Saturday, February 4, 2023

Robotics and Automation brings together leading names under one roof

The fifth annual Robotics and Automation exhibition once again brought many of the leading names in robot development and automated solutions together under one roof to showcase the latest innovative technology and discuss the challenges facing modern industry.

At the UK’s largest dedicated robots and automation exhibition, which took place at the Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena on 01-02 November 2022, visitors saw demonstrations of the latest innovations and were able to speak to experts about their various applications.

40 companies exhibited in Coventry, showcasing technology with applications in a wide range of industries, not least in logistics. Exhibitors ranged from Universal Robots, which produces collaborative robots (cobots), to Visual Components, a developer of 3D manufacturing simulation software. Picking robots, packing systems, plug-and-play products and more were all on show at the event.

Over both days, Robotics and Automation 2022 hosted a dedicated conference, which saw 20 speakers present their unique view on a wide range of topics from their position of expertise and experience within a specific field.

Exhibitor news highlights

Headline news included Lucas Systems drawing crowds by showcasing its AI-powered solutions to improve warehouse processes. Its pallet-matching and path optimisation solutions aim to eliminate unnecessary movement and streamline picking processes.

Attendees battled Jennifer, an AI system that Lucas Systems describes as the brain of its robotics operations, to see whether they could manually optimise picking routes more efficiently. This AI technology, combined with path optimisation algorithms, can be used to save valuable time in the picking process, reducing the amount of travel required by warehouse staff in order to carry out tasks.

Lucas Systems’ business development manager James Hart said: “A wide range of people from a wide range of industries have come to the stand looking for various different types of solutions, which is excellent. There seems to be a real, broad interest in different solutions.”

Also at the event was Rotherham-based IPL, which revealed how one of its product lines, tote boxes for home shopping delivery, has grown in success since its launch. Kevin Youens, Head of UK and European Automation Plastic Container Sales and Product Development at IPL, said: “Ocado uses our tote boxes for its storage and delivery systems and we manufacture for Amazon and several other big companies.”

He continued: “It’s a very good industry, which is growing rapidly, and we’ve been in the market with our own product.” This particular offering has a special connection with the exhibition, as Younes explains: “We actually launched it at Robotics and Automation several years ago and, since then, we’ve developed the product range, extended the product range and have had our first major customers.”

Of course, several robots were on show at the CBS Arena. A new Cobot Palletising Tool (CPT) was leading the line at Piab’s stand. With fast response times, a multi-zone gripper, and high energy efficiency, Piab expects its latest offering to allow customers to increase efficiency in their palletising operations. As visitors learned, the CPT has both suction cup and foam options in a lightweight unit, reducing EOAT changes and allowing a smaller robot to be used.

Colin Nevett, Area Sales Manager at Piab, said: “The show has been good, it’s interesting to see a lot of new companies that we haven’t seen before and getting to engage with them.” He added: “That’s what it’s all about, getting in front of those guys and introducing the Piab world to them and getting across our USPs.”

Piab solutions like these are currently being used within the food, packaging, and automotive sectors. Other robots at the show included Universal Robots’ products with machine tending applications and products from Mitsubishi Electric used in assembly, both being examples of how cobots can be used to assist in improving the efficiency of different processes.

Robotics & Automation 2023 is moving, both in terms of the venue and the time of year. It will take place on March 28th & 29th at the NEC Birmingham. This step up in venue will produce a similar step up in scale – the larger venue provides room to grow. Also, the event will be co-located with IntraLogisteX, a show focussed on technologies for warehouses and distribution centres.

As this year, there will be a wide range of factory and warehouse automation on show, and it will be an ideal opportunity to make sure your business can survive and thrive.

Visitors to Robotics & Automation 2023 will discover how the latest technology can be applied to their operations to provide massive improvements in productivity and accuracy. Products include Robots & Robotic Systems, Automated Assembly Machines & Systems, Parts Handling Equipment, Conveyors and materials, Industrial Automation Control and more. There are also live demonstrations of the latest solutions taking place throughout the exhibition, so visitors can get first-hand insight into how they work in practice.

Once again, a comprehensive conference programme will allow attendees to hear directly from people implementing projects using the latest technology. Experts from manufacturing businesses and more will share their insights and give real world examples of how they have automated their own, and their customers’, operations.

Invest a day or two in your future, and visit the show, which is free to attend for qualifying professionals. To register, visit www.roboticsandautomation.co.uk.

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