Last Month, Automate and ProMat 2019 got concluded and one could see the live show of the trends or technologies that will take supply chain to the next level of success. The 4-days long event, showed the best solutions and innovations in-action that industry has to offer and following is our observations from the discussions with engineers, suppliers, and analysts at Automate/ProMat.
1. Easy to use robots
Designing robots that are easy to use and install are considered essential by the exhibitors and conference speakers. Notably, programming and integration have to become easier such that small as well as midsize enterprises can adopt more. This would help robotics spread beyond automotive and electronics manufacturing.
Emphasis on software that makes the overall system easy to integrate will help users to adopt more quickly and get robots working. And the intent is to make controlling both industrial and collaborative robots easier for the end user.
2. Mobile robots at your service
Automated guided vehicles (AGVs), Cobots and automated mobile robots (AMRs) were the best-represented types of robots at the Automate/ProMat 2019 with more than 50 mobile robot vendors exhibiting best of their systems at the show.
The need for greater flexibility in factories and warehouses is the primary driver for the growth in mobile robots. From autonomous forklifts and tote conveyors to heavy-lift platforms, mobile robots can enable users to work with existing, non-standardized facilities. They can also help avoid the costs of bolted-down infrastructure such as stationary conveyors, multi-layer racks, and positioning systems.
3. Application based Cobots or Robotic Arms
At Automate/ProMat, there was a much of an emphasis on the utility of cobot or robotic arms as a new model of applications. One could sense the shift from products to applications such as shelf-picking robotic arms, flexible/mobile sortation systems and many more on the same lines.
Looking ahead to the future of the automation industry
Industry 4.0 or the factory of the future might be coming, but many robotics developers at the event said that they’re watching technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G to see how they’ll affect their businesses. A tremendous amount of data is already being collected and it’s more a matter of delivering it to the right person at the right time than applying a lot of AI to it.
With this, we could say that the future of supply chain is flexible.