With the Innovation Table “Automation & Robotics”, inpro has set a central topic focus for partnership innovation projects in the coming years. CAE solutions for the planning of intelligent robotic systems are an elementary component of the digital factory of the future and at the same time a prerequisite for more sustainable automotive manufacturing.
In this blog post, we highlight:
which market potential innovative robotics shows,
which technology trends will accelerate robot-based automation,
which challenges OEMs are facing in the software-based further development of their robot systems.
The market for industrial robotics is booming
Current figures (source: European Union: Industries Invest Heavily in Robotics – International Federation of Robotics (ifr.org)) from the International Federation of Robotics confirm that the automotive industry has the highest robot density in a direct industry comparison. Germany has 1,500 robots for every 10,000 employees. Only in South Korea is robot use more advanced, with 2,867 units. Currently, all automotive nations are increasing their robot capacities. This year alone, manufacturers are making more than one million new robots available: Automation on the store floor will therefore accelerate significantly in the coming years.
Central challenge: The holistic automation approach is missing
86% of OEMs confirm that the expansion of innovative robotics solutions is an important part of their innovation and corporate strategy. A major challenge is that in many cases there is still no holistic target picture for the digital factory of the future. Questions as to how autonomous industrial robots and technological progress through artificial intelligence or computer vision can be harnessed in production systems in the best possible way often remain unanswered.
Fields of action for innovative robotics
Our experts have identified the following fields of action in order to rapidly expand the automation potential offered by industrial robots on the store floor:
Intelligent software platform for robots
Up to now, many robot manufacturers have integrated their own specific software solutions into their machines, which are limited in their scope of functionality. In the factory of the future, however, this is not a sufficiently flexible, scalable solution for adapting and expanding automation processes as needed and further optimizing them in real time. An additional problem with many solutions is the high programming effort and the associated shortage of personnel as the use of robots increases. A central lever for increasing robot productivity is therefore the development of new, standards-based no/low-code software applications that can be learned and used intuitively by engineers.
Process design for a new generation of robots
The fluid transition to the factory of the future is characterized by the use of a completely new generation of robots. Small, mobile, lightweight, agile, smart robots that can take environmental conditions into account through artificial intelligence, sensors and computer vision will not only replace humans, but also cooperate with them in complex activities. At the same time, the trend toward modular and more flexible production is intensifying. This combination requires a completely new planning of manufacturing processes and thus changes the tool requirements in engineering and simulation teams.
Smart data management and standards for digital twins
New data management strategies are urgently needed for the virtual optimization of robotic processes. It is necessary to define which data should be stored and for what synthetic data can possibly be used in order to successively increase the artificial intelligence behind robotics applications. The concrete utilization of store floor data in simulation must be more efficient and targeted. However, the heterogeneity of the mostly proprietary robotics applications in use makes seamless data management very challenging. It is therefore necessary to promote the use of data standards and the development of open data ecosystems.
From linear to agile engineering
CAE applications combined with emerging technologies open up a wide range of possibilities for intelligent robot use – but the complexity of robot modeling remains for the time being. Engineering teams will have to adopt new methods to actually achieve efficiency gains and cost savings in production through data-driven robotics systems. In the future, controlling production processes and robots must become faster and simpler – that is, more agile through iterative engineering cycles.
We are committed to data standards in the manufacturing industry!
Innovation Table: Automation & Robotics
Automation & robotics have been central innovation focal points at inpro for decades. Due to the rapid progress in the field of artificial intelligence, we have once again increased the focus on this complex of topics. In the coming years, companies that want to make their production more flexible through innovative robotics can contribute their use cases together with other partners and develop them to the go-live stage. Collaboration with experienced technology experts and direct insight into user companies can accelerate the development process to a commercial solution enormously.
ginero increases the efficiency of multi-robot cell planning
You need an experienced innovation developer who understands automotive manufacturing and can implement and commercialize digital solutions? Take a seat at our Innovation Table and benefit from effective innovation for your company’s success.
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