RACO International, LP
3350 Industrial Blvd. | Bethel Park, PA 15102
Ph: 412-835-5744 | Fax: 412-835-0338
Contact Email: email@example.com
RACO Electric Actuators provide a
reliable solution for all of your linear and
rotary motion needs. A variety of design
configurations provide a multitude of thrust
and speed ratings. RACO Electric Actuators
are designed to be robust with virtually no
maintenance while also being economical
to operate and friendly to the environment.
The modular design of
RACO ACME and Ballscrew
Electric Actuators allow for a variety of
design configurations while offering a Linear
Thrust range from 70lbs to 225,000lbs, Linear
Rod Speeds from 0.2”/sec to 30”/sec and Linear
Travel (stroke) up to 20 ft.
The RACO LM-Series is
designed for high speeds
and long travel (stroke)
with capabilities that are frequently found in today’s automation
processes. The LM can be used as a single axis system or
can be combined to form a multiple axis system.
The Rotary Actuator is designed to
automate the operation of valves, gates,
dampers, louvers and other positioning
applications requiring partial or multi-turn
Low Maintenance • Environmentally Friendly
Precise & Reliable
The True Pioneer of
(For more go to: newequipment.com/behindthescenes)
Circle 319 on card or visit www.nedinfo.com/66662-319
Robots aren’t taking over. They’re becoming part of the workforce. Advancements in robotics are help- ing manufacturers address the labor shortage by performing manual jobs more effciently. In many
cases, these robots are working in tandem with humans to
complete various tasks.
Collaborative industrial robots, or “co-bots,” typically come
with motion and force-detecting sensors that make them
safer for these systems to collaborate alongside people. In
addition, co-bots are becoming more accessible to a wider
range of manufacturers as the price declines. In fact, total
co-bot units shipped will increase from 8,950 in 2016 to
434,404 by 2025, Loup Ventures reports.
At its annual technology fair this month, ATI Industrial Automation focused on these trends to help demonstrate how
the latest robotic technologies, armed with new sense, can
New Equipment Digest recently spoke with Robert Little,
CEO of ATI Industrial Automation, to discuss these robotic
trends and fnd out what attendees will get from this year’s
NED: What are some of the key takeaways you expect
from this event?
RL: One key focus area is the future of robots in sensing.
Robots in the future must have force sensors to feel their
environment, make decisions, and then act on them. With
that in mind, we’ll be talking about enhancements in our
force/torque sensor product line.
Robots typically have vision systems that allow them to see
their environment and make decisions based on vision, but
with touch and feel, they can perform many other tasks. For
example, when you assemble by hand, you’re feeling the part
go in. A robot can do the same thing if it has a force sensor.
NED: What advancements have you made to improve
the sensing capabilities of robots?
RL: One is the development of a special safety sensor
that has extra precautions built in to ensure the force and
torque feedback is accurate. That’s important because if
people are nearby, you want the robot to act on accurate
information from force sensing to avoid accidents.
We’ve included dual-redundancy into the force/torque
sensor so it has more than one way to calculate the force.
The two calculations must match within a certain percentage
for the robot to know that the information is accurate, so it
can make decisions safely.
NED: What type of industrial applications are ideal
for force/torque sensors?
RL: A lot of collaborative robots as well as standard robots
are being used more frequently for assembly applications.
Electronics assembly is becoming very popular for robots,
which includes inserting chips onto circuit boards.
In the collaborative world, such as automotive, we might
be talking about installing a dashboard in a car. In these
situations, people are working with the robot directly to help
install the dashboard. The robot is doing the heavy lifting,
but the people are helping with the orientation as well as
maybe putting in certain fasteners at the right time as the
robot does its tasks.
Robots also conduct testing. For example, when a car
comes down the line, robots can push buttons or turn knobs
in the car. All of the force and torque feedback is used to
ensure quality. The key here is that the robot needs that
sense of touch and feedback to make these decisions.
NED: Are there any industry trends that are leading
to advancements in robotic sensing technologies?
RL: The cost of labor is going up, and it’s becoming more
diffcult to fnd skilled labor. To maintain and improve our
manufacturing base in the U.S., we have to advance automa-
tion. This driver is becoming more critical as we have reached
full employment. If you want to open a manufacturing facility,
you’ll have a diffcult time fnding the manpower you need.
So in this day and age, if we don’t have advancements
in robotic technology we will start crippling the economy.
In the meantime, we have intense global competition in
manufacturing. For example, even China has seen the writing
on the wall and has opened more than 80 robot companies
to advance automation technology. The robotics industry
has realized double-digit growth since 2009.
In order for the robot industry to advance, we must focus
on improving robot’s ease of use and developing innovative
end-effectors. Increasing fexibility while decreasing cost
will make robotic automation accessible to a larger market.
ATI Senses Change in Robotics
ATI Industrial Automation ramps up for its annual technology fair with a focus on
robotic sensing capabilities and dramatic safety improvements.
by Jonathan Katz