Robotics Providers

Aumann Limbach-Oberfrohna GmbH (Quelle: Aumann)

Source: Aumann

SENSITIVE AND EXTRA STRONG

They can insert tiny little contacts into injection molding machines with utmost dexterity and position heavy components with pinpoint accuracy for the precision assembly of utility vehicle axles: Robotics solutions made by the Aumann Limbach-Oberfrohna GmbH move parts between five grams and 200 kilograms precisely to the desired point in the processing cycle. The systems are used in factories around the entire globe. They help produce, for example, sensors, electric engines, or photovoltaic modules, and they help assemble battery systems, brake boosters, or hybrid transmissions. Renowned automobile manufacturers and suppliers are also among the company’s longtime customers as are clients from the renewable energy and electronics sectors. The Aumann engineers and technicians design, manufacture, and integrate robotics applications, above all, into industrial processes which require the flexible and efficient handling of high product variances – ranging from the feeding of parts to joining and/or assembly processes all the way to the removal of modules and components. 

   

Quelle / Source: BEAS Technology GmbH, Chemnitz

Source: BEAS Technology GmbH, Chemnitz

A ROBOTICS STUDIO For SMEs

Before robots really get started in factories, it is useful to initially test the manufacturing processes for a new product on a small scale, to train the staff members in how to handle the “new colleagues,” and perhaps to give small batches a try first. With the “BEAS ROBOTICS STUDIO,” companies get access to such a center for applied robotics. Created by experienced engineers from the Chemnitz-based process automation specialist BEAS Technology GmbH, the ROBOTICS STUDIO makes it easier also for small and medium-sized enterprises to get into robotics. For example, the system permits its users to test camera-controlled assembly operations as well as sorting tasks carried out by robots, simulate various joining techniques, manufacture prototypes, and train the safe handling of robots.

In so doing, BEAS Technology relies on its wealth of experience in using robots. The main business areas include process development, automation solutions, the design and construction of special-purpose machines as well as robotics, supplemented by practice-oriented training programs. Among the customers of the Chemnitz-based company are Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra, the Vollmann Group, Westfalia Presstechnik, Koki, and other globally active enterprises.

Quelle / Source: coboworx GmbH, Dresden

Source: coboworx GmbH

Robots for Everyone

So far, robots have been used almost exclusively in large corporate groups. The coboworx GmbH (Dresden subsidiary since 2020) has committed itself to making robots available to small and medium sized enterprises. With its experience, network, and technology, coboworx approaches automation from the process rather than focusing on the robot as a product. Standardized solutions provided by coboworx will be decisive for a comprehensive and exhaustive market penetration. The configuration and procurement of such solutions via an online platform are to be as simple as is already the case in the world of consumer goods. Robotic solutions created by coboworx will help small and medium sized entrepreneurs in advancing automation in their companies. This will be realized with robots that are easy to program and with setups that permit an easy and quick production start.

   

Nursing Robots Learn to Detect Faces

Robots are to support the work of human nurses in the future. These assistance robots are capable of, for example, watching at the bedside of patients who are recovering from surgery, or safely escorting sleepwalkers who suffer from dementia back to their beds in nursing homes. Under the name “August the Smart,” a consortium in Saxony has now developed such an assistance robot. The face recognition technology for this artificial nurse was provided by the Dresden-based Cognitec Systems GmbH. This technology permits the robot, for example, to distinguish between different nursing home residents. Cognitec Systems looks back on many years of experience in this technology sector: “FaceVACS” face recognition systems from Dresden are used, for example, in automated border controls, criminal investigations, robots as well as for the monitoring of casinos, airports, and stadiums all around the globe. 

   

Quelle / Source: EKF Automation GmbH, Freital

Source: EKF Automation GmbH, Freital

FLEXIBLE IN USE

A robotics solution for the automated the weighing of  fine dust measurement filters at the State Operating Company for the Environment and Agriculture Radebeul (BfUL) is just one of many robotic solutions which the EKF Automation GmbH in Freital has developed and implemented during the 30 years of its existence. Most of these applications are used by automotive suppliers. They help install, for example, sensors, electric engines, brake disks, or frontend modules. For manufacturers of machine components, in electric engineering as well as other industrial sectors, EKF has made production processes more flexible with the help of robot technology as well. These solutions are often part of a complete, usually module-based automation concept. Towards this end, the integrated robots solve not only handling tasks, but they also assume the separation of chaotically stored components, the brushing and deburring of workpieces as well as control and measurement tasks. The special gripper systems needed for these jobs are also developed by EKF engineers. Application examples exist also already for mobile robotics and/or for the collaboration between humans and robots (HRC). For example, occupational safety specialists will be trained on an HRC cell from Freital in the future who will, in turn, supervise the collision-free cooperation between humans and robots in their companies.

    

SCOUT®-Roboter von Fabmatics GmbH, Dresden

Source: Fabmatics GmbH, Dresden

Of HEROs and SCOUTs

More efficient, faster, and safer. This is the adage of nearly every production firm. With its specialized automation solutions, the Dresden-based Fabmatics GmbH wants to help semiconductor factories in getting even closer to the adage of more efficient, faster, and safer. A specific aspect of semiconductor production: The space in which errors may occur is extremely small. Enormous precision and absolute cleanliness are essential. The perfect environment for such robots as, for example, the “Helping Robot,” ("HERO"). The HERO robot helps its human colleagues transport wafers in cleanrooms and loads production machines fully automatically. A similar behavior is shown by the mobile robot SCOUT which is truly perfect for special tasks. The flexible-to-use robot is capable of transporting materials and products completely autonomously and taking the requisite measurements. Its advantage: It has a compact design and is extremely agile which makes it particularly suitable for narrow production areas. The robot’s sensors reliably identify its human colleagues so that the robot can avoid them and cooperate with them even in very confined spaces. In addition to their mobile colleagues, classic robotic cells are also among the core products made by Fabmatics. These robotic cells handle, sort, and verify the highly sensitive silicon disks on which microchips for smartphones, game consoles, or driver assistance systems are produced.

   

Virtual Playground for Industrial Robots

To automate production processes, it takes more than to just install a number of robots and press a red button.  Similar to human employees in a factory, robots also have to first learn the proper work steps.  And they need to form a “team” that collaborates effectively when mounting car doors, coiling motor spools, or welding complete casings.  The requisite expertise comes from the FLEXIVA automation & Robotik GmbH located in Amtsberg, Saxony.  The company specializes in planning, simulating, and programming the interaction of robots in a manufacturing cell with such simulation and planning programs as “Process Simulate” or “V5 Robotics.”  With these programs, it is also possible to select the right robots for the scheduled production target, determine in advance potential collisions between robots in a virtual world, and calculate the attainable cycle times.

   

Quelle / Source: FusionSystems GmbH

Source: FusionSystems GmbH

How Robots Learn to See

Robotic solutions from the Chemnitz-based FusionSystems GmbH help make production and logistic processes in factories more efficient and more reliable. The portfolio also includes driverless transportation systems. They move independently through factory workshops, pick up loads, and avoid conflicts with humans thanks to their integrated sensor technology. The company has also developed a sensor-supported general cargo detection system for robot arms. It permits robots to identify and measure three-dimensional shapes and to automatically sort out defective components during the production process. When it comes to the robot-supported transfer of objects to humans, the company has taught a robot to differentiate between the hazardous areas of objects such as, for example, knife edges, and the non-hazardous areas of objects such as, for example, knife handles, and how to hand them over in a safe and secure manner. FusionSystems was founded as a spin-off of Chemnitz University of Technology in 2005. Since then, the innovative software creators have put a specific focus on data collection, im-age recognition, the complex fusion of sensor data as well as “Industry 4.0” and robotic solutions. The customers include Volkswagen, Honda, Zeiss, ZF, Oppacher, MotionComposer, and other renowned enterprises. 

    

Quelle / Source: Industrie-Partner (IP) GmbH, Coswig

Source: Industrie-Partner (IP) GmbH, Coswig

Robo Operator® Operates Machine Tools

Together with the Dresden-based Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, the Industrie-Partner (IP) GmbH from Coswig is developing a “Robo Operator®” which is able to independently operate machine tools. The mobile, autonomous robot cells are to support small and medium sized enterprises very soon in keeping their production up and running. “This idea was created because we’re facing problems of our own,” reports IP Managing Director Ralf Hock. “Because it’s nearly impossible to find the qualified staff members we actually need.” Skilled employees for the qualified operation of CNC machine tools are particularly hard to find today. And - for many companies, the requisite automation of their production facilities is too expensive. The “Robo Operator®” is to provide help in this difficult situation. Thanks to intelligent camera control, it is capable of carrying out all assigned tasks. The mobile robot cell is able to operate machines which are not intended for automation. IP Coswig wants to make this clever solution available to other companies - via short-term rentals very soon, with a full service package included. The “Robo Operator®” can step in whenever there’s a lack of personnel – for example, in times of vacation, sickness, or parental leave. And it can also allow companies to introduce an additional shift during peak workloads at short notice. In addition, the mobile robot cells are able to assume monotonous jobs or tedious ancillary tasks such as the deburring of sharp edges and, thus, relieve the human specialists.

     

Quelle / Source: Mimetik UG, Dresden

Source: Mimetik UG, Dresden

AI Sensor Gloves Recognize the “Sense” of Human Movement

The further industry reinforces its automation efforts and the more often humans and robots collaborate in this undertaking, the more urgent is the need for new interfaces between humans and machines. And this is what the young startup Mimetik UG from Dresden - a spin-off of the Cluster of Excellence “Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop” (CeTI) at the Dresden University of Technology - is actually working on: The company has developed specific sensor gloves for this purpose. These gloves are coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and can identify even the finest hand and finger movements of humans and recognize their sense and purpose. One of the most important applications towards this end is Industry 4.0: In the factories of tomorrow, gloves and AI will help, for example, technicians with the automated recording of their work. And as virtual assistants, they will be able to warn about mistakes in the movement patterns once they had been learned. Tiny little sensors similar to those known from smartphones are integrated in the gloves: Acceleration and magnetic field sensors as well as gyroscopes. At a later stage, pressure sensors are to follow which will also recognize the strength of finger movements. A part of the sensor data which are thus obtained will be pre-processed by the electronics embedded in the gloves. The consolidated sensor data will then be transferred wirelessly by the embedded electronics to the AI in the next edge cloud for further processing.

   

Quelle / Source: PowerON Dresden

Source: PowerON Dresden

"Soft" Robotics

“Our objective is to fundamentally change robotics as we know it,” explains Dr. Markus Henke, CEO of the Dresden-based startup PowerON. With the help of both smart and soft sensor and actuator solutions, robots are to become more and more similar to humans. The underlying idea was created at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand. Here, Dr. Henke conducted research together with Dr. Katie Wilson, today’s PowerON CTO, on soft, flexible electronics for bionic robots. Technology made by PowerON is based on a special polymer which changes its shape whenever electric current flows. This polymer possesses mechanical properties which are similar to those of human muscles. Since the electrical properties change during the deformation process, it can also be used in sensor technology. The young enterprise has already attained some commercial success in this sector. One of these achievements, for example, was to equip robotic grippers with “fingertips” that feel – the first building block in PowerON’s vision of fundamentally revolutionizing robotics.

   

Quelle / Source: Sitec Industrietechnologie GmbH, Chemnitz

Source: Sitec Industrietechnologie GmbH, Chemnitz

30 YEARS OF Excellence in AUTOMATION

Battery systems for e-vehicles are highly complex components whose production including the integration of the requisite power electronics encompasses numerous manufacturing steps. The use of state-of-the-art robotic solutions is indispensable in this. Just recently, the Chemnitz-based Sitec Industrietechnologie GmbH has once again demonstrated its superb competences in automation and robotics by participating in a major project of a German premium vehicle manufacturer that revolves around the intelligent assembly of power electronics for battery systems. Since its founding in 1991, Sitec has built about 3,000 production systems. Sitec's robotic solutions are integrated into at least every second plant for assembly processes, laser machining, or electrochemical metal machining. They not only move workpieces from A to B, but also carry out such operations as laser welding, laser cutting, or mounting and joining processes. These processes help produce, for example, gear parts, heating systems, and electric pumps for vehicle construction, components for power electronics, bipolar plates for fuel cells, stators for electric motors and engines, or surgical instruments and implants.   

   

Wandelbots GmbH, Dresden - Teaching Robots (Quelle: Wandelbots GmbH)

Source: Wandelbots GmbH, Dresden

Using Robots Becomes Child’s Play

The Wandelbots GmbH has set ambitious objectives for itself: The young Dresden-based enterprise wants to trigger nothing less than a revolution in robotics. In the future, the use of robots is to be practical and worthwhile also for craftspeople, young technology incubators as well as small and medium sized enterprises. Because thanks to new technologies from Saxony which have little or no competition even at an international level, robots can now be taught new tasks much easier than had been the case before. What is so special about this: With these systems, users won’t have to write a single program line. For these “no-code robotics,” the Wandelbots engineers have developed special software and hardware which permit humans and robots to communicate with one another and, thus, make them a “dream team.” In so doing, the users interact, above all, with two components: On the one hand, with a pen-like, haptic input device – the "TracePen" – and, on the other hand, with an intuitive app created by Wandelbots. The TracePen is the tool with which the robot path can be demonstrated in the simplest way. Interchangeable tips help adapt various tools for its users. The app permits its users to simply continue with the design of their robot processes. This system registers the movements which are required, for example, to debur a workpiece, produce a welding seam, or inspect an adhesive strip. Since its founding in 2017, Wandelbots has grown to currently 130 employees and is now one of the international technology leaders for universal, intuitive robot teaching systems. Its shareholders include Siemens and Microsoft; among its customers are Volkswagen, BMW, and Infineon.  

   

Quelle / Source: XENON Automatisierungstechnik GmbH, Dresden

Source: XENON Automatisierungstechnik GmbH, Dresden

Saxony's Engineering Spirit Meets Passion for Innovation

The robotics specialists of the Dresden-based XENON Automatisierungstechnik GmbH are in high demand, above all, when it comes to solving particularly sophisticated challenges that require profound engineering expertise. For 30 years now, the constantly growing team of experts has developed and built robot-based special and mass production systems for Bosch, Continental, ZF, Hella, Infineon, Logitech, Fresenius, and many other renowned customers. A primary focus is on individually customized automation solutions for automobile construction, the electronics industry, medical technology, and currently also the growth sector of hydrogen technologies. Just recently, the Stäubli Robotics Group has praised the Dresden-based technology enterprise as an authorized partner for its many years of expertise and competences in integrating and programming Stäubli robots.

   

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