This week, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2016 is taking place in Chicago, running September 12-17. 3DPrint.com will be there, and we’re looking forward to it – one of the biggest manufacturing trade shows in the world, IMTS features exhibitions from more than 2,000 companies demonstrating the latest manufacturing tech. There are going to be a lot of robots there, and a lot of 3D printers – unsurprisingly, as 3D printing and robotics are a huge part of the future of manufacturing.
We’ve gotten a sneak peek at a few of the companies who will be exhibiting, such as EnvisionTEC, which may be packing some new printers; machine tool company Mitsui Seiki, introducing their CNC machine/3D printer hybrid; 3D Systems, which will be sharing business strategies with us; and Stratasys, with their gigantic new 3D Demonstrators. Probably no company, however, will be showcasing as diverse an array of technology as KUKA Robotics.
While KUKA is known for their advanced robotics technology, they’ve really become a company that reaches all corners of the technological universe. At IMTS Booth N6200, KUKA will be giving several live automated demonstrations that show how their robotic designs work alongside 3D printing, CNC machining, the Internet of Things, and more.
One of KUKA’s areas of focus lately has been Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC). It’s exactly what it sounds like – an area of technological development that involves humans and robots safely working together, rather than robots taking over the jobs of humans. KUKA will showcase several collaborative robot applications at IMTS, including a demonstration of auxiliary safety technology that makes it possible for humans to work alongside industrial robots that are traditionally kept behind a safety fence.
Speaking of collaboration, KUKA will also be showing how their robots integrate with 3D technology thanks to partnerships with Midwest Engineered Systems and FARO. The former company will be demonstrating their new metal additive manufacturing system, which was developed in collaboration with several partner companies, including KUKA, which supplied a KR60HA KUKA Robot for the system’s operation. FARO, meanwhile, will be showing off their new Cobalt Array Imager, a lightning-fast, high-resolution 3D imager that can be automatically deployed when attached to a robot (such as, for example, a KUKA). Also at the KUKA booth will be Siemens, which will demonstrate their Run MyRobot Machining technology using a KUKA KR 6 R700 robot.
KUKA will be introducing some new robots of their own, too – namely, the KR CYBERTECH nano series and the KR 3 AGILUS, both of which are being unveiled in North America for the first time. The KR AGILUS KR 6 R900 Sixx will demonstrate its speed and precision by tending a CNC lathe, and KUKA will also show off a new software platform. KUKA Connect is a subscription-based software program that connects KUKA robots to the cloud. The open software system enables customers to access their robots’ data at anytime, from anywhere.
Education will be another focal point for KUKA at IMTS. The KUKA KORE Official Robotic Education Cart was designed to reach out to STEM education programs, and provides the tools necessary for students to learn about basic robot programming and operation skills on robotic hardware. Students in attendance will be able to search for “clues” in the KUKA booth, as well as to take the KUKA Kraze mobile quiz for a chance to win a STEM party for their class. KUKA KORE will also have a spot in the Smartforce Student Summit area, where kids can learn more about programming, participate in a maze challenge, and win prizes.
Finally, KUKA will be showcasing the EMCO Concept TURN 260 as part of their education area. The semi-industrial CNC lathe is part of the EMCO Industrial Training program, providing students with a hands-on way to learn how to program complex industrial CNC machinery.
If that’s not enough, KUKA will also have a guest presence at several other companies’ booths, including FARO, CENIT North America, IPG Photonics, Schunk, and Tebis America. Is KUKA taking over the manufacturing technology industry? They certainly seem to be taking over IMTS, which is a good start. Discuss further over at the KUKA Robotics & 3D Printing Demonstrations at IMTS forum at 3DPB.com.