What does 2020 hold for businesses across the machine vision, automation and robotic landscapes?
MVPro has sought to find out by getting the thoughts of various businesses in each sector via the quickfire five Q&A, which offers an insight into how each business views 2020 and what was the highlight of 2019.
Today, we bring you the final one of the series from Nigel Smith, managing director at TM Robotics.
What will be the biggest trend in robotics in 2020?
Collaborative robots are certainly not a new phenomenon, but only now are they beginning to compete with traditional, industrial models. Until recently, this type of robot has been unable meet manufacturers’ repeatability, speed and power requirements without being confined to a robot work cell — rendering it unable to work alongside human employees and therefore, uncollaborative.
In 2020, Shibaura Machine, previously Toshiba Machine, will be launching two of its own dual arm collaborative robots to the market, a humanoid and a traditional SCARA model. Having committed several years to the development of what will be truly collaborative robots, the new machines will be built with powerful vision systems based on brand new software from Shibaura Machine.
What do you predict will be the biggest challenge in 2020?
Once a manufacturer has invested in a robot, they come back time and time again to further reap the rewards of automation. Small-to-medium sized manufacturers, however, are harder to convert.
Amidst the buzz of digitalisation, we are seeing increasing demand for easy to use robotics from this market. When making an initial robot investment, complicated programming is the last thing end users want. As such, many customers come to TM Robotics specifically for our easy to program machines. We predict we will see this demand continue in 2020.
What are the company’s plans for 2020?
TM Robotics is the official distributor of Toshiba Machine robotics, but the company will become Shibaura Machine robotics from April 2020. The company was initially founded as Shibaura Machine Tool Co. in 1938 and the name change will reflect its formal separation from Toshiba Corporation in 2017. For TM Robotics, we will continue to supply the company’s extensive range of six-axis, SCARA and Cartesian robots through our distributor network.
What industry event are you looking forward to attending in 2020 and why?
TM Robotics will be exhibiting the latest robots from Shibaura Machine at Automatica 2020, held at the Messe München, Germany from Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 June. Europe’s leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics, Automatica provides an ideal space for TM Robotics Europe to meet with our extensive network of distributors.
Looking back over the past year, what have been the business’s highlights?
There have been several notable releases for TM Robotics this year, including the launch of the newest SCARA model, the THE600, to the American market at Automate 2019, held in Chicago, Illinois. The THE600 boasts twice the speed and 60 per cent higher payload capacity than competing SCARA models in the same price range, making it an ideal investment for those new to automation.