved is unacceptable. Lost production is the most immediate and obvious cost of downtime. Experts in the subject estimate that U.S. factories lose 5 to 20 percent of their production to downtime. Every occurrence costs money in the shape of all the profit on every unit not produced during that time. At the speed of production provided by automation, that usually means hundreds of dollars each minute. The cost of labor adds to [&hellip

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Can Industrial Robots Keep Workers Happy? 0

Posted on 9, July 2018

in Category Blog

A lack of qualified human workers continues to be an issue for manufacturing. Maybe we’re overlooking an opportunity. Industrial robots could learn to praise human operators. Can robots praise humans? Sure. Robots can be programmed to say anything. Sophia, a humanoid robot who was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, made headlines with her admiration of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Amazon’s Alexa will compliment you if you ask. Eliza, an early AI experiment designed to behave like a therapist, was able to carry on extended conversations based on key words from human responses. It wasn’t part of Eliza’s programming to compliment people, [&hellip

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Rexroth in the Technological Storm 0

Posted on 6, July 2018

in Category Blog

This is just an ad. We enjoyed it, so you might like to watch it during your coffee break, too. But we’re not going to pretend that there’s a lot of information here. The thing that struck us was the promise to keep up with “the technological storm we’re in.” That’s a metaphorical storm, created by the unprecedented pace of technological change, plus the maelstrom of social and legal uncertainty in responding to those changes. Some of us feel techno-joy, looking forward to the day when our robot coworkers will include octopus-inspired AI learning bots with friendly personalities. Some tend [&hellip

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Freeing the Software of the Future 0

Posted on 2, July 2018

in Category Blog

Rexroth’s electric industrial motion control systems of the 20th century were revolutionary in their day for their modular design and “personality modules.” These early innovations allow you even now to pull a damaged module off the machine and quickly replace it with another. Downtime is minimized and flexibility is maximized. Rexroth is taking the concept to the next level. In future machines, programming will be done separately from the machine. Software and hardware will work together as well as ever… but they’ll be separate. This means that motion control systems can be handled from an ordinary tablet. Machines can do [&hellip

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Burger Flipping Robots 0

Posted on 29, June 2018

in Category Blog

What jobs will robots take on in the future? Cooking fast food is one of the possibilities. On the one hand, robots are not nearly as good at tasting food as humans are. Food is a social thing for people, and interactions with other humans are an important part of the whole mel experience, even if the interaction is an exchange of smiles with a kid working at a burger stand after school. On the other hand, human fast food workers want to be paid more… more than robots will cost. Margins in the business are very low. And your [&hellip

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Rexroth Safety Technology Error Codes 0

Posted on 27, June 2018

in Category Blog

You probably don’t have a favorite Rexroth error code. But if we were trying to identify everybody’s least favorite error codes, the F700s would probably get at least some mention. These are the Safety Technology Error Codes. Over the past decade or so, Rexroth’s integrated safety technology has made an enormous difference in the safety of operators. Integrated safety technology is included in the hardware and software of Rexroth machinery. Conventional safety rules and devices should still be used. But integrated safety technology allows faster response to potential danger, with resulting decreased danger. Some of the responses to safety concerns [&hellip

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The True Cost of Third Party Repairs 0

Posted on 25, June 2018

in Category Blog

We recently got a call from a prospective client who had a big problem. He had a Rexroth legacy motor — an Indramat motor in other words — oscillating at standstill so much that the controller was kicking out. He had sent his motor out to Bob’s BBQ and Servo Repair Shoppe for another problem, and when it came back he was faced with this rampant oscillation. So, because they didn’t do the right thing the first time, now they have been down for a week, and tempers are snapping. We sent them a quote on their motor, and got [&hellip

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