The world of automation has entered into a stage where highly advanced robotic tools are used to streamline, expedite, and improve manufacturing processes to an unprecedented level. Last week our talented team at Progressive Automations exhibited our innovative linear motion products at the Automate and Promat show in the vibrant and energetic city of Chicago, IL, USA.
Automate is North America’s largest trade show that showcases motion control, automation, robot, and machine vision technologies. New and upcoming technologies, such as robotic arms, cobots, linear and rotary actuators were seen and learned about with direct interaction with the manufacturers and close-up experience with the devices themselves. When we mention North Americas largest automation trade show, we mean both in physical size and number of exhibitors and attendees — McCormick Place is North America’s largest convention center and it is massive!
While exhibiting our booth at the show, we had come across a wide variety of intriguing and talented attendees and fellow exhibitors who had stopped by to have a chat and learn about who we are as a company and the innovations that were being showcased.
Fully waterproof and submersible actuators were revealed to the public at Automate. The PA-10 and PA-06 actuators were displayed and captured significant attention from visitors at our booth. These actuators provide high force electric linear motion rugged enough to withstand any type of harsh environment. We have engineered a way to provide a fully waterproof linear motion solution and were proud to have them on display for the first time.
At the front of our booth we had a six-axis steward platform that our visitors had a chance to interact with. We had enabled the steward platform to be controlled via hand gestures, and the goal was to get the wooden ball around the maze and into the center. If you had completed this, you won a prize. Quite challenging, but lots of fun!
When it comes to robotics and automation, innovation is blooming and the result of hard work and dedicated engineering was clearly evident by walking around the convention center. Companies such as Fanuc, Yaskawa, Universal Robots (just to name a few) are paving the way for fully autonomous production and manufacturing systems. Robotic arms consist of multiple frameless motors that are used to produce six-axis motion in the x, y and z planes. A variety of end of arm tools that attach to the robotic arms allow for integration of robotic arms in almost any type of manufacturing process. Some examples of end of arm tools include:
A highlight of the show was seeing these robot arms play music and serve beer. One of the robot manufacturers’ had a robotic bartender. Here you would select your choice of beer, and the robot would pick up a cup, fill it up and deliver the beer directly to you. After you were served the beer, all the nearby attendees (and beer drinkers) would network and get to know each other, typically exchanging contact information and business cards – a perfect opportunity to meet your fellow industry professionals.
Another setup that we had encountered was a robotic jazz band. Different instruments were being played harmoniously, all by a pre-programmed sequence that controlled each robotic arm at the perfect time.
With just a few interesting examples of real-world robotic applications, we realize that the future is now! Robotics and automation is growing exponentially and we feel we have a special place within the market. At Progressive Automations, we too are growing exponentially and our journey in attending trade shows and building our experiences with clients will continue far into the future. For everyone that had visited our booth or had met us at some point during the show, we are pleased to have met you and hope to continue our professional relationships.