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   7 episodes



Orange Intelligenz by KUKA Robotics

KUKA Robotics

7 episodes

Nov 14, 2020

Why Mobile Robotics Is An Exciting Field 

That’s not unique in the automation community, but the Regional Head of Advanced Robotic Applications at KUKA Robotics has explored plenty of different avenues of robotics in her career. Right now, though, she’s focused in on one project: Mobile robots.
“I find it really exciting. If you look at my CV, this is the first time I’ve stayed with the same topic for now over five years,” she said. “I think it’s that there is still so much to learn: What works best? Where else can I put it into? As I told you, one of the really fun parts is to see all these different facilities and production processes and environments, be it food production or whatever, that’s really exciting but also when you explain your technology to your potential customers and see the engineers brain working … I really enjoy it.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile robotics have proved especially useful in some of those settings, with Ebenhoech noting that clients who work in labs are no longer needing to be near each other and risk the spread of the virus thanks to the ability to reply on mobile robots to perform some of their lab work.
“They can do their human, highly sophisticated brainwork, but they don’t have to go to the lab all the time any more,” she said. “So, that helps a lot in the specific application. If you think about what these mobiles do, they connect workstations which are often people. Having a robot connecting these different points instead of humans helps with social distancing.”

Aug 27, 2020

The Benefits of RoboSpin for Aluminum Spot Welding with Andre Young 

Oxidation buildup is one of the challenges faced when trying to spot weld aluminum. Even when creating a good weld, oxidation can build up on the weld tips.

“Buildup of oxidation causes inconsistencies in the welds,” Andre Young said. Young is a Business Development Manager for Automotive OEM and Tier 1 at KUKA Robotics.

According to Young, each OEM and Tier 1 manufacturer of sheet metal has its techniques to combat oxidation issues. Sometimes, they will abrade the surface to remove the oxidation layer, and other people will perform a chemical cleaning on the aluminum. No matter the method, over time, oxidation buildup will require tip dressing to clean up the spot-welding tip.

Another tool in the tool belt for spot welders is KUKA Robotics’ RoboSpin, application software that executes rotational motion about the TCP (tool center point) during the welding process.

It prevents adherence of the tips to the metal, which improves weld quality and extends tip life.

“The rotation performs the abrading as it creates the weld and wipes the tips clean as it's rotating,” Young said. “You’re getting good contact with the aluminum, reducing that resistance at the surface, directing energy to where you want it and creating a good weld.”

Jun 22, 2020

KUKA Robotics and 3M Team Up to Get Customers ready2_grind 

While robotics continues to become more and more advanced, there are some processes that still seem best done manually. They’re too complex, traditional thinking goes. But, while that may still be true for some processes, KUKA Robotics and 3M have developed a way in which weld processing can now be automated.

That’s thanks to the ready2_grind, a pre-configured solution to automate weld grinding and blending processes.

“The applications are primarily grinding and blending of welds. The optimum welds would be button-corner weld, where customers want to remove the weld and achieve a certain finish prior to, perhaps, painting or any other post-process they may have,” said Scott Barnett (embed: contributor page), Application Engineering Manager - Robotic Abrasive Processing at 3M.

The ready2_grind utilizes KUKA’s KR60 robot and controller and tooling from 3M, including the Active Compliant Tool. It’s a partnership that can help customers as manual grinders become more difficult to hire and keep on.

“The KR60 has an ideal reach at about 2.5 meters to cover most grinding applications, like weld grinding and casting grinding,” said Pat Duda, Senior Application Engineer for KUKA Robotics. “The mechanics are extremely rigid, and the path and velocity performance are really stable, also. That produces really consistent results.”

With 3M tooling, like the 3M Active Compliant Tool, on the end of the KUKA robotic arm providing the abrasive section of the tool, the ready2_grind is a perfect example of two innovative companies teaming up and finding a way to integrate effectively.

May 26, 2020

Robotics in the World of Medicine with Corey Ryan 

Corey Ryan, Director of Medical Robotics for KUKA Robotics, joined Orange Intelligenz to discuss the evolution and current advancements of robotics in the medical industry.

KUKA’s LBR Med, for example, is a collaborative robot for medical applications ideally suited for a wide range of assistance systems in medical technology.

“A growing acceptance of robots in the medical space is what has allowed for the growth of these collaborative robots,” Ryan said.

Today’s medical professionals utilize robots to enhance procedures and do things they could not do without robotic assistance. Force controls integrated into the robots prevent intentional and unintentional contact with people.

“We have a flexible and configurable safety concept so that safety requirements can be set based on the application and the current activities versus a singular safety system found in an industrial setting,” Ryan said.

With KUKA’s intuitive robot system, used for minimally invasive surgeries, doctors can prolong their careers because the system reduces body fatigue and minimizes hand tremors by filtering them out.

“You want to keep your best and most experienced surgeons working as long as you can,” Ryan said.

May 20, 2020

Orange Intelligenz : How KUKA Robotics works together to set up partners for success 

Robots always have seemed like something far off in the future, but advances in automation technology have put automation and robotics within reach of nearly any business.

The pace at which that technology is changing has made automation at scale a much more affordable proposition and much for a user to get under their fingertips as well.

“Five years ago, you had to be a master programmer to get a robot to run or just to configure it, where nowadays we have pop-ups and easy to use software that allows you to configure it in minutes instead of hours,” Michael Breen (embed contributor page), KUKA’s Technical Sales Support Manager, said during a roundtable with four other experts from the company. “When you do that it allows you to target an audience that’s much smaller, your mom-and-pop shops and smaller-scale businesses.”

Even if the learning curve with a particular product is a bit steep, KUKA backs its solutions with many education options. Perhaps most critical is the on-site KUKA College, an adult education program designed to help users learn exactly what they can do with their machine.

“It’s very important they not only spend time in the classroom absorbing the information, but having time on the robot is so important. They need to get on that robot and implement what they’ve just learned to really solidify it,” said Alexis Trumper (embed contributor page), who is the Training Manager. “This is a model of adult learning that’s been proven and taught in many other aspects in the world. We like to make sure people know we’re using the model and then have the confidence they’re getting a really great product when they come over and take classes with us.”

Robots may seem futuristic, but with KUKA’s tools and resources, it’s clear the future is now.

May 4, 2020

The Evolution and Adoption of Collaborative Robots with Corey Ryan 

Collaborative robotics and the use cases for these kinds of robotic solutions have exploded over the past five years, with those at the cutting edge of the robotics industry innovating ways to leverage the technology in day-to-day operations across a variety of industries.

To examine this industry trend, KUKA Robotics Director of Medical Robotics Corey Ryan joined host Tyler Kern on this episode of Orange Intelligenz, a KUKA Robotics podcast.

In particular, Ryan said that, while the idea of collaborative robotics has been around for a long time – decades, even – societal and standards-related acceptance have begun to accelerate in recent years.

“It’s become this tangible thing,” he said. “People really are accepting the idea of putting a robot in the workspace without the safety fencing and without the traditional, industrial mindset. We’ve seen an explosion in the market space.”

A lot of this acceptance has resulted from a movement to design robots with rounded edges, fewer pinch points, and more safety features tailored to operation in the same space as human employees.

It all boils down to a desire to not have to separate the person from the robot, allowing the best of both to shine.

Collaborative robotics have applications across every industry as automation steps up to play a greater role in the way the world conducts business, though the medical industry has taken large steps toward widespread adoption.

“I handle the medical business, so virtually every robot I sell is collaborative,” Ryan said. “There’s going to be somebody in that workspace. … The acceptance of robotics, plus the fact that – in medical, especially – there’s already enough accepted applications and FDA-approved applications that not having a robot on your system in some market spaces, like orthopedics, it’s a hindrance.”

Apr 1, 2020

The State of the Union for Robotics 

On this episode of Orange Intelligenz, a KUKA Robotics podcast, KUKA Robotics Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, North America Simon Whitton joined host Tyler Kern to deliver the State of the Robotics Union.

Whitton, who boasts over 35 years of experience in the robotics industry, is uniquely positioned to talk about the industry on a global scale thanks to extensive work experience in China and Japan, which lent him a different perspective on the acceptance and adoption of robotics and how the Asian region compares to North America and the United States.

Perhaps the biggest trend in the robotics industry at the moment, at least in the U.S., is that, while the country is exhibiting growth in robot adoption and sales, it still lags behind the levels of adoption and the heights the industry has reached in the Asian market despite its lengthy history with industrial robots.

“In general, I’d say that North America has been slower to adopt in terms of the growth pattern... by contrast, though, in countries in Asia is, whilst they may have been a bit later to come to robotics, the adoption rate is much higher in that region,” Whitton said.

While the recent COVID-19 pandemic has thrown things slightly off kilter, research prior to the outbreak suggested that U.S. unemployment rates remained low while robotic adoption rates rose.

In particular, that growth and predicted climb is a result of specific drivers in the region, such as an aging population and increasing revenue demands.

“Generally, it’s pretty good. As we look forward, the socioeconomic drivers, plus the technological drivers that power the growth in robotics, all are good,” Whitton said. “… We need machines to go to work and create business for us, so the drivers are all in place.”

To keep those adoption rates rising, particularly after the Coronavirus pandemic fades and business returns to relatively normal levels, Whitton said that the technology and misconceptions surrounding robotics need additional clearing up to ensure the growth trends exhibited in North America continue.

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